Mommies, why do we like to pull each other down?

woman by the water

Image: freestocks.org

I have a neighbour who is a Deputy Director in a reputed womens’ university in Mumbai. Before you roll your eyes and say “what’s the big deal?”, let me tell you something about her. She pursued her doctorate at the age of 45…! She got married early, had two daughter one after another. She concentrated on raising her daughters well. And, when the daughters became independent, she decided it was time she did something for herself.

Well, she decided to work in her 40s. But, not all mothers want to wait till then. There are mothers who prefer to take a shorter break for kids before resuming work. Then there are some some who never take a break even after having a child. And, then we have mothers who don’t work but decide to stay at home to look after their family.

Whether you are a working mother or a stay at home mother, there is nothing wrong. You are a good mother, and don’t let the world tell you otherwise. Mothers are questioned for every action. If you work and leave your children to nannies or in day care, there are people who ‘oh-oh’ it. You are a negligent mother. If you don’t work and look after your children all day, you are looked down upon.

If it only stopped here…

If you are a woman who doesn’t want children – People understand and sympthasize with you if you are unable to bear children. But, tell them once that you are child-less by choice and then see all the hells break loose. Eyes roll and tongues wag. You are too ambitious! And God alone save you if you prefer pets to children.

Let us understand these three things FOREVER:

A woman is a woman first, and then a mother.

A woman is free to make her own choices: whether she wants to work or not, whether she wants to have kids or not.

A woman can be a mother to a human baby, a pet or nature. She is still a mother!

Friends, there is no winning with the world! So let’s stop making the effort! Work for yourself and live for yourself! Let the world do what it does best – bitching!

At least, let’s stop questioning each other. We are, were or could be in the same position as others; let’s sympathize with other women even if we don’t fully endorse their idea.

Let’s not pull each other down – we have others to do it for us 😉 and seriously, it’s NOT FUN!!

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7 Things Indian Society REALLY Needs to Stop Saying About Stay-at-home-Moms and Work-From-Home Moms

Being a mother in India is no easy task. If we go out for a job leaving kids at home, we are made to feel horribly guilty. But if we decide to give up high-flying jobs and stay at home only to be with our children, society finds fault with that too! Strange, isn’t it? Stay at home moms and work from home moms often get uncomfortable questions that are interfering, pointless and irritating. Enough is enough!

working mother

Free image : flickr.com

Here are a few particularly sad things I have encountered on various occasions, and which still rankle me. I really wish people would be more understanding toward us!

1. What do you do all day? It must be so chilled out relaxing at home…

You seriously want to know? Well, I have a lounger at my place and I stretch on it to watch movies, munch on a giant tub of popcorn, and gulp down one beer after another. And, oh yes, I make my 5-year old daughter do the grocery shopping, iron clothes, pack tiffins, cut veggies and haggle with the fruitwala. Yes, that’s what I do all day! And, that’s how the 101 household chores are taken care of. You see, by magic!

2. What about your career? Don’t you feel left behind?

I am making one, and I am doing this from home, although it isn’t what I had planned initially. So what if I don’t have a fancy cubicle to my name, a team of members waiting for my instructions, or any corporate ladder to climb, I am still building a career. If it satisfies me, who are you to question?

3. Oh, you work from home. Do you earn enough? I mean, is it worth spending your time on?

Of course I don’t! And thanks so much for rubbing it in. I am nowhere close to what I earned earlier. But, listen, I made a choice when I decided to stay at home to be with my daughter. It was my choice to be there for her. I knew what I was getting into. And earning ‘enough’ didn’t top my list of must-haves. Also, I really don’t think I need to discuss my finances with the whole world!

The rest of the article, read at – http://www.worldofmoms.com/blog/7-Things-Indian-Society-REALLY-Needs-to-Stop-Saying-To-Stay-at-home-Moms-and-Work-From-Home-Moms/1090/2

I am a guilty mother

guiltymommy

Sometimes I feel that my second name should be ‘guilty’ because I am always guilty for something or the other. And it all started as soon my little daughter was born. From this perfectly happy-go-lucky affable girl, I turned into an emotional mess overnight.

So if I wanted to visit the washroom or sleep and my baby cried, I felt guilty. If I went out for grocery shopping I felt guilty. If I slept while my baby was awake, I was guilty. There was no end to it.

But I hadn’t realized the extent to which this guilt could play havoc on my life. In my previous blogs I have written about how I desperately want to resume my career. Every day, I feel ‘why I am wasting my life like this?”.

Then the mother in me argues, “you are not wasting your life, you are investing it in your child’s future. Is this why you brought this child into this world, so that you can put her in a day care?”

But there is a sensible voice that says “you can’t spend every minute of your wake up time with your child. It’s impossible. Instead of quantity, spend quality time. Work toward your goals too. Your child will appreciate that.”

“What if she gets hurt or falls sick in my absence?” or “Won’t my daughter miss not having me around?”

I argue, “Come on, woman, your daughter has fallen a hundred times with you around. How did it help her?” And also, “Kids adjust. She will miss you for a few days, and it’s not like you are not coming back in the evening?”

The questions are galore, so are the arguments. In spite of reasoning with myself every few days, I am still not able to make up my mind. Because I feel guilty. Again, that ‘g’ word.

I know I am a mother. But why do I forget that I am first a person. I have my own needs and wants. Somewhere, being a mother, I have forgotten myself. I love my child to distraction, but that can’t make up my whole life. I need to be myself, and less guilty. And I need to keep telling that to myself every day till the time I can live with the guilt.

This is what I have been doing to cope up with my guilt. Hope it works its magic faster.

  • If her father can work guilt-free, so can I.
  • My child needs my love and presence. But she needs money too. And extra money doesn’t hurt anyone.
  • There is no substitute to self-sufficiency and independence. Who doesn’t like to see money rolling in?
  • If I am so happy staying at home with my child all day long, then why do I feel so empty within?
  • My daughter is not content with playing alone with me. She needs her friends, classmates etc. After a few years, she would need less of me and more of them. What will I do then?

What are your thoughts? What has been your experience?

  • I spend reasonable time with my daughter, but the times when I don’t I start questioning myself. Is it so wrong to have sometime for myself?

What are your thoughts? What has been your experience?

A Career Girl laments

The day I announced my intention of becoming a mother, my husband said, “Hmmm. Kiss your career goodbye.”

I pooh-poohed the comment. “It will be only for a year. Then I will start again.” I replied confidently.

“It’s easier said than done. Once you have your little bundle of velvet skin in your arms, all your ambitions and career will be out of the window.”

A year came and went. My husband inquired ever so innocently, “When are you starting looking for a job?”

“Mmm. I think it’s too early. I am not ready yet. She is at an age where she needs me around. You know what I think I will wait for one more year.”

One more year came and went. My little dumpling turned two.

My husband again inquired. “So do you think you are finally ready?”

I was dreading the question but was prepared for it too. Who was I trying to fool anyway?

“I can’t do a full time job yet. I don’t think I can leave my precious daughter alone with a maid at home or at a day care center. You hear such horror stories every day. But I will find a work-from-home position.” I said. He just smirked. He didn’t need to say it aloud, “I told you so!”

But where are the jobs? Just because I am a stay-at-home-mother, people treat me as a social pariah. Just because I can’t step out of the house people think I am not committed or responsible or dedicated enough. Our country wants well-rounded children but not mothers. Why this apathy towards work from home mothers?

Somebody said you can’t become Chanda Kochhar or Indra Nooyi sitting at home. I say I don’t want to be them; I just want to be myself, a mother who wants to find her identity too. Is that too much to ask?