A decision for a mom to resume working itself has many angles to it:
-Support from husband
-Appropriate work timings and flexibility
If these various facets do meet and the motherly hormones do facilitate a positive decision to work- that is still not the end, as everyday seems like a trip on its own.By no means am I discouraging working moms- because after all-we should be thankful that we are getting the best of both worlds – career satisfaction and an accomplished feeling at the end of the day, of being able to multitask.
What is most important is we ensure that our child is not deprived of any pleasures that he deserves, and we fulfil our motherly ambitions and duties well…after all a career can wait a few years but our infant’s needs at that age won’t ever come back.
Here are some ways to get the best of both worlds!!
1. Staying Organized is the Key
Planning outings with your kids in advance will avoid the last minute rush of getting back from work and hurrying up your child (needless to say, every age brings in their own mood and tantrums, which needs patience). It helps ensure that you are on top of the little things like arranging play dates on weekends, making sure the gift is in place before attending a birthday party in the middle of the week, asking a family person to pick up or drop your child in case needed. Making a note of things that your child needs to be fed like a fruit/snack at a particular time makes it easier for the family or house help.
Another side of planning your week ahead in advance will also help you schedule a day to catch up with your pals, work out, and give you some me time. No matter how random our lives were before being mums, all this seems of paramount importance after being a mum.
2. Make Sure You Spend the Most Crucial Time with Them During the Day
That would be when they wake up, with the morning chores of brushing, bathing, dressing them up. Yes, it might mean you have little time to dress up for your office – but it’s still worth it, when your little one is smilingly saying goodbye to you, comfortably tucked at the breakfast table.
3. Making Your Evenings Count
Spending evenings with them also amounts to great quality time for both of you after a tough day at work and your child- it may not mean a trip to the garden, pool, activity everyday. Once in a while- playing games at home, singing rhymes to them or just a role play also goes a long way in creating a bond.
4. Weekend Getaways
I love to take weekend getaways and holidays with my child, so as to make the most of no office time.
5. Avoid Comparisons
Never feel pressurized about your child not able to do something that someone else’s child has learnt. Every child takes their own time and at this age, learning something three months late is not going to make any earth shattering difference.
6. Do Not Ignore Important Things like School Admissions
Keeping a tab on school admissions, nearby activity classes and medical needs is something that we need to revisit weekly in the initial years.
7. Don’t Get Burdened by Obligations
While, as a working mother, we might feel that we are taking obligations all the time from our boss, colleagues, our moms, mom-in-law or a family person…it’s ok to steer clear of that feeling. They are surely being kind and helpful and we need to positively tell ourselves that we do fulfill our responsibilities at both places, to the best of our abilities.
8. Don’t Let Colleagues Stress You
Taking calls from home, getting reading material home or replying to emails on weekends has all become easy as well as practical now. As long as we make sure that the hours spent in office are used most efficiently, I don’t think we should worry too much about raised eyebrows from colleagues on flexi timings. We have a precious job to manage at home that they probably have no idea about.
I resumed work when my child was 1.2 years old. However, each of us may have a limitation to the break that we may be able to take. I do feel that spending the first year with your child is the most amazing time you will ever have. Being a part of their first gurgle, step, baby talk is something that you might not want to miss. Also, getting them accustomed to food habits and the close family with whom they will be with while you are at work, is something that a mom can do best.
Last but not the least I would like to quote Chanda Kochhar’s (MD, ICICI Bank) words here- A Guilty conscience will be a present continuous tense for a working mother. So let’s not feel bad about it but take it in our stride and give the best to both worlds.
Shruti Vora is a mother of chirpy three-year old, Diyaa. From being a working women at an investment bank to a full-time mom, and then again shuffling between the two..she lives a fast-paced, however, contended life on all fronts.