Has anyone ever wondered what it is to be a working mother, with a toddler tucked away in a day care? I have often heard people delivering their “uncalled for advice” about “Why don’t you get your parents or in laws for help?”, “Why don’t you hire a full time maid? “. Some go as far as, Why don’t you take a break“. I have even had some, so called ‘well advisors’ who have cited examples of their wives, who had quit their jobs just so that they could take care of their baby. Amongst all these, has anyone ever tried walking a day in my shoe? Has anyone ever tried to think, what if she was not lucky enough to have a support system in place? What if she really wanted to raise her kid all by herself? What if she wanted to work? What if she didn’t want to lose her identity? What if she wanted to help her husband with the increasing expenses?
Somewhere in between all these why don’t you’s and what if’s, the girl is lost. The girl, who worked, as hard as any of her fellow classmates in college, so that she could brag a job in a high paying MNC. The girl, who worked as hard as any of her colleague, to get to where she was now. The girl, whose heart tore each morning, when she woke up her half sleeping baby, so that she would not get late to office. The girl, who loved to sneak a peek into the always opened tab on the web browser, that played the live streaming of the day care. The mother, who was forced to leave her sick baby with the father, since she, had an important meeting to attend. Mark my words “FORCED”. Yes, it tore her heart to leave an ailing baby home and rush of to work. The mother, who tried to keep up a brave face in a male dominated office, just so that she would not be mocked behind her back and be referred as “O she has just taken life easy. She would soon quit”. The mother, who prefers to bunk office just to be able to be a part of her kids special days. A mother, who is constantly judged in office for having a BABY. When the hot shots of her office leave no chance to badge her as an under performer. Things get worse when you get compared to other lady associates who have support systems in place. Or even have elder kids. Or kids who are not so mischievous. Situations are not the same for all. No two kids are same.
Does anyone think twice, before realising that their so called successful career would be nowhere near to what it was, if he had to juggle half the things, that we working mothers do? It’s easier to think that it is a cake walk to raise a kid, when you have all support systems in place and/or are just luck enough to have everything sorted out since your wife chose to quit her job just so that she could raise the kids.
How to do you counter them? You don’t. At a point of time, you stop fighting. You just realise, that some people are too used to the privileged comforts that have been bestowed upon them or just take women to be a child birthing and a child raising machine.
Why is it always necessary that every woman in this industry has to follow the same trend? Why is it even always necessary that we have our parents or in-laws to look after the kids? Why can’t the father and mother work together to take care of the child?
But don’t be surprised when I say that this is just not limited to guys. I have had, women, the house wives, who laugh and say, “Oh you are lucky that you don’t have to handle a kid all day”. I mean does anyone realise that after putting in more than 8 hours at office, when one comes back, there is a kid waiting for you, just to hog onto all ounces of your attention. The kid wants to share all his/her stories with you, wants you to play with his/her favorite game, wants you to play hide and seek with them. Wants you to tell them stories and so on.
It’s never easy. Never easy, to be a mom. Never easy to being the chef, consoler, story teller, play pal and an constant entertainer at the same time. So my friends, be a little sensitive and stop sneering at any working mother who is struggling to keep up a brave face and strike a balance between work and personal life. Stop being judgemental and passing comments on her chosen preferences of raising up her kid. Your choices might not be same but that doesn’t make her choices wrong. If someone is struggling, give her the credit that she is at least trying and has not decided that it is a lost battle. Give her the credit that she is trying to raise kids who learn to respect women, who do not take it for granted that women are only there to cooks and raise kids.