The World never ceases to compare a mother to other women around (read: mothers) and yet nobody understands what a working mother goes though. Why is that people forget that a working mother is also a mother, the only difference is she leaves her baby with someone who can take care of her and goes back to work. It is very easy to comment on such women and be judgmental about it but has anyone ever tried to understand what that female goes through?
A girl who goes through the same level of education as a boy, starts her career at the same position as her male counterpart, is equally ambitious and hard working, sets her career aside to give birth to a baby and then gives up her career for the baby as well. WHY???? There is a very simple explanation for this: because she is expected to. Why is an Indian Male not expected to stay at home and take care of the baby? Didn’t he contribute to making the baby? Why is the father not expected to play a role in bringing up the baby apart from playing with him, bringing him toys and taking care of his needs? The Indian Paternity Leave itself is a joke, 5 days is what you get. Is it enough for a father to bond with the baby. Someone who has only heard that the baby is arriving, seen his wife flaunt a bump, is suddenly presented with a baby and expected to go back to work in 5 days. If that is correct, why is a female, who kept the baby inside her womb for 9 months, judged when she goes to work, leaving her 6 months old baby with someone else?
A mother who was an ambitious girl, has now let go of lot of things. Her world revolves around her baby. She has spent 6 months nurturing the baby, putting his needs above hers, spent countless sleepless nights taking care of the baby, feeding the baby, cleaning his pee and poop. And one fine day, she hands over this responsibility to a care taker or a nanny or her parents or in laws and scoots off to work. Was it easy? Do you think the female is enjoying her freedom at last?
Someone who couldn’t wash her hair for 10 days straight because the minute she would step into the washroom, the baby would start crying. Now she has 8 hours in the day all to herself. She can eat when she wants, she can talk to her friends, she can have hot tea or coffee, go for walks. But is she really that independent in the mind?
She goes to work because she has prior commitments, she has to help her husband in paying off the loans, she needs to continue working to maintain the lifestyle that they are used to. NOT because she wants freedom from her loving child.
While she is at work, she calls up home zillion times to check what her baby is doing, has he eaten? Has he slept? Has he done something new? Her constant fear is that she is missing out on the milestones that he is achieving! She fears not being a part of every activity that she does. This also affects her quality of work 🙁
All she talks about is her baby, how he is, what activities he does, how he behaves. She can’t relate to her colleagues anymore. But who cares???
She pumps out milk before going to work so that her baby isn’t deprived of breast-milk while she is fulfilling the needs of the family! And what do the people think: she is brave to leave her kid behind just for money! Yes, she is brave, she has left her baby at home. But terribly heartbroken within. The most important person in her life is at home without her.. 🙁
She carries a fear that the baby will not come to her when she comes home because the entire day he is playing with other people (it’s a terrible thought) She is sad she gets to spend 1 or 2 hours with the baby, unlike earlier when she was 24*7 with her baby. She dreads the traffic while coming home, she is the first one to rush out of the office, doesn’t mind working late from home just to be with the baby. Even after coming home, she spends an almost sleepless night for the baby.
Despite doing so much, she carries a constant guilt within her, a nagging thought that she is missing out on her baby’s childhood..!! The only day that she actually experiences delight is the day her account is credited with the salary. That is the one day she feels little less guilty about going out to work. That is the day she realizes she is doing this for securing a better future for her baby.
And what do we do??? We judge her..! We decide she doesn’t breastfeed her baby, she is evil, she is selfish..
Try getting into her shoes for a day, experience that heartbreak for a day and you will know the dilemma that a working mother goes through..!!