Choosing to be a full time mother: The decision came straight from my heart
July 3, 2009
I had always been ambitious and wanted a corporate job. As a management student, I had always been clear about the kind of organisation I wanted to work for. After my MBA, I gave couple of competitive examinations, out of which I cleared SEBI (Securities Exchange Board of India) and The South Indian Bank. But I could not take both up, because I was meant to do something else I guess..and I have no regrets. After my marriage, I was working full time for 1 year, and that is when I conceived. Because of some initial hiccups during my pregnancy, I resigned from my job, and enjoyed my pregnancy in every way.
Having my son was something way out of this world. I was quite prepared for it, because unlike many new mothers, I wanted to do everything for him by myself. The very day he was born, he had scratched his cheeks with his long fingernails. The same day, I got a small nail cutter and cut his nails. My mother was freaking out asking me to be doubly careful, and I was this so very confident mommy who cut a new born baby’s nails with extra ease. I made my grandmother teach me everything about bathing and taking care of my son. And being a nuclear family, I did all that was needed as soon as he turned 1 month old, without any extra help. That’s the latest I could wait to lay my hands on my son!!
The initial few months went by, and then started the boredom. I was having the “Empty mind makes it a devil’s workshop” syndrome. I wanted to start working and began to attend interviews. But each time I came back after cracking the interviews, I would have this heavy feeling within me, which would stop me from taking up the job. I did not realise it then, but I was refusing every good job coming my way, under some pretext or the other. The frustration was building up and so was the tension within me. My husband asked me to sit and think what exactly I wanted to do.
And think I did…and I did. I realised that coming from a childhood, in which my parents both were working, had made some marks within me. I have always wanted my mother to be around me, and was seemingly jealous of all my friends who had their mothers around them. I remembered as a little girl, how I used to keep telling myself that I would always be there for my kids physically and emotionally. But of course during the process of growing up, I forgot all about it. But strangely all of this had got registered within my psyche, and I guess I had prayed a bit too hard during my childhood. God really wanted to make that childhood wish come true. The realisation struck hard, and I made my choice.
I am today a full time mother and a part time teacher who takes Economics and Secretarial Practice coaching for undergraduates and graduates students. I took this decision when my son was 7 months old, and slowly the pattern was set. I use my weekends and the time my son (now a 3.5 yrs old) goes to school, for teaching, blogging and writing.
My son comes back to a home which is not locked and has a mother waiting to hear all that he wants to just go on and on about. I believe very strongly that parenting is not just about quality time but also about quantity time. When the child wants to talk about something, and if no family member is around, how is it justified that the child is told that the matter will be discussed later. The need of the hour is “now”, then how is it justified that the so called “quality time” is given “later”??
My decision came from a conscious thought process that we are a nuclear family and I did not want my son to grow under a maid or a day care. I wanted my son to come back to a home which is not vacant. It came from a thought process which said that when I am low or have had a tough day, I would love to come back to a house which is welcoming and the door is opened by a person who cares for me. That feeling itself is so cushioning that I had to give the same to my son.
And for the same old question, “You are so educated, and you wasted that!?” I have just one answer, “Education is never wasted. Whatever I learnt is used to make my son a very smart kid. It is used to take wise decisions, become an informed and a confident mother, and of course an excellent teacher. (…in my case)
Being a full time mother does not mean killing one’s own desires and giving time only to kids. It just means setting the priorities right. One can still have friends, a social circle, do what the heart wants, work part time and the list goes on and on. Being a full time mother just means being available for your child at the right time, right place and for the right reasons.