Wednesday 13 March 2019

Mummy always knows.

What is God's biggest blessing to mankind? Brains, a species superiority, the epochs of countless developments we have achieved?? No! It's one that has always been there right from the start - from Adam & Eve or the scientific evolution of homo sapiens. The ability to procreate. It is the biggest boon, the mightiest gift that classifies us as 'the living' and the chosen channel being a woman (not undermining the role played by man in any way). Being able to create, nurture and bring a new life into this world, is the very essence of being a woman. The joy of knowing that you're pregnant, the feeling of this tiny little person inside you giving company literally 24x7 is simply amazing. All the pains forgotten the second you look at your baby for the first time.

I loved becoming a mother and have two sons aged (nearly) 8 and 4.5 years old. Amidst this wonderful joy came the time when I had to go back to work after the time off on maternity. Having experienced this twice, I can say without hesitation that this was tough. There was a part of me that wanted to go back to work just to have a proper adult conversation instead of all the goo-goos, ga-gaas and the entire (almost gibberish!!) baby talk I did all through the day. There were many other reasons too - I had always been a working woman since my early twenties, I'm intelligent (allowing myself some rare self exultation here), I like to be out and about, I'd quite like to have a little identity of my own which was not defined by being a daughter, wife or mother and ofcourse we had our financial targets to take care of.

Yet, none of these progressive and practically pragmatic thoughts took away the tiny heart-breaks each morning when dropping my babies (I still call them babies, they'll always be my babies) at nursery. I would argue in my mind, that this was beneficial for their development as well, considering the lack of a social/family structure around us (we live in UK and all our immediate families are in India). But it was still emotionally demanding to be able to leave them. I then took a third break following our relocation from Glasgow to Reading because of my husband's job. There was so much happening in our life and we chose not to send our younger son to full time nursery since he was going to start school in a year. Now that both the boys are at school, I'm going back to work after almost 2 years.

I was excited when I got a call for my first face-to-face interview. It gave me a buzz to simply walk into their office, to be back in a corporate giant's realm. I was super happy even before the interview started. And I knew then that I had to try, not that I wouldn't have otherwise. That I have to get out of the comfort of my home. That I still have to work. I have to do it for myself. I have to be 'me' first. Only then will I be a happy mummy to my sons. I have a job offer in hand from one of the leading motor brands in the world. There is no longer any uncertainty - I am going back to work.

So what happens to the house, who will look after the boys, who's going to do the school runs, help them with their homeworks?? I felt the old mini-pangs resurfacing. The realistic me has got it all organised - after school clubs to allow time for my husband to pick them up, an open talk with my new employer about me still being able to drop the boys and I'd (most likely) have the other bits in the house covered too. Will it work out well? I believe yes. Will I be worrying about the tiny heart-breaks? Maybe.....or maybe not.

I'm not the only mother who has been through this. There are millions of others out there, who have to go back and work due to a multitude of underlying reasons dictated by each one's life's circumstances. Irrespective, it is a mother's heart inside - forever full of abounding emotions for her children. Though its only natural to feel those tugs, at times even guilt at 'not being there' all the time, to have those days when you blame yourself for deserting your sick child to go to work, still we all need to snap out of this sorry state very quickly - for the sake of these very children of ours. We have to work because we either want to or we have to. That being clear, its best to give it all we've got.

A working mother is in no way less than a mum who's a homemaker. She only adds to the effort that every parent makes to provide beyond their means for their children, so that the later get a better chance at life. This, she does at many a costs. If already working before having kids, how many of them have sacrificed promotions, taken a set back to their ambitions? Let's not forget those brave women who will do anything, any kind of job, just so they can feed their little mouths. At the end of the day, they are all mums who put aside their day's struggles in a blink, at the sight of that one smile upon returning home.

What will you say the next time you hear someone pointing at a working mother, questioning how well will she raise her children when she doesn't have time? Or if you have a friend who is a working mother doubting herself? I'd say just don't bother! Who's asking for your superfluous notions, when you clearly can't remember that every mum has already dealt with the real game-changer ie. giving birth. Her being in a paid profession or being a stay at home mum should never ever be a deciding criteria for her quality of parenting.

A mother works hard all the time. There cannot be a love more giving and unconditional than that of a mother for her child. She strives to bring the best to her children. So let her choose, for she's capable. Whichever road she treads, her children will be the core of her life. If on the way, she endeavors to carve a distinct facet to her existence, it will only add to her already expansive profile. I strongly believe that there is nothing better than having and/or being a mother who is happy, considers herself successful and knows that she always has the choice to follow her own dreams too.  

From one mother to every other one out there - three cheers to all of us!!! What you do,  how you do it, what the world thinks - none of it matters because nothing can take away a mum's magic for her children. To quote my elder son "Mumma always knows! " - believe it, go on and be yourself. 

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