The biggest controversy ever in the parenting world – working mom vs stay-at-home mom. And at one time, I found myself in the middle of it too.
I loved my job. Well, strictly speaking, not the work so much; but the job. I loved the rush in the morning, choosing what to wear, reading on the bus on the way to work, griping about the deadlines, poking fun at the boss with my colleagues, the power lunches, and above all – the feeling that I was doing something worthwhile with my life, that I had something great to wake up for every morning.
After my son was born, and the maternity leave was over, I found myself being torn between the little bundle of joy that was my three-month-old son and my love of six years – my job. I didn’t have the heart to miss out on a single moment of my son’s growing up years and the little things he would learn every day. However, in the three months when I exclusively took care of him, inspite of myself, the realization had sunk in that I would go crazy if that is all that I have to do for several years after this.
What did not help was the assumption by several members of my family that I was going to quit my job. It was not a question or an idea up for discussion, it was a certainty, and I found myself agreeing with them at some levels when they said a child needed to be around its mother all the time. But all around me, I could see numerous moms pursuing their careers too, and everything seemed good enough in their home lives.
Like blessings sent from the heaven above, my parents and parents-in-law offered to chip in and take turns to look after him if I decided to go back to work. And in one swift second, everything fell into place. I couldn’t think of anyone better to take care of him, and being with them ensured that I wouldn’t have to worry about him getting the best of care and love. As he grew older, we put him in daycare and eventually in pre-school too, both of which he loves!
So, I could go back to work, and I think I could appreciate the time I spent with my little boy more because I now had to wait the whole day to see him. The big smile he would flash me when I would go to pick him up from daycare is as precious as can be. The weekends are now pure bliss, when I wouldn’t let him out of sight for even a moment. Earlier, when I was looking after him exclusively, the weekends were just any other day. I truly believe that now I have the best of both worlds.