Dear Society, I Don't Need Your Permission To Be A Full-Time Mom For My 2 Year Old

Anonymous Anonymous in Bakkar. Chai. Sutta on 16 October, 2018

Judgment! We all do it somehow and we all come under the radar. No matter how hard you tell yourself that you won’t be affected by it, you do.

My first company selected me when I was 22 years of age. It was a gold mine offer for someone who had slaved throughout her academic cycle to make it to the next class. Having been selected along with the cream of our MBA college, it placed an invisible tiara on my head. That first salary got good green papers in my bank account, and in the next three years, it increased manifold.

Then came the biggest decision of my life – I got myself married to my better half, who by the way, belongs to a different faith.

I was questioned for my decision by several people for the usual – are you sure you want to marry him? But then I was also questioned for something, which felt unusual, or the least of my concern at that hour.

“Saumya, it’s a great job and they pay you well. You sure you wanna quit?” asked my really good friend Archana.

She could not believe I was quitting my job to marry and move to another city, and I could not believe she had that question in her head. I was finally going to marry someone I was with for 8 years then, and I knew that my happiness lay there. A job was not something that made me one-tenth as happy or satisfied.

I got married and quit, and moved to Hyderabad and then to the USA. For the next two years, I was a homemaker and then we moved to London. Unlike the USA, I had a working visa in England and I could look for a job, if not get one. After giving interviews for a week, I was hired by a London-based technology company on a contract for four months. It was a fun-filled stint, where I learnt and they paid in pounds, which made me pay for our trips to Belgium and the Netherlands. More than providing me with great pay, this placement offered me a morale boost.

When you take a good break from work, your self-esteem and confidence go for a toss.

You are out of touch of the corporate world, and that is, at times, a deal breaker. As the contract ended, I did an internship with a startup that was looking into a new domestic energy storage proposition. Whilst doing so, I started interviewing with Deloitte, Hyderabad as we were supposed to move back to the Nizam city. I came to India with a job in hand and continued with it till I delivered Mysha. I went to work till July 09, 2014 and from the very next day at 8:43 AM, I became a full-day provider and umbrella for Mysha. She is till date the most complex project I delivered and she hardly gives me easy deadlines.

Leaving my job just came naturally to me, after six months of my maternity leave.

Neither of the two sets of parents was staying with us, and I wanted to raise my daughter with the best company she could get. So with Mysha, I gave birth to a stay at home mother (SAHM).

It has been two and a half years and I am still raising my girl. In this period I have evolved, sustained, and learnt a lot. Raising a human being is what being human is about. The whole process is a challenge, which makes one scared and vulnerable but one learns. I am blessed to be a part of her growing up, to be available for every call of hers. Yes, it is frustrating, challenging, taxing, and infuriating and even drives you over the edge at times, but then who told you raising a child will come easy?

Even though I have a blessed happy marriage, run a successful home, am a good mother, yet every now and then a question comes my way – “Why did you leave your job?”

At the time of getting married, I left work to focus on my married life. I wanted to work on my relationship and now am in the eighth year of a blissful inter-faith marriage. After having a child, the question “Why did you leave your job” sounds more bizarre as the answer is as simple as “I left work to take care of my girl” cannot be understood by many, even after I explain it to them.

Yes, there are many women who handle both work and home. I have respect for them and their decision, but then why a mother is questioned when she quits work, by choice.

A female knows herself and her home dynamics the best. You can strike a balance between work and upbringing of a child, you can focus on work more and raise a child with the help of nanny/day-care/other suited options, or you can completely focus your time and energy on raising your child. While there is no denying that the first two options are great, but so is the third one – the most conventional one.

My husband and I have the simple understanding of dividing work and giving it 100%, rather than taking a portion of all chores.

The reason he does well at work is that I am here to look after our child and our home. I act as a back-end support so that he puts his best foot forward, stress-free. There are ways to do it but this way works the best for us. As said before, it’s conventional and most (too much “best”) suited to us. Probably, the reason I don’t feel the itch to join the race of corporate world is that I never looked at his career graph as his alone and find happiness in what he attains.

I am not in competition with him. I mean how can I? We are a team – in which he is not he, without me.

Anyone who has acted as a mother, or stayed near one can easily know that the to-do list with a child is endless. At the office, I, at least, got a tea break; at home, I don’t get a hot sip of tea without my 2 years old’s permission. This choice wasn’t easy and definitely not better than working, but we made it because we wanted to do so at that hour.

The reason a mother keeps working is also many and completely relatable. Some work to keep their career alive as they have worked hard to secure that position. Some work because dual income has become a necessity to run households these days, while for some working is the art of living. Every person has a different baggage and so is their decision.

I believe if you are talented and qualified, you will earn a job when you try.

When you don’t make it, you try harder. It may be a step down from your preceding profile, but then that’s the choice you make peace with. SAHM (stay-at-home mom) or a working one, both have an occupation, just the definition of occupation is different.

Mom-shaming is a shame and comes from every corner, including your own circle.

When you are judged for leaving your professional degree and taking care of your child, it hurts. I know it shouldn’t matter but at times, it does. You don’t know what her story is and so you don’t have the right to run to conclusions. She can be anyone she wants to be – a professional, a juggler, an attainer or just a ‘mother’. It’s about choice. Let her make hers and let her live it, without judgment, if you may!

Editor's Note:

It doesn't matter if you are a working woman or a housewife, as long as the choice is yours. Because being a housewife is equally challenging as that of being a working woman. Share this story and let's express our view on it.