The above pic is of course a cute click. It was taken when my daughter was 2 and half years old, as I picked her up from daycare after my work but I was on call throughout and she was not ready to leave my hand. Today she is 6 and half and much more independent but the emotions when I pick her up are very much the same. My son who is a teenager is comfortable with his own space after school but his little heart would start searching for us when he had a bad day / hungry tummy / something important to share.
Yesterday a casual incident triggered me to pen down this blog. We were out with other family friends for dinner. My kids are very weak eaters like how I used to be during my childhood and my husband used to be a fussy eater as a kid too. So, for genetic reasons we never expected any different. But, the dear friend who was at the table asked my son, “why don’t you eat so well? Does your mom cook so bad? You come home for a week, aunty will make good food and take care, you will start eating well” – While it was genuinely a funny yet caring conversation, the unconsious stereotype towards blaming the mother about everything that happens to a child – especially double the poke if she is a working mother – it never ends. The child doesn’t eat – mom is the reason, the child cries – mom is the reason, the child is sad – must be missing mom, the child doesn’t behave well – mom dint teach values, the child is constipated – mom has stopped it uff !
Now, this blog : With life back to a renewed normalcy post covid, many of them who had comfort of work from home are now expected to explore ways to manage their little kids as they have to get back to office. Day care is more scary post pandemic hassles. So, here are simple seven tips to all fellow working mothers who are & will be tired of hearing the phrase “oh your poor kids”.. you have to build the art of not letting these affect your inner strength.
- Don’t explain this : Why my kids dont eat, why they got fever, why they throw a tantrum – they are normal little humans. The more you explain, others become advisory board members or doctors supplying free advice how you “should have” managed.
- Don’t explain that : Justifying why you have to work – financial reasons, job area is niche, company policies, etc etc. YOU are working because you want to. Explaining your choices to others make you feel weak within. Stay strong on your choices and it is not at all important that others understand or accept because they never will.
- Bad days come and go : Between picking the kids from school and completing an office presentation, I recarnate into different lives many days. When I pick her late, the almost crying face – hmm. When I excuse myself my meetings with the reason, the uncomfort rather unprofessional feeling – hmm. It happens dears & we will sail through the days. Don’t let bad days label your life stressed.
- Follow your instincts : Common yet powerful tip : End of the day, your heart will tell you where to focus. 12 years back, when my son was an infant & as I resumed from maternity leave, 2nd June was a precious opportunity at work for me to present a big project in front of top leaders. The previous night we discover my child has chicken pox. My 45 mins presentation – oops. My husband also had a client visit same day. So, naturally that is accepted by the society and mother is expected to take off. But my instinct told me to balance and I requested a friend to stay for 2 hours at home while I finished my most successful presentation. I cried a lot after coming home that day but today I respect my instincts and choices.
- Choose your support system well : I have few friends who are very understanding & they respectfully support when I need help. I never take the burden of availing a support system who helps and later we owe them forever and forever. Ouch, it is definitely possible to handle alone instead of support system who treat you inferior.
- Surround with right tribe : Have your group of friends, folks who share the same mental madness. Attend parties, join dinner times, laugh loud, make boomerangs – a working mother is not in a prison prohibited to enjoy her life & all you need is the little time out you take should be relaxing your mind. This happens only when you choose the right tribe around.
- Never feel guilty : Last but not least – We feel guilty for infinity reasons, oh darlings – please dont.! We used to be the little girls, carefree and dreaming of future once. If you could not cook that extra vegetable today, it is ok. You are still doing the best you can. Dont feel guilty. Let it go! Remember this too shall pass.
Hope the above little words were helpful. Feel free to add your share of conversations in the comment ! Cheers & keep that beautiful smile and confidence on always!