Wednesday, August 08, 2012

My Guilt - being a working mom

Few friends said that as time passes, you will get used to it. Others said that it never goes away, it grows.

“The guilt of leaving your baby behind to go to work.”

All working moms know what I mean. I used to believe that I was not a sentimental person, and ambitious as I am, I wanted to pursue my career to reach where I wanted to. But a baby changed many things. Now although I still have career aspirations, they diminish the moment I see Arya in tears when I leave the house for work.

Yes, I have tried everything. First, I tried taking him to another room before leaving, with my aunt distracting him. I used to leave the room stealthily. He outgrew that. He now knows why we take him there and refuses to leave the living room.

Second, we tried convincing him that we are taking him along for a walk. He gets all hyped up and my aunt strolls with him in the corridor. I leave the moment he turns to the other side. I hear his cries when I go about a floor down.

It is heartbreaking to see your child wave goodbye to you with tears in his eyes. Especially when he now knows you are distracting him, and he evades your tactics trying to outsmart you but failing in the end. No child would understand why you leave him for 10 hours a day everyday.

Arya notices us getting ready, wearing office attire, having tea. He cries the moment I wear my jacket and Yogesh gets his helmet.

What provoked me to write this article?
Yesterday, Yogesh picked up the helmet to leave. Arya began crying. I wanted to hold him close to make him stop for now. But he didn’t come to me, knowing that I will hand him over to my aunt after few seconds.

He wanted to be smarter and went to the door, waiting. I told him that he was going too, so he should wear his Chappals. He wore them eagerly and came out to wait for the elevator, clapping and talking loudly in his language. I was so broken inside. How could I leave like this, betraying his trust and feelings?

Yogesh went down and I waited on my floor. My aunt and I took him to a neighbor’s bicycle, away from the elevator. She hid him and I sneaked away. When I was about a floor down, I heard his screams. He realized I was gone after all!

When I was leaving my building parking, I saw him standing near the bedroom window looking at the road (I wave goodbye to him every day from the road. He waves too). But yesterday he didn’t wave. He just looked the bike going away, with a sad face, and so much hurt.

I couldn’t stop my tears all the way to the office and I could see his face all through the day. I wanted the day to be over as soon as possible, to meet him again.

When I went home, that little guy actually danced with joy in little circles to see both of us. I hugged him and spent every moment of the evening with him.

I’ve tried to think it over – being a work from home consultant, to quit my career totally, or to start my own shop someday. Each will be a life changing decision. But whatever I chose, the guilt would always stay – in some form or the other.

I guess women suffer at their own hands. We choose our own path - to work or be a stay at home mom, and yet we want the best of both worlds.

I guess that is being a women and a mother. Joy, yet there’s suffering. Pain, yet there’s so much happiness.

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