The Dilemma that never goes away..

.. to go back to work or not. I keep coming back to this question, every now and then…

One of the times, that I thank my stars that I am not working is when daughter falls ill. To be honest, I have been itching to get back to work, but when she falls ill, all those itches vanish.

I am sure most work places accept that children do fall ill, but I had the sad experience of working with a person, who was out to make life difficult for me. And that is all that I remember when I remember the time when I worked when Poohi was little.

When I took a break from work, it was supposed to be short break. I had never even thought of being a SAHM. The thought had never crossed my mind. I never thought I had it in me to stay at home, and be happy( I do suspect that blogging, and the wonderful libraries here have helped) . I had always planned that I would take a year off after she was born, and then join back. That never happened. My former boss(who is the best boss, one could possibly have), tempted me with a wonderful role. I joined back when Poohi was 5.5 months old. The full implication of my decision came through when I got the boss from hell, and husband working in Europe. By the end of the year, all I wanted was to just stay at home. Husband was surprised, he had never pegged me down as someone who would be happy being at home. Clearly, neither of us knew me. I loved it! After a year of unpaid leave, I sent in my resignation – happy to enjoy my freedom – it sounds funny, but that is what it felt like! I loved(still do) spending time with daughter, and not being pulled in all directions.

Then every now and then I would consider going back to work, and would decide against it, for various reasons. The main reason being that I did not feel motivated enough to.

My biggest worry is that I will get bored when daughter starts to need me less. I would hate to leave it for so long that I can no longer get back. Then again, I could go in for alternative jobs – something different, something out-of-the-way, something that does gives me a lot more satisfaction than a job.. Who knows.. As I said, I keep going back and forth. The doubts keep cropping up every now and then. Husband is extremely supportive, probably my biggest encouragement, he believes that I will get a job as soon as I try 🙂 As if! But do I want that job? Do I want my career back or am I totally happy being a SAHM? That is something I have to decide.

But I have a question for you guys. Have any of you gone back to work after a long break? I have been away for 4 years now. How did you find it? Does it get easier when the child is at full-time school or are there other issues that will crop up?

Matters that weigh on my mind – Post 8

Desperate for some ideas on what to post, I went to the NaBloPoMo website to see today’s prompt.

‘What decision is currently weighing on your mind?’

The only decision that is weighing on my mind is, ‘What do I post today?’ And this prompt is of no help whatsoever!

Do you know what I have been doing, while weighing such weighty matters on my mind? I have been drooling at this delicious olive oil cake. Believe me, it is totally droolworthy. I know. I’ve tasted it 🙂

I haven’t been baking as much as I used to. Given that I end up gobbling up most of what I bake, I decided to lay off. Spring and summer here, are full of parties. Birthdays and general get-togethers, holidays, you name it. I think the weather makes us all chirpy and excited and it also means a lot of eating. So in-between parties, I try not to over-eat or over indulge.

Some months back, I had come across this cake, and baked it for a get-together at a friend’s place. It was a huge hit. A friend of mine, who had never baked before asked me to teach her to bake this cake. I did, and she baked it for some other friends of hers. Another friend tried it last week and loved it.

And daughter loves it too. She has been asking me to bake it. I have been staying away from baking it just because we have too many sweets at home. Today, I chanced upon it again. I so want to bake it, but am trying not to. Very hard. Will let you know if I do/or don’t. But in case you are interested, do follow the link and try it out. It is gorgeous, melt in the mouth delicious!

And if you do bake it, can I have a teeny-weeny slice? Pretty please?

To become or not – a parent.

Yesterday, I came across this article.

It talks about how many couples seem to be opting not have children – for various reasons. While some viewpoints support the idea, there was one viewpoint that caught my eye.

But how natural or unnatural is it for a couple to not have kids? “It’s not a socio-culturally natural way of living,” says Dr Bhavna Barmi, senior clinical psychologist and marital therapist at Escorts Heart Institute, “as physiologically, the body has a child-bearing capacity which should be optimised.” 

Surely, just because the body has a ‘child-bearing capacity’ it is not necessary to have children? What about the mind? What about not wanting to have children, does that not matter at all? If we have to do everything the body is designed to, then why ‘contraception’?

The article also reminded me of a somebody who was glorifying motherhood on Facebook. She mentioned something to the effect that women will always be ‘greater’ than men because only women can be ‘mothers’. It begged the question, what about women who don’t want to be mothers? Going by this logic, the only redeeming feature women has, is the ability to become a mother!

You hear so many people glorifying motherhood, that it makes me wonder how it makes those feel who have decided for whatever reasons, to not have children. The moment the ‘expected’ amount of time goes by after one is married, the hints, the gentle reminders start on how we need to become parents, on how it is time to have a child. And god forbid, if the child does not make an appearance soon enough to make the society happy! Whether one is ready for it or not,whether one wants to become a parent or not, is besides the point. It makes me wonder how many people decide to have a baby because of these external factors.

Having a baby is treated as a fix-all in so many cases – if your marriage is not working out, have a baby, that will fix it! A friend was lamenting on a friend of hers who was literally asked to leave the house by her husband. It was arranged marriage and her husband was just not interested in being married, apparently. She had supportive parents who supported her fully, yet when she discovered that she was pregnant,  she chose to go back to her husband because she felt that a baby would change things. This despite her parents and her close friends counseling her to think before taking this step. Apparently she strongly believed that a child would make a massive difference.

It also makes me wonder why being in a relationship is considered so important, that she went back into a relationship where she was told that she was ‘unwanted’! Not just that, she even thought that bringing a child into a relationship like this was a good idea.

Haven’t we all heard of irresponsible men, of whom people say, ‘Get him married off, he will get change once responsibility comes upon him’. I don’t understand this. A person who clearly has problems, or is not mature enough to handle his life, will get mature and responsible just because he has entered a new relationship? Does it ever work? Well, it might for some, while for others the poor wife might have to bear the brunt of it.

Any relationship, be it marriage or having a child, after all being a father or a mother is starting off a whole new relationship, isn’t it, needs to thought out. Instead of going by what society dictates, wouldn’t it be wonderful if people decided based on what they wanted from life? If couples are deciding against having babies, well, more power to them. Whatever be the reason. I hear people say, ‘oh all she is bothered about is her career’, or ‘what do they think they will do with all this money’! Surely, that is their lookout. If someone wants to focus on their career – so what? And what of a homemaker, who does not want a child? Surely that is possible. I personally know someone who is a homemaker and they have decided not to have children. I think it is remarkable that they have thought it through, and have decided based on what makes sense to them. If only every child that came into this world came because the parents truly wanted to have a child, not just because that is what is expected – by others.

If couples feel that they are not ready for a child or that they do not feel the need to be parents, I respect them for having that clarity of thought, than having a child, and then feeling cheated or wishing that they had waited more.

Not having children is far better than having a child and then regretting it, or worse, not being in a position to give the child the love and security that makes for happy childhood and a secure, confident adulthood.