Mothers' Dilemma -to work or look after children
By Madhurie Singh, March 26, 2014
I feel really blessed when moms write to me about their lives and trust me with the decisions.
These decisions are very critical for them as it involves changing their lives from one type to another.
A lot of these moms are in a fix when it comes to parenting duties vs their careers. Parenting is becoming tougher day by day with each new generation.
There were our parents who obeyed their parents almost always barring a few. They were very much the same with us. So our generation too obeyed our parents but to a little lesser extent. The fathers mostly ruled. In our generation, there seems to be a change in the person ruling parenting grounds. In urban families, the chances of the mothers ruling is predominant now although the fathers in the rural families continue to rule.
The most distinct factor for the change in the ruling being the education that women have managed to acquire. They are not just well educated, they are financially independent too. These women have become the change factors of the rural families. They earn good enough to be independent and also manage their family duties with great ease. It does not matter if the duties are shared with the husband or maids or a relative living in the same house. So now the urban mom is no longer dependent on the other people as long as she earns and balances the family chores effectively. Mind you, I am using the word effective and not efficient.
Over the last decade of my life especially since the birth of my sons, I have realized I need to be effective and not efficient, if I need to work and raise the kids and manage the house. And fortunately, my husband believes more on effectiveness than I do. 🙂
So the point I am trying to drive into your head is that, managing house, work and kids can be easy if you let go of being the best. If you can be the best, great! But if you cannot be the best, its ok too! Just be effective.
It’s not easy life for a working mom.
- To start the day, by waking up the kids and getting them ready for the school, cooking, feeding the kids and then packing their lunch boxes.
- May be even dropping them off to the bus stop or to the school!
- Cooking breakfast for the family and lunch for everyone. Packing the lunch boxes for the spouse, other members and self.
- Getting ready and driving or walking or taking any public transport to reach the office.
- Working for 8-9 hours and more.
- Back to home to cook snacks and feed the kids.
- Help kids with their homework.
- Cook dinner, wash clothes, iron clothes, arrange them and keep them in the cupboards. Polish shoes.
- Serve medicines, milk or water.
- Lay out the table, feed the kids again and then remove the dishes to arrange the leftovers in the fridge.
- Watch TV while chopping vegetables for the next day!
- Finally hit the bed.
Except for the point number 4, every Indian mom is doing most of the above tasks everyday, with no appreciation from the father, husband, in-laws or the children.
And except for the Point no 4 and 11 every male in India is not doing anything more! And then there are those who find faults, discourage or put the lady down.
So when it comes to that one point no 4, why should a woman feel guilty or in dilemma?
Just because someone is pestering you to quit working or start working, should not be the reason to work or not?
The first thing to remember is that you are a human being with loads of capabilities and intelligence.
If you want to be HAPPY, you will be HAPPY.
But to be happy, you must asap do the following:
- Stop listening to others, especially those who are negative people be it your father, mother, siblings, husband or inlaws or even children. Stop listening does not mean ignoring them. It just means do not let the words uttered by these people affect your mind. Avoid too much interaction with them if possible. After all it’s your life and you can’t let any one else rule it.
- Start to reduce your workload. Offload all that can be done by someone else. Take the help of 1-2 maids, drivers, dhobi, cook, husband, inlaws, parents, kids and whosoever is living with you. It’s not your home only! If they are all living they should also participate by making small contributions in the work.
- Maids and cooks are a great way to have peaceful life. Pay them a bit more, they will work for you forever. That 500 extra will buy you a peace worth Rs 1lac per month!
- Kids must work too like polishing their shoes, filling the bottles, serving water, taking their plates etc
- Husband should be helping in laying the table or cleaning the table, dropping the kids, making them ready for the school.
- Inlaws and relative should help in chopping and cooking, washing or drying of the clothes.
So when you set each one,even one task, your work load is lesser by 30 days in a month. Just learn the art of time management and multi sequencing.
But the main point here that I started to discuss was, whether you should quit working and be a full time mom only?
Honestly, this is a very personal question and DOES NOT apply to all moms.
But these question do apply to assess your dilemma.
Ask yourself these 3 questions whenever you think you want to quit working and be with your kids full time.
- Will my kids really improve drastically if I quit and be a full time mom from tomorrow?
- Will I be happy being dependent and losing my financial freedom 3 years from now?
- I will not blame my husband, children, inlaws, parents for my unhappiness because I listened to them and quit my job?
- Will I be happy 10 years from now, about my decision of quitting the job?
If your answer to each question is NO, then you must stop even thinking about quitting your job.
You are working, or not working, because you want to do it of your own free will. Only then you will be happy, without blaming or feeling any guilt.
Lets say you really want to be at home and raise your children.
The first thing you have to do is evaluate the family finances, husband’s salary increments and then think of that skill or talent that you want to pursue.
If you learn the art of time management, you can very easily spare more than 5 hours to pursue your hobby or learn a new skill. Google is my best teacher and so is yours. Just start Googling and you will learn every topic you want to.
I have learnt astrology, blogging, reviewing, researching, website building, hosting, SEO and everything you see me doing only from Google search.
Start with 3-4 skills that you always wanted to pursue. Slowly, you will learn that only 1-2 are not your cup of tea. So forget them. Now start to read about the other 2 skills or hobbies. Read, watch videos, blogs of people in the same field, read ebooks and forums to gather as much information you can. Find a role model and just start copying every move and step , except for the content!
Just start right away. There is no day when you will feel now you are ready! So jump into whatever you want to do. As you proceed, you will get stuck. Google the problems, solve it and move on. When I was making this blog site all by myself, I also started to blog every problem I faced and the solutions to each one of them under a new place called www.madhuriesingh.com/howtobuildsite . So even now when I have any problem, it’s my own online helpdesk! You can read the steps I have taken to build the site with the help of Google and my host Bluehost.
Not a soul to help me or guide me, yet the online world is so powerful, you can never get stuck. Also remember, when I started in 2009, blogging was not so prevalent career. So there was no one to go to. And with me, it’s always been the same. Since I am doing always something that is totally unheard of or never attempted by someone, I do not have anyone helping me except for my beloved Google.
So just start right away is fine, but what to start?
Think of how you can solve your kid’s, your own or any common problem that everyone is suffering silently. That solution might become your new skill! And promise me, you will not do something that everyone else is doing!
Just to remind you, even though I am a software engineer and an MBA, I never have stopped learning. Even now I am learning an online course on Online business. I quit because of my kids, but never sat idle ever. Went on to learn and do many different things that I wanted to do. I did not succeed in all the things I started, but I did learn from all my effort a lot. Blogging was also only to make other parents aware of the reality behind each school that I had visited. Since it solved a simple yet very stressful problem in the lives of many parents, it became a success. Success is not measured always in terms of the income but in terms of all the blessings I get, the happiness I see and the love from all the parents I receive. Monetizing the calls was one way to manage time. But, in turn, it started generating some revenue for the blog. And then many other revenue sources followed even though I had never planned or thought about them. Always, my only intention is and will be, “how to empower parents with more information so that they take informed decision and be happy”.
So, before you quit and be a full time parent, think of that one problem you can solve. 🙂
Who knows, you can start a home based online business that earns more than what you are earning now, gives you the freedom to do what you want and most of all fulfills your dream to be with your children all the time and see them growing every day. 🙂
Need any help or guidance, write to me. I will be more than happy to help you incubate any idea that will bring success to you.
If you have any idea that you want to take up, do write in the comment below and I will get back to you.