Thursday, August 30, 2007

Introduction and my thoughts on WAHM/WOHM

Hello to all you wonderful Mums out there,

I'm a new member here. Thank you, Sandeepa, for adding me to the group.

Originally from Hyderabad, I now live in Europe - so I miss the sunshine! That says it all about the weather here, I guess :-)

I am a mother of 2 girls, and currently a SAHM (stay-at-home Mum). My girls are both under 4 years of age. I have grown to define myself first and most as a mother, and I marvel at this fact and wonder at the change in myself that motherhood has wrought.

It took me a while to understand this - that being a Mum deserves to be called a 'career' in it's own right - it's a job that requires endless patience and inventiveness. So now when somebody asks me what I'm doing about my 'career', I ask, "which one? I have 2. I'm concentrating on the first one. The second career is temporarily on hold. I'll go back to it when these 2 little critters don't need me as much as they do now".

I have keenly followed the topic of SAHM/WOHM on this forum. Many of you have written your views eloquently. They've all been interesting. You've mostly said it all, and I don't think there is much to add.

You know, it's not a 'this-versus-that' thing at all. It's not a question of which do you think is better, it's a question of what you want for your children/family and how you decide to reach that goal. It's a question of priorities. And it's unique to every situation, every family.

I think there are many people here who've worked and stayed at home at various times in their life. All parents would agree on one point - you do what you have to do to give your family the best chance in life. (Applies as much to me and you as to the poor women leaving their families and going abroad to do domestic duties. As far as this point is concerned, it's all down to our primal instinct to do what we think will be best for our kids.)

At the moment, I have decided to not work for as long as is necessary for my girls and family. I realize that as they grow older and spend more time at school, I will have plenty of time at my disposal.

I'll work again -later - because it's unfair to not use my professional talent and expertise. It took about 12 years to acquire it, so it would not be right to waste it away. As a medical professional, I can do immense good for the society I live in. So I will......just as soon as both my kiddies are in school for the greater part of the day.

On my first break, after working for 10 years, I was pretty much enslaved by my firstborn (she was demanding, temperamental, spirited and one step ahead of me - still is ). I had become a real homebody, when a very good job offer came my way. After a lot of thought, I started working again full-time. It was tough for all three of us. I worked till she was nearly 3, when I took another break for my second child.

This time, I had learnt enough from experience to make the decision to stay at home for at least 2 years after the birth.

Although some days they drive me crazy and make me admit that practicing medicine was a lot easier, on the whole I cherish the time I have with them. Their childhood won't come back.

I want to say that our children are not the only ones growing - so are we. We grow and learn from our experiences every day.

So I've changed from a staunch career-woman ("I want to be Head of the Dept before 35") to a 'working Mum' (oxymoron isn't it - who works harder than Mums?) who was willing to accept 'some' compromises("okay, okay, I'll get there before 45"), to a now mostly SAHM who won't even consider working till her child is at least 2 years ("I'll settle for doing something good for society while looking after my precious girls - somebody else can be the HOD").

That's how kids change you. And it's good that they do. I have accepted this change with happiness.

For now, I'm not in a rush to get anywhere further career-wise. At my own pace, I'll get there :-).


Kay said...

wow! another woman who has her priorities very clear!!! thanks for writing about it mummyjaan!

welcome to the club. This is a great place.

Sandeepa said...

You made my day. This was so well written and I could be one with your goals and how you have settled for the last on "somebody else can be the HOD"
Who cares for the Dept. anyway, you are HOH (head of Home) :)

Kavitha said...

Welcome to the club, mummyjaan..
Enjoyed reading your post.

indosungod said...

Welcome to our hangout. Well said!

mnamma said...

Welome to DMC Mummyjan. That was a very beautifully written post. The last paragraph was especially very nicely written.

mummyjaan said...

Kay, Sandeepa, Kavitha, Indosungod, and Mnamma,

Thank you for your welcome. I've been looking at the many posts and comments here and there is a wealth of information and opinions here on various parenting topics.

I have enjoyed reading them, especially the rainy days activities post, among others.

It's a very nice 'club' indeed and I'm happy to have found it.

Hope to learn and share here :)

bird's eye view said...

I was a career woman with no biological clock when I became a mom. I ended up having to stay at home for 6 months, during the pregnancy, and thereafter for 6 more months, I just wasn't ready to leave my baby to go back out there. I was lucky enough to find a half day job which was just what I wanted in terms of mental stimulation, paid reasonably and gave me ample time with my son.

After my daughter was born, I started feeling like a slacker for not being back at work so I've been working full time for nearly a year. And though I have a 5 minute commute and an interesting job, I constantly feel like I'm short-changing my kids. I'm not around when my son has school vacations or 10 day breaks. I'm not home to greet him when he runs in from school. I'm not there to wtach as my daughter takes her first step.

And though I never thought I would do this, thinking of myself as hopelessly non-maternal, I have finally decided that I'm going to start my own business working from home, where I can set my own goals which include being there for my kids.

Many other moms I know face this dilemma - they want to work, have the satisfaction and stimulation of working and having a career, but not one that gobbles up all their time and energy, leaving little over for the task of nurturing a family. That's one of the reasons why more women in the US and UK are starting their own businesses - they want career and life goals to mesh. Women are 'multiple choice' not Yes/ No answers!

Sandeepa said...

Bird's Eye View

I understand what you feel. i felt the same with a full time job so after working 6 months full time, I switched to a reduced hour one.

But even then I feel that at 3 and 1/2 my daughter will not not know what a summer vaccation is...sigh.

All the best for your business though and it would be great if you could dicuss yor business ideas with us, to motivate you know

QuantumJourno said...

I know what you mean. I took a break from Journalism to be with my baby boy. He's 4 now, going to a pre-school and it is so much easier to work now... Everything has a right time and I feel that it's a big blessing to be able to stay home and enjoy our babies. We sometimes forget putting things in perspective...

mummyjan said...

"career woman with no biological clock ". Yes, you said that right, bird's eye view. I remember feeling that way myself when I had my firstborn. I was disoriented and confused when faced with a little crying bundle. It was tough.

A job is much more predictable than a baby:). It's great that you have an option to work from home and be near your family. Good luck with the new business.