Guest Post by Nabanita Dhar
I first came across Nabanita on a Facebook blogging group two years ago. Ever since, I’ve admired the passion with which she writes, blogs and works. She recently became a mom and I’m happy to host her on my blog today, talking about the balancing act that she does as a mother and working woman.
It has been 3 months since I joined back at work post maternity leave, 3 months since my days start at about 6:30 am in the morning and end around midnight. It has been 3 months since I donned the hat of a working mother.
Has it been hectic?
Well, of course, it has. There’s no denying that. In fact, on certain days, things have been more than hectic. To be fair though there have been some laid back days as well. But overall, moments of respite have been few and far between. Perhaps, that’s life with motherhood.
As women, we are brought up or expected to sacrifice and put the family’s interest ahead of our own. Basically, let ourselves be of least priority. My mother, however, always taught us otherwise. I remember her telling us that we can’t keep our family happy if we aren’t happy ourselves. No matter how hard the journey turns out to be, we can’t stop doing what we love doing, what we want to keep doing.
[bctt tweet=” Come what may, #marriage, pregnancy or #motherhood, we cannot stop being individuals. #Parenting” username=”nabanita21″]
When I was pregnant with M, this was something that kept playing in my mind. So, I worked, blogged and read books throughout those nine months. And I didn’t stop when M came into our lives. I didn’t even stop after resuming work. And I don’t ever want to stop.
Today I hold two full-time jobs, one as a mother and another the portfolio at work. I’m also writing, blogging and freelancing. Many women juggle roles and responsibilities on an everyday basis and now I’m part of that tribe. And the best thing is, it is something that I choose to do.
Yes, it’s tough and I’m shortchanged on time but doing the things I love doing, no matter how tired I am, makes me happy. Burning the midnight oil, reading or writing after M falls asleep excites me. It fills me with a sense of accomplishment which I treasure. And that, my friends, also gives me the strength to try and do everything I want to do.
How long will I be able to balance all the three – motherhood, work, and writing?
I don’t know. But I intend to keep going till I have no choice left or till I decide otherwise. I intend to keep going till I have the option available.
I’m not saying it’s a cakewalk. It is far from it actually but definitely worth the effort. Moreover, I take all the help I can. My husband steps in when I can’t, even though it’s hard for the control-freak in me to relinquish control and delegate. I have a maid to help me with the household chores and a cook to take care of the cooking. On days they don’t make it, I do the absolute bare minimum of household chores. We order in, eat out or the husband cooks. I know I can’t be a perfect homemaker as well as do all the other things. Hence, I just do what I can. As Sheryl Sandberg says,
“Done is better than perfect.”
I still have to cook for M and do everything else for her, but for that, I have S’s help. Yes, on some days just the chores surrounding M turn out to be terribly exhausting. But when at the end of that day, I lie down with my book or sit down to write, the struggle seems worth it. When I get appreciated at work, it all seems worth it. When my posts are read, it all seems worth it.
There are days when I question my decision as well, my decision to be a working mom. I’m only human and it’s only normal. Trust me when I say this that in a span of 90 odd days, I have thought about quitting the job twice already when M fell sick. Those days were tough as I struggled to balance taking care of her and my office work. Taking days off even to care for your sick child is not taken very kindly at the workplace when you are a woman. You are seen as weak and dispensable. Sometimes I think society adds more weight on our shoulders with some of its views.
So, I have had days when I have been low, really low. But then I realized, how come I feel the need to take this decision of quitting? I shouldn’t and I won’t. I’m glad I have a partner who steps in to help me. There have been days when he has stayed back home to care for M while I have been away at work. It hasn’t been easy because as women we are conditioned by the society to feel guilty when we leave our children behind. But I have done it anyway.
When the going gets tough, I try to take baby steps forward because I know deep down that if I manage to balance my career, my writing, and motherhood, it will not only be good for me but my family too. It’s also really early because M is just a little over 9-months-old now. A long road lies ahead with some tough decisions to make and responsibilities to shoulder but I’m looking forward to it.
I don’t want to be extraordinary, I don’t do anything extraordinary. I’m just fighting and trying every single day to be me to the best of my abilities. I just want to be someone who is not only a happy mother but one who is happy following her heart and doing her job as well.
I’m not seeking perfection, just happiness. And as long as I have the choice and option, I’ll try my best to walk that path.
Featured image: Balancing Act via Shutterstock
Thank you so much for your clear enunciation of thoughts, Nabanita. I am so glad that you’ve found the way to make this balance work for you. May you achieve all your dreams and more. Thank you for writing this post for my blog.
Nabanita Dhar is a software engineer, freelance writer, blogger and a working mom. Writing is her poison. She loves spending time writing and reading more than anything else.