Monday, December 7, 2009

The beginning of a new chapter in my life

Note : This post is purely a reflection of my own personal thoughts and feelings and is in no way meant to offend anyone or to preach to anyone. 

At last, I have found some peace of mind. I am able to go about my daily business calmly knowing what is in store for me in the future. No more restlessness. No more non-stop thinking about the same thing over and over again from varying perspectives. As I wrote earlier in this post, there was a decision, a choice to be made and at last I have made my mind. I listened to my heart and immediately, I felt lighter and am at peace with myself.
The choice or the decision to be made is with respect to the age-old, much talked about, much debated issue, causing mental and emotional turmoil, and not to mention the guilt,  in every working mother's (or a stay at home mother who wants to work) mind. 

Yes, whether to work or not.
Whether to pursue my career or not.
    Do I go out there, face the world, do what I like and revel in or Do I take care of my baby? Do I work now when I can,contribute to the family's financial welfare for the rainy days or
   Do I think about now, the immediate need to attend to the tiny being who knows only us and looks upon us to guide her in every way possible?
This struggle has been going on within me for the past 8 months or may be even longer. While I could have had no one better than my mom to take care of my daughter, it was a daily struggle for me personally to leave her and start for work. She, being a kid, got adjusted soon and establishing a daily routine saw to it that she was well settled. But not me. I could not be with her to enjoy her talk, I could only be there to put her to bed at nights. And I could not bring her up the way I wanted to. Don't get me wrong. As I said before, I cannot have a better care taker than my mom. She in fact looks after Jillu better than I do. But, I cannot expect my mom to do everything that I would want to.

I want to take her for long walks, take her to the park, for her to roam around, run, play, enjoy with other kids, take her out everywhere to give her more exposure to the world, give her different variety of food daily, read to her, hear her school stories when she comes back from school, the list goes on and on, and be with her generally. There is nothing like enjoying life while being with her, looking at life from her perspective and learning from her as well. 

Also, my mom is not getting any younger and I want her to have a break, enjoy life at least now, after all that she has done for me, go to temples (or wherever it is that she wants to) when she wants to and not when I have leave and can takeoff. And, I am not at all comfortable with leaving my daughter in a day care and neither am I comfortable with arranging a baby sitter/ maid to look after her while I am away at work.

On the other side, I am also slowly getting tired of being in the rat race always, running from pillar to post, managing home, daughter, work all at the same time, with no pause for thought and peace. However, all said and done, this is a well earned and highly rewarding, lucrative job and loads of (read years of, in fact more than a decade of) hard work has been put in, to be where I am today. Leaving aside the career perspective, saying good bye to this job (or any other job, in the sense to take a break) when there is the ever present demon called EMI needs a lot of consideration. Also, schools are not getting any less expensive these days. My dad did not spend so much for my entire education as to what is needed today for an enrollment into a Pre-KG or LKG.
All these have been doing a merry go round in my mind over the months - Jillu's cherubic smile, her sweet talks, her innocence, my mom, my career, my job, EMI, schooling, my need to be with Jillu, round and round and round, they come and go one by one non-stop. The merry go round continued for a long time and suddenly it started picking up people to see how they were faring, sometimes picking up people who chose to work while managing the home with 2 kids, while at other times picking up people who were enjoying life at home with the kid(s).

And finally one day, the merry go round stopped, realizing the futility of comparison.  There is only one life to be led and it has to be based on what I want and need and what others do and how they manage (or do not) simply does not pertain to me. Ultimately, I reasoned out that career would always be there to be taken up after Jillu grows up. If not this job, some thing else, may be even in a different industry, in a different terrain,  something would always be there, if one looks around properly. The EMI, too, is not bound to go away any soon, either. The EMI and schooling could be managed if one is alert,conscious,wise and makes a few compromises along the way. Probably look towards wisely investing somewhere and grow the money. Not impossible. 

What will go away is Jillu's childhood, her growing up years and this cannot be recovered. What cannot be compromised is the precious time with my little bundle of joy. When she gets older and has her own set of friends, she is not going to look out for me always. Now is the time when she needs me most. I would have more time on my hands when she goes full time school and that would be a good time for me to resume my career. I could always try out other things that I always wanted to during this sabbatical period and may be find out if I have other talents as well. 
But the last thought that was still lingering on my mind that made me hesitate a little was the financial independence that I have always been used to and the thought of "What would I do ?"  if some unforeseen circumstances force me to look out for a job after I quit? But then, I also realized that there is no guarantee in life and we never know what is in store for us tomorrow. We cannot always plan for the inevitable and can only work along with life's ups and downs. The best one can do is get equipped to handle life's surprises, be aware and then leave the rest to unfold and enjoy life as 
 "Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why we call it 'The Present'."
The Ultimate bottom line - I want to be with my daughter. 

So, in the end, my heart won and the need to be with Jillu and bringing her up in all the ways I wanted to prevailed and thus it is that I am right now serving my notice period and would be a stay at home mom, come January 2010. Now that I have taken the decision and know my mind, I only wish that I had done this sooner, but as they say, better late than never.

I have to be thankful that today, I am able to make this choice, now that I know what  I want. For, I would not have been able to proceed with my decision without the support of my husband and of course my family. I know of so many people, who are unable to do whatever they want to do because of lack of support and also due to other unavoidable circumstances in their life. I know of working women who need to work but do not want to work and also of women who want to work but are not.

I am extremely grateful that I have such a loving family, a lovely kid and that life has blessed me with these most important aspects and I realize that I am one of the fortunate few.


A journey called Life said...

wowieeeeeeeee Lavanya (clap clap).. i know exactly what you must have felt.. i had reverse thoughts u know..i also know the peace u felt when u finally decided (one way or the other)..

all the very best for a new and more challenging role and im sure u will ace at it..

Jillu is going to be one happy kid..

SoulSpace said...

Its not all the best to yu...
Taking the decision is tough, but once the ball starts rolling, then things fall into place...


Hats off Ma'am. Well written. A wonderful and well thought out decision. Good luck and Jillu is lucky too!
Also, I'm realizing that this would mean less of you in the blogging circles isn't it?

Radhs said...

wow Lavanya,that'd have been the toughest decision to take!All the best and best wishes to your daughter!

Lavanya Sriram said...

@AJCL : yes, it was a turmoil till i decided and now am so settled :).And its a more challenging role as you said. At least at work, we will be in control and it will be our schedule. Now everything else will revolve around her schedule:). Thank you. I did read your older posts about your dilemma. Hope you are clear now on that front.

@Sowmya : yes again, starting off is tough for everything, right? once you start, then half the work is done :)

@L_R : Thank you. Well, it should ideally increase as all my blogging is being done from home currently during non-work hours and Jillu sleep hours. But I don't expect it to increase as I think my schedule will fairly remain same in future as well (during Jillu's sleep hours :) )

@Radhika : Yes, This does feature among the top 3 toughest list :) Thank you for the wishes

Lavanya Seetharaman said...

Congratulations Lavanya !! Enjoy your time with Jillu...they grow up very fast..:-)

Lavanya Sriram said...

@Lavanya Seetharaman: Yes, i intend to do that:) Thanks.

kg3 said...

Hi dear..
am glad you have taken your decision. Im on the same line for the past 3 years and reading your blog was like someone reading out my mind. Except that you have taken your decision and I am unable to implement tht decision.
I also work for an MNC and can understand your feelings completely.
Anyways..congrats for all the wonderful times u r going to spend with Jillu.

Lavanya Sriram said...

@Gayathri : Welcome here. Thank you for your wishes and i hope you sort out things too pretty soon. All the best

Uma said...

Hey congrats! Its difficult to arrive at a decision and leave alone the 'right' one! I took a break and I can assure you that you only gain and don't lose anything....enjoy your time!

Lavanya Sriram said...

@Uma : Thanks for your wishes :)