I am the mother of a 11 year old daughter, and a five year old son. I have been an on-and-off working mum since my daughter was 10 months old. I have taken several breaks in my career whenever I felt it is needed for my kids, and for the sake of my family. There are many mums who sacrifice their career for kids. Some mums adjust happily to the circumstances, while others sail with some confusion or disappointment. A few feel staying at home after studying hard to have a career is not the right thing to do. Others crib about lack of financial independance or rather dependence on husband for expenses.
I donot like the fact that working mums need to compromise their careers after the birth of kids. Nor do I totally agree that career should be foremost consideration. So work-life balance as a whole for a family is something that is required! Children spell Love “TIME”. Giving them complete attention in terms of time becomes difficult for working mums. Here I want to share my experiences. My 5-reasons why mums should not feel bad about taking a break in career.
1. Experience with brushing: Brushing teeth was a problem with my little one. When I used to work, I used to try to force him to finish his hygiene tasks fast. My son would not listen to me, act stubborn, bite and sit with his brush for long enough to make me angry. There are many such examples which would cause a lot of stress for me. After I quit my job, I started to spend a lot of time with him. I showed him videos on brushing techniques. Explained him why brushing is important. And how important is it for one to take care of health. Within a few days, he was adapting to the needs. My tip to mums is that we should explain reasons why something is important before we force things on kids. And for that we need to spend enough time with them.
2. Food choices: As a stay at home mum, I have the option to give my kids choice about food. In place of just offering what I want them to eat, I offer them a list of 2-3 healthy items to select. And I involve them in decorating that item for a better presentation. Also, we discuss the food pyramid and the expected health benefits. Now-a-days, my kids have started eating well. It was not the case when I was working.
3. Taking care of belongings: I encourage my kids to respect their belongings. As I am at home, I reward them with positive words when they keep their shoes at the designated place, when they rearrange their toys after playing, and keep back books at the study table after completing home-task. I am more involved in their activities, and able to instil some life skills which I used to neglect because of lack of time as a working mum.
4. Gadget addiction: Both my kids have specs with high power. So it was important for me to stop them from using video games, or watching TV for a long time. My daughter complains that I am the only mum who doesnot have any game in her mobile. Now-a-days; every time she wants to play a video game, I talk to her. I tell her that my only cercern is her health, her eyes. When I used to work, I just used to try to stop her from using her gadgets. I never used to discuss my concerns. She used to get annoyed, and I used to lose my patience.
5. Nap time: Previously due to my busy schedule, I used to be active on social media during the nap time of my kids. Though I used to be with them, I feel the light from my mobile used to distract them. And they used to take a long time to fall asleep. I used to force them to sleep. Now-a-days, I distance myself from my phone, talk to them about their day, listen to the stories that they share during nap time for 20-30 minutes. I find them more relaxed, and happy before they fall asleep.
As of now, I can think of these positives. I am sure for other mums also spending quality time with kids can easily solve everyday problems. Do share your thoughts.