I have been thinking of writing for a long time but it never works out. I am not sure if it's because I didn't get enough time to do so or if it's because I didn't prioritize it enough.(There's always a tendency in women to keep their health and time to the very end ).
I had a baby 2.5 years back and it has been a ride since then , which no one really warned me about. Whoever I talk to (whether it's my female friends or female colleagues ), we all talk about the same thing (yes the same thing ).
It all starts with guilt.Loads of them and this is especially true for all the working women, who have to leave their young ones with caretakers (some reliable , others not). All of them (or at least most) are drowned in the sea of their own guilt by the time they return home from work and see their babies crying out looking for mama. This tops the list of things that eat up a woman. My guess is that its evolutionary.For millions of years , the sole goal of a women's life was to give birth to and nurture their young ones and leaving their young ones to be nurtured by someone else seems to hugely contradictory to what one's sole intended purpose in life.
I hear this topic being discussed in any women's day special meets or when two female colleagues fill their water bottles (unlike males, one can hardly find any any female colleague with kid(s) slowly sipping a cup of tea in the cafeteria talking about worldly affairs..never.). I am aware of many females (talented and competitive) choosing to leave their lucrative jobs because of (what sounds like trivial) things like their kid isn't drinking enough water or that they don't get to spent enough time with their kids .
I started sleeping 8 hours recently (that doesn't mean I sleep for 8 hrs every night..sometimes I do) after probably 3 years. For all the poor souls who are wondering why, its simple . Most women have sleep disturbances after they expect a baby (I remember getting up every other hour and walking due to leg cramps when I was expecting my son). Soon after , its all about feeding the baby accompanied by other routine things like stuffy nose , nightmares , hunger, thirst (means baby is hungry ) or just simply because your baby doesn't "feel" like sleeping at the time called "night"! And what about those long sleepless nights pacifying a baby who has a fever or burning cough..? IT just goes on and on.
I reach office pretty sleep deprived every morning and the bunch of few unmarried guys sitting around me start off-"How can someone be yawning so early in the morning?" . I cannot express in words the intense emotion I go through when I hear that , which I manage to control merely to comply with the company policies.
Unlike the olden golden times , the most common way of getting support now (esp. in towns) is by buying them. But just like the golden days bring in challenges with respect to managing relationships, the new era brings in "maid" challenges. You wake up one fine morning only to realize that your baby sitter (your only hope towards going to work ) had decided not to come. This very thought stops you from getting a good night's sleep ( The other set of deep worries that I have not even discussed about here is related to whether your care taker is "actually" taking care of your infant.).
Most women go through a stagnant phase in their career soon after little ones pop out. I say many because I know few others who made it big overcoming this phase. I must say after my son was born I started questioning whether spending more time at work was worth it. I had this overwhelming hormonal call to care for my son and everything else seemed trivial and secondary. What was the point having a career if I couldn't care for my child? I witnessed less skilled and experienced people climbing up the ladder and felt frustrated but soon I came to terms with myself on what my priorities were.
From the time my son was born to the next 3 years , I think I had a zero social circle. Everything revolved around keeping him comfortable and often people pointed out that I went overboard with it and in many cases I should have just let him cry for a while. I could live with being an unsocial person and that was something I consciously let go off.
My son is 3 now and I feel lot better. He now understand to some extend for Amma and Dada's need to go to work (because it buys him toys, chocolates and roti). My guilt has reduced and I try to take sometime for myself as well and hopefully things will get better as it moves.