Yes, I’m already in the middle of it.” The Working Mom’s battle against guilt”
I had to join back to work when Jiya was exactly 4 months, 2 weeks and 6 days old. Though I requested for an extension of leave, my company’s HR policy did not allow me to do that. But the silver lining is that we have a creche run by a third party within our premises and can bring our child from 6 months onwards. I had almost quit my job as I was in the pessimistic end of the waiting list for the creche. But by God’s grace, there was some rearrangement after which I was confirmed admission for Jiya.
Since Jiya was only little more than 4 and a half months old then, I had 6 long weeks before I could take her to the office creche with me. So I send SOS signals to both my mothers who gave a heads up for me to proceed. My mom came in for the first week, more than that she could not stay as she’s also working. She started the procedure of weaning which was painful for me, for any mom, in fact. But nevertheless, I did not want Jiya to be crying while I went to office. Children are happy when they are fed well, right? I was imagining my mom’s plight when I did not eat anything when I was small. Scary it would have been for her also.
So the first week went off quite smoothly which gave me confidence to continue. By “smoothly”, I meant she was not crying in my absence but my heart definitely was missing her. She was feeding on my milk (expressed and stored in fridge), Bottle milk, dried banana powder and ragi. She quite enjoyed her menu, much to relief of the family, my extended family also. They were all happy that Jiya did not inherit my eating habits. What no one knew was that the only 2 things I prayed while I was pregnant were:-
- My child should not be reluctant to have food ( because my mom had tough time with me)
- My child should be able to sing (which is yet to be confirmed)
Before the first week concluded, before my mom returned to Trivandrum, we got a domestic help from Kerala. So my mother briefed her about the roles and responsibilities of the new post and conducted the induction training. So my MIL joined us to help us through this difficult journey. Now Jiya is being looked after my MIL and the maid while I’m away at office.
This is the fourth week of the journey. And ask me how it feels. I’m picking my pace at office. Jiya has got used to her schedule without me from 10.30am to 9.30pm. But she gets restless from 8pm until I return home.
The best part of it is…she laughs out loud upon seeing me come inside the house and she kisses me too, and that too thrice (not less, not more). Nobody taught her all that…kids are too fast and understanding. Grownups need to grow up to them and preserve their qualities all through the life.
The worst part is, today I had to detach her forcibly from me to catch the office cab, and it was heartbreaking. If it is a battle, someone has to get hurt; sometimes all are hurt. Jiya cried but understood me and went to my MIL. It was me who was disturbed all through the day in office.
Life, as they say, is like this…