Once upon a time I used to be a career girl. After doing my business management from a reputed institution in Mumbai, I embarked upon a new life, a life filled with strangers, strangers who later became friends, filled with meetings, felt very important sitting for my very first one, making presentations, meeting targets and getting appraised at the end of it all. I loved getting all dressed up and going for work every morning in my brand new car. After about two years I applied for a fast-track elite program run at the Group level of the company. As luck would have it I got selected and was sent across the country doing different roles in different Group companies as part of my probation, followed by a promising role in one of India’s most reputed and biggest hotel chains. Morale was high….life was good! I worked smart, I worked hard and I thought I might end up becoming the CEO of one of these fancy companies one day and while I was moving up the ladder steadily towards my goal, something happened, something unusual for me. I suddenly became more emotional about things that normally wouldn’t bother me, I could feel my energy drain away after the smallest bit of activity during the day and I also started weeping with joy when my boss once praised me! I felt silly, like there was a stranger trapped inside my body. It was true, except that it was no stranger, I was pregnant! I couldn’t believe that I was creating a whole new life inside my body and that was the beginning of a complete new ME.
While I thoroughly enjoyed my days of pregnancy pampered by family and friends alike, I was very clear in my mind that I was going to take a short break at work and come back to the corporate world, and that I would never become a stay-at-home mum, a housewife. But as they say ‘never say never.’
After enjoying a maternity break of five months I was ready for the corporate world. I thought I had changed enough nappies and given enough burps and I was looking forward to my first day at work, ready to face the adult world right where I had left it. The first few weeks were complete bliss. I got a bigger work space of my own, my own laptop and more important the freedom to have my lunch and visit the wash room in peace without anyone clamouring for my attention. However this feeling didn’t last too long and I was surprised by how many times I would make calls back home just to find out how my baby was doing. “Is he eating, is he sleeping, did he really start crawling?” As time passed and he grew older and understood that mummy had to go for work it got that much more difficult to leave home every morning wondering what he would be doing without me and whether my child would miss me. Being in the hospitality industry I had late working hours combined with the heavy Mumbai traffic I could never get home before late evening, which was just in time to put him to bed! Weekends would just whizz past and leave me with no quality time with my son. When he turned turned two, I started to question my objective of going to work. Yes I had spent considerable time and effort doing my business management course, yes I was part of an elite team in one of India’s biggest business houses, yes I enjoyed my work, yes my child was being looked after very well by my family and yes I loved being financially independent. So essentially I had no valid excuse to quit specially because I was sure that I wasn’t the only working mum feeling like that. But I just couldn’t shake off the need to be with my son all the time, to take him to his nursery, to take him to the playground and basically just watch him grow. I started talking to people who mattered, urging them to think for me, to help me to make a decision and I thank all of them today to help me do what I do today. My husband was quite supportive understanding my need but at the same time urging me to think carefully if that was what I really wanted since he did not want me to have regrets later. After 8 months of deliberation when I finally realised that I was not able to give my very best to either my job or to my child, I made up my mind. I quit my job to become a full time mother.
Today I am the CEO of my little house and am proud of this achievement! No role change for me now….not yet!