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!
This article was chosen as one of the winning entries in Godrej ion Woman of Substance contest http://blog.blogadda.com/2013/04/17/woman-of-substance-contest-winners-announced
Very nice Mehroo. I did smile at the end and could really relate to your feelings of not being there for kids as much as you would like to 🙂 I did my Masters from LSE when Naaisha was 4 months old and used to call so often home during class hours just to check if she had milk etc 🙂
I really admire that you are so clear about what makes you happy and you do exactly that. It takes a lot of courage and self analysis am sure. Kudos to that awesome spirit! X
The last line says it all… You did not quit your job, you just changed it. In fact you got promoted.You are now a CEO.
The dividends are so much better in this job. Knowledge can never be lost. It can only be gained. Your writing is inspiring. Who knows, maybe you may think of writing a bestseller and then all your cousins queuing up to to get the first edition autographed. Maybe an article or two on lessons learnt during your corporate days can be used in my slides as a teaching tool. Maybe you can give a few lectures here and there… You are a marketing person… and you sure can sell…it reflects between your lines.
Beautifully written! People seldom listen to their heart, but you did and made the right choice! Kudos to you!
Dear Reena, thanks for sharing your thoughts. As you did experience with Naaisha and like I have mentioned in this post, I knew that most working mums would be going through a similar 'pull' like me, which is why for a very long time I was in this confused state of mind. Luckily I had extremely supportive friends and family who whole-heartedly supported me with my decision. About the self-analysis bit just come for a morning jog with me, you'd be surprised at how much your heart can talk to your mind!!
I maybe a marketing person but you sure take me up to the moon and back! Thank you for your sweet words, they are always inspiring me to write more, and I guess my first book would be published only if you become a publisher in the near future! Love Mehroo.
Hi Karuna, first of all thank you for your comment. Listening to my heart as held me steady so far but you know it also makes you an emotional wreck at times! By the way I did not know that you had your own blog and could write poetry so well…I do try my hand at poetry but I think it takes a lot of patience and time….meanwhile I will look out for yours. Thanks again.
Thanks for your compliment! Well somehow poetry comes naturally to me! BTW You should consider being a writer, a profession that can be managed from home! 🙂 🙂 Think about it, you will rock, I am sure! I read most of your posts and enjoy your writing! Very lucid and expressive! 🙂
Beautiful!! You've made me think.
Glad I did 🙂
But its all about what your priorities are and what works best for you, for that matter taking a sabbatical is a good option, you can always jump back in!
You chose life over living! salutations. Btw you were always the epitome of grace even at the hotel chain. It is so nice to see you snugly happy and joyously content. Keep it up.
Wow, thank you Anonymous, what a nice comment, so did we work together? It would be nice to know your identity. By the way thanks for coming by to my blog…hope to keep you entertained!
Jay Singh says
Wow, quite a ride you've been on. I agree, the initial surges which a high flying job gives is just too good. However, one realizes that there are more important things to life, the more finer aspects of life that is. Glad to hear your story.
You have a nice blog. Following you now. 🙂
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sunil deepak says
I agree whole heartedly that we must make choices based on the passions of our heart. When your baby grows up a little and is not joined by another, you can decide to go back or start something new! Best of luck.
Mehroo Turel says
You are right Jay, life is made up of so much more and it is upto us to make the choice that suits us…easier said than done though as not many get a chance to follow their heart. I say a short prayer to God everyday to thank him for giving me the chance!
Mehroo Turel says
Well yes the baby has grown, he is 8 now and he is joined by another who is 4 who is soon turning 5, so you are right now I am at the crossroads of wanting to do something plus be with them…looking for the best match!
Thanks for visiting.
You've been a successful career woman and leaving your job would not have been an easy decision.This post is very inspiring for many mothers. Like you I gave up my job to take care of my little boy. I am sure now that I've made the right choice 🙂
Mehroo Turel says
Thanks Diana, I am so glad that my post reassured you about your decision. Initially I was on a sabbatical and I clung onto it since I wasn't sure when the 'mother' bubble would burst and I would need to run back to office. Thankfully that hasn't happened, atleast not so far! So right choice IT IS!
Subhorup Dasgupta says
Loved reading this. Motherhood is the most incredible experience and your decision is laudable. I have followed a similar path, not motherhood, but quitting a fairly successful corporate career to follow my heart and use writing as a tool for social change. One of the triggers was the realization that though we were creating value through our corporate presence, the price we were paying as a family, outsourcing homemaking and parenting was perhaps not worth it.
In terms of financial/material stability. It took over two years to even "break even" but every step of the journey has been an invaluable lesson in community and love. I see today that what the world needs is love and a sense of community. Everyone who is doing it in any way, be it in the confines of their homes and families, is making an invaluable contribution to the future of our civilization.
Mehroo Turel says
Dear subhorup, kudos to you for having the guts to leave your corporate job and to follow your heart. Not many people can do that….not many have the opportunity for that. In that sense your change was a bigger leap than mine since I did not have to worry about financial stability. But I am glad that it worked out for you. cheers for that and thanks for visiting my blog. Hope to hear from you again.
Hi mehroo ..came across ur blog just love reading your posts ..interesting simple stuff and oh o from the heart…keep them coming …sumi
Mehroo Turel says
Glad to know that you liked my blog and yes I do tend to "talk" more than "write" when I post so it flows out naturally. Do keep visiting for more!