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My maternity leave at the office came to an end after nine months of wonderful parenthood. The journey from a happy-go-lucky woman to a responsible mother, advancing through the phases of a c-section birth, rigorous breastfeeding, sleepless nights, emotional breakouts, and weight gain stress, was energising, even if it felt like I was a fish out of the water at times.
During the break, I always pondered over the thought of rejoining work and weighed the pros and cons of being a working mum and a stay-at-home mum. Every time I would experience cognitive dissonance – the state of having contradictory thoughts and I would end up being in two minds.
Once and for all, I decided to resume work; for I couldn’t cherry-pick something without knowing what it was and how it would feel. After all, it was a work from home job and my baby would be at my close range.
The initial days of being a working mum were a cakewalk. But as the work pitched in, it became a tough row to hoe alongside motherhood responsibilities. I was insecure about my job skills because of the long break I had taken. I was too careful to let my seniors pity/blame me. I committed to delivering work in stringent timelines in an attempt to prove that my motherhood hasn’t affected my capabilities. I exaggerated my tiny mistakes and eventually deemed myself incapable at work.
Casting light on my motherhood side, I was stumbling badly clueless of ways to balance my duties. Skipping out on a few motherly tasks had become a new norm. Motherly guilt soared up high, and I deemed myself “failure-as-a-mum”. Life always teaches us the most valuable lessons in the hardest way.
As time went by, I made peace with my motherly guilt and my career. To all working mothers out there, here’s what I have to tell you:
Out of the office for months together doesn’t mean you can’t cope with the current pace. Do away with your unrevealed insecurity! At work, commit to only what is possible. If people blame you for citing your motherhood as a reason, care not! If you have an option, choose a lighter workload.
You still can roar your skills one day! It’s okay to make mistakes at work and home; error is human! Get rid of your motherly guilt. Even if you are a stay-at-home mum, you will still have your chores to do, and so is your job. Take sufficient breaks personally and professionally to revive your inner spirit. Ultimately, only if you are doing good you can take care of everyone and everything!
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