Tuesday, July 5, 2022

When I was on the Verge of Quitting

I am writing this post one year and one month after my last post. I buried writing as a past hobby, or a habit. I buried my urge to write as an excuse of being busy. Honestly, I just couldn’t organize my thoughts and I couldn’t seem to control my ‘choices’, or knew which choices were for me. I know I could never really be a stay-at-home full time mom, not because I do not like being with my children, or value my time with them as much as I value my time at office. It is because, I feel more meaningful when I am able to use the knowledge I have gained with 18 years of education and 16 years of work experience in work and the mundane routine job of cleaning the house, doing the laundry, and cooking takes away so much time but they don’t feel as fulfilling as the jobs you can do at office. But this is not to say that I undervalue the times that so many full-time moms give in rearing their families. 
So, the reason I am writing this post today, after months of scattered thoughts, feeling like I was not doing a good job as a mother is that I just read the book, ‘Lean In’, by Sheryl Sandberg who was COO of Facebook. In her book, she talks about exactly these thoughts that women go through every day, especially as a working woman, or rather a working mother. And the last post I wrote on my blog is also about, ‘Am I good mother?’ Managing home and trying to be present in office became increasingly difficult once I gave birth to my third child. Three children seem like a large number today when so many choose not to marry or not to have children. In a way, I am proud that I dared it and I am still working full time. 
But every day I drop my youngest son to the Creche and leave him there crying, I go through the thoughts of, ‘am I doing the right thing?’ ‘Do I surely not have a choice to take leave and stay home?’ And as I narrated to my friends and colleagues, I could afford to take extraordinary leave, if I didn’t have a loan to pay. And if one person’s salary is enough to raise three kids, pay loan and run a home. So, this and my interest in work has kept me in the job still. But reading the book, ‘Lean In’ helped me cope with the guilt of thinking that I am not able to be there for my children full time and maybe because of them, I am not able to give 100% at my work. And this book has made me believe that the choices we make do not really have to be approved or validated by the societal values which in this case are driven or moulded through generations by the gender stereotypes, which overtime has simmered into our society and cultural settings that it does not seem so. 
And she also talks about how decisions, such as hiring of an employee are determined subconsciously or unconsciously by all these gender stereotypes that people think that leadership is for men, or that a woman cannot take a leadership role and still be a good mother/daughter/wife. And from the recent incident of a job interview I sat for, I thought maybe this played the part. But what is so reassuring is that like she mentions in the book, we don’t have to live with the myth of ‘having it all’. And I agree that, ‘done is better than perfect’ and it is better to  ‘let go of unattainable standards’. 

If you feel like you you have hit the end, reading this book could help you, just as it helped me. 

This is Bhutan

I moved to Adelaide, South Australia 10 months ago. This decision was driven by my belief that family has to be together and pursuing your c...