A few years ago, I walked into Dr. Patel's office. Dr. Patel was our 70-year old Gujarati family doctor. Brandon was a few months old at the time and he asked me what was new with me. I told him I had just had a baby.In his loud sing-song voice, he then said "You have baby?...you need to stay home with baby.""Don't go back to work..."
I looked at him with a quizzical look as he continued.." Vimen these days think they can have career and have cheeldren, you just can't have BOTH! You need to choose, keeds or career!"He shot up both hands into their air and brought them down hard on his sides..."YOU just CAN'T!!" His look was piercing…
I remember standing there in amazement thinking about all those degrees and distinguishments on the wall in back of him, how could he have had such an antiquated attitude?He needed to just go home to his little repressed sari-clad wife where his 5 course meal would be waiting and his chapatis would be just as he wanted....hot. And I just needed to get out of that office before I told Dr. Patel what i really though of him and his outdated ideas.
Fast forward 5 years, 2 kids later and guess what...
Dr. Patel was right.
For those of you who don't know, I recently made the transition from working out of a home office to working completely outside of the home for various reasons....It has been a very difficult transition for me. The first day was the absolute worst. I came home reduced to tears and declared I wasn't going back.
How the hell do all these working moms do it???!!! HOW HOW HOW??
Des told me to give it until the end of the week and if i still didn't want to go back, then quit.I ended up sticking it out and have since found myself in a little routine. The human capacity for adapting is powerful. Mentally, your brain just adjusts..somehow. Each day gets a little less unbearable...
Don't get me wrong, it's still tough. Imagine having to work for 8 hours and then coming home, wanting to kick back and relax in front of the TV, but instead being faced with 2 small kids who want dinner...NOW. It's like coming home to another full time job.
Since then, I've ended up meeting so many other girls who are having the hardest time balancing the 2 worlds. many of them in deep ruts. A lot of things have changed. For example, no more of those "Sunday-style dinners" like stew chicken and macaroni pie with all the fixings in the middle of the week. Sunday dinners are reserved for weekends now. These days it's some quick throwing together of a few ingredients over some hot rice and that's it, (maybe some bagged Dole salad too.) I know some women who prep dinners and freeze over the weekend. But my weekends are now golden and I refuse to be stuck in the kitchen cleaning and cutting up meat for the week ahead.
Gone are the late movie nights every night. Now, I spend the late evenings preparing uniforms and lunches for the next day. Going for long walks to the park every day are sadly no longer on the agenda.
So there you have the million dollar question...Is it possible for women to work and still have children?
The answer is yes- but her quality of life goes down drastically. If you are able to get by on one income and have small children under the age of 5, take my advice....STAY HOME!
Having a full-time career and raising young children simply DO NOT MIX. Make your children your career and be the best mom you can. That's what I tried to do for the past 6 years. I was able to take advantage of my flex-time and really spend some fun quality time with the kids which is why I don't feel so guilty now.
With that said - I am a realist and know that in this day and age, most families are unable to get by on a single income, which is truly unfortunate. We have so much more "necessities" than our parents did...High speed internet, homes with more space than we need, satellite TV, multiple cars, cell phones...it's completely ridiculous that both parents have to work in order to pay for all this garbage. Time management becomes your middle name and is essential in making this whole thing work. It also helps that my job is just down the street so I can be home at reasonable times. I don't do any overtime and have reduced hours on Fridays and the summers, and I have a husband that helps in picking up/ dropping kids off and the chores around the house. The last factor is critical otherwise you will just find yourself going batty.
If any of you moms out there have any advice for me, I would more than welcome it. I am always on the lookout for time-saving recipes especially!!
In the meantime, I am brainstorming ways to still make the same amount of money while only working a few hours per week.
Aahhh...if only I could get paid to blog....
Anyways, on a brighter note, we did have a wonderful summer and were able to enjoy the lovely fall weather here in Quebec. Here are a few highlights...