Undoubtedly,it is a matter of personal choice of working or staying at home. In my case I have always worked and these 4 months of maternity leave is the longest break I have ever taken. Suffering from Monday morning blues is common for every working person and I am no exception to that. The eagerness with which I wait for Friday, and when it finally dawns after what seems an eternity, what a joyous contagious feeling it brings with it. 2 days of no early morning alarm, 2 days to laze around and while away(not any longer since I became a Mom though).But as always, it ends too fast and when its Sunday evening, the dready feeling creeps in. Despite all this I still vouch for working and these 4months (weren't easy and where the first three were lost in sleepless nights and baby bawls, I still haven't figured out) made me realise that if I introspect on this, there are definitely many perks of being a working woman. Infact I have learnt life's valuable lessons in the corporate world which perhaps I would not have learnt as effectively otherwise.
Some of my learnings (some of them on a lighter note) and why I still prefer being a working woman are:
1) First and foremost it teaches you to set your personal feelings/ego aside and maintain amicable relations with everyone. "Networking" as its popularly called is nothing but setting aside your personal ego and mingling with everyone. Irrespective of whether you like anyone or not, you never know which person's help you would require at any point, so one needs to maintain cordial relations with all.Not as easy as it sounds.
I never took this seriously as it is against my personal nature, I am very choosy and only talk to people I am comfortable with. Infact I used to get offended very easily by people's small remarks and kept it in my heart for long. But over the years I learnt this was working to my own detriment, I am now more open minded and maintain amicable relations with all. I recon I 'm more at peace now. This aptly applies to personal life as well, doesn't it?
2) Its smart work and not hard work thats the norm of the day. If you look closely at smart work , one important aspect is how you present your work and make it noticeable in the eyes of others. This is no easy feat and one who masters this will be successful. My work will speak for me - this age old adage has no relevance these days as obviously your work can't speak, you got to do the talking. Again learning this skill requires much time,trial and error and I'm still working on it as I was stuck to the old school of thought and am evolving now. Marketing skills however are vital in all walks of life and a corporate boardroom provides you the best training on it.
3) Being independent in the true sense- Can you travel all alone and live/shop/commute/eat/sightsee in a foreign country. I certainly can, the first experience was harrowing and I was so miserable when I travelled to Hong Kong- my first international trip. I knew nothing about the country, had never travelled abroad, never been alone and here I was in a new job, in a new country all by myself for 3 weeks. I learnt it the hard way but I'm glad I made that trip. I matured as a person and became much stronger. I had no choice you see. Stay cocooned in the hotel or sightsee on weekends, knowing that this might be the only time I visit the country, I shed my inhibitions and went to see the Great Buddha and Peak Tram. I can't think of any other situation or reason to travel alone, lest my job required me.
4) Being financially independent. Right from buying a house to investing in shares or buying that expensive Guess handbag, Mac lipstick, or Clarks boots, its more of my evaluating if my purchase is within my limits (my being a shopaholic mostly results in one more addition to my kitty). Of course, one should not stretch beyond one's means and getting into unnecessary debt is a strict no no, but being able to take your own decisions without hesitation,, without the guilt of spending someone else's money I believe is truly liberating.
5) Learning to be on your own. Corporate world is very different from school/college. People keep moving jobs, some people turn out to be fair weather friends, some might go a step ahead and back stab you. Overtime you learn to rely more and more on yourself. You might forge some excellent friendships if you are lucky but you don't know how long both of you will continue working in the same team/department/organisation. You realise that the one person who would faithfully remain by your side till the end is no one but yourself!.
6) The joy of holidays, Happy Friday, eagerly waiting for those strikes/ bandhs none of these would hold any meaning unless we go to work. I felt this the most when I stayed at home for 4 months and each day felt the same. I missed wishing my colleagues "Happy friday" something I would over enthusiastically do every Friday. No doubt we crib about Monday blues but the joy of a Friday would be lost without Monday, isn't it?
7) All those lovely clothes, shoes, cosmetics and handbags would lie unused or poorly used as I can't think of anyway to put them to use every day. Its not justice enough for those poor souls to be lying in the corner of your cupboard. No fun if you can't flaunt it. And what better place than these 5 days of work!
I hope these make your monday mornings less miserable. As for me I'm in a mixed state of mind as I got back to work after 4 months- the good feeling of dressing up and meeting people after such a long time at the same time the realisation that I would be away from my little one for almost the whole day is heartbreaking. Guess I'll read my post as I travel in the cab on monday morning.. something to cheer me up for a while atleast!
Bhagwan you speak English with your daughter? What is happening these days?
People want to show off and are forgetting their roots”. I have heard this many times. Earlier my
reaction used to be - apologetic. I would keep quiet and try to ignore the comment
and find an escape route. But now if someone dares to talk to me about this
matter, I snap them off then and there. I am unapologetic I don't think I have
done anything wrong which I need to feel ashamed about. So yes I do speak in
English at home and this is my first language. No qualms about it. And
it's not because of an inter caste marriage in fact I have been speaking
English as a first language right since childhood. To give you some background
on how this came to be. My mother’s parents belonged to Mangalore ( it's a
coastal town in Karnataka) they migrated to Bombay in search of a livelihood
when they were young. They married, had kids and their kids were brought up by
a maid. As my mom and her brother lived…
As Aesha tapped her heel restlessly at the Visa Consulate, one
might just think of her as yet another young woman who has set her heart on an
overseas dream, a future in the greener pastures and she is probably nervous if
her visa will be stamped or not as her fate can either be made or broken by
this one seal (or the lack of it). But for Aesha , her tumultuous mind couldn't
be tamed today. While she was at
the cusp of an important milestone in her career and getting the visa would
mean she inches one step closer to her dream professionally- somewhere she
shuddered to think of how it would impact her love life and the very foundation
of her marriage. It seemed like
yesterday- Aman and Aesha met at a sangeet and got talking. They hit it
instantly and never realized where time flew. They would always chuckle when
they got to know later that this had been set up by their parents. Aesha was a young, dynamic, super smart, intelligent woman who was
a great fan of Sheryl Sandberg and truly…
"And they lived happily ever after"- as Aesha closed the story book, little Anya was asleep, her tiny hand holding Aesha's arm firmly. With one more loving look at the little angel, she gently unwound her arm and tucked her into bed. She sighed and wondered- Is it really happily ever after? Maybe she should alter these fairy tales and tell her daughter more real world stories. The chilly air outside continued to blow. Aesha looked out of the window. It had been 6 months she moved to New York and she loved the vibrant and energetic city. Little Anya had settled down quickly too, much to her surprise and delight. She absolutely loved the day care in Aesha's office where she spent her day with other kids of her age. Aesha loved the new office, the energy levels and enthusiasm was at a new high. Being the Head Office, it was abuzz with activity. One thing that she found in stark contrast to India was that people took their work life balance very seriously. No one would st…