I have always wanted to be a mother. This was something I felt very deeply about. So when motherhood came to me after an agonizing wait of 9 years, it was but natural for me to consider changing my role to a stay home mother and attend to my new born. Having said that, I also knew I would not get back to my career if I took too long languishing in the comfort of the said role, so there was never a choice. There was tussle between the pull to stay home versus going back to work. When I did get back to work, post delivering my first child, leaving this new found love of my life at all of 3 months was next to impossible. I cried myself to work every single day for a few weeks and couldn’t overcome the guilt of missing out on all my baby’s first milestones. I felt stay home mothers were really fortunate to have all that time to spend watching their little babies grow, but in retrospection, I realized, being away from my baby for those few hours in the day gave me a different perspective. I learnt to value the time I had with him and was focused on utilizing it to the very best. I was able to manage time effectively, more on top of things, more able to multitask and at the end of the day felt more satiated and content for having achieved what I did.
Talking to mummy friends in the same boat, told me that I was far better placed in terms of being connected with the world and was in a better shape on the emotional radar as the exposure to work meant my brain focused on actively working, thinking and creating. In short, I was able to keep my sanity intact.
Motherhood in itself is a challenge and when one has to juggle it with work, social networking, hobbies/ passions and keep the magic in the marriage alive, it takes a lot more than one can imagine. Some aspects that perhaps helped me retain my sanity and kept me enjoying the ride were to set my priorities right. Being a mother was the first most important job on hand and there was no compromising there. I learnt to trust my gut instinct where it came to decisions that required me to weigh motherhood versus work and the former always took precedence. I choose to work on my terms without giving up on family time, manage to make time for the much needed social networking and friends to help keep my happiness meter on the high always and do not hesitate to get my partner to chip in to get the much deserved rest when I feel I need it. One of the things working mothers face is guilt for not being there for your child 24/7. There is nothing wrong in choosing how to manage your motherhood journey. It’s your own and you set the limits. Although motherhood is the single biggest thing to change your lives forever, it is a beautiful journey of self discovery! No wonder then when it’s said- with the baby is born a new mother!
Sonali Medakkar is a scientist working with a Preclinical Contract Research Organisation in Singapore for over a decade. A post graduate from Hyderabad University, she has specialized in Neuroscience and spent the last 10 plus years in neuroscience research while juggling the role of a mother and wife amidst the demands of work