All of us (woman) face the dilemma of whether to work or not at least once in a lifetime. Mostly after having kids. Whichever decision you take or forced to take there is always the occasional inner voice saying otherwise. I have known several of my colleagues who left their kids in day care, with in laws or maids or some with their parents/in laws in a different town. I also know many friends and colleagues who took a break from their career to be with their little ones.
I concieved after 2 years of being married. So when I gave birth to a baby girl I least expected the same people asking me why did I decide to stay at home and not work. Once I jokingly asked “what about my baby. ” pat came the reply ” Leave one with your mil or with your mom”. To say that I was not amused is the least of the things I felt. When I tell people I want to stay at home to take care of my baby I have heard and felt too many reactions.
They range from genuine surprise, to disappointment, to pity and rarely acceptance. Everyone be it friends or relatives or even random strangers want to know why I am not working. Once when I took my girl to a mall, I met a middle aged lady who happened to be from the same state as me. On noticing me conversing in regional language she started talking with me. She asked me several questions ranging from family details to my likes and dislikes. On realising that my Mil stays with us and I have a part time maid she said ” If you have a cook , you can go to work”. What the hell. I did not stay at home because I was not able to cook or clean while working. I was irked and said ” I have a cook” and walked away.
Yes, I have a cook and a maid. But neither of them feeds my kid with love and patience. They do not hug or kiss her injuries, real or imaginary. They do not bathe or clean poop or wipe nose and mouth. They do not sit and patiently teach colors, shapes or animals. They do not play silly games nor do they tickle and blow air on her belly. They do not carry my kid when she cries. They do not piggy back my kid. They do not rock my baby to sleep. They do not teach the kids right and wrong. They do not advice my kid to step away from the switches, not to go alone into the balcony.
It is my baby, not theirs. It’s my choice to not work and be a SAHM…. I do not have anything against working mothers. Maybe being a stay at home was more important for me as i would never miss their first milestones of everything,for anything in this world.