An open letter to all working mothers
As the clock ticks on my desktop, I remind myself that I should not miss my bus, trying to complete a task for which I got warning to do by myself and not delegate, I realised I missed my bus. One last look at mail, few seconds waiting for any replies and still the heart feels, you might get the bus, try harder, you have to reach home on time so the baby sitter can leave. I called my friend to ask if the bus has left and she(also a working mom) asks me to chase the bus as it was stuck in traffic. I was running helplessly on the streets of Hinjewadi, took lift from unknown strangers, and chased the bus before two signals down the block. Only so that I can be home on time just to spend few extra hours with my son, who was sleeping when I left for the office today morning.
Yes we are the working moms of metro cities who spend 3 hours in travel depending on traffic, 9 hours in office and the remaining hours in home that too doing work not leisure time. Yes, we leave our kids with strangers(baby sitters). Yes, we delegate our work at both places, in homes to our maids and in office to our co-workers and yes both places we hear that we are not putting our best.We give fake promises to our managers yes I will complete work on time, we give fake promises to our kids yes we will come home on time. We are the moms who don't make puran polis on Gudi Padwa because, we don't have holiday. The sari that you plan to wear on your niece's birthday and parlour visit don't just happen, we end up reaching the venue directly in our office avatar if it falls on weekday. We are the moms who cry in our office corners when our kids call us and tell us that they miss us. We don't change our jobs after having kids so that we may loose our comfort zone, we don't accept good offers from other companies fearing that we may get more work priorities. Yes, our kids have picked up our baby sitter's vernacular accent because they are the ones with whom they speak the whole day.
Yes we carry guilt everywhere. In homes we feel guilty that we are not able to give enough time. In office we are made to feel guilty as we are not able to give more time. The HR of our new company spoke a lot about flexibility and work life balance on the Women's day. Apparently the same HR's forced us to take second shifts promising flexibility for us alone. Whom are we kidding trying to juggle all these tasks. What is the end result that we get even after putting so much efforts? We get bad appraisals just because our maternity leave. Sometimes all these efforts just don't seem worth it. A bad day sometimes makes you introspect about the harsh realities of our life. Sometimes, we just need a break from all these activities sit back and relax. A small dance with our kids, his laughter does make us forget the bad day... but leaves a question lingering behind is it worth all this pain?
----A truly frustrated working mom.