One fine day my friend called me after a long time. It had been long time when she rejoined from maternity leave. When we were discussing about how we manage our day to day activities and other related stuff, she told me she was taking a break to concentrate on her kid. Suddenly I realised how my sabbatical plan was flopped. What were my assumptions and how it actually went. There comes a phase when you rejoin your office when you feel that you are a bad mom and a bad employee. You feel the current scenario is not working for you and think of taking a break from the routine. Most of these breaks are triggered by the thought that you need more time with your kid, you need more time for yourself and you feel that staying at home you will not have deadline for doing your daily chores and you will have whole day with your kid. You do realise that since you were always working full time this can mean being dependent on your husband's salary. The last time you asked someone for money was probably your father and when you were in college or struggling to find a job. So you are aware that you are going to loose your financial independence. So with all this initial analysis you still take the plunge to quit your full time job and see how life goes on.
The first day you feel so relaxed, to be able to see how your house looks like on a weekday. How your kid gets ready once he wakes up. And the dream that you will have no hurry to enjoy your cup of coffee, have enough time with you kid shatters when you realise that being a stay at home mom doesn't mean you have enough time to relax and enjoy it actually means you are stuck in an endless cycle of cooking food, doing laundry and cleaning the house. The support that you get when you are a working mom fades away once you become a stay at home mom. And everyone sorts of takes it for granted that now that you are not working you cannot give any excuse for anything. This also means that when your bank balance starts decreasing, you have take money from your husband, but since you are not used to the fact that some one else will pay my bills, it doesn't bring a good feeling. This means end of all meaningless shopping, feeling like your education is wasted. If you had thought of doing something on your own like searching a new flexible job, or doing a small scale business, you realise that with the current situation the fact that you took a bath when you and your kid were alone is the biggest accomplishment that you can ever think of.
These were my experiences about taking a break and hence I thought of sharing some pointers so that it will help other new working moms on what to expect when going on a sabbatical.
1)Have a clear idea: Before taking the plunge of quitting your full time job, note down the points on why do you need a break.
2)Bank Balance: If you are used to paying your own bills, keep certain amount of savings with you so that your bank account doesn't go nil sooner.
3)Keep you Plan B ready: So your plan A is to quit your job and chill out with kids but if that doesn't work out you should always have something to bounce back upon. You should have a Plan B ready like if you will rejoin the company if this break thing fails, or get a part time job.
4)Planning Career change: If you are planning for a shift in career, you should do a thorough research in the field in which you want to switch. Also, analyse if that is going to work in long term if you plan to pursue it for the rest of your life. Be prepared to get paid less than what you were earning when you quit your full time job.
5)Seek help from family: When you take a break, sit with your family and discuss what your plans are. If you want to try something new for a living, tell them you need their continuous support even though you will be on break.
6)Expect the unexpected: Be prepared to expect the unexpected. You might have thought of spending quality time with your kids, but you will realise that you will get even less time with your kid as you will be busy doing household chores. And all the best if you have to do your daily chores when you and your kid will be alone because trust me if you have a kid like my son, you will not be able to even have your lunch well.
These are some tips based on my experiences, if you are a working mom and reading my blog don't forget to share your experiences as well.