Pros and Cons of being a Working Woman

 

“One of the most courageous things you can do is identify yourself, know who you are, what you believe in and where you want to go.” — Sheila Murray Bethel

Since I was a little girl, I always dreamt of being a working female. There were no second thoughts. Doing a job was the only plan I had, my only dream and I still remember the day when I got my first salary cheque. I had tearful eyes and was smiling ear to ear and I spent the entire salary in one day by getting gifts for the whole family. My most precious day till date! J

However this is not the case for every female. I see so many girls not planning to work because not everyone likes getting hands dirty after all. If there is an option of not working and still living a good life, sure, why not, by all means? But then I thought, let me jolt down few points for the young females who are still analyzing whether to go out to work and face the tough world or stay at home or not to do anything at all.

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Please understand what I mean by being a working female. It does not necessarily means that you should do a job or earn money, but it means that you are building up your existence on your work, just like any other individual. It can be running a catering business from home or doing sales job or maintaining a playschool at home or running a blog or being a gym instructor or anything that you create or provide services. There are always pros and cons of everything and being a working woman has its own advantages as well as disadvantages. So here they are.

Pros and ConsTo put it in easy words, I would just say one thing. Working or not working is like walking in heels or walking barefoot. You will definitely feel pain, either of shoe bite or pebbles on road. You need to decide what do you like more, life with panache or life with ease!

Heels or Bare
Heels or bare

A letter to working mom

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Dear mom,

When I was 8 years old, my school had a field trip to visit the zoo or museum or something. I don’t remember. It doesn’t matter.

What I do remember was feeling lonely and left out. Why? Because about a dozen moms volunteered to chaperone the kids on the field trip that day—and you were not one of them.

I wanted that kind of mom. The kind of mom who was always available to be a field trip. The kind of mom who always made homemade cupcakes (from scratch, not a box) for the bake sale. The kind of mom who dropped me off at school every morning and picked me up every afternoon.

“Why can’t you, mommy?” I would ask.

“Because mommy has to work,” you would tell me.

At age 8, I had no concept of what “work” meant. All I could grasp was that “work” was something mysterious and unpleasant. Something that stole mommy away from me.

Then one day you brought me to work.

You might not remember that day—but I do.

You took me to the opera house where you were preparing for that night’s performance. You led me backstage to your dressing room. I watched the hair, makeup, and costume attendants transform you from “mommy” into some kind of bejeweled moon-goddess with towering hair and shimmering powder everywhere.

That night, I watched you take the stage and mesmerize the audience. I saw your talent. I felt your devotion to your craft—the decades of disciplined vocal training, the thousands of hours of practice and rehearsal. I felt the power of your voice.

During intermission, I overheard two women in the row behind me talking about you, raving about your performance.

“That’s my mom,” I told them proudly.

After that experience at the opera house, I understood what “work” meant for you. I understood that “work” is not a bad thing. “Work” can be something magical and important.

Mom: I don’t know if I ever told you, but I am so grateful that you pursued your dreams, because in doing so, you taught me to be brave and ambitious too. I am grateful that you weren’t around for every single bake sale because, sometimes, you had other things to do. I am grateful that you showed me that a “career” can be anything I want it to be.

The 8-year old version of me wished that you were waiting at home with milk and cookies every single day after school. The 31-year old version of me is grateful that you were not.

I wasn’t sure I wanted to share this letter publicly, because it’s very intimate and personal, but ultimately I decided that I should.

Because I know that somewhere, out there, there is a mom who feels guilty every time she goes to “work” (whether it’s a job, a business, a personal creative project, or any vocation that feels meaningful to her). Somewhere, I know there’s a mom who feels guilty about writing her novel, running her blog, or pursuing her dream job, because she feels like throwing herself into that type of endeavor might “steal” time away from her kids and her family. Because it might make her a “bad mom.”

I want to say to that mom: don’t be afraid.

Let your child see you in love with your work. Let your child see you pursue the yearnings of your heart. Let your child see you shine, and be happy, and give your gifts generously to the world. Invite your child into your work, occasionally, so that your child can see and feel what you do when you’re not at home.

If you do that, then your child will learn, through your example, what it means to create a life that is purposeful and filled with passion.

That is one of the greatest gifts you can give a child.

I am not a parent or a parenting expert, of course. This is just my personal opinion—speaking as the daughter of a passionate woman.

Mom: I wouldn’t want any other mom besides you.

I get it now. Each time you told me, “Mommy has to work,” what you actually meant was:

“Mommy loves you more than anything–but mommy also wants to leave her mark on the world, and create her legacy, which sometimes means that you have to spend a few hours with your brother or a babysitter or at an after-school program. One day you’ll understand.”

Mom: I understand–and I love you.

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

This article is not written by me and I have posted this from the Alexandra Franzen’s newsletter.  She is an amazing writer and I could not have written this better than her.  These are exactly my thoughts too in her beautiful words.  Do visit her website.  You will take a lot of positivity with you.  I love her and I love my Mom! 🙂

Don’t you dare give up!

 

I came across this ad by Tanishq brand for their new collection, Niloufer. The video is made beautifully and touches the right chords so aesthetically.  A moment of achievement brings memories of the years spent in struggle and tough fights against all odds.  Some of us are born and brought up in a progressive environment where we do not need to struggle for basic things like study till we want or doing job or pursuing our dreams in terms of what job we like or even starting a business or entrepreneurial project.  I feel grateful for my parents and family for being my strength in my journey till now.  However there are many among us who have had to struggle to go to college to complete post-graduation or have had to fight for the job that you wanted to do because parents or parents in law wanted you to stay home.  Life does not come easy for all and in the process of achieving something big professionally; we always live with guilt of missing some precious moments of personal life.  All the working mothers will completely relate to this.  You leave your young child in the hands of family or play schools and spend the whole day regretting the choice you made.  I completely agree with Apurva Purohit, CEO of 92.7FM.  In her book – Lady, you’re not a man; she clearly tells that as a working woman or mother, you always have two choices.  Leave the job and take care of family and child or let the child be left in the hands of someone else at home and you focus on your career.  In first case, you regret the choice later after 8-10years when the kid gets busy with their own life and you see your peers climbing the stairs of professional success.  You wonder where you would have reached if you had not left the job.  You pity on yourself and your hard work spent on getting the degrees.  You have the guilt of killing your ambition.

While in second case, you always live with the guilt of missing out on your child’s first walk or first talk. If you achieved anything big professionally, you always know that it is because your household responsibilities were at the backdrop.  You cannot leave the hard work put in preparing the presentation because your child is unwell.  You leave him/her with the grandparents and then winning the client seems to be so full of guilt.

So this is the irony of our lives, we have to live with one guilt or another.  You have to make the choice which guilt is what you are more comfortable with.  I would live with the guilt of not always being there for my child because then I know that I am working this hard for his or her better life, to give him all he needs in the fast pace of life.  And believe me, children understand this, may be not now, but when they reach the age of understanding.  They might think as a child that Mom is not always around, but then they will be most proud when you reach the big level in your professional career.  You said ‘Sorry’ many times during the journey, but it would be then time to say ‘Thank you’ to your loved ones.

So keep thriving for it ladies, because in the end, you do not have to be a super human, but you just have to be the kid who keeps marching.  🙂

 

P.S. I love the Niloufer collection of Tanishq.  Why do they make everything so pretty! 😉

Fight your Monday Blues

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“It is this stupid Monday again!!” Said Nidhi, my best friend, while on the way to office.

I replied softly, “Yeah”

And then she started talking about how she hates going to this office since her boss is really bossy (tell me something new!) and how she monitors every minute Nidhi spends in her office. If the lunch break is stretched by even 5 minutes, Nidhi gets to hear some taunting or heavy looks as she enters the bay area. While she was telling me all this, I was still struggling with my weekend hangover and trying to think that it was the same stories she told me on the last ride as well.

I interrupted her and asked “So what do you plan to do with it?”

Nidhi replies “What can I do yar, she is like this only.  I really want to leave this shitty job, but can’t find time to hunt for another job.  This weekend was also gone like that, we had a wedding function and then met some friends”

By that time, we had reached my office, she dropped me and drove to hers and my train of thoughts started to run.

 

Another week is here and we are back in office.  I am still recovering from weekend hangover, trying to cope with the Monday routine.  What different is this week than the past three weeks.  Well, let’s see. Nothing seems to be different actually.  It is the same office, same boss, and same work. We are the same, some happy with their jobs, some not quite.  There is always someone in your office always cribbing about the bad bosses, bad colleagues or annoying office HR policies.  Nothing is different, but then the question arises, who actually makes your week different. Is your boss or colleagues have the responsibility to change your week?  Do you rely on others to make changes in your work life or wait for things to change automatically for your sake?  But why would someone else be actually bothered to change what you don’t like?  If your work is miserable or if it is just fine, who can make it better? No one other than you!  If you cannot do it, no one else will. So if you are waiting for someone else to change your routine or your job or your whole experience to bring some good changes in your life, then let me tell you lady, it is only you who could do it.  Only you could decide whether you want to deal with your boss to get ahead in your career or compete with your superiors to get that promotion.  If your job sucks, it is only you who has to hunt for a new opportunity. So choice is yours. What do you want to change and how you want to change?  Just figure out these two questions and your life will change for good.  Take the first step, a really small, tiny step towards your idea of happiness and it might become your biggest one.

 

Credits – Image

Ki & Ka – Role Reversal

Ki&Ka

After quite a wait, this movie is finally out – ‘Ki & Ka’. The movie is about a young couple, an ambitious woman who is working in corporate and doing fantastic in her career and the man who idolizes his mother as an excellent homemaker and wishes to settle as a home maker himself. Though the movie is said to be not a revolution or not giving out any message, but it has definitely raised a topic – Role Reversal.   How easy is it and is it actually feasible?

Well, I myself know of a few couples where wife is the lead as a bread earner for the family and husband is more focused on taking care of family. But the point is that these examples are very very few and limited to urban cities only. The reasons are many and solutions are a few.

The responsibilities for both genders were defined in the old ages as men were supposed to take care of finances and all the ‘outdoor’ responsibilities and women were expected to take care of ‘indoor’ duties. Now since women have been walking shoulder to shoulder with men and are earning equal or even more than their partners, it is still expected from the woman of the house to ensure that everyone in family eats properly. In most families, men after coming from office sit and wait for tea/coffee and then dinner while watching News. The most they will do is either get groceries or play with kids for some time, but even then when kids need some work to be done, they are pushed towards the mother. On the other hand, women after coming from office enter into kitchen and start preparing for food, coordinate with maids and take care of household chores. Many husbands do help and support in the household, but ultimately it is the woman’s responsibility to ensure that everything is done. Woman struggles and waits for the day to end, knowing that the next day is going to be same. It is not exactly every family’s case, but will I be wrong if I say that it would be almost 80-85% of the working class routine. I am sure that if you think of the working couples around you, you will agree with me.

I am not trying to raise a gender fight here. It is not completely men’s fault. The responsibilities were initially divided like this only and they have grown up watching the same. Now equation is changing slowly and couples are dividing the roles, however the society and family plays a big role in this too. We are struggling with doing equal homework after doing equal office work. What about if we think of doing the role reversal, the man takes care of house and woman goes to office for earning. How will everyone around cope with this. I am sure that it is going to be a serious question on male’s macho hood and female’s responsibility towards home. However it needs to be understood that it is a personal choice of a couple, infact an individual. If one person is comfortable in staying at home and other person is comfortable in being the earning member of family, no one else is authorized to interfere with this arrangement. For example, PepsiCo CEO is a female, Indra Nooyi and her husband is a homemaker. World is changing and so is everyone’s role. It is better for everyone if we break stereotypes and get ahead of the social barriers. There are Alpha Females and there are males who can handle household extremely well. It is certainly not a matter about who does what, instead who performs which part well so that the life becomes a happy and beautiful journey. 🙂