Catch – 22

Sometimes, life enacts really confusing, and when you are a parent this perplexity or dilemma increases manifold. Every parent wants to provide the finest possible upbringing to their child. In my pre-mommyhood days I always loved to explore different options in my life. But now my every move is connected to the fact that my child’s life & future is dependent on my decisions.

Catch 22

 

This is turning out to be a catchy situation. I worked for six long years before my daughter was born and then left my job to be a SAHM. I had been a workaholic who willingly spent extra hours in her job. Now, after a sabbatical of almost 1.5 years I am planning to start working again. Till this time I had thought of leaving my job to be a full-time mom was the toughest decision in my life but this phase is turning out to be more challenging than the previous one.

My reasons to join back work are very simple. We cannot deny that ‘money’ plays a pivotal role in today’s life. Even for a decent rearing of children we need the throttle of money. My second reason is quite selfish one. I had already taken a break of more than 18 months and elongating this period might affect my career graph.

The tug-o war of contrasting thoughts is getting intense in my mind day by day. A part of me does not want to leave the toddler in the hands of daycare or crèche while the other part is constantly scanning for reassurances in other working mother’s blogs & articles. My heart squirms with anxiety with the thought of letting my child venture in this bad world on her own.

Every time I come across any news of child abuse, I get drenched in mommy guilt. It is somewhat like playing game of snakes & ladders where you move a bit forward and roll back again from where you started. Every day I frantically search for good daycare in my vicinity and has already visited & rejected few who failed to meet up to my expectations.  I already hired a full-time maid who can take care of all household chores so that I can devote all my quality time with my daughter. However, still the strings of various thoughts keeps on getting entangled with each other. My mind oscillates between inane details like how can daycare attendants handle such a hyperactive toddler whom we keep under watch 24×7 or what if she throws her ‘terrible tantrums’ there.

I am sure similar parenting dilemmas must have been faced by most the working parents. I have to let my daughter move into the outer world soon and I can’t always hover around her. But then when I think what my baby would feel when I would leave her in the daycare for the whole day, I writhe in pain. Am I being selfish or am I being too protective?

Somebody rightly said that ‘Having a child is to let a piece of your heart roam outside your body’.

Nibedita Bose is an ex-Team Manager and now a SAHM trying to sail through the changes of life. A mother of a 1.5 year old who loves to read & blog.

  • N.B Motherhood (actually I would say Parenthood) comes with all sorts of dilemmas. You got to make so many choices, you do not know what to decide and what to say. I guess I was in the same situation couple of months back (you know about it). One needs to set your priorities right. Just a couple of points which I kept in mind:
    a) I can’t be with my child 24*7 at some time I need to let go… not today then after a couple of months when she starts school
    b) All toddlers are hyper, trust me… and this is going to get worse… a good Daycare will have staff trained and equipped to handle hyperactivity & tantrums… If they can’t they should shut shop.
    c) Tantrums happen more when the kids are in front of their parents. And if tantrums do happen check point B
    d) Think of how independent she would become when you leave her at daycare. She will meet new people, make new friends and have fun.
    Rest it’s upto you and your husband to decide… you guys know whats best for your baby. All the best girl, chin up… you’ve got some tough decisions to make. 🙂

    • Thanks a ton Falak for this wonderful comment. You motivated me so much. It was so comforting.

  • Roshni

    I it is a good daycare, trust me, she will benefit! They have educational programs to keep her engaged and the main benefit is for her to be able to socialize with her age set! At 1.5, most toddlers get bored pretty easily at home…ask me how I know that! 😛

    • So true…she gets bored so easily nowadays. If I had not planned to resume work, I would have surely send her to some activity centre to curb her boredom.

  • You are the best judge as far as your toddler is concerned. Whatever decision you make and are happy with, the toddler will be happy too 🙂 All the best!

    • Thanks Sirisha….I know whatever decision it is, it has to full-heartedly.

  • I had the same dilemma! I too took a break when my daughter was born and went back to work when my daughter was 15 months .. I put her in day care for 3 hrs when she turned 18 months .. and there has been no looking back.

    She loves her school, her friends and her teachers. She learnt a lot of “soft skills” like washing hands properly, eating herself, using dustbin, sleeping by herself early on!

    Its very hard for a couple of months – the guilt and change in routine for everyone in family, but its worth it. Tantrums keeps happening, send her to daycare or not, thats part of growing up! After 2yrs kids just get bored at home!

    • Ohhh Divya…I am feeling so good after reading your comment. That soft skills part is so motivating.

  • Fab

    I know exactly how you feel!! I think the foremost point is to do what you think will work for you and your family. You can of course get suggestions from other parents, and use them to create your own customized routine, but by no means let anyone else make you feel guilty or let some one else’s emotions control your decisions. There are thousands and thousands of Moms out there who feel the same, you’ll find your groove along the way too!!

    • Thanks a ton Fab for this soothing comment. I know I have to get out of this confusion fast 🙂

  • Guilty moms are everywhere …. but the truth is that sometimes, the choice is not easy for the mom. Rest assured, when you find the right daycare (thats a different story!) the child will only learn independence faster.

    • Thanks a lot…even that independence part is quite a driving factor in my decision 🙂

  • It’s natural for a mother to feel guilty when she goes out to work leaving her child at home – but do keep in mind that this is only for a short time. Soon, your child will be going out, independent and not really needing you around all the time. Whether you are working because it is a financial necessity, or because you want to make a career for yourself, or simply because you want to do something with your life and time… in any situation, the important thing to remember is that you are not only a mother, but play other roles as well.

    As long as you are confident that your child is in good hands, and completely sure about her security – whether in a good daycare, or at home with a trustworthy nanny, or with grandparents – you should learn to take time out for yourself as well. Of course, you are going to feel guilty, but make up for that by giving her extra love and time when you get home!

    Kritika Srinivasan
    http://www.parentedge.in

  • Alka

    Dear Nebedita, i have a suggestion and you know that i can empathize with you very well, for obvious reasons. Take some more time may be 3 mths teach your child to be an independent baby and believe you me even at this tender age she can really be, as my younger one is and elder one was. Like you teach her to choose her clothes, wash her hands whenever it is required, not to eat anything that is there on the floor, eat by herself, she can wear her socks and shoes, pants and t- shirts and most importantly if by mistake she shuts herself in a room how to open the door. These are a few basic things which i believe these little ladies catch up very well. And one more important thing winters are here and kids of her age are very fragile, so a good wait and preparation of 3 mths will help you develop confidence and courage to start a new chapter in your life of a working mother. Good Luck and God Bless !

  • Loved your comment Kritika…yeah it becomes so necessary to take out some ‘me time’ even with a hyperactive toddler.
    Thanks a lot for this comforting comment.

  • I can relate to your situation, Nibedita! It’s a tough decision as a mother. But once you find a good day care or a good support system at home for the child, it would be a good going for all of you! All the very best! 🙂