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Back to Work

There was a time when I prided in myself being a workaholic, and all along as I carried that badge with pride, I never imagined I’d take a break from work. Pregnancy and motherhood never crossed my mind. And I definitely didn’t think about them until I discovered I was pregnant (nearly two years back)! I remember telling my then boss about my pregnancy…something for me and for the sake of my career, it was more important for me to know what my boss thought of my pregnancy than my husband!!

Anyways, the story of how things panned out after that is a thing of the past…I took a (well-deserved and highlyenjoyable) break. Then realised a little late in the day that I wasn’t made for a ‘job’. I wanted to have a career, but I wanted to create a job for myself. When I turned a WAHM, entrepreneurship soon followed and I realised the sense of empowerment and satisfaction that comes from it. The joy of being with my son and using my motherhood tag as an entrepreneur made me comfortable and happy.

But the impending need of making up for the loss of bank balance was a bit too much. A year and a half of being a sporadic earner, took a serious toll on our finances and so I didn’t want to wait around to make up for the loss. And so I decided to take up a job that’d give  a new push to my career.

This post for Parentous is about my journey back to work…

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The moment I switch off the ignition and get off my car, I look up at the balcony. On most evenings, unless he is sleeping or is playing with his Daddy (who usually gets home before me) I find V with his nanny, waiting for me at the balcony.

I wave at him. He points his baby finger at me and gives me that adorable dimpled smile that makes me forget everything. I climb up the stairs, off load my bag and lunchbox, open my arms for V to come to me. Every day, V rushes in giving me a warm, light hug. Every day this is our exercise when I get back home. Except yesterday when it wasn’t all the same.

Like every other day, I found V waiting for me at the balcony. I looked up to him and waved. He didn’t smile back. When I reached him I saw him in his outing sandals… all booted ready to go out. “He insisted I change my sandals too,” said his nanny. I looked down at her feet. Yes, she was ready to go out too.

“Where do you think you’re going, little man?” I asked V.

You can read the rest of the post at Parentous.

Are you a mother who’s had to leave your baby at home? How does that make you feel? How do you deal with it? 

Do you think flexihours and the facility to work-from-home would make you a better employee and mother? 

Write to me and share your thoughts.

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Where is Appa?

One of our favourite games is, “Where is Appa?” now why Appa you’d ask? It’s not really a part of a Bengali’s vocabulary! Well, there’s a story behind it.

One of the first films that I missed watching in the theatres after V’s birth was Ra.One. When months later I saw it on Tata Sky I realised that I was never the target audience! It doesn’t matter what I thought about the film because that’s not the point here, what is that we took back a few things from the film. One of them was the name that young Prateik called his father, Appa…we loved it so much this A started calling himself Appa. So, “come to Appa”,”Appa will play with V”, “Appa will carry V”‘ “Appa will put V to sleep”…that’s how it began. V was then of course too young (just about 3 months) to understand who’s Appa, but then it was sheer fun for us. Especially since A had been away from his boy for so long that I really indulged his paternal love. A few weeks later, when V and I came to Delhi that’s when the Skype sessions began with the grandparents back in Jamshedpur. As V was growing up, a month at a time he was becoming more active. He could sit up gradually and the Skype sessions we truly fun!

In May however, V and I left Appa behind in Delhi once again when we returned to Jamshedpur to nurse V’s Mama. The Skype sessions were on, but this time it was Appa on the other side of the computer. For almost two months , V and his Appa met over Skype. V learnt to crawl, his first set of pearlies sprouted, he ate big meals that included fish and chicken, he learnt to play in the tub, bang his toys and get off the bed. V showed off everything to his Appa on Skype, and perhaps for him at that time Appa was the man he saw in the computer.

Back in Delhi I still ask him, “Baby, where is Appa?” The poor thing looks at the picture of his father and me on the wall and points at his father! One would think that this is perhaps because he spends most of his day with his mother, but but, no…his Appa continues to be in a picture on the wall even when his father asks him, “Vihaan, where is Appa?”

There is something endearing in the word Appa, and for the time being if Appa doesn’t really mind that, perhaps V can really call him that once he grows up.

As a child, I had a father who was notorious for going out on business tours. I describe them as notorious because he would tell Maa that he’d be back in 3 days, but he’d return after 3 weeks! Those were the days of poor connectivity, no phones, mobiles, pagers, FB, Twitter…Maa had no way to find out where was Baba. That was also the time when I had grown used to saying, “I have two fathers!” How, if I was asked, I’d point at my father’s picture and say, “One in the picture and the other one who has gone out for work!”

I think there is something I really passed on in my genes…

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