Shweta V

The Working Mother

Shweta, like most mothers, was rather unsure of herself when she first decided to re-enter the workforce after giving birth. But her insecurities then, have now evolved into beautiful learnings that perfectly encapsulate her journey, or should we say "adventure". Here is the story of a woman who went from losing her identity after becoming a mother, to regaining it and how!

In the past few years, finding a job has been rather tough for a lot of people. But for mums returning to the workforce after a career break, this challenge can seem almost insurmountable. Not only do they often feel the need to compete with younger aspirants who are fresh out of their last high-flying positions, but also experience low self-confidence from their time away from the industry.

This is the story of how I, Shweta, a mother, returned to work with a strong will and conflicted emotions. This is the story of my uphill battle, and of how I made up my mind to stay strong throughout my transition. And also that of my key learnings from the journey back to being a working woman...

"Understanding And Accepting"

I had never given much thought to women returning to work post-motherhood before - it seemed like such a normal thing to do. This was before my daughter was born, of course. And I had never imagined how different the reality of it was. After giving birth, for the first time in my life I had doubts about whether I could pull off being a working mom. My infant seemed to need me a lot, and in a short span of time, she had managed to tug at my heart in a way that no one else could!

Setting up childcare was the most essential part of my transition. I started preparing a month in advance, shortlisted her crèche, and even opted for a trial with them for a week. I realised what a worrier I had turned into overnight, concerned about my child's well-being. It is true, becoming a mom is a life-altering event. You are never the same person after it. And though I can't say I have it all sorted now, I have definitely made progress in the right direction. I've learnt that everything worth having needs time and effort - prepare for it; accept it.

"Staying Connected And Building My Skills"

I found a mentor during my break from work. A mentor that kept me updated on the market trends and technology. I had figured out how to utilise my break to prepare a skill that would help me when I return to work.

"Being Flexible And Asking For Support"

There have been days when I have had to dedicate a lot of my time to my infant than I had anticipated, and then there have been days where work took precedence. Some days, nothing seemed to work! It took a lot of understanding and support from people - I had to discuss my work schedule with my employer, taking into consideration travel time and unplanned time offs. This was a tough time - but like they say, this too shall pass. I leaned on my family, friends, and other moms, and this helped me get some much needed relief. Things don't always go as planned, and I had learnt to ask for help.

"Relieving Myself From Being Superwoman"

I had my days all planned out. I packed in so much into each day that by the time I was back to work, I was already fatigued. That is when I let go off the Super Woman crown I had put on myself. Prioritising the tasks I wanted to accomplish and leaving out things that didn't make a huge difference in the long run helped me feel much lighter and happier. Ridding myself of my own ultra-high expectations helped me in letting go of the small stuff, and allowed me to focus on things that matter. I was no longer running around ticking off a checklist of mundane chores.

"Staying Connected And Building My Skills"

I found a mentor during my break from work. A mentor that kept me updated on the market trends and technology. I had figured out how to utilise my break to prepare a skill that would help me when I return to work.

"Making Myself A Priority Too"

One thing appears to be a common trait in new mothers including myself is the feeling of losing oneself. In trying to cater to the evolving needs of my baby, I found myself becoming a mere shadow of my previous self. I didn't have the energy to do anything that I loved doing previously, and this in turn made me feel glum and tired. Though motherhood did change me in a big way for the better, like it does to most women - it made me stronger, kinder, and a better person.

My not feeling so great about myself, and not caring for my personal well-being seemed to be taking a toll on my baby too. And so, I decided to stop worrying and start getting enough sleep, rest, and healthy food. I decided to make time for doing fun things and activities, not just to amuse my little one, but also to enjoy myself.
It seems to have worked so far, because the giggles and smiles are intact! Making time for fun did wonders to lift my spirits.

"Making My Presence Matter"

I have realised that being a working mom means that I will never truly have enough time for anything. There's always going to be the next thing to rush to. Knowing that I'm not around my daughter 24x7 has made me value the time I have with her all the more.

It is amazing how much activity goes on in my average day now. I never knew I was capable of doing so much. What my biggest realisation that I carry with me forth is that I have to make my time matter. I have to give my 100% to whatever task is at hand. Not worry about the future, rather live in the moment.

I saw my self-confidence slowly walking in my direction. With this battle, I have built a raft of skills as a parent, which have not only proven to be useful in my personal life, but also in my workplace. Time management, communication skills, and maturity are just a couple of these strings added to my bow. With all this put into practice, I was able to revive my career with a BANG!

I have a dream to further my education in correspondence to my work. With all the experience I have picked up, I am confident that I am capable of achieving these dreams too with a BANG!


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