Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Journey back to HOME!

Most of the problems that today’s youth in western countries facing is due to the fact that their moms had very little time to spend with them. Parents of these teenagers; who are now in their 40’s & 50’s; migrated to these countries with golden dreams in their hearts but with absolutely nothing in their hands except their hard-earned professional degrees. They put them to good use by getting into professions. But how about the most noble profession called ‘mothering’. Most of the Sikh mothers, I know of, are working mothers. As much as they want to, they can’t afford to leave their jobs, their children spend 40-50 hours a week in child-care or with baby-sitters, who can’t replace a mother’s role in a child’s life. The cost of quitting is probably too high for those who are first generation abroad and do not want to be financial burden on their children in their old age. More than often, guilt - that insidious snake - likes to slither up the backs of such moms who want to be home full-time, but who are still unable to make that move.

I think, we, moms, should cut ourselves some slack. Sure, becoming a full-time, at-home mom is a worthy and admirable goal. Rare are the women who decide today that they want to be home, and tomorrow find themselves there. But for many women who want to achieve that goal, it definitely takes planning; in other words ‘time’. There are bills to be paid before it can actually happen. Committing financial suicide by quitting a job without first planning for the transition helps no one, including the child.

So what can a mom do in the meantime? You do the very best you can with the situation you're in. I would like to urge moms to honor their own personal calling too while aspiring to be their ‘ kid’s mom’. Even though every mother yearns for more time with her children, not every woman is comfortable with the idea of being a full-time, at-home parent. For many, holding a part-time position offers them a perfect balance of work and family. And when mom's commitment to work is cut in half like that, and she uses her expanded time to nurture her children, it's amazing how much peace can enter that household. If finances are not the problem; but your ‘sense of security’ is or ‘fear of unknown’ is – take ‘leave of absence’ from work and enjoy the paradise at home for some time before you turn that ‘letter of resignation’ in. If circumstances won't allow you to quit work all at once, aim at going part-time. Does even going half-time sound like impossibility? Keep looking at that schedule. Where can you cut? Can you work four days instead of five? Thirty hours instead of forty? How about a straight forty-hour week, instead of regularly sticking around for overtime?

Think about a child's reaction if his/her parent was able to shear even five hours a week off their work schedule, then spend that entire five hours with him/her. Most kids would be bouncing on the beds and tumbling across the floor with joy!

So as you work toward your goal of spending more time with your family, don't let that guilty snake strangle you into depression, thinking about lost years. Instead, focus on the time that lies ahead, and enjoy the small steps in your journey HOME!


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