Prior to Dede’s arrival, my game plan was to take a 12-week maternity leave and go back to work on part-time. My job allowed me to work from home after 12 weeks for an additional 36 weeks. My husband and I thought it was the best decision to do it all without help. I did well for the first 12 weeks. The aroma of the house was all in babyhood.
After 12 weeks, I resumed my part-time work and had to juggle with parenting. It wasn't easy caring for a new born baby, doing house chores, and preparing meals in between and yet meeting office deadlines. I had a feeling I was biting off more than I could chew. I knew my plan had to be revised but I figured it was worth a shot for another month. But I managed to pull off roughly on the 2nd month of resuming work, after which I concluded that I needed help. It was an expensive call. I arranged for a daily house-help who came in the morning at 9 am and left at 2 pm, all to conserve cost.
After six months, my husband and I calculated the cost of childcare and agreed we would be handing over all our paycheck to whomever we entrusted our son to while I worked. It was a long night of discussion and punching of calculator, but we both resolved I stayed home another six-months or more.
Back at work, I am loosing out on a few great steps. Because I am not physically present, I have to be updated on meetings, I cannot not attend. I am obliged to agree to decisions that I have already been made or nearly concluded. I am excluded from trainings and field trips by default. It was all categorized under work hazard and that meant less pay in some sense. In six months, I am coming to realize that my junior colleagues would catch up to my position and my own colleagues would leave me behind. I am growing very dissatisfied. And just before, I forget to mention, I serve as one of the leading Interior Decorator for a world class company.
Much more, my understanding husband is beginning to climb my irritating wall. He occasionally make statements like, hope you are not bored at home. Does he know, how the calendar of work run on my day? He has stopped empathizing and helping with house chores. Shey, you are at home, he would say jokingly.
Everyday, I get that feeling that once he is back from work, I need to run the tub, unpack his bags and run around like a fetish old woman on sail. I hate hearing the sound of 'what have you be doing since morning', 'you haven't done the laundry', 'my clothes are yet to be ironed', 'why is the food not ready?', 'why is he not asleep by this time?'. I feel like a useless house help.
Sometimes, I feel defensive when people ask when I am returning back to work or If I would prefer to be a stay at home mom. How could they think so little of me, I ponder defensively. People sometimes make that running joke that my stay at home was office bonus. All I just need to do was turn in a report or two a day while I watch my favorite Oprah and munch dozens of chocolate and ice creams. Is that how they envision my days are like? Now, I am feeling slightly guilty for not financially contributing to our family and the little I am making, I am handing it over to our house-help. Although, I know that I am contributing in other ways, I now know firsthand, that tide has changed for me.
It is really hard been a stay-home mom and trying to keep up to my career rope. I do need advice and encouragement before I throw in the towel and loose my brain.