Life After A #CareerBreak For Mothers, Need Not Be Difficult
We all have our aspirations in place and elaborate plans to make it come true. But, what is it about motherhood that makes women prepare themselves mentally for a break in their careers? Apart from the biological reasons, why is it that women have to stay back to look after their newborns while the fathers are allowed to go about their work without taking any break for the same? Rajashree Das Purkayastha, a work from home professional writer, shares her story of this very much prevalent struggle that every woman goes through once she becomes a mother, but it is seldom acknowledged. Here's her story...
Born and raised in Assam, I was educated in a convent school. With the support of my parents who have always been a source of inspiration for me, I soon completed my Honours degree in Zoology and then went on to pursue a Masters in Biotechnology. Post-marriage, I moved to Pune and began to seek a job opportunity in my field. However, something just didn’t click. I did not feel passionate about my work. I felt a strong urge to pursue something different.
Rajashree with her father
I’m a voracious reader who has a flair for writing poems. My friends and acquaintances then encouraged me to explore writing, professionally. After much deliberation, I decided to set my words free from the pages of my diary and even managed to get published as a guest writer, a few times, and won a poetry contest too.
I was now in a dilemma, with my qualifications pulling me in one direction and my inherent artistic nature in another. I had no idea where to go.
Amidst all this chaos I decided to spend some time in my special place, a holy shrine in Pune, one that I’d frequent to find some solace. I recognize myself as a spiritual being. More than anything else, I believe in my intuition. This very intuition directed me to seek help from Sairee Chahal, Founder/CEO of SHEROES. I had no idea how to contact her, except via Twitter. I messaged her on Twitter and as luck would have it, Sairee responded to the Twitter message and connected me with Monica Majithia, Helpline counsellor - AskSHEROES!
Monica's selfless counselling helped me to take the path which I would have never thought of opting for. I can recall how Monica responded to every call or message of mine and was always patient and kind in her attitude. She made me realize that with my scientific background and artistic talent, I can be very analytical and creative at the same time, so I should pursue writing as my career. Till now writing was my hobby; after this conversation, I decided to take this up as my profession too.
Soon enough, I was hired by CRB Tech Solutions, Pune as a Content Writer. The workplace environment was excellent and I had a very supportive and friendly team. Getting an opportunity as per my expectations, after a sabbatical, was like a breath of fresh air.
Things, however, took a turn once again, when within two months of securing a job, I had to relocate to Kolkata. My company, that did not have a work from home policy otherwise, decided to bend its rules for me and allowed me to work remotely! As a result of my excellent work and determination, I moved to Kolkata with a job in hand.
Rajashree with her family
I must admit that ‘work from home’ is not an easy task. Whether I am working at an office desk or from home, being a working mom, I have to balance both. To create a balance you need a strict schedule, share your chores, take advantage of technology, including some ‘me time’ and daily exercise. The ‘me time’ might sound selfish to many but it will make you more balanced as well as less resentful of all the sacrifices you have to make.
In the future, I hope to kickstart an initiative to convince more companies to start their own crèche in their premises. Some companies have this facility but if it increases, then many women, especially mothers, can do a job, get away from depression and contribute towards the success and development of the nation. A girl, even a married woman also finds a way to do a job, but mothers get stuck at home with the thought that who would look after their children. And the moment their little ones start going to schools, these women get the tag of being on a sabbatical. Many families don’t advocate the idea of keeping their kids in private day care centres and hence, an unwilling mom has to stay back and can’t pursue her dreams.
I want to be in the league of women who create a niche for themselves and also pull along a mass of other women while moving forward.
*You can reach out to Rajashree at her Insta handle @defiantsunflower.
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S*****Today is my first day in SHEROES,. And sooooooooo happy to read your experience on this wonderful day. Thanks a lot for sharing your story and indeed a great inspiration. I could relate all that you have told here as my life is also running on similar lines. Kudos and best wishes Rajashree.
P*****My story is similar to yours,luv your spirit.