#Mumswithoutbabysitters: Bharti Agrawal shares her story
My name is Bharti Agrawal I live in Vadodara, Gujarat, and I am a mother to a nine-year-old daughter. My Husband Nilesh Agrawal and I named her Mahi. She is a very responsible and sweet child, who understands that her mother needs to go to office, just like her father.
I got married in 2006, I had been a working woman since my college days and I continued my job after marriage. I only quit when I was eight months pregnant, and then took a break to bring up my baby, for one year. When my daughter turned one, I started my new job as an office administrator. I was still feeding my daughter when I started my new job.
I told my boss that I won’t accept my appointment letter till I was sure that my child would manage without me for the whole day.
I was surprised that my boss agreed and told me to go to home for an hour to feed the baby. I did that for the next 10 days, slowly going later by an hour, to feed my daughter. My mother-in-law took care of Mahi when I was away. The baby adjusted to my schedule, was weaned, and I accepted my appointment letter.
Those 10 days were really very painful for me too, as I had never left Mahi’s side for a year. I took care of my daughter’s morning routine, cooked food for all the seven members of my family, did all the housekeeping work before going to office at 9.30 am. In the evening, I came back from work, cooked dinner and cleaned utensils, did housework till late at night. Everyday was a very tiring one. However, I needed to start working as our financial condition were not good.
I am still in touch with that boss, he’s like a godfather for me. He appointed me, and I restarted my career after my year-long maternity break. I am obliged to sir for my whole life. All my colleagues were also very supportive, and we are still in touch.
I think such flexi-hour opportunity and comfort must be given by every company to their employees who are new mothers.
This increases our enthusiasm. In turn, we give our best in terms of dedication and hard-work to the company. I changed my job after two years. The new office was 40 kms from the city and added a 30 minute travel time each way. Now, I get up at 5 am complete my house work, get my daughter ready for school, and leave for work. I return by 7 pm and resume my housework, help my daughter with her homework and projects. I sleep by midnight.
A Working Mother’s Daughter Learns To Be Responsible Too
My daughter is very sweet, she understand that her mother is working and nicely stays at home with my mother-in-law. Mahi gets ready herself, and makes sure her grandmother takes her medicines on time. She massages her dadi’s head if it hurts, goes everywhere with my in-laws and ‘guides’ them as if she is their parent! This makes me feel proud of being her mother. We wanted to have a second child but did not as we were not financially stable. We don't want our babies to struggle in life. Sometimes, I feel bad why life seems this way. But then I think of my family the tension goes away.
I thank god for giving me a supportive family
I am the eldest of four, and my parents sent us all to an English-medium school. My father was doing a job and to help him, my mother who is not very educated started going house-to-house selling household supplies. She used to complete her housework and start her sales at 10 am till 6pm. I love dancing but couldn't learn it as my parents could not afford classes. It was my dream to make my daughter learn classical dance. She started learning when she was just four years old. My husband and I take turns to take her to Bharatnatyam classes at from 6:30 pm, twice a week. We have rarely missed a class.
I am proud to be a working woman. I complete all my work and household responsibilities. Today my daughter is nine years old, and our life is going on as usual, nicely.
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