#Mumswithoutbabysitters: Isha Rathnam Shares Her Story
I am a lawyer by profession, and have always worked as an in-house counsel. When I had my first baby in 2012 and resumed work after a seven-month maternity leave, I spent two months slogging the backlog accumulated due to being the firm short-staffed. I was miserable going to the office after the maternity leave, and my heart broke each day, when I had to leave my cherubic six-month-old daughter for so many hours.
It’s almost as if God heard me, and the company laid me off with a severance package. It was the best thing that could happen to me, because the reason for the lay-off was not a reflection on my credibility as worker; it was because the company was downsizing.
For the first time in seven years, I was offered a break on a platter. Well, I took what was on the platter (that is, my severance package), but didn’t decide to break off from work. I decided to consult independently and got a couple of big names to sustain my career growth as a media broadcast lawyer. At the same time, I could be around the love of my life while she wobbled to take her first step as a one-year-old.
Yes, maybe there were other peers who jumped the ladder much faster and got paid much more than what I was managing in those two years as a consultant, but I can safely say that I would not trade being with her for any big position or money.
I resumed a full-time role in 2014 and conceived by second baby in 2015. I worked right until my delivery, and then decided to leave the organisation in mid-2016. Since then, I have the flexibility to work from home and take on clients for a startup law firm.
I can proudly say I am happy I was around to see my babies grow, and at the same time I have worked hard to not lose out on a career which I have painstakingly built. I head the Mumbai practice of my law firm.
I may not be earning as much as my peers who have full time jobs, but I am in for the marathon, not the 100 m dash!
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