Should Renuka Get Back to Work?
Renuka has been thinking of getting back to work for quite a while. She started applying for jobs on portals and using her own networks after her son turned six months. Now Vishal is an active nine-month-old and she finally lands an interview…
“Mom, I need a favor… can you stay with Vishal for half a day? I have to go out..”
Before Renuka had finished her sentence, her mom replied with the unreserved affection that is showered on grandchildren
“Beti, yes, of course… I would love to spend time with my grandson! You go out, enjoy yourself I will take care of him…”
Renuka was happy. One problem solved, she thought. Now to concentrate on reading up for that interview. She wished she could get her husband to take care of her nine-month-old, but then he himself comes home late and dead-beat. No choice but to put Vishal to sleep and read up…
The next morning, Renuka’s father dropped her mother at her place much earlier than expected. “All set for a day out with your friends?” her mother asked.
“Er… mom, no, I am going for a job interview. My first one after this little darling came out!” Renuka said gleefully. “I need lots of luck!”
“Renuka… do you… oh I didn’t know…” her mother hesitated. “Do you really need to work? I mean, isn’t it too early? Have you thought this through?”
“Yes, mother, why are you asking this?”
“Beta, I am all for women working and all, but your child is so young! I can come for a day or occasionally. Now what if you get the job? I can’t stay here, you know that…”
“Yes, mother, in case I do get the job, we will put him in a crèche. We’ve done our research and have a final shortlist. Don’t worry, ma.”
“Creche! My grandson will go to a crèche? What are you saying? Some other maid will take care of him and feed him?” Now Renuka’s mother was very upset and visibly so.
The color drained from Renuka’s face, as her mother lectured her on the joys, responsibilities and duties of motherhood, and how her infant child was her first responsibility. The morning’s enthusiasm waned and the tiredness because of her sleepless night resurfaced. Her mother went on.
Renuka managed to leave for the interview, but her mother’s conversation kept playing on her mind all through the drive to the office. By the time she sat across the table for the interview, she was in an emotional mess. Anger at her mother, her own guilt, the niggling feeling that her mother was right – she went through the motions of the interview.
What do you think Renuka should do now? How does one react to opposition in one’s own family? Should she take the job if she gets the offer? Or should she wait for a few more months?