«

»

Aug 26 2013

Return to work – the gut feel test!

Indian Working women - return to work the gut feel test

Photo Courtesy Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

Recently a friend called up to help her in deciding when she should return to work after her second child. We talked for a long time discussing all pros and cons – only for her to hang up abruptly feeling even more overwhelmed.

There are some wordly feasibility factors one can consider to evaluate the readiness to return to work after baby.

Though the confusion is profound and the break can be for any reason, invariably there will be either a strong personal inclination to return to work or to take a break for more time. Somewhere deep down the decision is already taken! One keeps on talking to other people till the same point of view is asserted by others.

Why not take into consideration this deepest desire first? – whether you urge to join back now or not so soon. That is what matters above all. This is far more important than what others feel you should do.

 
I can think of 3 possibilities when it comes to having strong personal preference - 

You want to join back

Take into consideration this deepest desire first – whether you urge to join back now or not so soon. That is what matters above all.

You may know for sure that you want to join back. It can be a strong internal preference or some pressing personal need like financial needs.

You may still have issues bothering you. Evaluate all your personal constraints and concerns.

If you want to join back but are not sure about the current childcare provider, explore and evaluate more options. Take your child along. Observe where s/he is more comfortable.

If you want to join back but are not sure about your parent’s whole day medicine routine, try setting reminders. See if colour coding the tablets helps them better. If you want to join back but not sure if your spouse’s onsite stay may get extended, try wait and watch for some days. Update the CV or brush up skills meanwhile.

Think. Try. Explore. Find workable solutions to all the concerns you feel even if you are just thinking of joining back. Remember to give considerable time for all these during your break. For example trying a new cook for a week before returning to work is one thing, trying a nanny for just a week is a sure no-no.

Always remind yourself that you are not a bad wife/mother/caretaker just because you want to return to work in spite of the constraints at personal level. There is nothing wrong in yearning to join back.

Always remind yourself that you are not a bad wife/mother/caretaker just because you want to return to work in spite of the constraints at personal level. There is nothing wrong in yearning to join back.

You are not yet ready

Your inclination may be of extending the break and not returning to work as yet. No two individuals are same and what worked for another colleague at office may not work for you.

The strong wish to extend the break or stay at home till any further point in time may arise due to several reasons.

You may have felt very overwhelmed by current situation or may not have essential support system or it may simply be the case that as of now the personal commitments matter more to you. It is okay to feel that way. It is okay to have priorities that are different than others. Whatever may be your reason, take it easy on yourself. Resist the need to compare yourself with others.

You are still not sure

Just because many women feel confused most of the time about returning to work does not mean many fall into this category.  It is not so. Actually it is easier to figure out the strong preference than to actually stand by your decision.

We often go through same repetitions of thoughts, same considerations only to increase the confusion. So if you are unsure – try it out! Return to work and observe. Take stock after 6 months or a year. Decide the time frame upfront when you will re-evaluate what you want to do going ahead.

After staying home for a year when my child was born, one day I went to office to check on any part time opportunity. Some lady coworkers expressed shock over what I was asking for. “You have lost one year pay already and now you come looking for part time so you will lose half pay for yet some more time!” I was quite taken aback by this comment. I could not look only at money. Not even a week’s time to this incident, some stay-at-home friends talked and talked about how they stopped working after childbirth. They had strong views about staying at home once you are a mom which I could not connect with. It only increased my guilt feeling further.

When I did meet my top boss to discuss the part time opportunity, it was a discussion worth having. He could not promise part time work as it was recession period but gave me a lot of confidence. He suggested I join back and take one day at a time. See how my child copes with it. Needless to say my kid coped well!

So just try it out. Sometimes some concerns plain disappear when the routine sets properly. You would not know until you have tried.

“Listen to your being. It is continuously giving you hints; it is a still, small voice. It does not shout at you, that is true. And if you are a little silent you will start feeling your way. Be the person you are. Never try to be another.” – Osho

 

Whatever you decide after taking into account the finance, support and overall feasibility aspectsrespect your decision. Be peaceful with it. You will continue to meet people telling you otherwise. Asking your reasons and giving unsolicited advice. Thank them politely for their concern. Remember ultimately it’s you who has to live through it.

 

Please share your thoughts and experiences if you have been through a similar dilemma. Did you go by your gut feel and things work out? What else did work for you?
 

Leave a Reply