The annoying thing about starting out on your own, soon after you’ve had a baby is that the whole world thinks you’ve taken a break and given up your career to raise the baby.
All my efforts to explain my entrepreneurial efforts are clouded by knowing nods and words to the tune of ‘someone has to sacrifice their career for the baby…’
While they probably mean well, all I hear is the equivalent of the sound when you scrape your nails on a chalkboard.
Now before I’m guilt-shamed into being a horrendous mom, let me try and explain myself. I love my baby, more than any other thing in the world. But that doesn’t suddenly mean that I love myself any less!
Why does it have to be this or that?
I’m not sacrificing my career, intact trying to build a new one from scratch and that takes truckloads of effort… probably a bit more than a regular 9-5. So why does it give the appearance of being easier?
Sure, I now to get manage my time better, which works out perfectly since I have a 7 month old housemate whose childhood I do not want to miss out on. How is it then, that something that gives me the larger freedom to fully embrace my life, is still referred to as a ‘compromise’ or a ‘step back’.
I see tons of women making alternate (not lesser) career choices to manage work and home and it’s just fantastic. Now I won’t argue on the exisitential questions on why women always need to make the change and men don’t. Men do, increasingly now and are partners than pack leaders. But there’s no denying that women are natural pros when it comes to managing both fronts and hey, that’s no mean feat.
Also, working from home (which I’m doing at the moment) is far from being a holiday. Especially if you have no family in the city, no nanny and daycare is yet to start (our current situation). Don’t know what I’m talking about, then let me draw you a picture.
I’m sitting on the floor trying to write when the baby who till a minute ago was playing with his rattle inches towards my laptop and hits 10 separate keys which leads my file to close ‘unexpectedly’and also opens a YouTube video (how did he do that?!!)
Then there’s the day when he gets feverish and I need to send 3 articles and he wants to be carried all day. Need to comply. So work is literally done single handedly.
Never in an office have I had to carry a colleague and make a presentation at the same time. Ever.
So if anyone dares to call my work from home, a ‘break’ again, dare I say the only thing that’ll break, is their neck. (Hmmm.. but I’m passive aggressive so I’ll probably just give them a cold shoulder :))