The day I became a grandmother will be etched in my mind forever- little Dhruv kicked his way into the world after a gruelling 12 hours of labour. I was really angry about this long labour and the agony my daughter was going through but then I heard his wailing and caught a first glimpse of the little bundle of joy- my heart did a somersault and time stood still.
Nysa had a baby just a year after they completed their first year of marriage. While it was considered perfectly normal to have babies after a year of marriage in the past, most people were puzzled and also found it stupid that an intelligent, independent woman would decide to have a baby and tie her legs so soon.
“She is just 29, they have completed a year of marriage, whats the hurry?”
“She isn’t even settled in her career. She hasn’t yet realised the mess she has gotten herself into.”
This is a part of feminism that I absolutely hate. I shouldn’t really be calling it feminism for its a misconstrued version. Feminism is all about being empowered to make choices which you deem fit and not be judged for them. A woman may decide to have a child early, another may decide to have it late while a 3rd may decide she wants to be childless. There is no right or wrong. But some women and men think its all about “empowerment” and this term is viewed in a very narrow way by them. Having a child early curbs the woman’s freedom as she needs to handle dual responsibilities- this for them is tying a woman down by patriarchy.
Having a child early was the joint decision of Arjun and Nysa and for me thats a choice we all need to respect. Period.
My days are now full of baby poop, burping, lullabies and milk. I had taken a month long leave from work but I have to resume now. I know Nysa plans to get back to work after her maternity leave ends and we are in a dilemma. We do not want to leave baby Dhruv with a nanny or at a day care especially when he is so young. None of us feel comfortable with it. But giving up our jobs doesn’t seem like a viable option either.
I decide to take up Flexi work for a year. Being in an organisation which supports flexibility not just for moms but caregivers as well, I am able to negotiate a deal for 6 months. I end my day early and can look after baby Dhruv after 3. Once his parents are back from work, I login again for 2 hours. It works well for everyone. I do hope more organisations can create such smart work solutions for their employees and not restrict it to mothers alone. Only then can they truly reap the benefits of diversity at the the workplace and go beyond mere statistics into something thats more meaningful and impactful.
I hear a wailing noise, looks like Dhruv is up again. Time for a nappy change.
Linking up with #BlogchatterA2ZChallenge -Letter V
My theme for the challenge is
“A slice of life through Myra’s eyes” – a fictional tale of growing up and learning some vital lessons about self love, feminism, sisterhood, a working woman and the essence of being a woman in urban India.
Image courtesy- 123rf.com