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Back to Work

A few years ago, when Nitin, my youngest, joined the nursery school, I was looking forward to having a few hours to myself during the day.  It's not that I want my kids out of the house, but I had this urge to do something interesting with my time.  Something that would give me a little space and an identity of my own.  It's lovely being a wife and a mother, but it is as if your real self goes underground.  Where I live people know me as someone's wife, mother or daughter-in-law.  They don't know me....

Ms. Agarwal, the principal of the nursery school (if you could call her that - there was a maximum of forty students in the school) was delighted to see me.  She'd already had some of my children  in her school.  As Nitin was my youngest and there were no more kids in at home, she asked me if I would like to  join the school as a teacher.  I thought about it.  The money was very low.  The hours were rather long.  But I hadn't worked in years.  I decided to try it.

Yash, my husband, was totally against it.  The home would suffer, the kids would suffer.  It would be a disaster.  I didn't disagree.  Sure it might not work out.  He told me straight out not to do it.  I told him I wanted to try it.  "I want to try working again," I said.  "If it doesn't work out, I'll leave." I said.  It took a while to calm him down.

So I tried it.  I did it for six months.  And no, it  didn't work out.  I was worn out physically.  I found it difficult to keep up with my cleaning, washing and other housework (such as supervising my childrens' homework).  However, I met new people.  I had some interesting experiences.  They weren't always good, but I'm so glad that I went through this because I learnt a lot.  In about the fifth month, I realised that it couldn't go on and informed the principal.  She asked me to stay until I had completed six months to help her find a replacement. So I did.

After six months was completed, I left.  I became a SAHM (stay at home  mother) again.  I loved it this time. I had more time to relax and pursue my own interests.  I took up reading again and started writing and blogging too.

But I'll always be glad I did it!


  1. Very apt title for the post. You took a break from domestic work and you went back to work.

  2. In some ways the Turkish male mentality is similar to what I think may be the Indian male mentality. In that men consider the female role to be one of staying at home and being responsible for the domestic side of things.
    One thing I made very clear before I married my husband was that I didn't agree with this. OK I wasn't wanting to work necessarily, but I wanted to have the choice. I'm not sure I would have married him if he had wanted to treat me as anything other than equal. He agreed...I have worked outside of the home a fair bit since I moved here...and he (unlike many Turkish males) has taken responsibility for domestic chores too.
    I know it's different for you as you have 4 children...a full-time job in itself...but I just wonder if you will get the urge to work again once they don't take up so much of your time...and whether you will feel you will be prevented from doing so?

  3. Better to find out so you can be sure. I went back to work when my first born was six months. I tried full time, managed part time and cried so much I had to quit after two months. But I know why I quit and no one forced me.

  4. I taught preschool for years and yes, it is exhausting--fun, but oh SO tiring! What a cultural difference in male attitudes! My father (whose father had abandoned him and his mother early on), wanted nothing more than to support his wife and children. It was "honorable" to him. He did not want his wife to "have" to work, because his mother had to support them with no help. My hubby and most young men today in the U.S. expect women to "carry their share" of the burden of supporting a family. Believe me this can lead to resentment! To stay at home and care for the home and children and NOT be respected for it, is not a good feeling!


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