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‘Why women can’t have it all’ – my take on it.

The post is triggered by a link shared by a blog reader. Thanks for sharing the post with me, friend. It was in response to my post ‘the working woman’.

Well, I would still beg to differ. No, I won’t say that what Anne Marie Slaughter said is wrong. I won’t say that a women doesn’t make any sacrifice to step higher in her career. I think I already mentioned that in my earlier post. But, I would like to ask the society, our human community, are we pointing to the right question?

You say the problem is ‘Women want a career as well as home. They can’t have it all. They are sacrificing family to satiate their ambition.’. I say the problem is ‘ The society still thinks a man’s issues are more important than a woman. The world doesn’t oppress a woman by domestic violence now. This (guilt-of-leaving-family-for-work) is the new way of woman oppression.’ I would like to explain how.

We live in a society where girls are educated and treated equal till the time they are married. Every man wants a wife whose educated well. They want her working so she can support them equally in leading their family. They know it provides a great support in times of distress. If one loses a job, as is common in private sector, the other’s job provides a great mental support. Everything is wonderful till both are working, enjoying the pleasures, the luxuries. Now, comes the time when you plan to extend the family. A child is born and she should be taken care of. It’s a big responsibility. 

Now, the society expects and wants the wife to be accomodating enough to leave her career. They want her to sit at home, be full of ‘mamta’ and give the child all her attention and take care of her demands. Then, when the child starts going to school again and there isn’t much to do at home, she should take up some part-time course or do some distance-learning program and get back to job. After all, how can they take care of their child’s education if they both aren’t working! Now, after a gap of 5 yrs, the woman isn’t as competent as she used to be. She has to work double hard on achieving the same position as she could have, or used to have in her pre-pregnancy days. But, she cannot give those extra hours. After all, she needs to be home on time and take care of her child when she returns from her school. What’s the end result? The woman is forced to do a job she is half-interested in. She knows she can excel at a lot more things if she’s given the opportunity. But, she cannot take those opportunities because she’s a mother. 
She has to suffer her whole life being the incompetent, uncared-for employee who just works for a pay packet, which she needs to support her family. She is not allowed to have a career, a job, a work she truly loves from her heart. Welcome to the new age, new style of women oppression.

Why is the man not Man enough to let go of his big-fat-male-ego and accept the demands of the family equally.
Let me offer an alternative situation. There are two men. Both work as a team. They are given a task of doing their regular full-day jobs and taking care of a small baby. What do you think they will do? They will divide the child’s duties equally amongst themselves and continue to do their routine jobs. If the child needs to be put in a day-care, or a maid needs to be kept for taking care of the child, they wouldn’t mind. It’s just about management. If one of them has a meeting in the evening, the other will step in and take care of the baby while the other is away taking the meeting. 

What is the problem if the two-male team is replaced with a man-woman team? Why is the situation considered any way different? Is it right to expect a woman to live an unfulfilled life just because she’s a woman? Why can’t the man of our society step up and be the real support system he promises to be at the time of marriage? Isn’t it just the ego which comes in your way? What will my Mom say if she sees me working in the kitchen? What will my sister say if she sees me changing my son’s soiled diapers!?

It’s this attitude which needs to change.
And, when the man at home will change, the man at work will change too. When the world will have enough women at the top, it will understand that the family and work are both the needs of the society and the society needs to upgrade its laws and functioning to support both. They need to create a workplace, a society which is open-minded and supportive of the human ways where people work and people reproduce off-springs in the same day.

Ah! Just after posting this post, I read an article by Chetan Bhagat who opines quite similarly to mine. Now, I know two men who agree to my ideology (CB and my husband). The world definitely has hope of survival. 🙂 Check this out.

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The working woman

As I mentioned in my previous posts, I’m in that phase of my life where I’m thinking a lot. I’m thinking whether I should be taking up new challenges in my career or putting career at a side and taking care of my baby. While for some of you, the answer could be a straight ‘Option 1’ or ‘Option 2’, but I know now that it’s never an easy thing to decide for the woman herself.
No matter how much supportive your family is to your work and your familial responsibilities, you don’t want to carry the guilt on your shoulders for the rest of your life that you gave up your family for your career. So, I started inquiring people on how they manage their work and their families. I asked colleagues, I asked my parents (both mine and in-laws), I even asked strangers I met for the first time. 🙂 But, I never got a convincing answer.
In this search, yesterday, I found the stories of the Fortune Most Powerful Women. Reading their stories and reading the ordeals of their lives, I found that they faced the same dilemmas and same decision-making stages in their lives, as I am. I would like to share what I read and what I deduce from all of it. This is for all the girls who will have a child or have a child already, to understand that you don’t have to pick one. You can have both!

Indra Nooyi, the PepsiCo chief says the guilt (of leaving your child) will always be there. Sometimes it’ll be so strong you would feel like a complete failure. Your children and your family would be making sacrifices for your career. But, you just have to learn to deal with it and give your best to whatever you have committed to. In one of her interviews she mentioned how she was supposed to make choco chips for her kids and had forgotten. So, she called her cafeteria and asked them to make some, and make them look like home-made cookies. 🙂 
But, it’s also famous about her  that if any of her kids calls her in between her meetings, she takes the call.

Moral: You will have to find excuses or short-cuts to give your family what they want. You may be missing some of their parent meetings to meet your office deadlines. But, you just keep trying.

Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, says she got the offer of Facebook when she had just delivered her second child. She said it’s important to take new challenges and keep your work meaningful. Else, the point comes when you don’t get the enthu in your work and it all looks pointless to you. Unless you don’t keep achieving in your career, your career will start looking a waste of time to you and you will come to the point where you will quit it. Rather than making it wasteful, make it useful.

In both these incidents, I see some of my problems. Now, I was at the same point where I was not finding myself useful and I didn’t feel like my work was making the impact the way it should. I had come to the point of quitting it all. And ,that’s when Tarun took the control and said that we will go to Bangalore. He’s giving me those new challenges and change of environment I needed to get my career running again.

Moral of the story: For a woman to achieve life long balance, she needs a husband who thinks her career is as important as is his. As Indra Nooyi put it, ‘Chose  the right husband.’
And, then there was the important answer given by Carol Bartz, ex-Yahoo chief. She was asked how does she manage work and family. She said I don’t know how I manage. Basically, I keep juggling them like balls. You catch the one whichever comes at that time. 
So, for all the girls out there, not yet married, I would just give one advice, chose a partner who values your career more than you do. And don’t make career or child as top priority. It’s about managing both the priorities equally. 

And, all the guys out there, you just need to dump your egos and its time to understand that your wife is as equal to you as any other guy colleague. And since she’s your wife, help her handle her problems just like a Man.

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I wanna cry

I don’t know what it is but I’m not feeling good. There’s something that is unsettling me. Am not happy and I don’t know what’s bothering me. I’m not able to put my finger on the problem.
I want to take a day off and go some shopping. Shopping always relieves my nerves. But Tarun doesn’t want to go. He’s also extremely stressed. He has tremendous work pressure. And, the move to Bangalore is not easy a decision for him, either. To add to his miseries, SIL’s MIL is also on Ventilator. Whether Tarun says it or not, I know he’s disturbed because of that as well. 
Today, he snapped at me for snapping at him. It happens to us a lot that he comes back home in a bad mood and I was in a bad mood already. But, at least we’re together and F2F. So, we resolve it. But, today, we snapped on chat. Bad, worse, worst!

Now, the whole afternoon has passed and the time for me to go home has come but none of us has pinged the other. The reason is also because of work. But, we needed those mending words. 
Now, I’ll just have to wait for him to reach home. And, somehow I know he’s gonna be late.

Lord! Save us!

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Cross Roads

I have been holding myself back from writing anything about this latest phase of my life. It’s a little personal to be sharing it with the world. But, am letting myself out here. That’s the only thing I can do now. Too much thoughts crowding my mind and I need to flush it out.

As the recent events have occurred, I and Tarun have decided to relocate to Bangalore. After my low phase going on for a long time, Tarun decided it was time for me to take the switch and go for the company located in Bangalore. To cut the long story short, he decided to continue his work in his current company and take the option of WFH. So, he’ll be working out of home from Bangalore, keeping an eye on the maid we’ll hire for Anay and I would join the Verification Industry again, moving back from the Validation background I opted for, at Cadence.

Well, it was the opportunity of a life time. I would get to move out of my in-laws house which I so wanted, always wanted. I get to make a house of my own. I get to raise my kid my way. I get to lead my life my way. Yes, I am not happy with the risk/ downturn we’re taking for Tarun’s career. He says it’s fine for him and it’s all fine if it’s helping me in my career. But, am not satisfied with the counter-reasoning.

Then, there is something in me which is telling me that it’s running away from the problem. I know I’m getting an amazing hike. I know I am getting the dream position I always hoped and ached for. But, there is something inside me which is still not happy. Perhaps, it’s because I know it’s not best for Tarun. Perhaps, it’s because I know there is a big risk involved in the decision and things may just come down crumpling. Perhaps, it’s because I know the escape from the in-laws is temporary and rather a big mirage. No matter for how much time we go, they would keep doing what they do here too..interfere.

Then there are the equations at my current company. I liked working here. The organization is good. The manager is a really good woman. The work-timings are perfect for me to spend good time taking care of my family and giving time for my office. The work was good too and I still had things I wanted to learn and explore in here. I liked the respect you get at a Product company. I vowed never to get back to service industry when I moved from HCL. I am breaking the vow only because Tarun thinks it’s the best decision to make.

But, then there’s the chance of moving to USA if we move back to Verification background. I can get a job any day if I have a verification profile.

Phew! There are lot of wishes, there are lot of dreams and all cannot be fulfilled. I need to chose which is the most prime. And the prime most is to have a home of myself. My freedom. Today, Tomorrow, Forever.

I know the only way to get it is to talk to parents. But, Tarun knows that no matter when we talk, how we talk, how much we sugar-coat our reasons, how much we validate our reasons to them, it’ll hurt them. Deeply. And none of us want to do that.

O Lord, give me some way out. Some middle way out and solve this misery of my life.
Maybe moving to Bangalore is the best decision and maybe things will improve when we return.

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20 things a mother should tell her son

The post has been taken from the following link.

I found the article too important to let go so sharing the same on my blog, for later read.

20 Things a Mother Should Tell Her Son

1. You will set the tone for the sexual relationship, so don’t take something away from her that you can’t give back.

2. Play a sport.  It will teach you how to win honorably, lose gracefully, respect authority, work with others, manage your time and stay out of trouble.   And maybe even throw or catch.

3. Use careful aim when you pee.  Somebody’s got to clean that up, you know.

4. Save money when you’re young because you’re going to need it some day.  

5. Allow me to introduce you to the dishwasher, oven, washing machine, iron, vacuum, mop and broom.  Now please go use them.

6. Pray and be a spiritual leader.

7. Don’t ever be a bully and don’t ever start a fight, but if some idiot clocks you, please defend yourself.

8. Your knowledge and education is something that nobody can take away from you.

9. Treat women kindly.  Forever is a long time to live alone and it’s even longer to live with somebody who hates your guts.

10. Take pride in your appearance.

11. Be strong and tender at the same time.

12. A woman can do everything that you can do.  This includes her having a successful career and you changing diapers at 3 A.M.  Mutual respect is the key to a good relationship.

13. “Yes ma’am” and “yes sir” still go a long way.

14. The reason that they’re called “private parts” is because they’re “private”.  Please do not scratch them in public.

15. Peer pressure is a scary thing.  Be a good leader and others will follow.

16. Bringing her flowers for no reason is always a good idea.

17. Be patriotic.

18. Potty humor isn’t the only thing that’s humorous. 

19. Please choose your spouse wisely.  My daughter-in-law will be the gatekeeper for me spending time with you and my grandchildren.

20. Remember to call your mother because I might be missing you.

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Missing Anay :-|

I’m missing Anay too much these days. Passing the day at office is getting so difficult. 😦
He’s missing his Mom and Mamma misses baby.

I wanna quit it all and just be with him. At least for a few months. I sooo want to do it.

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Anay’s progress

Well, there’s so much going on and yet it is all routine.
It’s been quite some time since I posted about him but this is exactly the reason why I haven’t. Anyways, I must else this time will be lost for me.

Anay has become quite naughty ever since he turned one. We’re always looking on what he’s upto. Under the dinner table, behind the chairs, running to the doors, he’s practically always upto something. And, frankly, am not complaining. This is the most beautiful time of parenthood. The first one year is more silent observation. But now, the child is responding, doing things he wants to do, and learning new things. He wants to touch and feel everything..and more so, ‘taste’ everything. And somehow he always finds out something wrong or harmful to taste or touch. Just the other day, he was all interested in getting his hand into the AC duct. Phew!

But, people tell me that he’s still quite a tame and lovely child, not bothersome, as they many times are.
He’s become quite fond of me..nowadays. 🙂 And, it’s a lovely feeling…rewarding actually. Tarun is not happy, of course. 😛 But, he doesn’t mind either. He can’t complain 😀

Am glad. Am glad I took the decision of hiring a maid for the dinner. When I and Tarun returned from our Chandigarh visit (2-day holiday we took without Anay) Anay was only interested in meeting Tarun. He didn’t care to see me or come to me at all. With so many others to take care of him, I was only preparing things for him but not feeding him myself. There was no time for me to actually spend and do things with him. That’s when I decided I’m going to keep a cook and spend more time with him. And, voila! My decision has paid off.

But now I also feel sad. When I leave for office in the morning, Anay is sleeping. But, when he gets up, folks tell me, that he looks for me. After spending good 2 days with me over the weekend, he was quite cranky in the morning today. Tarun, Mji, Pji…all tried to humor him but nothing seemed to be helping. 😦 I feel sorry for having to leave him. I don’t know if it’s just a passing phase and I shudn’t think much about him. Or, shud I just quit everything and be with him.

Will wait for God to show me sm way.

For now, the happy memories are that during the day, he keeps coming to me, in between his plays, and would hug my legs. He would hug me and wait for me to pick him up. 🙂 It mostly happens when am busy working in the kitchen. 😛 I guess he likes to have me around him all the time, whether I am doing sth with him or not, but just be there, within eye-shot.

He also has started enjoying and recognizing Nana-Nani-Mama. He enjoys his stay there and the people just get all goooey-eyed around him. They just can’t get enough of him and practically threaten me to come home and visit them, now 😀 They can’t wait for a month to pass.

It’s a nice feeling. Happy!