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How can something be both, the one you had been planning and anticipating for quite some time and the one that made you take the heaviest step outside your home? I had been waiting voluntarily since five years for this morning. To a day when I would start contributing again outside my sweet little home. To new opportunities that would let me use my skills, knowledge and education to create a place for myself in the outside world. And of course, to the inflow of additional resources for my family. Being at home fulltime had a whole lot of advantages for my children, hubby and me. But I wanted to go ahead and step out of this comfort zone. Ideally, I should have had an utmost satisfying feeling. Did I? Yes and no.
The only person under whose care my children had always been is me. Yes, I was helped by my family and maids. But I was always around. I can at once tell by looking at my older one's eyes if its her sleep or the heat that is bothering her. For my younger one who is a playful eater, I do not have to think beyond a second about which new jig would catch her attention just enough to open her tiny mouth for the incoming spoonful of food. Undoubtedly, the caretakers who look after them when I am not around do it with nothing but love and caution. In fact, my choices would have been different in their absence. Still, they cannot read my little ones' minds like I do or do things for them the way I do.
I would not be the one they come running to, soon after returning from school. I would lose a couple of hours of sensible and senseless playtime with my girls. I would lose the only time together I have with hubby every morning while sipping tea. Besides his long work hours, he would have to take that extra step in looking after our children which he did not have to worry about earlier owing to my constant presence around them.
When these thoughts start clouding my enthusiasm, the very next moment I cheer myself up by looking at the other side of my new coin.
I would be independant once again - knowledge wise, ownership wise and money wise. Not to prove anything to anybody but only for myself and my family. I have always wanted to and try to inspire my daughters to be self dependant for their personal and emotional needs. I can now make them see it on a financial front too, through me. My partner would no longer be alone in procuring and securing the financial needs of our world. I would share this responsibility with him once again.
While counselling myself on all this, I have realised that it is not about which way is it easier or more appropriate. It is about the choice that I make today, had made yesterday and would make tomorrow. Whenever I flip that coin of mine, I am never going to be sure which is the side that I want more, regardless of whether it is my first day at home or my first day back at work...