As a woman in a highly demanding and rewarding job; having a baby may seem like a break - one that can set you back by atleast a few years even if you resume work as soon as your maternity leave ends, because mothering does not end with maternity leave.
From this side, I can clearly recall my dilemma when I wondered the need for a child. Then, a baby for me meant a break in the career for which I had worked so hard. A baby meant never again, atleast for a few years, being able to put in those crazy hours at work. And I did love my work.
(There were other non-work related reasons too for the dilemma. But this post is not about those)
But now on this side, here are a few reasons which would have made my decision a little easier and the break look a little less like a 'break' -
2. A baby is the best motivation, beyond any self-help book.
My baby is continuously watching me, imitating me, and learning from me. So even if he is not around I want to do the right thing. I will be his role model atleast for some years. I want the model to be good.
My baby taught me patience, anger management, rational thinking, standing up for self and others, speaking up and accepting things I cannot change.
A lot of which that the non-mother me always wanted to learn but had never managed to.
3. Mothering, especially after I resumed work, made me realise that I am a superwoman.
Before my baby, a hectic day at work would mean that I would flop on the sofa and do nothing till bed time. Sleep for 8 hours straight and go back to work still reeling from the effects of the previous hectic day.
After baby, a typical day is atleast twice as tough as the then hectic day, and the sleep hours are about 6 with atleast 2-3 sessions of diaper change / feed / water.
Yet I have managed to make very important presentations the next day and managed pretty well.
I never really knew I was capable of stretching myself so much. But I now know. And my baby will not forever be so demanding (atleast in terms of the physical effort required of me).
And then, I know I will be able to pull off much more than the non-mother me was ever capable of :-)
4. Sensitive me
I was always pretty sensitive to people, to sufferings of people, towards the environment.
A baby however has shown me a completely different level of sensitivity. These days, I certainly show much more regard to trees, plants, animals. Towards underprivileged kids or tragedies. I smile more at strangers, I befriend them more. The world overall seems like a kinder place and I WANT to make it a kinder and nicer a place.
A lot of self-awareness gyaan revolves around how we 'look' and don't really 'see'.
Or how we 'hear' and don't 'listen'.
Well, I now notice every small thing and noise. I never knew that a concrete mixer was so fascinating nor had I realised how super cute an autorickshaw really looks.
But now I notice. I know how to 'see'.
There is of course the tough stuff to this. A baby does test you in more ways than you could imagine.
But apart from the sentimental reasons, above reasons surely make a great case for that tiny career break. Consider that as an education sabbatical. Afterall you certainly do emerge out of it smarter, better, and more awesome.
The no 1 reason will always be -
1. One more person to love you. Fiercely.
Can you ever have enough people who love you like crazy?
Having one more certainly makes life awesome :-)
"Offspring is Disturbingly Illogical, and yet Profoundly Fulfilling" - Star Trek: Voyager