I am slowly heading towards an empty nest. A couple of years down the line, the younger son will also be on his way to college.

Being a parent is so hard. We try to do our best. You know the toughest part is aligning two different upbringings and sensibilities.

My husband and I have grown up in very different homes. We have different ways of approaching situations and conflicts.

Mothers often have more say in parenting decisions simply because they spend so much time with the kids.

Sometimes, we do feel that we know better. 🙂

I think I have had the maximum disagreements with my husband when it came to raising my two sons, even my pet too.

To reach a middle ground was often exhausting. Each of us ended up feeling that we are giving in, but our way is right. I tell you!

Then the chores. God Almighty, all those chores. School work, tiffins, classes, activities, costumes, tests, exams, hobbies, vacations, summer camps…

On and on, the list went. Sometimes, one felt as if it was all a hurricane just sweeping everything in its wake.

One could not take off or plan anything. Wait for school holidays or when there was no planned activity.

It’s quite a journey. Then, one day they grow up.

The older boy turned 21 this year. It is with a certain sense of joy and pride that I look back on these years as a parent.

My work is almost done. He is already living on his own, away to college.

The process of weaning off started when he left home for his undergrad studies. He is taking his own decisions and handling his life.

As a parent, this is what we hope to achieve. To raise good, sensible adults who can find their bearings in the world.

All those childhood years, so many sleepless nights, all the struggles seem like a distant memory.

Now, when I look at their baby photos, I only see the beautiful parts, the smiles, the love, all those gorgeous memories. 

Any pain and effort and everything that seemed difficult back then, seems to have faded.

One thing I feel super proud of. I raised my kids but continued to work professionally.

Honestly, I was a really good student and worked very hard to be a professional.

I did take a sabbatical when my kids were young, but got back to working in an exciting new field: content.

Not only have I learnt so much, but I have met a diverse set of people, honed my skills and also make a good full-time income.

I like to earn my money. I like the independence and freedom that it brings. I also like the example it sets for my boys.

Mothers are not meant to be around to look after kids. They are entitled to their own lives too.

To be mentally active and emotionally energised. 

I feel every woman must work professionally especially every mother, as much as possible.

I see so many women who are consumed by everything that their children do.

They end up neglecting themselves. They sometimes overlook their passions and their professional commitment.

The society is also benign towards mothers giving up their rewarding careers. Some homes actually expect it.

But once the kids grow up and fly the nest, the mother is left alone with an acute loneliness, barely remembering what to do with her life and time.

The husband is busy in his work commitments. The world has moved on. The kids are busy in their lives.

She feels left behind and ancient, unable to cope in this new world that she is exposed to where she no longer needs to be an active mother.

I have seen it in so many women in their 50s who feel rather empty and even bitter.

I feel it is not too late. There is always something meaningful that one can do.

So many digital opportunities are available. All they need to do is find something and move with it.

Those of you who are younger and in jobs, do not give them up. They are precious. Along with financial independence, they give you a purpose and an identity.

To me, those matter a lot. Being a mother is a very important part of my life but not my entire life.

Every woman needs to nourish her own needs and desires too.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

6 Thoughts on “Mothers and Careers

  1. Your post is such an inspiration to all the mothers out there, Rachna.
    I too wonder how women deal with the empty nest, how do they keep themselves occupied once their kids grow up and move out. It is so necessary to work, to have an identity of your own, something that will sustain you once you are left alone. Right?

  2. Tulika on August 23, 2023 at 10:22 am said:

    You’ve brought up something that’s been top of my mind of late Rachna. I know of moms who went into depression after their child left for college. Mercifully, even though I do not work full time, I do have a life beyond the children. I’m hoping to expand on that after they leave. Despite all of that, I know it’s going to be a difficult transition, specially because this last crucial year before college they require 100 per cent of your attention.

  3. I am seeing my friends in this situation and can relate to your post a little. I totally agree that we should all devote time and space for ourselves and ensure that such transitions dont leave us feeling unimportant and stagnant.

    I cant imagine you having a 21 year old – where did the time go?

    • Hehe I have to pinch myself too that I have one 21 year old and another 17. 🙂 I see so many women invest everything they have into motherhood that they leave nothing for themselves. That really breaks my heart.

  4. This post reminds me of meeting Sid all those years ago during a blogger meet. All grown up now! How time flies!
    And I completely agree with you. Women should keep doing something for themselves and not let their lives be consumed by their children. I know M will leave and live her life away from us at one point. It’s inevitable and it’s how it should be. And I don’t want to feel lost at that time. I don’t want to be a bitter parent dragging her down with me. So yes women should continue working, have hobbies and live for themselves too.

    • I remember he was hardly 10 or 11 when he came for that Nokia meet, that Rajiv Makhani one. :). Really, how time flies! We have also seen the different phases of M through your writing and conversations. I am so happy that you have always put yourself ahead as well.

Do not leave without commenting. I love a good conversation :).

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