"Mommy has to go to work": A personal story about a working mother

"Mommy has to go to work": A personal story about a working mother

From a mother's perspective - motherhood versus careerwoman versus societal norms.

"Mummy has to go to work" a personal story about a working mother
Udesha Moodley-Judhoo

Recently, the women at East Coast Radio came together in a roundtable discussion and touched on topics such as money, body positivity, feminism, and sexuality.

This got me thinking about being a woman in this day and age. It got me thinking about my mother and the challenges she had to face so that I could be the woman I am today, and the woman I am becoming for my tomorrow.

I recently got back into working full-time and as much as it has been a blessing being able to earn a salary during these difficult times, it has also been extremely challenging when it comes to leaving my baby boy after being with him every day for the first 15 months of his life. 

It has also been challenging finding time to balance work and family time. The thing is, I am a firm believer in family time and that means no devices, and just some honest play time, enjoying each other and being silly. But let's be frank, as time passes, the responsibilities of a mother (and father) grow. We are required to be present as parents and as employees, and I have been my own boss and it doesn't get easier, believe me.

Having to explain to my baby why I have to leave each morning isn't the easiest task for me. I always imagined that when I became a mother, I would be a stay-at-home mum who had a business that I could run from home. In this vision, it allowed me to spend time with my baby and drive my passion. 

As the smoke dissolves and the vision fades away, because of reality kicking me off my feet, I realised that it's all about adapting and going with the flow. Planning is one thing, but being able to be flexible with your plan is also an important factor. Being a working mum is not easy, and that's coming from a mother who has her husband's support and help. I don't know how mothers who don't have any support system do it, and I would like to truly commend them for that.

When I hear myself saying, "Mommy has to go to work...", I feel like a traitor. Not only because I am leaving him, but because I feel like when we use the words, "has to", it gives off the meaning that I don't want to. And the truth is I want to build a life for us, I want to be the best mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend I can be. And right now that means holding it together when he cries for me when I am leaving.

Whenever I feel this way I think about what my mother said to me. She was a working mother and had to leave my sister and I at some point to return to work. She said that she left us to go back to work and we turned out okay, and the truth is we did. More than that, my parents gave me an amazing life and I have and had that because they worked. 

Yes, I wish I had more time with them, but the time we did have together was special and amazing, and for that and their sacrifices, I am eternally grateful. So I am hoping that me being a working mother will teach my son that mommy is doing this for me, and for herself, and for our family, and I am proud of mommy for teaching me responsibility, integrity, how to have fun, and how to adapt (obviously when he is able to understand these teachings).

Regardless, I am writing this as a commemoration to all working mothers (and fathers); you inspire me, you motivate me, and you make me more grateful as I get to go home and spend quality time with my child and my husband. Thank you for doing what you are doing for the next generation of amazingness...

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