I was always an ambitious person and wanted to be a successful career woman. I passed college and applied for higher studies in Physics. After completing my Master's degree I applied for a competitive fellowship program. All my dreams came true when I got through the exam.
But destiny had other plans for me. Along with the news of my success, another news arrived of my marriage getting fixed. I was the eldest of three sisters and my parents were anxious to get me ‘settled’. I consoled myself thinking that after marriage I’ll pursue my dream.
After marriage, I had to change cities and in all the ups and downs of settling in a new environment and new responsibilities, the time limit exceeded and my qualification for the research work expired.
By then, I had understood all the responsibilities and hard work involved in running a house alone. So, I let my dream go by heavy-heartedly. Time passed and I became the mother of two beautiful daughters.
Both my daughters were very young and needed all my attention so I thought it better to focus on them first. We changed country soon after that and I got busy getting used to new place and culture.
It proved to be a wise decision. My children excelled in their classes because I was able to devote time to check their day-to-day workings at school. I was able to get them ready in the morning without any hurry because I didn’t have to go anywhere.
After they left, I used the free time to finish everything at home so that when both of them came back from school, I could be free to focus on them. In this way, I was rested and calm when dealing with their studies and everyday homework.
Time passed and my both sweet girls grew up too soon. They became more and more independent and responsible. Their school timings also got longer. Now suddenly I was left with a lot of time.
One day, while going to market I noticed a school very near to my house and, for the first time, the thought of starting my career as a teacher came to my mind. I applied there and a few other schools. But another problem faced me when those schools demanded experience and a degree in education.
After much thought, I enrolled for a Bachelor’s degree in Education. Though I was very much apprehensive about studying after so long, I decided to give it my best. It was a two-year course and I passed it with flying colours!
Immediately after getting my degree, I got a job as a middle school math teacher in a school. I just loved teaching and interacting with students.
Now I’m enjoying myself a lot in my new job. Though I had never thought of becoming a teacher still this proved to be the best decision of my life. I never knew how rewarding and fulfilling this would be.
A few perks I got by starting my career so late:
- When my children were young I could give them undivided attention and now I can do the same with my job. Since I don’t have to focus much on my kids, I’m able to give my best to my new job. Schoolwork is very extensive and requires a lot of hard work and focus. I’m happy that I can give my full attention to my students.
- In the morning rush hour, we three get ready and leave the home together. I can take my own sweet time to dress because my kids don’t need my supervision anymore.
- I get an update of their day on the way to their school. I drop them off and then head for my school. Luckily I have got the timings of my school matching that of my kids. I can conveniently drop and pick them up.
- After returning back, I need not help my girls with their studies because they are now responsible and independent. Thus, I can rest in the afternoon and be fresh in the evening for household chores.
- Many times, my girls help me with my schoolwork. Today’s generation is way ahead of us in the use of technology. And anyone who has worked in the education sector knows that these days a teacher needs to be well versed in technology as well. So, sometimes when I get stuck my girls help me readily. Every time I’m surprised at the ease with which they sort out everything for me.
I was lucky to have this opportunity. I was blessed with a spouse who was able to provide for the family without a need for me to work. So, I was able to lead my life comfortably. Not everyone has that privilege.
Moreover, I chose the education sector so it didn't feel like I was left behind. But the women in highly competitive professions can’t afford to take long breaks. It’ll hamper their career. Their juniors might overtake them and this might result in frustration.
My advice to all the women is that if it’s possible, take it slow. Because it’s a bitter truth that we have to take care of family and kids. If we start working when the responsibility of the family is more then the pressure will just get worse.
So if possible, focus on one thing at a time. Watch your children grow and enjoy their childhood. It’ll prove restful and beneficial for you too. When children are old enough and the responsibilities of family and home are reduced, you can start your career or a hobby.
It’s only you who can look after yourself, no one else will. So, stop, think and decide what’s best for you. All the best, girls.