Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Couple of comments to my previous post make me feel that I should probably put up a follow up post for it.
I probably did not come across very well in the last post. I did not mean in anyway to glorify working mothers by writing that. I did not even mean to discuss working mothers vs non-working mothers. As Agnes and Bins rightly said, it is just the circumstances. If one has the support systems required to manage both easily, one is lucky. If not, no mother will think twice about putting her children before her career..I am sure. No one admires women who give up a great career to take care of the family more than I do. More so, because it is a very difficult choice to make...but I am sure I would not find it impossible to do should the circumstances arrise. I did do it also to some extent...but talking of that would be digressing.
I meant the post only to convey what I admire in my mother as a woman irrespective of the fact that she is my mother. Because there is no way you can compare two mothers! For every one of us, our own mother is the best!
I admire my mother not just for being a career woman but for being so good at what she does.
My mother was brought up in a small village in kerala. She was married at 20 before her degree results were out. She was married to an extremely bright engineer with a great future. She had her baby at 21. No one expected her to work,least of all my father. She herself I'm sure did not plan on being a career woman. The reasons that pushed her into going to work are different and not in the least because she had great career aspirations. I shall not go into those reasons here.
When she started working, I think my father was just an amused onlooker. He did not expect her to continue for long and expected she will tire of it soon and come back home.
But within 5 years of her starting to work, she was given the responsibility of the entire KG Section of the school which was run separate from the rest of the school. Soon she was heading the section which had two branches, 25 teachers and more than 600 students. This continued to grow and she also started a teacher's training course in the same institution and headed that as well. After this, she has helped start and set up 2-3 other schools which have all grown to be some of the most popular ones in the city.
I used to experience pride every year on the annual day when she used to read out the annual report on stage. Within a couple of years of her starting her job, my father became a staunch supporter of her continuing to work and he stood behind her whenever any of our relatives spoke against it. I have seen pride in his eyes too.
Even today, at 55, after more than 3 decades of working, she still does research on the internet and reads up about modern methods of teaching and tries to put them into practice at her school. I doubt if I have that kind of energy and motivation even now!
So you see, when I said 'I used to be proud of the fact that my mother had a successful career', the emphasis was more on the 'successful' than on the 'career'!
And probably it is this feeling that helped me overlook things like having to eat idlis every day because they were easy to cook, not having my mother at home with hot snacks when I got back from school, having her come running, late to dress me up for my dance programmes after all the other mothers arrived.