8 Things You Give Your Child When You CHOOSE to Return to Work
- Schonali Rebello
- Back to Work, Events
- 07 Sep 2017
Planning to return to a career after having taken a break to raise your kids and focus on your family? Unsure because you’re worried about things falling apart when you walk out that door each morning? Harbouring guilt because of the time you’ve invested in them so far and how much they depend on you for it?
Fear not. Worry not. Be anxious not. Things can only get better...
How could they not, when you consider these comforting certainties below:
1. Becoming Positive Role-Models for Our Children
As a woman who goes to meet that out-the-door world each morning, contributing consciously and qualitatively to our country’s economic and social growth, you give your children the chance to view things through your outside-world eyes, which will be filled with new lessons, new experiences, new people and new ideas, every day.
Most women who return to work after having raised their children for a while become better managers of their time, better organizers of their homes and better achievers of goals that they set themselves in the short and long term.
All this is seen, absorbed and stored away in your children’s minds resulting in eventual actualization as high-caliber adults who play a part in shaping our world as quality citizens. “Children with full-time working moms learn from an early age that there are rewards for hard work.”
2. Self-Actualization and Personal-Fulfilment
Most women actually CAN do more than is expected of them and in doing so achieve a great sense of self-empowerment and satisfaction. A woman high on her own self-worth and ability to contribute qualitatively to home and work makes for an all-round happier, more energetic and focused person for her family.
“‘The evidence suggests that kids are happiest when their moms are happiest,’ Coontz said. ‘We’ve had these long-standing studies that show women who have worked all their lives do better than women who stay home mentally and physically, even if the women are staying home by choice.’ Women in high-quality jobs were found in a 2011 study to have fewer symptoms of depression than women in low-quality ones, even if they wanted to be staying home.”
3. Nurturing Big Dreamers for Tomorrow
When children grow up watching their mothers pursue and fulfill their dreams, they realize the endless possibilities and opportunities that the world offers everyone. They come to understand the value and rewards of time-management, calculated risk-taking, shouldering more responsibility and developing meaningful and rewarding relationships with elders, mentors, colleagues and peers.
Women who pursue their dreams and ambitions illustrate to their children how working for it translates into the realization of it; but most importantly that one must first have the dream to begin work on it.
4. The Multidimensionality of Women
Having a working mum gives children an inside peek into the multifaceted layers of women. The strongly interwoven roles of worker, mother, wife, friend, colleague, and any others that we choose to take on, show our children that there is more to us than just ONE of these. They will grow up with an evolved sense of who and what a good and strong woman is and look for this in themselves and/or others when choosing friends, role models and life partners.
We create more humanitarian and empathetic young people who go out into the world and change it for the better with their ideals. “...I think that seeing a mom as a working person confirms for children the sense that people — especially women — are multidimensional. Studies have also shown that both boys and girls have more egalitarian attitudes towards marriage, family, and men and women’s roles when their mothers were employed, which could help their future marital happiness.”
5. Quality vs. Quantity of Time
Spending time with our children is enormously rewarding in the most unimaginable ways. Stepping out of the house to spend time at your job for a few hours a day condenses the time that you spend with your kids, making it richer, sweeter and even more rewarding than if you had been around all day.
They learn that their time with you is invaluable, as is yours with them, and they learn to make the most of it, as do you. You will come to appreciate everything about them – their day, what they learned, saw, heard, discussed with others, experienced – infinitely more than before.
Have you had a Difficult Conversation with anyone - in your family, your friends' circle, a potential employer, maybe even your child's teacher - about restarting your career after a break? Take courage from the ones women have been sharing with us in the run-up to RestartHer 2018 - India's BIGGEST conference & career fair for women returning to work...
6. Contributing to the Family Bank
Whatever your value-add to the workforce – whether you are highly qualified or educated, or you simply bring a wealth of prior work-experience to the table – the income that you generate from getting out that door and working at your job is helping your family increase their chances at everything in life.
Your children have the chance at better education opportunities, better after-school activities or training, better quality of life at home, better vacation opportunities to travel and explore, better everything.
As long as the time that you are spending with your family focuses on the quality of that time, making the most of it, cherishing and understanding the worth of it, constantly, you working to also provide for your family only enhances your collective lives. “Other variables matter much more to children’s development than whether mom has a job. A family’s income and resources makes a huge difference.”
7. Well-Rounded Upbringing
If you’re an Indian woman in India reading this article, chances are that you are part of the upwardly mobile middle-class of our country that can afford some form of childcare for your children. Whether it is at home with family or household staff, or in a playschool, your child has the benefit of having someone else take care of them for a few hours a day while her/his parents are at work.
What this essentially means is that your child is exposed to a wide range of people, languages, and cultures other than the one they’re in, which will only grow them into more empathetic, well-rounded individuals, better able to adapt to a variety of situations and personality types. This is a uniquely Indian boon of life unlike many other countries that are usually monolingual and mono-cultural.
By relinquishing control for a part of each day to someone else, we are gifting our children this multitude of life and learning that they would never get from just us. And Indian people (by and large) innately love children. When a child has loving care, it needs very little else to thrive.
8. A Little Bit of Freedom to Just BE:
Our children are wonderfully engaging young people with lives that we enjoy watching unfold while basking in deep satisfaction and glowing pride. Sometimes, however, we tend to try and get involved in every single facet of their lives, which they probably would rather we didn’t.
Being otherwise occupied for those few hours a day with a job that we work hard at to excel and do better, takes our focus away from them for a little bit and allows them a sense of freedom, which almost always comes with a good measure of responsibility and an innate desire to please us and do us proud as their parents.
By stepping away we blow wind beneath their wings, and children whose mothers do this become better decision-makers, are able to calculate risk more accurately, and go on to achieve great things.
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Having restarted her career with JobsForHer, Schonali Rebello is a full-time mom to an athletic and bubbly 4-year-old, and has worked in a smorgasbord of jobs - from being the executive assistant to a tech-CEO to fundraising for the classical performing arts, from bartending in Toronto to running a supper-club in Bangalore, from heading communications at a family-owned group of agricultural and real-estate companies to handling Nespresso events with coffee planters in Coorg. After all of this, she is finally living her dream as a Creative Writing & Women's Studies graduate, writing articles, blog-posts and reviews on women's issues in the Indian workplace. She eased back into work after a 2-year career break first as a part-time returnee intern, then as a part-time employee, and finally as a full-time employee, over a period of 6 months. She believes that work-life balance is a daily goal that every person - man or woman - needs to focus on attaining.