For as long as she could remember, she had been fiercely independent. Wanting to do things on her own, travel on her own, being self-dependent, funding her aspirations herself. She started working right after school. An ambitious, young girl, ready to take on the world. Confident, well-read and well-spoken, she cracked the very first interview she appeared for.
A keen learner, she picked up the ropes of the corporate world pretty quickly. From a newbie to a professional, she soon garnered enough experience and appreciation to try for bigger and better roles. She got what she went after. There wasn’t an interview she wasn’t able to crack. She quickly rose through the ranks. A favourite among her audience and admired by her co-workers, she worked hard to prove her mettle. She saved most of her salary. She travelled, she explored.
Soon there was enough in her kitty to fulfil her dreams and support her family, she rewarded herself by buying herself a car. A childhood dream of being able to drive, sitting behind the wheel, zooming past the landscape, feeling the wind on her face (ok.. AC, given the unapologetic weather and pollution in her city), listening to the slight hum of music in the background.
Life was good. She had a loving clan, friends who were family. She had everything going for her. She even met someone who was perfect for her. In a whirlwind romance sort of way, they met, dated, got engaged and married – all within a few months. She was growing not just as an individual but also professionally. There was only one thing left to complete the picture. And God was kind enough to bless them with it – a baby.
She couldn’t have been happier. She was blessed. She adored her baby, spent sleepless nights making sure he was comfortable, made sure he got the best of upbringing. She was termed as a model parent. She was glad to be able to spend those crucial years with her son. Helping him through the formative years of his life.
But life changed.
As much as she loved her son, there was always something nagging her. Having worked almost all of her adult life, she didn’t know how to cope with being at home all day long. There wasn’t a moment to rest yet she felt the hours dragging by. There was something she felt that kept piercing her from within.
She felt caged. She felt suffocated. She knew she wasn’t happy. She could never be – for she wasn’t built that way. She wasn’t built to stay at home. It was the biggest dilemma she had ever faced in her life. But she admitted and accepted the fact.
She missed it.
She missed the independence. She missed working. She missed the environment. She missed the brain-storming. She missed nurturing in a different way. She missed the adrenalin rush that came with each presentation. She missed getting ready every day. Missed the appreciations her hard work brought in. She missed the financial independence, missed growing and learning.
She missed it.
Being a parent is the most overwhelming reward ever. There are things you need to choose between. These decisions are not always as easy or as obvious as the society makes them be. There are expectations. There are restrictions. There are examples. There is unsolicited advice. It takes time to accept your own decisions.
Being a parent is life-changing. It takes time to give up the independence that was a part of you.
One is your heart and the other is your way of being. There are no comparisons. There can never be. It is about finding the inner peace.