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  • meerasreekumar

Childcare & Career

Child Care and career

Child care can be support for the well-being of a child from one’s family or a third party. The third party could be a nanny or a child care center like a daycare.

My mother was a gynaecologist and due to personal circumstances, she had to rely on a nanny for my childcare. So right from the beginning for Nithya, I wanted to provide her with childcare through a mix of family and a nanny. I have got constant support from my in-laws in this regard. In any case, we had engaged a nanny too.

We have changed 5 nannies in the last 16 months. And I know for a fact that it is not uncommon because all mothers face innumerable issues with nannies.

Each time there is a change in childcare support, the parents and the child go through a lot of adjustments and acclimatisation with the new person. It is very tough on the child and so the parents need to devote time and be present for the child.

In my case currently, I work from home, so I take the larger responsibility of helping with the transition. In fulfilling this responsibility, I have been taking extra time out of my work, and this has been possible as I have an empathetic employer. I am fortunate to have one.

The other aspect of taking time out of work for helping with childcare is that you cannot be taking a very demanding job as you won’t be able to take leave on very short notice like I had to do on multiple occasion. Therefore, your career trajectory does take a hit, and you have to take it slow. I read an article where the author termed it as “motherhood penalty”. According to her, a mother’s career peaks in her 40s once the child starts going to full-time school and gets more independent.

I would not call it a penalty as such, but it is a conscious choice that I had to make. Do I regret it? At times, I do feel bad when I see other mothers who may “have it all”. But most of the time, I am fully aware of my decisions and my priorities and do not regret it.

On this World Maternal Mental Health Day, I am sending all my love and support to all the mothers who are trying to balance their careers and parenting. Some days may not be easy, but hang in there, and things will get better. In this role, do find some time for self-care as it is very very important. You cannot pour from an empty cup.

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