The first thing I perfected when I became a mom was
the art of decision-making. It happened in the maternity
ward. My day old son was screaming and I was feeling
completely inadequate after another failed attempt
My first major choice was upon me. Do I let him cry?
Nurse him again? Wake my blissfully sleeping husband?
WHAT DO I DO? I called the on-duty nurse. “Please,
help,” I pleaded. “I don’t know
what to do.” She looked at me and said sternly,
“You’re the mother. Do what you need to
Ouch. As much as I wanted to cry, I stayed quiet
because, ultimately, she was right. I am the mother.
I needed to own this moment. And I did. From then
on, for every decision, I went with my gut. In this
case, I tried nursing again, and it worked. After
that, making decisions became second nature. And,
I got really good at it.
Months later I received a call I had been dreading
– the one from my employer asking if I would
be returning to work. Fortunately, the end of my maternity
leave did not rear its ugly head until my son’s
first birthday. Though I had had plenty of time to
make my choice, I truly hadn’t given it a thought.
True to form, my gut jumped into action and my decision
came quickly. So quick, in fact, I worried it was
rash and uninformed. So I turned to family and friends
for their thoughts.
While varied in substance, their responses were incredibly
emotionally charged. Turns out the dilemma about whether
to return to work can make people very defensive.
My devotion to my son and husband, my feminist ideals,
my longheld aspirations were all in question. If I
went back to work, then I “hadn’t put
my family first.” If I stayed home, I “would
miss out on my life.” Our conversations were
colourful, candid and completely draining.
Amid everyone’s diatribes, my guttural reaction
resurfaced and I knew that I had to find some way
to combine my career ambition and role as mom. For
that reason, I chose to launch my own business and
work from home. I am still trying to find the perfect
balance between work and motherhood. It isn’t
easy, but, it was my decision – I made the call,
I owned it, I did what I needed to do.