Yesterday I was with my bestie discussing about a common friend of ours who is also rumoured to be pregnant. She very confidently said, “I don’t think she will plan now… She has her great-going career to attend to before anything else.” To that her sister argued, “She is already thirty. The career won’t run away. She will get a maternity leave to top that. I think she could be pregnant.” The other one argued more confidently, “No I am very sure she won’t get pregnant at this point. She is doing very well in her career.”
I sat there dumb founded. I had just finished a feature film in an esteem position in production, completed my script and had started pitching it to actors; when I found out I was pregnant. My career was also going uphill. And I still had a lot of time before my biological clock started ticking. Then did I get pregnant at the wrong time? Will this mean an end of an era in my professional life? Will I never be able to get back to work with that ferocity?
All such questions always corner an ambitious woman to analyse the decisions she has taken in her life that are not “conventionally” success oriented. We, the latest generation, driven by money and urban life, are so strongly convinced that the definition of success lies in your professional pursuits and bank balance numbers. Most often we ignore and over look the joys that lie in the simplicity of living! We have forgotten what ‘living’ is for that matter.
This led to me thinking: What are the options you have if you are a working woman and still want to have a child? How are you going to modify your life to make the best of both worlds?
=> If you work in any corporate organisation, where you have sufficient months of paid maternity leave and then adequate months of unpaid months’ leave approval – then you are in the safest zone. You don’t have to leave your job – All you need to do is just plan your months wisely. And more so, they give you sufficient months to make the necessary changes in your lifestyle (Calling your mother or in-laws, hiring a maid, accustoming the baby to a milk bottle and so on). Plus, they have ‘returning mothers’ policies to help you navigate through this challenging time, rather smoothly.
=> But if you are a freelancer with a project based working style – There may be times in the first and second trimester when you would pray that some projects should come in so that you can get done with them well in time before your delivery time. Because after that you will at least need 4-5 months to recuperate and get back to full time work. And at that time, you will have no scope of picking up offers, however lucrative they may be. And the irony of life is such that when you will hope to have work, you will be jobless; and when you will not have the option to pick up work, you will be flooded with offers. This is the tricky part. Sail through! I faced it! Many face it! You could be lucky but if not! Don’t worry… This time will pass soon. Sooner than you will realise, the time would have resurfaced when you will be able to take up at least some of the offers. And you will forget that there was a year in the middle when you had become really frustrated with yourself and work was really low and you were wondering whether you will ever get back to work.
Now if you are a freelancer or not; but are jobless and the ‘no money’ ‘no activity’ phase is driving you crazy; you could take out all those ‘bucket lists’ you ever made and compile down a new one for the things you could do this season.
1. Watch all those films you have missed out on – Rent DVDs and book your afternoons or rather nights when sleep evades you!
2. Catch up on all those TV shows you hear your friends enthusiastically talk about when you would wonder how on Earth did they have so much time!
3. Good Books are always plenty and a life time too short!
4. Forgotten the last time you created a masterpiece with that stroke of brush? Time to get back to the art form you once enjoyed so much – Could be painting, sketching, crafts or some musical instrument!
5. Learn a new language – Has been on your list since you were a teen but never got to doing that.
6. WRITE.. May be a blog or a Novel or who knows a film is waiting to be written by you… This is the time!
7. Have been too busy with life to organise your kitchen or re-do your bedroom or get new curtains for the drawing room – this is the time… You won’t have to rely on all that the interior designer has to tell you – go to the web and explore and decorate!!!
8. Chalk out plans for future – reorganise your funds and make some sensible investments(the ones you were pushing for later), plan future travels, ideate and find new things to enhance your career when you hit back to it.
9. Go back to your roots – remember what you granny or mommy did? Knit something beautiful for the little one!
10. Have been on a run since you started… You could take a pause and watch your breath – Learn meditation, yoga or start on a spiritual journey. May be it has been awaiting you since some time.
I have been trying to do it all… And trust me, life flows… With renewed positivity. And you will be surprised that some of this could even fetch you some ‘moolah’ to bring on the bonus bumpy smile!