Thursday, September 11, 2008

One Of Life's Toughest Choices

There's a new book out and I so want to read it. It's entitled The Comeback. It's a compilation of stories of women who left their careers to focus on family and after raising their children, decided to make a comeback in their careers.

I cannot speak for the book since I have not read it. But the topic feels very close to my heart because I am a working mom.

In developing countries like ours, it is almost impossible for both parents not to work to earn to support the family. I may be blessed to have a job which I love doing, which is related to the degree I earned and which I see as the career I would want to see myself continue to grow in. But there are so many other people who work because they simply have to. Because if they don't, their families will not have anything to eat. Because again, in countries like where I live, finding a decent job which pays enough is scarce so a lot of people settle for any job that would pay them even just the minimum.

And sadly, discrimination still looms over our heads. Especially for us women. I have seen it. Women who are married with children, married without children or single with children have a harder time looking for a job. Which is why some women upon finding out their pregnant, feel like the life that lies ahead for them is doomed. Others completely lose their confidence after giving birth and decide not to give their careers a second chance.

Motherhood can never be described. To define its importance would be insulting. YET, our government has failed to recognize its importance. If we deliver via normal deliver, we are only given 60 days of maternity leave. If it is via C-section, we have 78 days. The baby will barely be 3 months old by then. There are so many effects felt by both the mother and the baby.

When a mother goes back to work, there is a insurmountable amount of guilt felt. Should I? Shouldn't I just stay home and be with the baby? But if I don't go back to work, who will still want me after 3 years of being at home? You will no longer have negotiating power.

Some spiral into depression. Others go about in their daily routines in confusion. Some question their worth. Some choose to be indifferent. Others adapt beautifully.

But deep in our hearts, we question ourselves. Is it all worth it?

What IS all worth it?


Heather said...

There are a lot of women here in the U.S. that get 6 weeks off after a baby is born and that's it.

Something needs to be changed here too.

C said...

Oh, wow! I had no idea that mat leave in the Phils was so short!

I thought that here in Canada, all women get a full 12 months for maternity leave. I've discovered that isn't the case for all women here. I think some of it depends on your job and whether you are permanent/part-time/full-time, etc.

My SIL works for the government and when she was pregnant with her first, she was only in a temporary position. She only got 8 months, which she shared with my brother. She took the first 4 months and he took the last 4. Now that she's pregnant with the twins, she is full-time permanent and has the whole 12 months for mat leave.

Jocelyn said...

How can you possibly be ready for the working world in six weeks? We are left with such a tough choice. If I have a second one, I think I'm going to stay home for a while so I hope the internet would offer me something to make money until I decide to go back to work. Cross my fingers.