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Struggling with the idea of being a stay-at-home mum

Gulf News reader shares her struggle with making the decision to become a stay-at-home mother

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Madhu Madan - Gulf News reader and a working mother
Gulf News

I am an electrical and electronics engineer and have been working ever since I graduated. For my marriage, I just took a leave of 10 days and for my daughter’s birth, I took a 40-day maternity leave.

While this shows that I am a career woman, this doesn’t mean that I have been ignoring my family. In whatever way possible, I try to compensate and spend quality time with them.

When my daughter was young, I had the privilege of having a mother-in-law who was very supportive in bringing up my daughter when we were living in India.

I was working at a responsible position in India with a multinational company for nine years. Then, we moved to the UAE when my daughter, Arushi, was four years old. I had to leave my well-paid job in India to join my husband here. I was very concerned about how Arushi would react in the absence of her grandmother and whether I will be able to handle her on my own. But thankfully, I didn’t face many problems settling her in.

I immediately got a good job offer here, so I had to leave my daughter again and rely on house help. I thought a lot about whether I should take up the job or stay at home to be with her, but the thought of being cut off from the world and work haunted me and I took up the job. I have continued to work since.

But lately, my conscience has been prompting me to take a break and spend more time with her. Especially now that she is 13 years old, she needs a friend at home. But having attained such qualification and experience, won’t it be a waste of my talent, skills, experience and education? And if I continue, am I doing enough for her? She will be in grade 10 in April and I feel now is the time when I can share my educational knowledge with her in encouraging her to study better.

I find myself in a dilemma at times when I reach home at 7pm and spend only around two hours with her. Won’t she be happier if I stayed at home and gave her moral and academic support in these crucial years?

I have been thinking hard and have not been able to get a clear answer. Also, in the current scenario when the cost of living is high and children are always making demands for the latest electronic gadgets and fashion-related items, won’t it be good to have two incomes at home?

- The reader is a manager of operations, living in Sharjah