I was talking to this lady the other day. An MBA, she had been in corporate banking till she chose to become a full-time mother. For the first few years, lack of adequate childcare systems make staying at home almost a compulsion. To compensate for the professional highs she was missing out on, her home and her child became almost an obsession.
When the child started primary school, she briefly considered going back to work part-time, but her life had got set along certain patterns, and she was not sure she wanted to disturb that for the sake of a job. With the kid out for over 8 hours a day, she continued being a full-time mother.
Now the child no longer needs her. She opens the door to let him in when he gets back from school, hands him a tray with a warm meal, and watches him shut the door to his room and get down to doing whatever it is that ten year old kids do.
She knows she has overextended her role as a stay-at-home mother. She knows it would not make an iota of difference to her child if she goes back to work or not.
But after being out of the rat race for so long, would she really be able to get back? Would she want to compete with people who were still in middle school when she was cashing her first cheques?
She realises she has short changed herself. But still can’t put a finger on when she could have done something different.
The pity is that she is not alone. There are thousands like her. If that is not a waste of precious resources, what is?