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Once the Bird Flies the Nest

Source |Jobsforher.com  | Rohini Majella,  commerce graduate with a PG Diploma in Management.

Being a mother, they say, is one of the most important jobs one can have. But like most other jobs this too has a finite duration. The role of a mother evolves to a support, offline role as the kids grow up and become more independent. In time education, work, service, marriage, etc. lead them away from the folds of our arms.

Life before motherhood, as we knew it too, would have changed. The people we knew, skills we had and our interests would have evolved or changed. The paths we choose and choices we make will lead us to where we are, and the dreams we dreamt will be spent or forgotten. So, now what do you do? How do you occupy your day? More important, what is your life’s purpose?

Being the mother of a soon-to-be teenager, this situation is top of mind for me. I took a break from a decade-long career to quench the guilt of not “being” there for my child as he was growing up. My days are full now, between duties at the house during the day and being on ‘mom duty ‘all evening, with my child’s post-school activities and dealing with school work.

This routine will continue for the next 5 years or so.  I will be in my early forties when my child will be on his feet and need less of my time and attention, what will my days be filled with then? In a lifetime we will reinvent ourselves into many avatars and like a chameleon adapt to the various roles we will be in – daughter, wife, friend, MOTHER, empty nester, grandmother and so it will go on.

I cannot rightly say what the future will hold, but I endeavor to prepare for what it may bring. A friend told me this a few years ago and I believe it: ‘As a woman, learn to invest in yourself.’

This is how I do it:

  • Don’t make your day all about cooking, cleaning and tending to family.
  • Stay healthy with exercise and a healthy lifestyle.
  • Set a time table to get through the housework and give yourself ‘me’ time every day.
  • Develop a hobby or interest – read, garden, craft, cook, bake, network, etc. whatever your little heart desires.
  • Pick up some courses of interest to you. There are lots of online resources that help you do this. Not only are you keeping yourself up to date, but I believe it helps us understand the world out there for our children, as well.
  • Work part time if that is an option.
  • Volunteer/ Intern either with an NGO or a company. Not only does this help you keep in touch with your marketable skills but it’s a great platform to network without having to go out of your way to do so.
  • Take the time and make the effort to meet with friends, it helps one stay young.As I make this list it also reminds me that by investing in myself I am sending important messages to my child, too – about valuing oneself, living healthy, and making choices that are good for one’s mind and body.

    Life will keep hurling challenges at us and our birds will soon fly their nest, but we will adapt and emerge in a new avatar.

    Let’s enjoy every phase as it comes and ready ourselves for what is next.

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