Break ke baad…Back with a bang

Break ke baad…Back with a bang

Break ke baad…Back with a bang. Pick any two - Your sanity. Happy kids. Clean home. This muchshared Facebook post seems to be getting many women think ...

Pick any two - Your sanity. Happy kids. Clean home. This muchshared Facebook post seems to be getting many women think thrice before they take up the familiar route of degree, work, marriage, kids, work, quit, work, quit etc. They do not want to end up as harried working women trying hard to balance young kids and a demanding career with the feeling that neither are they doing justice to their work nor their family. So what’s new, you ask. Well, in a case of ‘once bitten twice shy’ syndrome, most women are now embracing a conscious break ranging between three years and seven to ensure they are done with rearing their children to an age where they are semi-independent and they can get back to careers with gusto.

Bollywood actress and ‘Gulab Gang’ leader Madhuri Dixit-Nene is among those who got her life’s timeline bang on. After nearly a decade-and-half long career, she settled down for matrimony, enjoyed her homemaker status for eight years with her sons Arin and Ryan in the US. She admits to having stress free days without a full-time job while a lot of her Indian neighbours in Denver , US, were struggling to take care of both work and children.
The actress has now returned to India to pursue a full-time career in the film industry as her sons are merrily busy with their activities. That she spent her time learning horse riding, ballet dancing and Taekwondo during that period has helped her immensely in her new avatar of an action heroine.
Closer home, Sandhya Janak, 50, a familiar face in Tollywood with movies like ‘Happy Days,’ ‘Maryada Ramanna’, ‘Baadshah’ and now ‘Rudhramadevi’ was, a decade ago, busy tending to her banker husband two sons Abhinav and Anirudh. Now with two grown up sons, she has the time to pursue a career in movies. “I was sure that I wanted to be with my kids when they were growing up.
This is the most crucial phase which will never come back, no matter what you do later on in life. Then there's no point regretting later for not having spent enough time with them (the kids) when they needed you the most! I'm of the opinion, that a woman is truly liberated only after her kids reach a certain stage of maturity and gain independence, so she needn't have to suffer from a guilty conscience!” Vasanthi Hariprakash, TV and radio anchor besides being a renowned Emcee in Bengaluru, went back to work after a four-year break. After having worked at The Indian Express followed by a stint at a property portal for over eight years, Vasanthi decided to take a break to spend time with her four-year-old son Anirudh.
Four years later, when she was offered the job of a radio jockey’s job in Radio City, she just couldn’t refuse it. “It was a job where I could reach lakhs of people and was close to my passion of being in the field of communication. My son was around seven years then and it did not seem unreasonable to get back to an exciting and demanding job.” Later, she shifted to NDTV 24x7 for a few years and now she is busy with a multitude of events to host and shoot. “At that time, I felt that I had a good run professionally and things were getting too busy with work, home and a child in his formative years. It helped me enjoy bonding with him and also take a breather to understand what I wanted to do next. I also did not have to deal with the mommy guilt of leaving a young child in the care of others.
It was a feel-good period which helped me bounce back with renewed vigour,” she says in between an event where she hosted Anna Hazare and an awards ceremony on aturday.
Swapna, Telugu TV’s most famous news presenter, recalls how from a homemaker in Seattle, US, with two kids (who are now teenagers) and her classical music to keep herself engaged, she suddenly found herself thrust into a demanding career of a live TV show host for TV9 in Hyderabad.
“Certain professions like media, hospitality, high-end corporate jobs and glamour can be demanding, with erratic working hours. So being able to give one’s 100 per cent will
ensure a great take off in your career, even if you start late or had a break. While there is no time a parent ceases to be a parent, it is better to be able to be in a position where one can focus on work without having to worry about things at home, especially children.” She may have been a late bloomer on the career front, but her personal and professional timelines ensured that she took off in a big way.
Satvika Biswas, a consultant with Get Going Career Consultancy in Hyderabad, says that it is professional suicide to get back to work too early if one is not sure of giving his or her full commitment to career. “I have seen many women who get back to work much too early with young kids without a support system and they end up facing problems on the work front only to quit or be thrown out unceremoniously . Yes, not having a nanny or a reliable day care centre or parental support system can severely affect her personal and professional front. Frequent absenteeism citing childcare reasons, unable to take up challenging professional assignments are not good signs for one’s career. So if one can afford to stay at home, it is best to get back to work when one is fully ready,” she advices.
But then HR experts in India say that women suffer a compensation hit of 37 per cent following a career break of three years or longer. Isn’t that a big blow to them? “It takes a lot of effort to keep both going. So if you think you are blessed with great discipline and back-up system, by all means continue.
Otherwise, time your come back wisely,” she advises.
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