This is a common scenario in any part of the country- boundaries and languages no barrier! When a dad travels for work, he is hailed as a superhero. As a sacrificing soul. And as someone who works “so hard”. His travel exhaustion and adaptability to the new place are questioned and discussed and he is given a rousing hero’s welcome once he is back. “Coz the kids missed playing with their cool dad”!
Picture a role reversal. Every time a working mom travels, the first question she is asked is “Who takes care of your child when you are away?”.On deeper analysis, I realised there are multiple layers to such interrogations by society. It’s not just the gossip monger’s way to finding out who is doing the mom’s role, but also to shame or guilt the mom for choosing what she believes she is also good at. It is about choosing work over kids as if that’s the wrong thing! Why can’t women have it both?!
Earlier, I used to wonder, why don’t people ask these questions fathers? But now, I am ready to tell the world, unapologetically, that I don’t need to answer these questions because my family knows I love them, and will always be there for them. As a mom of two daughters, I firmly believe that my children need to know that besides being their mother, a role that I love and cherish, I also love the work I do. Be it a 9-to-5 job or pursuing my hobby, or running a business. It could mean different things to different people. But the intent is to support the mom along the way and not shame her for choosing interests that expand beyond the realms of childcare.
I have my village to raise my children and I have always expressed my gratitude for that. To be able to rely on people I love and more importantly people who love my children and me. It could be my child’s grandparents, my siblings, or my friends- as long as I know that my children are safe and well taken care of, I realise that I need to stop feeling guilty about leaving them when I travel for work.
Right from when my daughter was about 2, I have travelled and I also shot one of our most popular videos on how to travel guilt-free as a parent, leaving behind your child! As millennial parents who have been subject ( and are still subjected) to this criticism, it is high time we normalise travelling without kids. We did a reel on our Instagram page about the same- on how society is judgemental and we were so happy that many of you found it relatable and shared the post. Watch the reel below.
Have you been asked this question? How did you tackle it? Tell us in the comments below.