An Indian Expat Parent: Separating the Mother from the Woman
When we moved here from India, we knew that I would be going back to work soon. My husband had won many wagers, betting that I would give up staying at home sooner than later. To me, well, it wasn’t as much the cooking and cleaning that drove me back to work as it was the demands of constantly being with my daughter.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my high-energy, super-enthusiastic, gregarious little daughter, but the introvert in me can only take a few hours of it. Plus, I do like to talk about attrition rates, performance metrics and compensation benchmarking a little more than I like talking about princesses, castles, fairies and magic.
So when I did get a job, and it was time to go back to work, I should have felt elated and relieved. I should have been excited that I was finally going to talk to grownups, or at least people who looked like them. But, strangely, I felt guilty.
I’ve never cried in my life. Ok, that’s not entirely true — I had never cried for a tiny person before DD was born. Now, even when am just thinking of her, tears trickle down my cheeks, and there’s a never-ending song played by the tugging of the heart strings. Flesh-and-blood reasoning aside, the girl does have magical superpowers over me.
We had to make a decision of moving her from her part-time school to a full-time preschool. I wasn’t completely comfortable with a nanny. DD is too social to stay put with one person for an extended duration of time. Staying alone with me was torture enough. So we decided she could make up for all that lost time of not being able to talk nonstop with friends by giving her a lot of face time with other little yappers.
Her new school is great. The staff is very kind, the other parents had great reviews, and even her current school spoke highly of the new school’s curriculum. So we had multiple endorsements. I visited the school three times before deciding. I liked it the first time. But an affirmation from DH and then DD wouldn’t hurt, right? They loved it, too. So it was the right place for her.