When I became a mum, I unintentionally put my career on hold. I instantly knew I would have to do the childcare, the nursery pickups and drop offs, and the sick days. I knew I would struggle with working if it wasn’t flexible and I knew it would be me that would have to take the pay cut and go part time.
I wish I had the confidence to put myself first, or maybe it isn’t confidence maybe it’s opportunity or maybe it’s because as a mum, that I do put my family and my babies first. Having said that, I wonder if it’s because I am Asian, and therefore the opportunities are held back for me or not given to me at all, then if I add in the fact I am a mum of young children and that I’m a women, does that mean I’m then over looked again? I honestly don’t know. (That was a lot to take in.)
Another frustrating factor is being put into the BAME category, Black, Asian Minority Ethnic grouping. Why am I in a tick box? Why can’t I be a mum, asian, a female and still have the opportunity? Why do I have to be labelled, surely isn’t being Kavita is enough? No wonder people lose their identities.
I am beating myself up because I put myself out there and I applied for a job, the job appealed to me because of its flexible working ethics, it’s a charity, they have purpose and help people. As a mum now I am searching for that flexible working so I can put my children first. My babies already don’t have their dad home for long stretches of times, and I want to make sure I am there for them to guide, protect and spend time with them. Play with them, cook dinner for them, bath time, book time and bed times. It isn’t a lot to ask for, well at least I don’t think so.
This job wasn’t the ideal job for me but the benefits spoke to me, the organisation spoke to me. However, when I was told I didn’t get it, I instantly started to cry and felt like a failure. I felt like I had let my babies down. It is silly as I am only a few months into maternity leave with my baby girl and no where near ready to return to any form of work. But after the interview, I knew I wanted to be a better mum, a more present mum and this job would have allowed me to do this.
My husband afterwards made me realise that I made it from 100 + people to 3 people to be interviewed. That is incredible, what an achievement. But it didn’t stop me from being sad. It didn’t stop me from wishing I had more.
Now, it has made me focus on what I really want for myself, my babies and my family. I want a flexible balance or both home and work life. I want to be their when my babies are sick and witness their achievements. I want to be that happy mum for them, push through and show them both that mummy can be what she wants and be the best.
I won’t give up searching for the opportunity to make me smile, I won’t give up on the search for a job role that is me. Don’t get me wrong, I used to love my job and I still enjoy elements of it. I do think, since returning from maternity leave with my son, I realised how much I had changed and how much I was treated differently. Whether that’s because I’m a mum, asian or a woman I have no idea but what I do know is, I need to make positive changes.
Now it’s my turn and my time to focus on my dreams and include my family within that to enjoy the experience with me.
I wanted to switch off from social media but in fact, it is the best tool for me to grow as a mum, an asian and an a female. I want to be the best role model for my children.
I want that opportunity to me Kavita again, although I know it won’t be the same but at least I can strive to be the best.