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Why Mothers Should Not Stop Earning Their Own Money

08/03/2016 8:11 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
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When my first-born came into my arms, all thoughts of career, title, money flew out the window. Nothing seemed more important than the well-being of this tiny precious life and I decided to completely devote myself to his upbringing. With this decision, my husband and I made an unsaid pact: he would be responsible for putting food on our table, and I in preparing it and feeding it to our children.

Days turned into years in the hectic routine of a young mother. Before I knew it, three-and-a-half years had passed and I was now the full-time mother of two little boys. My husband's career was flourishing and our little family was blossoming. But discontent started taking deep roots in my heart. It pained me that from being a profit-centre, I had become a cost-centre. That I didn't feel comfortable writing checks without asking for permission. That the very balance in our relationship had tilted: he had become the primary breadwinner and I the primary caregiver.

I didn't feel comfortable writing checks without asking for permission. That the very balance in our relationship had tilted...

I didn't realize the power of financial independence until the day I stopped working and stopped earning.

As long as my husband could support my and my family's needs, was it still important that I contribute to our monthly income too? Was it not contribution enough that I was tending to our family and taking care of all their non-financial needs?

For lots of reasons, I started realizing that the answer to that question, for me, was no.

For someone who was thrilled to receive her first check at the end of her summer internship at CSFB, the answer to that question was no.

For someone who had never spent a single day post-graduation not working before she became a mother, the answer to that question was no.

For someone who understood the value of money, and the satisfaction, prestige and respect that comes from it, the answer to that question was no.

Regaining financial independence was something that I needed to do for myself. To feel that no matter what, I would always be able to stand on my own feet. That in no way was I completely dependent on any other individual.

It is financial independence that finally places choice in a woman's hands... The choice of writing her own checks without asking for permission.

After all, it is financial independence that finally places choice in a woman's hands. The choice of who she will marry, when she will marry, what she will do after she gets married; what she wants to spend on, how much she wants to spend; which school her children will go to, what kind of healthcare she wants for her parents.

The choice of writing her own checks without asking for permission.

And it was for this very reason that I launched JobsForHer last Women's Day to enable women to restart their careers post breaks for marriage/motherhood/elderly-care, etc. And this Women's Day, we are running a mega Diversity Drive across India with companies like Mindtree, Reliance Jio, Sapient, Target, and others, so that women can reclaim their rightful place in the paid workforce and regain their financial independence.

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