PUNE: A mother of a toddler recently approached a psychologist with complaints of low self-esteem, mood swings and irritability . A software professional and a resident of Baner, she had a full-time career before she had the baby .
However, she has now been forced to stay in the house and has to often listen to the snide remarks made by her husband and relatives about her `free time’.
Bordering on depression, the woman sought advise from an expert in an effort to come out of her professional sabbatical.
In a similar case handled by a psychologist, a Kothrud resident pointed out that she had been facing marital issues ever since she stopped working after the birth of their daughter, who is now two years old.
Severely depressed and frustrated, the woman approached the expert to help her tackle the situation and get onto her feet again.
Psychologists and counsellors in the city point out that such cases of homemakers and career women being depressed while on a break, are seemingly on the rise.According to experts, the well-qualified, modern-day women find it difficult to cope when they have to depend financially on their husbands or families.
Women, who had been earning well in the past, struggle to cope with the change in the situation.
The birth of children tends to put a mid-career halt on the several women’s professional life, especially those living in nuclear families with no one at home to tend to the child.
Many end up sacrificing, willingly or otherwise, not just their financial independence, but also their self-confidence, say experts.
It can cause deep-rooted frustration, explained consulting psychologist Himani Chaphekar.
“The women are unable to take decisions independently , or have to ask their husbands for money , among other things. It can manifest in different ways, or end up impacting relations with the family . Something is always better than nothing and I always advise the women to start small, but start somewhere,” she said.
It is important for the women to envision the impact of their decisions in the long run too, believes Baner-based clinical psychologist and psychotherapist Prajakta Deshpande,. “Doing a choice benefit price analysis (CBPA) is important to understand whether taking a decision to quit the job and then suffering unhealthy emotions is actually benefiting them.
They may be suffering from an inferiority complex seeing their colleagues rise up in their careers and they feel they will have to start from the bottom again if they resume working. Counselling the spouse too is critical. The husband can ensure that his wife keeps her self respect and doesn’t feel belittled,” she said.
Having a supportive husband is most important to avoid depression, believes Ruby Mittal, an IT professional who took a sabbatical of nearly three years after the birth of her daughter.
“It’s easy to wallow in self-pity, thinking all I am doing is tending to a baby while women around me are working full time. It’s even more challenging when one has worked earlier,” she shared.
“While on a break, I avoided the lows by always studying something about my work and industry , or by distracting myself with some work. Even talking to your close family members helps change your perspective,” she added.