Nidhi is originally from India. She lives in Amsterdam with her husband and daughter. After completing her masters in Computer Applications, she started to work as a Quality Assurance Engineer.
In her free time she likes to travel and make new friends.
Nidhi recently sat down with Every Mother Knows to tell us her story.
How old was your child when you returned to work?
My daughter was 6,5 months old at the time. At first I worked 2,5 days per week and gradually increased it to full-time when she was 1 year old. That’s something I really like about The Netherlands. Society is supportive towards working parents. This makes it possible to cope with work, home and family responsibilities.
Which type of childcare did you arrange?
My daughter started at daycare around the same time I returned to work. The most important thing for my husband and I was to ensure that she was happy and liked it there. Today she is at daycare 5 days a week. She loves it! It’s her world and she enjoys playing and socialising with other little children.
My company also supported me a lot. They were flexible. I didn’t have any problems if I had to stay at home because my little one was unwell. Or even if I had to leave the office earlier due to family commitments. Both my husband and I are from India and we don’t have family or relatives here. So we support each other as much as possible.
What was your motivation to return to work?
Well, actually it was my husband who gave me a little push to start working again. He helped me realise that I was getting a bit lazy at home and that going back to work would benefit my health conditions. I had a cesarean birth, but there were medical complications. This made the recovery longer than normal. While recuperating I realised that I was forgetting lots of things about my work. That didn’t feel good. Returning to work actually helped me feel better sooner. It offered distractions from my health issues. And of course I was able to socialise with other people again. Slowly my health got better too.
What also helped was seeing other Dutch women being fit and healthy. That worked as an incentive for me. I wanted to be fit too! (laughs) I created a little gym area in my apartment where I still exercise regularly and yes, it’s great to see some results!
What was your biggest challenge when returning to work?
Time. Or rather, trying to fit everything in a day. You know, between family life and working, there’s hardly time for anything else. Luckily I started work on a part-time basis. So the transition to a faster pace was manageable. I had time to prepare myself and my family.
Another challenge was to start all over again. As mentioned I had to refresh some of my skills and knowledge when I returned to work. I don’t know if this happens to other working mothers? Does it? Maybe. I work in IT and everything is fast-paced. Things get outdated very quickly and it’s important to stay on top of it all. Oh, and I also used to forget things easily at the beginning. Concentration was a bit of a problem… laughs
Connecting with other people and learning something new every day.
How do you see your life now and what do you wish for the future?
I feel happy and confident about my life today. The last few years were a bit challenging but it was worth it. I grew stronger and wiser from those experiences. I can manage almost everything and I’m not afraid to ask for help if necessary. I also make some time for myself, finally. That’s a big achievement for me! And I enjoy my work. It gives me a good balance next to my family life.
And my wish for the future?
Maybe a second child… I know my husband would love it, but I want to think a bit more about it… I’m still young after all!