You have a cooking range with three or four burners at home.
Imagine you are boiling milk on the regular burner which gives out the most convenient flame. Then, you need to make the breakfast.
What do you do?
You shift the pot of milk on the lowest flame and cook your breakfast on the convenient burner. You do not keep the half boiled milk aside. You keep it on a low flame, may be very low so that it doesn’t demand your attention and lets you concentrate on the breakfast.
Consider the milk to be your career and breakfast to be your family priority – children, eldercare or some emergency.
You switch the burner off when the milk comes to a boil. Now it will not rot and will remain hot for quite some time.
Milk coming to a boil is the first inning of your career after which you can switch the burner off if the need be.
You can use the boiled milk later but you need to pay attention. There are other options too. Either refrigerate it or reheat it or thicken it to turn it into ‘khoya’ to be used even after a few days.
Just the way you add some coffee or fruits to the cold milk to make a milkshake, you can refrigerate your qualification, experience and then add some short-term courses to make an updated qualification for a new professional opening.
Just the way you thicken the milk for later use, you can polish your parenting skills which could be extremely useful like ‘khoya’ after a long break. These skills could be related to negotiation, conflict resolution, communication, empathy, and emotional intelligence.
Just don’t think that the milk, like your career, will turn stale or sour. Have confidence that you can use it in numerous ways to your advantage, just be creative with it.
Be happy if it turns sour. We will have paneer (cottage cheese), then.
It is high time that we notice these parents who are professionals and have decided to transition into the realm of parenting.
They are practitioners of ‘deliberate motherhood/fatherhood’.
These people are different from those couples where one is a professional while another one straight away takes a train to the ‘parenting station’.
They wish to spend some time on the parenting station before getting back on the professional train. They might create a business on the ‘platform’ of parenting or they might pick another vehicle to go forward, later on.
Let us call these parents PROBE PARENTS.
A PROBE Parent is a Professional before becoming a parent.
For an educated working professional to say that ‘I am not working now’, “I am on a sabbatical’, ‘I am raising my little one’, it sounds helpless.
It sounds like a choice when you say that you are a ‘PROBE PARENT’.
Merely naming a category is not enough. We need to design a path for such professionals who take mini breaks or a major break and wish to join back at a later age.