08 November 2012

Life on H4

Yes, I know. Inspite of the best of my intentions, my blog postings have trickled to a meager few over the last few months. Given that I am at home these days, I should be posting more. But I guess that's exactly where life gets paradoxical. Somehow, being busy at work while we were in Canada inspired me more to pause and pen my thoughts that staying at home does. That, and of course the fact that I have little v demanding more my time with each passing day. And that I am lazy. 

So more than anything, I blame my blogging inertia on H4.

Its been quite a few months now since we moved from Canada to US. Also the exact time on which I am on H4 visa (the category of US visa for spouses of H1B visa holders- people from countries other than US (and Canada) who are qualified to work here in US). Since I cannot work while being an H4 visa holder, life in US has been almost a complete antithesis of my life in Canada. I have suddenly gone from being a full time no-kids-so-do-as-you-please working woman to a full time stay-at-home-house wife-little-kid-in-tow kind of a woman.

 Picture courtesy: redbus2us.com

Fortunately for me, the H4 timing is the best it could possibly be. Little v is now 19 months old and probably needs me more to be around him than at any later time in his life. I definitely feel reassured that I am around him at this time to set a good foundation- teach him the life skills from the very beginning that I hope will shape him into a good person in the future.

That being said, I have to admit a part of me longs to get back to work. Longs to put my brain cells to use. Longs to have an adult conversation that involves science and medicines and not just nap-times and lunch menus. 

Of course, I know I am not alone in this. Countless women (and some men) who accompany their spouses to US for their jobs face this crisis. In fact, here's a very interesting video I came across that talks about this issue. Meghana Damani, a H4 visa holder as well, decided to document her story - aptly titled 'Hearts suspended'. Check out her side of the story and what some of the Americans had to say about it.

And while I completely understand what the documentary means to say, I agree with every word that the discussion panel says towards the end of the video. At a time when the US economy is struggling and so many of their own are unemployed, it would be absolutely insensitive to think of leniency such as automatic work permits for spouses of H1B visa holders. 

Besides, I knew exactly what I was getting into before I made the move. I knew upfront that there was a high probability of being out of work for quite some time. I could have very well stayed back in Canada (or India for that matter) if I so badly wanted to work. But it was MY decision to move to US. MY decision not to break the family.And now that I have made my decision, I should also have it in me to face what it brings.

So for all its ups and downs, H4 has taught me some valuable life lessons that I dont think would have been possible if I didnt have this opportunity.
- It has made me realize me that I have a husband who incredibly, after all the years of marriage, truly loves and cares for me and little v. On countless occasions over the last few months, N has been my friend, philosopher, guide and more. He has pulled me up each time I would start falling in the 'why-is-life-here-so-monotonous?' pit.

-Being at home has let me make more friends in Boston than I ever could have imagined. Little v is a superb ice breaker (as all little kids are) so starting conversations and then making friends has been easy. I now have enough friends here so this finally feels like home.

-I have come to realize that there is so much more to life than work. Though I love my work (and I know that I will return to it one day), its only one part of my life. As cliched as it sounds, I have known only now that I define my work, my work does not define me.

-And most important of all, being at home has afforded me the luxury of watching my little baby grow from a tiny bundle to a tireless toddler on first hand basis. I have a feeling that one day when I get old and look back at my life, these will probably end up as my fondest memories.

So yes, life is beautiful. Even on H4.

Picture courtesy:lionhearteagle.blogspot.com


P.S. I would love to hear what you think - do drop a line  :)


Aarti said...

nice post!
few things are more to do with motherhood, they have just clashed wid ur h4 timings...:)
and dont ever feel insecure abt ur career...we all knw that u r definitely gng to get back to it...with a bang!..:)
so chillax and enjoy with bingo till u can..:)

Vinaya said...

this is super-sweet comment A!!!After all family is all that matters :)
Love back to you,

Deepa said...

Excellent post Vinaya.

I felt so personally connected to your post as I felt it just mirrored what had been running in my mind.
Many a time, I too have felt torn apart. But when i come to think of it, I feel instilling the right values in the minds of our kids, enjoying the phase of innocence and being there for the kids during the time when they long togetherness with their moms, all stand more important than working and missing out on this beautiful phase.

So just cheerup and live this life to the fullest. Life's not gonna give back these moments to you ever again.


Vinaya said...

Thanks so much Deepa! I agree with each-and-every word you have written..I really do feel that this is the best possible timing for me to take a break :)