Being a working mom of any kind can be challenging but these 5 women are showing us that they can do it like a boss!
There is nothing more daunting than taking on the mammoth role of a working mom, to many of us who have contemplated the leap. At JobsForHer, our team is comprised of mostly women who stood at that precipice some months ago, looking down into the abyss and wondering if we actually could, if it was in us to do.
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Here are 5 women who are rocking it/rocking the boat, but doing it all somehow, one day at a time.
1. Madhurima Das – PhD, Chief Evangelist & Co-founder, Science Media Center, IISc
Being a working mother and a first time entrepreneur has a two-fold challenge. You want the best for both your babies. What I have learned over the last 18-21 months is that it is essential to accept your limitations and bank on your strengths. It is important to let go. Do the absolutely important things, while some things CAN wait.
Also always remember that you, your child, your family, and your work form a unique quadrangle. No two stories are the same. What has helped me the most is Prashant (my husband) who also took a baby-break and is an ‘equal’ parent in every sense of the phrase. There have been difficult moments, especially the first year with the start-up when I overestimated my abilities to multitask. There have been bumps but I have recovered thanks to a fabulous team. And finally, what I have learned best is from Ira (my daughter): to live each moment like life is meant to be lived.
2. Dr. Ashlesha Bagadia – Psychiatrist at Fortis La Femme and Cloud 9, Malleswaram
‘Rocking boat’ is probably the best way to put it!
My mornings: So I try to wake up before Aadhya, but on many days she ends up waking me up, asking for breakfast. So we’re up, rushing around making breakfast, packing lunch, and getting her and me ready. Husband hovers around in the background doing his thing, and sometimes wants in on the action, so may iron an occasional school shirt.
But the mornings I would say I’ve rocked it are when I wake up pre-dawn, spend an hour at the gym, and return to find Aadhya having a bowl of oats prepared by the husband! Or, the weekend morning when I decide to just ditch the perfect-mom-cape and sleep in, only to learn that Aadhya decided to make herself breakfast instead of starving to death (a modest butter toast, but who’s complaining?)!
Sometimes I get the balanced meal thing right, sometimes I throw a sandwich together. We make sure that the kid is in bed between 8-9pm, so that we have a good couple of hours to do our own thing. We don’t have a TV so we’re either catching up on a TV series online or working on journals/work related reading. On some days I love my current lifestyle, on others I’m overtaken by the desire to do more, work longer, change the world etc. Slowly work is gaining momentum and I can feel the pressure building.
So I’m going to stick to working part-time and enjoy it while it lasts!
3. Srishti Sofat – VP—Product Development, Oracle India
My support system has been key – husband is the biggest one! My mom was a huge support when the kids were small, and my mom-in-law is, now.
In terms of staff, I’m overstaffed for backup. We have cooks, live-ins, part-times, and drivers, who have been super critical to make it all work.
Prioritizing is key. Kitchen, menu, laundry, attending birthday parties etc. are items that are not on the top of the list. My kids’ homework, my work and exercise is.
Slotting things has helped me a lot! Play-time, media time, lunch time, homework time, classes, and as much scheduling and sticking to a routine on weekdays. I have my calls – early mornings after kids leave to school and late nights after kids head to bed. Typically 6–9pm is my time with them.
We take lots of small vacations, which are a good time to take a break! Connecting with family has been something that works well to re-charge. I’m off to Bali this month!!!
4. Neha Bagaria – Founder—JobsForHer
Stop trying to balance, and start trying to integrate by making the most of new-age technologies. Build yourself a great team at work and a great team at home. Rally around your supporters – husband, mother-in-law, relatives, babysitters, and of course, supportive colleagues. Pencil in your work appointments as well as your home priorities into your calendar and give them equal importance. When at work don’t feel guilty about not being at home, and when at home, don’t feel guilty about not being at work! I find that these work-life hacks have helped me immensely on the professional and personal front.
5. Priya N – Business Development Research Executive
I gave 10 of the best years of my life to build a good rapport with my family (i.e. my husband, my son and my in-laws). Now, my son is 10 years old, so I thought that I should return to my professional life and start rocking that too! As I gave the utmost care to my family they in turn have now given me the freedom to come back to work. I plan everything well in advance from cooking, to cleaning, to spending time with my family – so I have no difficulty in managing work and my home/family routine.
Whether you are rocking it or rocking the boat, we are always in awe of women who manage to keep all their balls in the air, somehow, and these 5 everyday women give us cause to pause and take a look at how we could better manage our time, too.
All that these women needed to get back to the careers that very obviously define a huge part of who they are, was the knowledge that there were companies who wanted them back and who would do what they could to retain them for the invaluable talent that they brought to the table.