#Mumswithoutbabysitters: Pratibha Shares Her Story
Mothers are gifted with patience and multitasking abilities; we multitask tremendously in our day to day living.
I always felt, we underrate our potential. The scenario goes dire once we attain motherhood and we are compelled to let go off our passion. I consider social pressure and at times mom guilt are the major contributors. Nevertheless, I think, we can manage both at ease if we consider the alternatives around.
Even now, while I am starting off with sharing my know-how on being a working mom without any support, I'm juggling with my elder one's homework and little one who is busy with her rider.
On a lighter note, my elder one, reads out few of my jotted lines and says, "Mom, you have all the support from me, dad and little sister!" LOL
Moving on, I would like to share my experience on how best I coped with work and motherhood!
My expedition from an enthusiastic small town gal to career oriented freelance communications professional to wannabe momprenuer has been overwhelming.
This blog takes me back to year 2001. Post my graduation and crash course in Medical Transcription (MT), from Hubli, a small town in Karnataka, I was convinced Bangalore will be THE destination for my aspirations and ambitions. I was keen on further studies, but at the same time was eagerly looking forward to leading a life on my terms. This was more like a typical Bollywood movie, a small town gal chasing her dreams arrives in a metropolitan. I arrived at Bangalore on the historic day, September 11, 2001, 9/11.
I had the best time of my life in Bangalore. I made best friends forever and had a great job in no time. Due to my enthusiasm and multiple promotions, within a span of two years, I had enough savings to take up my dream course in communications from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, also called as Bhavan's Bangalore.
Through campus selection, I got my dream job in India's leading Public Relations company and was associated with them for six years. These were the crucial years of my career, here I was groomed from a fresher to professional with streamlined goals and ambitions. I dealt with a mix of clients who were challenging and rewarding, but taught me nuances of the corporate world. I was a workaholic and always kept up to company's expectations.
I was at the pinnacle of my career, when the love bug bit me. I got married and also planned to have a baby. Even then being on sabbatical or not working never occurred to me. I was confident that I will juggle with work and family priorities with ease.
August 27,2009 is the day my angel came into our life; when I first held her in my arm, my first thought was: I don't want to miss any milestone and want to see her grow, but at the same time, I was not keen on letting go my passion. This is when I made up my mind that I will multitask and ensure both the duties are not compromised.
With almost no support and unwillingness to pick up the obvious options around, freelancing was the best choice for me. I was convinced about my potential, but doing something independently was a challenge, which I readily accepted.
I spent the crucial and much needed 12-months time with my baby which helped us bond. This was also the time I took to understand my baby's moods and sleeping pattern, the best time to work and so on.
I personally feel there is no single formula or "Brahmastra" for working mothers to ensure kids are happy and engaged. Depending on the situation, we should be adaptive.
I would like to share some of the tricks that worked for me:
Play Dates: Once my baby attained 18 months, I started having play dates for her at home and at times her friends' place who stay close by; this also gave me considerable amount of "me" time.
Baby's Naptime and Early Bedtime: Baby's nap time and early bedtime hours could be highly productive. I utilized early bedtime for strategies and quarterly plans and left documentation work for daytime.
Play Areas at Malls: Being in communications, meetings are unavoidable, so once my baby completed two years, I started taking her along for meetings. Play areas at malls are a great option that are child-friendly and safe too.
Work at a Park: This might sound a bit weird, but worked extremely well for me. I used to carry my laptop to parks, where I would work and also ensure that I don't miss out on her special moments.
I couldn't ask for more, I was not compromising on anything.
By the time, my daughter turned 3 years and was in school, her school time turned out to be my dedicated time for meetings and high priority tasks.
Durig this period only, with an objective to create something interesting and healthy for my toddler's lunch box, I got into baking. I found baking to be de-stressing and relaxing. It improves your patience and once you start yielding success, it is so gratifying. Baking time also turned out to be mother-daughter activity, bonding time for us. She enjoys decorating her cupcakes and selecting her toppers.
Though, now I bake only for family and friends, I'm very eager on turning this into a home-bakery business of my own...
Once my toddler, started with schooling, we felt, she should have a sibling and that's when we planned our second child, I must admit, having an elder sibling is a bliss. We didn't realize when the younger one grew up and they both have a great bonding.
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