On Mother’s Day, we can’t help but think of this tear-jerker scene from Main Hoon Na:
Zayed Khan flippantly says, “Ma to sabki hoti hai,”, to which, an emotional Shah Rukh replies, “Sabki nhi hoti”.
Even after so many years, these three simple words have the power to tug at your heartstrings, emphasising the importance of a mother in a person’s life, irrespective of their age. She packs your dabba for school, forgets to have lunch while playing with you, and postpones her work meeting to take you to the doc. She does all this and more, while loving you unconditionally.
On Mother’s Day 2023, we are discovering young and ambitious moms, who care for their little ones while acing their careers. It’s not easy, and they don’t claim that it is. They aren’t disillusioned about their roles; they don’t declare that they have it all under control. Instead, they are demanding support, so that they can do justice to their many responsibilities.
We had the privilege of speaking to two such enterprising and headstrong mothers, right here at BYJU’S. Let’s hear from them and get inspired by their journeys.
This Mother’s Day, we present to you a two-part series, featuring Viveka Rajagopal, Associate Manager – Curriculum, K-3, and Preksha Mangal, Director, BYJU’S Exam Prep. Continue reading to find out the kind of support Viveka received from her team, her views on sharing responsibility at home, work-life balance at BYJU’S, and so on. You can read Preksha’s side of the story here.
On the team’s reaction and attitude:
How did the team react when you announced that you were expecting?
I wasn’t in the best of health during my first trimester. I needed my manager’s support at this critical time, and I am glad that he came through for me and then some. He would step in and take my calls whenever I couldn’t make it, he was open and accommodating, and was always there for me. I got similar support from my team lead and the rest of the BYJU’S team.
It’s quite common to hear of cases where pregnant women aren’t assigned new projects or even included in discussions. Fortunately, I did not have to face this. I was part of a team that was constructing new experiences; we would brainstorm on the next action plan, create a new curriculum, and so on.
On support from the team:
What kind of support did you get from the team when you came back from your maternity leave?
My first week back, I worked from home, and then slowly started going to work, transitioning seamlessly into my office mode. To help me get back in touch with everything that I missed, I received a huge amount of support. Very soon I was back in the thick of things, and it was like I had never left!
On support from the family:
How has your family supported you, once your maternity leave ended and you rejoined work?
My family’s support has equipped me to work from the office. My mom has moved cities to be with me and take care of my little one, so that I can be at peace at work. Similarly, my husband looks after my boy when I am not around.
My family understands and appreciates my career ambitions, and they make sure they’re doing their bit to make my life easier and more manageable, so I can work towards my goals.
On sharing responsibilities:
Do your husband and you share the load?
In principle, yes. But sometimes, due to societal expectations and age-old conditioning, I end up doing more, even though we’re working on making it as balanced a partnership as possible. I think mothers need to remind themselves that the child is not just their responsibility, and let their partners contribute equally.
On work-life balance:
Do you think you are able to maintain a work-life balance at BYJU’S?
I’ve always had a good work-life balance, but the very definition of this term has changed for me. Earlier, it used to be work and me-time. Now it is work and baby-time! But I am happy that I get enough time to spend with my cupcake, because that is extremely important.
I don’t have mom guilt, because I think I have been able to balance my personal and professional life decently well at BYJU’S. I don’t carry my work home or vice versa because I believe in being present in the moment, one hundred per cent.
On the toughest part of being a mom:
What would you say is the toughest part of being a mother?
Even if I am physically exhausted, I have to make sure that the baby is fed and cosy. Your comfort takes a backseat because the baby always comes first. And above all, I think that nagging fear of whether you’re doing the right thing, and if you are doing everything you can, makes this a tough “job”.
On career advice for expectant moms:
What advice would you give expectant/young mothers on managing their careers?
Once you know you’re expecting, plan your life with your career in mind. This will help you understand what support you will need, and from whom. Ask for it! It will aid you in your journey called motherhood, while you balance your career.
On women being asked how they juggle multiple roles:
Since time immemorial, women have been asked how they manage their kids and work, while no man is asked the same. How does that make you feel?
While it feels annoying to be asked, if one mother’s response benefits another who is struggling, we have accomplished something. But men should definitely be asked the same question, to reveal how much THEY contribute towards the upbringing of their own children!
Viveka has been with BYJU’S since 2019. She has a one-year-old boy, Samarth.
Don’t forget to wish your mom a Happy Mother’s Day! Celebrate her today and every single day.
(This story has been put together by Storyweaver, Neha Dua)
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