What does it mean to be a mom?
Is it about sacrifices and selflessness? Or is it about being a rock for your child and setting the right examples for them to emulate in their own life? Turns out, it’s a bit of this and a bit of that. There really is no handbook for being the perfect parent; you make mistakes, you stumble, and you learn along the way.
But the experiences you gather along the way are something that prepares you for everything — from work to life. This Mother’s Day, we are celebrating this very journey of motherhood with four incredible BYJUites. Hear from them, stories of love, loss, inspiration, and everything in between.
“My biggest inspiration would be my 63-year-old cousin who is a cancer survivor and also a single mother. She raised her boys on her own and ran her architecture firm in the face of all odds. She has taught me how to truly make the best of opportunities,” says Amrita Roy, Senior Curriculum Director. A former English teacher at IB schools, she joined BYJU’S in April 2021.
For this BYJUite, however, motherhood has been a learning experience. After suffering a miscarriage, her daughter Aamya was born in 2020, in Kolkata, on the day supercyclone Amphan wreaked havoc. “I have had every kind of problem imaginable, including a very tough pregnancy, and it has only taught me to count my blessings even more,” quips Amrita.
But the challenges haven’t deterred Amrita from setting up some important ground rules. “As a working mother,” she shares “I want my daughter to know that her mother has a job to do, that she earns money and has a career that she is passionate about.”
She feels that it is important to normalise the idea of women having ambitions and not shying away from chasing them. “Mothers need to stop feeling guilty about their aspirations or having to divide their time to do both,” she adds.
But the role of a strong support system also cannot be undermined. Says Amrita, “It is my husband who mostly takes care of the day-to-day needs of our daughter while I spend quality time with her when I teach her music or we sit down for our study sessions. Without my family’s support, I don’t think I would have been able to strike this balance and forge the kind of career that I have now,” she adds.
Family support also happens to be the cornerstone of Sidra Nafees’ career and motherhood. With everyone working at her in-laws’ place, Sidra receives tremendous support from her mother to take care of her two-year-old daughter, Yumna. “I’m still breastfeeding her and it’s heartening to see how she waits for the break between sessions, every day, without making a fuss. Whenever I come out of the room, I am welcomed with hugs and kisses,” the new mother beams.
Interestingly, for Sidra, becoming a mother and finding a footing in her career have happened simultaneously. The Academic Specialist shares, “I was a Research Assistant at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), and I had to leave that job during my complicated pregnancy.”
But as it turns out, it all happened for a reason. “I have always been passionate about teaching. After over a year of my daughter’s birth, I realised I wanted to start working again. It was then that this opportunity at BYJU’S came knocking,” she adds.
Welcoming a baby girl has changed Sidra’s life in many ways. If on one hand, it has kickstarted her career in teaching, on the other hand, the experience has made her composed in her approach to work and life. “My daughter has taught me patience and how to control my emotions. And just like my parents gave me the best of everything, I too hope to impart the same to my daughter,” she adds.
Imparting valuable lessons at a young age also happens to be one of Chetna Priyadarshini’s goals. Taking cues from her own childhood, this BYJUite wants her three-year-old son Avyan to lead a full-fledged life. “My mother wanted me to be successful but she never forced me to live her life or pursue the aspirations that she had set for herself. I want the same for my son. He should focus on studies but also on other things that he loves doing,” she says.
Chetna’s journey into motherhood was fraught with its own set of difficulties; so much so that she had to switch base and move back to India from the USA. “It was really difficult to manage with an infant there. Sometimes, I would feel that I wasn’t doing enough for my son. But more importantly, I wanted to come back because I realised that I needed familial support,” shares Chetna.
This decision — as crucial as it was — has been a turning point for her. Says the Engineering Manager, “I feel I have better work-life balance now. While I have several things to prioritise every day — my job, my family and my son — I try my best to find a balance where I give myself enough space to be happy, so that my child can also be happy and get the attention that he needs. It’s a lot of responsibility and sometimes can be a little challenging.”
However, this mom-of-one has all the support that she needs from her family. “Avyan’s grandfather introduced him to puzzles and he’s getting quite good at it. He’s just learning to read and write and he loves it when I read to him every night before bed,” she shares.
With two children — eight-year-old Khushi and six-year-old Rishi — Shantha Kariyaiah has been navigating motherhood for a while now.
She shares, “My mother is my biggest inspiration, she has taught me immense patience. Growing up, we had very limited financial means but my mother never lost her temper or her will to do what was best for us. I try really hard to emulate all that I have learnt from my mother when navigating work and life.”
A Senior Quality Assurance Engineering Manager at BYJU’S, Shantha has had a distinguished career; she comes with over 15 years of experience. And this has been possible because she realised early on the importance of education. “It was my mother who impressed upon us that education is key to building a career and a better life,” shares Shantha.
When Shantha’s father was diagnosed with cancer, it was her mother who patiently took up the responsibility to run their home. “She was not educated, as she didn’t have the opportunity to go to school. But that didn’t stop her from ensuring the best for us. Her dedication as a mother is something I wish to emulate,” adds the BYJUite.
Motherhood has multiple facets and is unique to every mother. This Mother’s Day, let’s take a conscious step away from the notion of the ‘perfect’ mother and celebrate the ‘real’ mums out there.
What is that one life lesson you have learnt from your mother? Tell us in the comments below.
Bidushi took a left turn from journalism and landed up in the corporate world. She is a foodie and considers eating good food amongst the greatest joys of life. Keen on travelling and exploring new places, Bidushi has spent the last four years of her life in three different Indian cities. But she has also learned that her bedroom is her happy place. Screens relax her greatly — whether it's watching a movie or a TV show or reading a riveting bestseller on her e-reader. A cheerful person, she prides herself on making friends easily. When not working, Bidushi can be found spending time with her parents, talking to her friends over a call, or browsing the internet for that one lipstick!
Arya C is a 4th grader who talks about her transition from the US to India and how BYJU`S has helped her at that. She also loves how BYJU`S has made learning a lot more fun.
Meet Sourabh who has a ton to say about his BYJU`S learning experience. His love for quizzes, games and other fun activities are paying off!
V Shriya is a class eight student who has been using BYJU’S for a year now. She shares her experiences with using the app and how it has helped her in improving her academic performance.