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Redefining careers, pursuing passions after motherhood

It is very easy to get stuck within the boundaries that we build for ourselves. To win, we must learn to adjust these boundaries, even if it means redefining a few rules.

opinion Updated: Aug 27, 2018 15:04 IST
gurugram,gurgaonmoms,neela kaushik
Some women have successfully used motherhood to redefine their careers and pursue their passion. (Photo used for representational purposes only)(Getty Images)

When a child is born, the mother is born too. We meet a ‘new’ us that we never knew existed before. I never in my wildest imagination thought I would put my career on hold and choose child-rearing instead. But I did just that, and I enjoyed every bit of it. It was like reliving my childhood all over again with ‘Junior’. However, I must mention that when I wanted to get back to work, it was not an easy affair. That was when I decided to look at ‘GurgaonMoms’ as a ‘social venture’.

Motherhood pushes us to do some awesome things. Thanks to the community, I constantly keep meeting some very inspiring women. Some of them have successfully used motherhood to redefine their careers and pursue their passion.

Natasha Badhwar, the first woman videographer in Indian news channels, quit her career after 13 years, at a time when she was the vice-president of the training and development department. Interestingly, her reasons for quitting was not just to take care of her three children, but also to grow as a professional and work independently. Today, she is an extremely successful author and columnist. After the success of her first book, she is slated to get two more books published before end of this year.

Bayiravi Mani was a full time cake-decorator, when her son was born. She returned to work after 45 days. Her job required her to be on her feet for 12 to 15 hours everyday. She ended up carrying him in a baby carrier. Her husband also started using it extensively. That’s where she got the idea to launch her own line of ergonomic buckle baby carriers and baby slings which are made in fabric suited to Indian weather.

Manisha, yielded to her family’s demands and became an engineer. However, her interests were in creative pursuits like make up, henna designing, baking, etc. After motherhood, she pursued cosmetology to come up with solutions for her older child, who was suffering from acute eczema. That was the start of her organic skincare and makeup brand, which is used by over 10,000 salons all over India.

Anupriya Kapur, a BPO employee, started blogging after motherhood. As her readership and visibility increased, brands noticed her and she was able to monetize her blog. Today, she is an influencer and has an active blog and an Instagram account.

None of them have received any formal training in what they are successfully pursuing today. But they utilised motherhood as an opportunity to pause and do a bit of course correction, keeping in mind the newer responsibilities, their aspirations, and the bigger picture.

Has it been an easy journey for any of them? Definitely not. They have had their fair share of struggles. They have picked up skills on the way. Anupriya initially faced ridicule for putting out her personal details. For Bayiravi, it was a difficult decision to abandon a thriving business and to create a start-up from scratch. Though Manisha had the passion and the know-how to create organic skincare and makeup, but had little or no idea about investments, selling or marketing, storage, team-building etc. She had to learn it the hard way. Natasha points out a universal problem that many freelancers face — unfair payment policies.

However, they have surmounted these problems. They all unanimously agree that everyday is a new learning experience. It is their passion and the determination to succeed that help them keep moving forward. It is very easy to get stuck within the boundaries that we build for ourselves. To win, we must learn to adjust these boundaries, even if it means redefining a few rules.

Natasha observes “When you are a mom, you are really in the most creative and productive phase of your life. The best gift we can give our children is having a fulfilling, challenging life for ourselves. That will make us excellent role models for the next generation.“

Here is a quick checklist for moms who wish to start out on their own:

1. Identify a product or service, which, you believe, has some value for others

2. Understand if there is a reasonable demand for it to make your efforts worthwhile

3. Are you confident that you can dedicate the necessary amount time, and are determined to make your venture successful?

4. Network, network and network

5. Be willing to learn and undergo training programs

Here is wishing you all the very best. Have a happy and fulfilling motherhood, and spread the cheer.

(An advocate of women’s rights, Neela Kaushik started a Facebook community called Gurgaon Moms to create a local support network for mothers in the city. Today, it has more than 25,000 members.)

First Published: Aug 27, 2018 14:29 IST