BBC In MomVersation With MomStar Gayatri Rao Part-1
A mother of two boys – she heads a Content Writing team and works entirely from home. Passionate about books, travel, gardening and fitness; she finds J.K Rowling totally inspiring and wonders how amazing it would be to think like her!
Here is a transcription of their chat, read on...
AC: Being a working woman, how difficult was it for you to jump into motherhood?
GR: I didn’t have to make an effort to enter motherhood. I knew the game too well. When I was twelve, my twin half-sisters were born. With twin siblings an extra helping hand was always needed. I even knew how to bathe them! I was fascinated by babies back then and did a lot of it willingly.
AC: For how long were you on a sabbatical from work?
GR: I worked off and on. I moved companies to keep my career running while my babies grew up. But unfortunately in India a mum who leaves for home on time, even if she gives in a full day’s work without unnecessary breaks, is considered a non-achiever. I realized right then that my priorities were different. I needed a job that revolved around my kids and not the other way round. It has been four years since I’ve been working entirely from home and in a job that gives me the flexibility to schedule my work as long as I manage to keep to the timelines. So here I am, happy to work like a zombie - late at nights or early in the mornings!
AC: Was getting back to work difficult? If so how did you overcome it?
GR: Getting back to work outside home is tough. Every little thing you do at your workplace reminds you of your baby. It is the worse first few days but it does get better after a while. But I could never enjoy a corporate dinner or outing without the feeling of guilt and the worry of what my kids were doing back home. I never actually overcame it; I was just lucky that I found a work-from-home option.
AC: How was your pregnancy journey? Did you face any challenges? How did you deal with them?
GR: Both my pregnancies were uneventful, by this I mean I was really blessed. I did everything any normal person did just in safer measures. I travelled to work till the end of my term, but what caught me off guard was the RA (rheumatic arthritis) symptoms I was showing post pregnancy after my first born. Arthritis runs in my family. I was traumatised when I had to endure that pain. All the joints in my body ached; it got worse in the mornings and when it was cold. I couldn’t turn from one side to another in bed without help forget holding my baby and all that as a breastfeeding mom.
Even though I found a good doctor, no one could get me to take the medicines because the thought of taking strong medicines during breastfeeding was tearing me apart. This is when my husband sat me down and explained that I had to take the medicines to ensure better motherhood instead of a painful one. Sometimes it takes only a partner to put sense into you. I am glad he did.
AC: What about your husband do you admire the most?
GR: What I admire most about him is his dependability. While I cannot depend over him to watch over while the milk boils, I can sure lean on him and know that the kids are happy while I am away spending my ‘me’ time.
AC: Work, home, kids, husband. How do you manage everything seamlessly?
GR: A healthy lifestyle - diet and exercise included; is all a woman needs to stay strong in both, body and mind! Only this gives you the energy to course through your day without losing it. To manage everything seamlessly, stay organized. I don’t have a cook so I need to plan and get the menu ready in my head the day before. With kids, there is a lot of last minute work, which my husband takes over when he is home. In fact after he comes back he is completely with them, which gets me to complete a lot of undone work.
AC: Three advantages of working from home and 3 disadvantages
- It helps me be a part of my children’s world without missing a thing. I have always wanted the cake and wanted to eat it too!
- There is no hassle of commute, which is crazy in the cities I have lived. It saves the commute money and also the money I’d invest in formal clothes!
- There is no geographic limit. I can be at office anywhere I go and the best part of all is that I can be in my PJ and still take an important office call.
- It is tough to develop camaraderie with your work mates when you work remotely.
- With children in the house, it is tough to take an important call and be professional. Usually when I have to take a work call I make arrangements but this one time when an urgent con-call was arranged and the kids were at home, I left my older one in charge of the younger fellow. But in a few minutes, the younger one kept banging my door like there was no tomorrow, screaming ‘potty-potty’. It was so embarrassing and I had to drop off the call.
- There are instances when I am so slovenly dressed that I think if I was out at office I would appear better.
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