'A supporting husband is a working mother's backbone'
On the occasion of Mother's Day, Meghna Ghai Puri, president of Whistling Woods International, gives tips on how to become a successful working mother.
Being a mother is an incomparable joy. It is the best thing that happened to me. Motherhood is full of cherished memories yet you have to make a decision “to let your heart walk out of your body for the rest of your life.”
Any mother will relate to this statement. Hence Motherhood is also a huge responsibility.
Responsibility that we parents, especially mothers, have to ensure our children are safe, secure and most importantly grow up to be good human beings.
My children are young. Aanya is 7 and Ranveer is 3. They demand my time.
Being a working mother I don’t get to spend as much time with them as I would like. I try to make sure I balance it out when I am with them.
I got pregnant within 6 months of opening the project I had worked on for 6 years, Whistling Woods International. I worked through my pregnancies and also took my children to work so I could feed them for at least a year and see them all the time.
It was a luxury I had and I took full advantage of it.
I often get asked, “You work full-time?” and when my answer is in the affirmative they ask, “How do you manage? How do you do justice to work and home both?”
These are good questions. Good questions that I don’t really have concrete answers for.
I feel with motherhood, women get this extra charge of life. Before becoming a mother I could not survive on anything less than 9 hours of sleep. Now if I get 6 straight hours of sleep, I am happy.
Yes sleep is something you stop taking for granted once you have kids. But one thing I do have to say is that having a good support system is the most important thing for working mums to keep their sanity.
A good support system in terms of family; domestic help allows me to multi-task and prioritise better.
My world revolves around family and Whistling Woods International is my passion; my father’s dream that I am living each day. Both my roles have an emotional connect with me and are a part of my being.
I won’t say it’s easy to ensure balance and harmony. However, with time it has become a habit, a seamless pattern.
Luckily for me, my partner-in-crime is my husband. His support towards work as well as our home life is invaluable.
We work together and so it is easy for us to swap roles at home and at work. A supporting husband is a working mother’s backbone.
It would have been 100 times harder without him. So a great amount of credit goes to Rahul.
I have a lot of respect for stay at home mums. I cannot imagine how much they put into their homes and children without having an outlet like us working mothers. I know how much my mum, being a stay-at-home-mum, sacrificed to bring me up.
Strangely it was always her decision to ensure that I have a career first then a family. I was fortunate to marry into a family who supported my career completely.
My mother-in-law, a doctor, has been a huge inspiration. She practiced in the UK and had her three boys there. She never had the convenience of household help and raised her children and continued her practice for 30 years; and balanced work and home beautifully.
So knowing that she could do this, she always encouraged me and has been a constant support in my work and home life.
Good domestic help is God sent. Luckily for me our help are extremely reliable, and I can trust my children with them. They are like extended family to me and have a positive influence on both my children.
Prioritising is another important aspect of finding this balance. It is much easier said than done.
To maintain harmony, mothers need to draw some ground rules and stick to them. A very important rule I have set for everyone who works at Whistling Woods, including me, is to always put their children and their health before anything else.
When children are sick, the one thing they need is their mother’s attention, care and warmth.
My fondest memories with my mother include the times when she used to tend to me whenever I was unwell.
That’s why I ensure I am by my child’s side even when they have a minor illness.
All in all, the recipe to being a successful working mother is to stay calm, positive and alert.
My advice to all new mums or mums-to-be out there would be to not get stressed about parenting and its challenges but to trust their instincts because and I quote Elder M Russell Ballard: There is no one perfect way to be a good mother. Each situation is unique. Each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities, and certainly different children. The choice is different and unique for each mother and each family.
Image: Meghna Ghai Puri with chidren Ranveer and Aanya and husband Rahul