In our all new ‘Real Moms – Real Stories‘ column, meet a mom, an international publishing consultant, and a caregiver who has been meeting professional plus personal deadlines like a superwoman!
Jaya Bhattacharji Rose, mother to a seven-year-old girl is an an international publishing consultant, and a full-time caregiver of a paralyzed mother-in-law. Jaya shares about her life in this candid interview with The Champa Tree team. Read on to know about her challenges, tips on disciplined parenting, and ways to juggle life’s responsibilities
Tell us about your family?
We are a nuclear family consisting of husband, wife, one seven-year-old daughter and a paralyzed mother-in-law (MIL) who requires 24×7 caregiving. Our routine is very disciplined and methodical since the focus is primarily on the nurturing of the child and caregiving of MIL. Both are at different points of the life cycle that require immediate and patient attention. These need to be done with clockwork precision otherwise something or the other gives.
How does your day start? What time do you wake up and what is your early morning routine like?
I wake up as early as possible. Usually 4:30 AM. I like to get the morning chores such as gym, preparing the food for MIL which has to be mashed and strained for her to take through the food pipe, getting daughter ready for school etc. Doing the school run. If necessary buy the provisions that are required on my way home. Ideally speaking I should be at my desk by 8:30 AM, latest 9:00 AM. I must get my day started.
How does your day span out?
I work methodically. Deal with my correspondence, catch up on my reading, writing, evaluation of manuscripts etc. If need be my meetings are planned for the morning while my child is at school.
Are you a Stay-At-Home-Mom or a part/full-time-professional?
I wear many hats. I am a mother, a professional, a caregiver etc. I am an international publishing consultant who has been associated with the publishing industry since early 1990s. I also have a blog which is at B2C of publishing and has crossed 5 million visitors. I work predominantly from home as I need to monitor my MIL’s health and manage my daughter’s caregiving + supervise domestic chores + cook especially dinner since I am clear investment in health of family is critical and eating junk food is not the solution + my work. It would be impossible to juggle these responsibilities if I was also commuting. But being in a remote location means I need to work twice as hard at my work since I am unable to meet face-to-face on a daily basis with people in my industry. Fortunately technology works and I can remain in touch.
What would you say is your key to juggling and creating a balance with your work and family life?
What is the most challenging part of being a mother?
Unexpected shifts in moods of the child.
Share your best family moments.
Being together. Reading, painting. listening to music. Mostly she is around or with me, including if I have to step out for meetings, so she knows she is as important to me as my professional identity.
What tips would you like to give to moms?
Learn to assert yourself and express your feelings. Negotiate your way through parenting. It is going to be challenging since people try and enforce upon you traditional expectations. Do what you are most comfortable doing while bearing in my mind that your child is equally important if not more as they are starting off with their lives, so make allowances for them.
What is your parenting style?
I am disciplined but indulgent to a certain degree but I will not pander to childhood.
What is important to you- being a real mom or a perfect mom and why?
These are definitions that are subjective. I am clear that being a good parent by being role model for my daughter is of utmost importance. She will learn through my actions. I cannot say something and do something else. I have to live by what I believe.
Any special parenting tip which has worked for you or those which were advised to you but didn’t work?
Not really. Go by your guts and do what is the best way to juggle life’s responsibilities and parenting.
If there was any one thing you could change about you at this point in life, what would that be?