In our Real Moms – Real Stories column, Meet Chennai-based baker mum Usri Sen. A successful & experienced PR professional called it quits when she was given a cold shoulder & sidelined at work after resuming work post-maternity leave. Read on to know her struggle
Motherhood brings with itself an unparalleled experience, it’s so beautiful and fulfilling that it’s beyond words. However, for a working mother, it brings with itself tons of scrutiny at the workplace. I remember putting in that extra effort and extra hours just so that no one could doubt my competence given the fact that I was pregnant. Everything was just fine until the baby popped out, I took extra months as leave and joined back post 8 months. It was quite a rude shock when I went back, the battle was to prove my mettle all over again. Fourteen years of experience seemed to have disappeared, I was being questioned and cornered like I was an intern. Months later, I bagged an award for best PR and Communication in the South by a national business magazine and I presumed things to get better only to awake to tougher times. It was then I decided to call it quits. It was one of the toughest decisions. As a woman, insecurities come in gallons, as a mother they multiply by many-folds. I was unsure about my career, about my identity and definitely about the paycheques. But I told to myself, I am one of those few privileged women who do not have to earn to pay the bills, and so, if I in my privileged position, do not raise my voice, who will then. So, once I made up my mind and passed on the resignation letter, I felt liberated, I truly felt that I could be myself all over again. It’s a clean slate now and I could paint my dreams. Well, they sound like poetry, and reality is nothing that you imagine.
Well! As they say, once a mother… Always a mother. However, I still believe in keeping the individuality intact. It’s a struggle to find time for oneself amidst the beautiful chaos, but it is totally worth it
How does your day start? What time do you wake up and what is your early morning routine like?
My day starts at around 5:00 AM. That way, I get ample of time for myself. I start with meditation and chanting and follow it up with tons of introspection. I feel it’s very important to spend some time with your own self, not just in a spa or salon or shopping but just with your inner self, broadens the horizon to a great extent. Being a mother of a 3-year-old, the routine does not involve any diversity. The usual sending the child off to school, prepping for meals and looking after my son. I do bake occasionally and squeeze time in between for that.
My son Trehan is back by 12:00 noon from school. Sans any nanny or help, it is then a roller coaster ride at home for me.
I am a hobby baker, what that means is baking started as a hobby and I have just started baking professionally. Since I operate from home, I have the liberty and flexibility of time and I prefer indulging in baking in the afternoon or in the night.
What would you say is your key to juggling and creating a balance with your work and kids?
The moment we stop obsessing about our children and start putting a little effort into oneself, the balance is automatically introduced. A little bit of planning, courage to let go, harmony within self is a great enabler in creating a balance. Further, the mundane routine and growing age saps off our energy and it’s important to include exercise and clean eating in your regime. My mantra is love and respect yourself to spread a positive vibe.
What is the most challenging part of being a mother? Have you managed to overcome it? If so, how?
I think it’s an ongoing process and motherhood is always challenging. But let’s begin with stopping to glorify motherhood. Let’s accept that it’s not all happy tears, it’s an extremely exhausting experience both mentally and physically and its time we change the societal norms. Accept a situation and listen to your instinct and work accordingly.
How do you spend time with your kids on weekends? Share your best family moments.
Our weekends are not very different from weekdays as my son goes to a play-school only for a few hours. But, the usual, spending a little bit extra time, Subba taking him to a play-date or bike drive helps immensely.
Do you manage to get some personal time for yourself? What do you like to do in this leisure time?
I love my personal space – as I mentioned, I wake up early so that I get some time for myself. I occasionally and unapologetically indulge in lunch, films, coffee, salon time with my friends. I used to read a lot that has taken a hit and I plan to rekindle that soon.
Any special parenting tips that have worked for you or those which were advised to you but didn’t work?
What is your parenting style?
If there was anyone thing you could change about you at this point in life what would that be?
About Powerful stories from Real Moms. Real Stories: This section on The Champa Tree caters to stories of real moms. This is a platform for all mothers to share their stories and in turn inspire each other to take a step ahead in life. Parenting being the center of discussion in this section, everyday struggles can be dealt with by reading each other’s experiences with their little ones. If you would like your story to be read, and heard, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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