Updated: Dec 27, 2020
I was born in a non-orthodox Muslim family. I was never made to feel that there was something different in being a girl. My parents were very clear on their intentions to raise my brother and me as independent and good-natured humans. My mother was an educated woman, thanks to my grandad who broke the rules and got her daughter educated even when the convention did not. Her education helped her well in her marital life, since my father, busy with his work, could give little time to us kids. My mother, being read, would help us in our academics. We were the only ones who didn't go for tuition classes until we hit college. We were kept engaged for all that we could have done with little time to get distracted. I was sent for formal education in one of the best schools in the town. Alongside this, I joined table tennis and ended up representing at the national level. Not only this, I even bagged awards for extracurricular in academics and other sports conducted in-house during both school and college. I was equally motivated to take part in annual functions by contributing to dance, drama, and singing. The same continued until my masters where I not only topped in my college but was well known for my extracurricular activities.
Birth, death, marriage is destined, and these things can't be manipulated. I was the first in my family to be so well educated, engaged in sports, and given all the liberty in the world. Being the only daughter and brought up in an open-minded fashion it came as a surprise for my friends and relatives that I was getting married the arranged way, saying my vows to a guy completely unknown to me without much knowledge about his family. As a cherry on top, I wanted my marriage to happen on ‘Sunnah’; a simple way to join strings between two people. Everything folded up super fast and I married without any plans. But I kept faith in the beloved and believed that he had planned all of this through.
Interestingly, my marriage gave my life a complete turn. My in-laws were in contrast to my family. They were great people, but conventional in many ways which always kept them unsupportive towards me. It took a while for me to digest the change of atmosphere, all thanks to my husband who always trusted my skills and stood beside. Although right after my marriage I was offered a wonderful job by a firm in Mumbai, I for the first time, prioritized my family and shifted to Bangalore with my husband.
After five years of my relationship, I planned and had my first baby. My career was going steady, I got all the support that I could from my organization but was deprived of getting promoted as my due date was near. Life wasn't the same after having a baby! I was back in Bangalore with my baby and my husband. I was all by myself to take care of my baby with little knowledge and postpartum to add to it.
When I was joining back, I felt I was compromising between taking care of a child and my career. Thankfully, both my parents and my husband encouraged me to join back. I resumed my career with many anxieties. It was difficult to rejoin a place after a period of six months. It was like starting from square one. Although I took it up as a challenge yet it was always at the back of my mind that I shall quit if I fail to manage. My parents took turns and helped me cope up with my workplace faster, my husband started looking for a creche and we managed to sort things out. I was back in my work-gusto and soon enough, was titled the performing lady on the floor, bagging appreciations and promotions back to back.
It was the peak of my career, plots ready with deliverables, tight deadlines, and a completely motivated me. To be honest, my second pregnancy came as an unwelcoming shock. But how could I escape what God had planned for me? I kept asking myself how to overcome my pregnancy blues, who will take care of my 2-year-old? How will I, a working woman, manage with two-kids? And will I be able to deliver and get my promotion that was due soon?
Man proposes and God disposes!
I didn't lose hope. My parents kept being my strength, taking care of me and my 2 yr old kid like always. Even my brother was understanding throughout. I could concentrate on work and I worked hard and closed my deliverables. My organization gave me what I deserved and I delivered a healthy baby. My husband went overseas on a project and my parents stood by my side catering to my kids and my tantrums, needs, and requirements. I joined back and my peers supported me too to ramp back.
This time it was a more confident me, standing tall with my parents at home to nurture my kids and me polishing my ladder to climb. But life gets new challenges for you when you least expect. Thanks to lockdown where schools & creche were closed, house helps on the ban, and WFH multiplied the tasks, I got my plates overloaded with kids' classes, home assignments, and my overdue office assignments. Sigh! Mom and Dad, you are no less than angels on earth for me!
Shaista Yasmin is currently working as an Operations Manager for Digitals Apps and Gaming Services at Amazon
The views expressed by the author are personal