‘You have one life; Make yourself proud’ is the statement that’s probably guided me, my whole life. Settled in London today, as a Ph.d holder and a mother sometimes tends to give off the impression that I’ve had it all easy: but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
You see, hailing from Madurai in a conservative environment, I’ve been at the forefront of judgement, right from childhood. My decisions, whether to move abroad for my masters or even marry the man of my dreams have been backed, more by internal conviction rather than immediate societal approval. Nevertheless, as an outlier in fierce pursuit of her dreams, I’d managed to push through at every juncture to finally come out successful whilst also gaining the required acceptance.
And, a turning point in that course recently, was my pregnancy. I was fresh into my job then and couldn’t exactly afford a maternity break. It would’ve impacted my larger career trajectory and I wanted to navigate smoothly without compromising on both facets. Now what added further to the pressure was the fact that it was a high risk pregnancy and my husband too couldn’t be with me.
Nevertheless, here’s where I guess mutual empathy and communication played a big role. Never once was my partner against any of my choices; he was truly the wind beneath my wings, throughout! His confidence aided me to work until two days before labour and even overcome all complications subsequently. In the end, we were happy parents to a healthy baby boy.
What was further refreshing was seeing his appreciation seep into both sides of the family, that came together to support me, post partum. We had a system, all planned with our parents, exchanging trips to London to take care of their grandson while enabling me to also focus on my work. And as a working mother, this move came as a big boon, propelling me eventually to excel and even secure the coveted ‘Exceptional Talent Leader VISA’ in the UK, soon after!
Life had indeed come full circle and these wins felt huge, especially as the first-generation woman graduate in my entire family. Marriage doesn’t have to be the end of a lady’s dreams and mothers like me can also reach for the stars, provided our extended families are in sync with our vision. Hopefully, in the years to come, my son looks back at my effort and beams with pride on all that his mom has achieved.”