Harish’s mom narrated her story on work sabbatical after the pregnancy, have you read it already? JWB is meeting 5 working mommies of kids studying in DPS, Jaipur, who will talk about their life during and after maternity leaves. With the campaign ‘Business Lullabies’, we want to see if Jaipur mothers are well accepted at their workplace after maternal leave!
Meet Lavanya’s mom, Prerna Sharma, a Yoga Instructor. Though Prerna is running her own Yoga Institute with a partner, her day is rather hectic. She goes to take classes early in the morning at 5am and comes back only after Lavanya has already left for school. Life was tougher when Lavanya was born. Let us wonder how Mrs. Prerna manages everything:
I and my husband were very clear about having only one child. As a mother, I wanted to give all my time to the baby. When Lavanya was born, I left everything to stay with my doll. Before that, I worked till 7th month of my pregnancy. Luckily, my profession is good for expecting women.
Since I had to drive to my yoga center, doctor suggested me to stop doing it as it could be harmful. Till 7th month I drove and carried on my work, but after that I took a break. This break continued till next 6 months.
Mother vs. Instructor
My job demands interacting with people. I teach yoga to hundreds of people each day, and taking a break is like breaking this cycle. Maternity break was, somewhere, a dilemma for me.
My co-workers and some students thought what if I wouldn’t be as efficient as I was before pregnancy. The time was the one of the factors too as they were worried if I could make it on time or not every day. Moreover, my partner was loaded with all the work while I was on the break. All this made me rethink over my sabbatical decision many times.
Overcoming the stereotypes
When I returned back to work, I had to prove myself. I made sure to be punctual and more efficient than earlier. Good thing was I never had to try too hard because with a child, woman automatically becomes a better time-manager.
During my difficult times, it was my husband who supported me. When everyone else doubted my capabilities, it was him who kept patting my back. I leave for work at 5am and it is him who wakes up Lavanya, packs her school bag, lunch and drops her for the school bus.
Lavanya, though very small, understands her mother’s work schedule. She has wonderfully adapted herself according to my other priorities. She never cries or complains if she doesn’t find me in the morning. She is learning to do her morning chores herself, which is great!
About ‘Business Lullabies’
To women – Don’t feel weak after delivery. If you want to, you can achieve anything!!
I have fought a small battle and have freed myself from stereotypes. I have shown people that there is no stopping for a woman who is determined. I want to spread this message across, and there is no one better than my daughter, Lavanya, to do the task. We both have seen each other growing.
Do you have a story to share on maternal leave? Let us know about it at firstname.lastname@example.org.