- Posted July 7, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
The written word: Your personal essays
Yes, Ms Nooyi, I can have it all
I admire Ms Nooyi for her professional achievements but what a let down if she says she cant have it all. l. Well then , with a career to boast of , a supportive husband , live-in mum , two lovely daughters , co workers who accommodated her and in her own words , helped her raise her kids if there is more you want , then surely there is no end to a man’s er, a woman’s greed !
Jokes aside, her comment has yet again , sparked a debate : sexist remark? Mena cant have it all either! Regressive remark? So what exactly did she mean? And why do I, as a mother of two , with a career where I lead the function for 9 countries, feel I have it all? And no , I have no live in parents or in-laws and neither do my co workers help me raise my kids!
For one , I do NOT suffer from The Guilt Syndrome! All choices are designed and intentional and not left on chance. I chose to work , chose to get married and chose to have babies. When you choose engineering as a stream , you miss out on medicine, do you feel guilty? When you choose to stay at home instead of working outside of home do u feel guilty? No because its all chosen lifestyle. As long as choices are free, there is no room for guilt
Secondly, motherhood for me is a enjoyable journey and not a cross to bear . I realized this much early in my life when I saw how my father was woven into our lives even though he worked full time as a banker and was home never before 7 pm – he knew my BFF and their stories , my exams syllabi , my preparedness for it et al. It didn’t matter, that he way away three quarters of the day. What mattered was, what he did when he was home. And in todays day and age , parenting can be far more effective and well done , if its defined well.
So whats Parenting? Is it about changing diapers , feeding and escorting the child ? Or is it about play-dates , PTAs and birthday parties. Parenting, is all this and more but at a broader level, it is about spending enough time with the child to instill whatever values and world view you want to instill. In enabling the child to be the person s/he is capable of, and for that , you need to become the person you are capable of – whether it’s a doctor , chef or stay at home mom.
There are eight principles of Attachment parenting as per a study done by psychologist John Bowlby. It says : Prepare for birth and pregnancy , Feed with love and respect , respond with sensitivity , Use nurturing touch , ensure safe sleep , provide consistent and loving care , practice positive discipline and strive for balance in life.
I give myself a perfect ten on the above! If you miss your child’s birthday , will that make you lesser of a mother? If you are unable to attend your child PTA will that make u an ineffective parent? No. What makes you an irresponsible ineffective parent is if you have not ensured safe, a nurturing and learning environment for your child. If consistently you have chosen something else over your children. The operative word here being consistent! If you are not consistent with your love to the child.
And to get there , just like to get anywhere in life , you need the support of people. Is there any achiever who has single handedly scaled the height of success ? For me too , my husband and work place accommodated and supported a lot. No , I never got to get my kids to office or my co worker to ensure my kids have finished their homework , but I did have managers who would accommodate if I had to leave early or come in late. A husband who shared equal responsibility in raising the children, so if I had a meeting he would stay back when nannies didn’t show up! So no , I didn’t have to leave a 2 month old in the day care or miss annual days of my kids. Not yet. But if I do in future , which I am sure I will have to , there is no way in hell that I will feel guilty.
Aah , I must be those lucky women who got supportive partners and organization! NO. They supported because , I ASKED. Yes. Its that simple. Ask for help. You need a village to raise a child. Ask for help and you will be surprised.
What matters is what you do with the child and not how you do it. Yes , I am not at home to embrace my child when they return from school but mine is the first number they dial out as soon as they reach to update me on what happened at school. My husband , me and my kids school calendar is synced and planned to ensure one of us is their for al their PTA. Annual and sports day. So please Ms Nooyi and all the great women in this world , focus on the coffee and not on the cup!!
Someone who BELIEVES shehas it all