No solo trips, no writer’s retreat in Himalaya’s, no travelling for work, because the kids are small.
I say that a lot to myself. It gnaws at me some days, as I think about what all that has happened in the course of my life. How the world has changed, how I suddenly became middle-aged (not really middle-aged though I feel middle aged mostly)? Looking back, I realized after motherhood my life came to an abrupt halt. It might not seem like that from the outside, after all, I have a full-fledged career (the definition of independence), but with motherhood, the dynamics changed.
A few weeks back I found myself in the middle of the first Women’s Writer Festival organized by SheThePeople.TV and the Vedica Scholars Programme for Women. I took a half day off from work, drove 40 Km in a frenzy to breathe in the same air as that of Urvashi Butalia. I have been reading and admiring her since college and to hear her speak was literally an honor. There were others—the extremely funny Radhika Vaz, the poetic mom blogger Natasha Badhwar, Veena Venugopal (love her FB posts and metro series on Instagram), and many famous journalists whom I admire on television. The discussion ranged from feminism to workplace to babies to patriarchy to mom-in-laws to whatnot. But there was this one session “Motherhood: The ultimate battleground” which stole the show for me.
The panelists were prominent authors Bee Rowlatt, Sonya Dutta Choudhary, Yashodhara Lal and Natasha Badhwar and Nirupama Subramanian and they discussed how balancing motherhood makes it difficult to navigate the workplace. A topic close to my heart. In the course of the discussion, I realized we all have one thing in common—they faced the same trials that I am going through right now—juggling the demands of a family with a career.
Listening to them was a revelation and the best part was they all agreed that it’s really difficult, and things get compromised. Basically, for a women everything boils down to how she manages to divide available time between the two activities and balance it. Balancing, Balanced existence? Can a balanced existence earn me substantial job satisfaction? I don’t think so!
But if one is passionate and competent in one’s area of specialization, if you can manage your time well, if you are better than average—then maybe it is possible. And looking at the bright eyes of all those successful women made me believe in it.