This is a perfect opportunity for me to celebrate the working/entrepreneurial spirited mums and say it loud and clear that having a baby (or two!) does not bog us down but only makes us stronger and appreciate life better. Why do media make such a big deal out of it? The superficial societal norms of a 'man's world' are a rogue and obsolete. Our society is changing.
I know numerous successful women who have continued building strong influential careers while being highly competent mums. I would like to think I'm one of them (and very grateful for it).
This is also the perfect moment for me to share a bit of my own journey of becoming an entrepreneur and a mother both at very much the same time.
So, when my first child was born, my business was a baby too (if you know what I mean)! I've had to and continue working extraordinary hours, beyond most people's bedtime, to ensure that I am never compromising on caring for my babies. Whether it meant taking a child to work and breastfeeding between client meetings or while completing someone's ‘life-changing’ ministerial submission with my laptop sitting on the feeding pillow, one thing is for sure that it has not been an easy ride. But it's been worth every minute of it!
Author of the article Arunima Dhingra (Picture: Facebook)
I respect working mothers with all my heart. It's a combination that not just makes you stronger but also makes you value every minute you have with your children. When we had our first-born daughter, I left a high-flying job to fulfil my ever-longing dream of starting my own immigration practice and racing to the top. When the pages were beginning to unfold, we found out that I was expecting. It was the best news ever. Not once did we doubt whether we could make it work. And we refer to our 'husband-wife’ team.
However, I must give full credit to the strong support system I had in place around me that helped me make it all work. My husband, mothers on both sides, friends - we set our routines and priorities right. It was a tight schedule, and there was no time for anything but nappies, feeding, more nappies, more feeding, clients, deadlines and at the end of the day, loads of cuddles.
I have since read numerous articles that state children of working women are wise and more appreciative of good things in life. I hope there is truth to this. My work is my identity, and my kids are my most precious gifts. Both have their own place in my life. So, I remind the media and everyone out there who looks at our Prime Minister's pregnancy cynically- snap out of it and make way for strong, successful women of today.
Indeed, our society is changing.
If I could make it work like thousands of others do every day, so will she!
Best wishes Jacinda! You go, girl!
Arunima Dhingra is director of Aims Global Immigration & Education Services