In conversation with working mums who do it all
Being a working mum is a tremendous juggling act that calls for dedication, patience, and tonnes of mental grit. Having a successful career or a family to support comes with its own set of challenges, but when you combine the two, the trials can multiply significantly. Despite all the obstacles in her way, many working mothers are succeeding strongly in our society.
Adiba Hussain is the Director of Tampaco Group, majorly looking after the human resources and the marketing department of the company. Adiba has a 9-year-old beautiful daughter whom she cherishes every moment of her day. Like all working mothers, she's maintained a balanced lifestyle between work and family.
Her daily routine always starts with getting her daughter ready for school. She then has about two hours of 'personal time' to organise her day, after which she heads off to work, occasionally visiting her factory to check up on activities.
"Working for a family business has definitely helped me enjoy a good work-life balance," says Hussain, who feels lucky to be associated with her own people.
Adiba's core value of motherhood shows at work as well as at home. She cares deeply for the workers at the factory, especially the females. She has always involved herself personally with them and is always open to their feedback about their physical and mental health especially when it comes to newlyweds and future mothers.
"I always make sure I'm available to them for anything they need," says Adiba. She also highlights her family's role in helping raise her daughter. Her husband, her mother, and her mother-in-law are always just a phone call away.
Samina Husain Prema is one of Bangladesh's most respected and esteemed classical dancers. Prema has worked exceptionally hard to make her name in the history books and has always said that dance is her identity.
"Dance has influenced every aspect of my life, especially when it comes to my daughter," states the artist. She is the Assistant Director and dance instructor at Shilpakala and has founded her dance school, Bhabna, with the sole purpose of teaching her desired classical dance forms.
She understands the obstacles of managing both work and family. Given that dance can be quite time-consuming and requires a lot of effort from many people. That's why she always tries to bring her lovely daughter along with her to dance lessons whenever she can. Prema also makes sure to spend quality time with her daughter teaching her about different art forms such as dancing, drawing, and singing.
"I've always had a very supportive family who have backed me in my decisions to pursue art and I want to do the same for my girl as well," says Prema.
Her daughter, who is now in grade two, always had a knack for the arts from her infancy. Prema says that during her pregnancy, whenever she listened to music, she swore she could feel the baby moving to the musical rhythm. This theme continued after her daughter was born.
"We would play some music or perform some dance in front of her and she could always pick up the rhythm naturally!" says the loving mother.
The gifted daughter undoubtedly enjoys her mother's passion and has some of her own as well. She loves to dance and sing with her mum and is a very spritely artist as well.
"I have shown my daughter my passionate and fun world and at the end of the day, she is free to choose her path in life," says Prema.
Sabrina Alam is a Senior Lecturer of CSE department, at Independent University Bangladesh, and a proud mother of two children — a daughter who studies in class four and a three-year-old son. Sabrina, like any other working mother, faces the challenge of balancing work and family life.
"It's not easy to do work when you are thinking about your children all the time, but you have to work too," says the work-life juggling mum, who believes that work is an integral part of a woman's identity and independence.
Sabrina's day starts at 6 AM, as she manages the needs of her two children, making sure her daughter is ready for school and her son is taken care of. Her husband also helps out, and together they drop off their son at their parents' house before heading to work. Despite her busy schedule, Sabrina values family time and makes sure to spend quality time with her husband and children after work.
She emphasises the importance of discipline and time management, stating that 'discipline is key' to managing a busy schedule. Technology has helped her stay connected with her family when she is away at work, but the vigilant mother acknowledges the challenges of keeping her children safe online.
Silmat Chisti, the founder of NOBO Designs, understands the challenges of balancing work and family life. Silmat's love for the craft of textiles led her to form NOBO Designs, a company that specialises in designing and promoting textile-based products. She sees her work as a form of activism that helps identify and promote Bangladesh's national identity.
Her journey from an investment banker to an entrepreneur in the textile industry has been remarkable, alongside being a mother of three children, she had her first child when she was 37, she is a successful woman who is doing a remarkable job raising her children and giving them a role model to follow.
Silmat's experience taught her that life has to be flexible, and that goal-setting is crucial. She believes that there is no right balance; instead, life is a balance overall. She advises working mothers to set goals and to make time for themselves.
"Achieving balance is not a linear process, and it requires flexibility and adaptability to navigate the ups and downs of life," says Silmat.
The multitasking entrepreneur and heritage craft researcher's, office provides a nurturing environment for working mothers, where they can bring their children to work. She believes that motherhood is an essential part of a woman's identity, and it should not hinder their professional growth. Silmat emphasises the importance of guiding children to develop healthy digital habits, stating that technology has helped her immensely.
"It's a tool and how you use it depends, it frees me up to track my kids, how they are doing, I can plan things for them," says Silmat.
The stories of these four individuals serve as an inspiration for all working mothers out there. As we celebrate Mother's Day, their stories are a reminder that nothing is impossible, and with determination and hard work, we can achieve our goals, both professionally and personally.
Participants: Silmat Chisti, Adiba Hussain, Samina Husain Prema & Sabrina Alam
Fashion Coordination: Sonia Yeasmin Isha
In collaboration with BackPage PR and KrayonMag