Mother's Day: How a mompreneur balances priorities

Mother's Day: How a mompreneur balances priorities

Mother’s Day is here and everyone is looking for that perfect gift or planning something special for their mother. But do we need a separate day for celebrating our bond with our mother? I embrace my relationship with my mother every day. And so does Banani Das Dhar, an entrepreneur, author and mother of a seven-month-old, whom I had the opportunity to meet recently.

In her first book, 'Emotions and Elation', that will be released this June, she has penned down her experiences while expecting her baby.

“I never understood the love of a parent till I became a parent myself,'' says Banani. “Today when I look at my mother, I know that I’m looking at the purest of love one will ever know,” she adds.

Banani and baby along with her husband Subhashish Dhar

Banani hails from Assam but Bengaluru is her home now. Living away from her mother for almost 10 years now, she does miss her mom and finds it difficult to manage everything on her own.

“My mother taught me to lead a respectable life, a life which we have to create for ourselves,” she says.

Her mother is a government employee and works in the Public Works Department in Assam.

Banani's mother began working the age of 18 and hasn't looked back since. “At the age of 19, I asked my mom why she had to work so hard when dad was bringing home a handsome salary. She said it was because she loved her job. This is what keeps her going. It’s her passion,” says Banani.

Her mother, she says, believes human beings, irrespective of their gender, should work and work, not for others, but for oneself. This is what inspires this entrepreneur to work harder and lead a happy life.

“It’s amazing being a mom. However, it comes with its own challenges. Being a vagabond (what I call myself), travelling with a baby can be quite challenging. Before I became a mum, my husband and I didn't rethink when choosing a travel destination, but now our baby is our priority. We choose places according to our baby’s preferences and as parents, we are getting adaptive. We like this paradigm shift,” she says.

Like many working mothers, Banani found it challenging to juggle work and take care of her baby. “Even though I have a babysitter at home, Lakshya (her baby) sleeps in my arms, isn’t that lovely? I can leave out any important stuff for this,” she says. "Your children need your presence more than gifts or toys," she adds.

On the guilt every working mother suffers from, Banani has a different take. She says one shouldn’t feel guilty if you are dedicating a few hours of the day to your work.

“If you plan or schedule your work well, chances are you will end up feeling less guilty. I have gone through the same and am going through it even now, but I’m becoming a better planner. Thus I can spend time with my baby without my work getting affected. Be with your baby when you are supposed to be but don’t let the thoughts of your work hover around you and vice-versa. Concentrate and do one thing at a time. And I know we strong women are smart enough to find a solution to our problems,” she smirks.

As for her plans for Mother’s Day, she says, “Nothing special. I will make a long call to my mom as I do every day. We will be talking about my baby. He gets all the attention now,” she laughs.

(Banani Das Dhar is the founder of the lifestyle and cultural Magazine BananiVista in Bengaluru)