‘Never-say-never attitude is something that will take you a long way'
Delhi-based awesome working mum, Ritika Sharma will give you a 'real' perspective of what it actually means to maintain a decent work-life balance AND maintain sanity! Read on
Ritika Sharma is in love with a boy. So much so that all she can speak about is him. For this pretty lady, her life revolves around the boy, her son, Archit. But don't be mistaken, that's not the only reason why we've picked this Delhi-based TV anchor-turned-teacher as our awesome working mum for the week.
Effervescent and the life of most family gatherings, Ritika is all for making choices, without being judgemental. She knows that what works for her, may not work for you. And she has some magical words of advice for all you awesome working mums as well. So read on...
So Ritika, how does it feel playing super mum?
This tag holds lots of responsibilities and I feel on top of the world when someone calls or thinks that I am a super mum.
Kindly tell us about yourself?
I was a passionate TV anchor-cum-producer before I decided to get into teaching. Today I'm a teacher at one of the branded schools in Delhi. As a person, I'd like to believe that I'm an ardent professional at work and a responsible daughter-in-law, compassionate sister-in-law, loving mother and a devoted wife at home.
What’s a typical day like in the life of Ritika?
I believe in time management. So, I wake up at around 5 a.m., cook food for everyone, pack lunch and then leave for my job. I am a kindergarten teacher with one of the reputed schools in Greater Noida and also a co-curricular activities in-charge to the pre-primary wing.
I love my babies at school and they love me as much. My day at school ends with lots of fun, knowledge and exhaustion. I return home at around 3-3:30 p.m, give a nice warm hug to my baby and feel instantly relaxed.
I have lunch with my family (in-laws and son). Take a power nap, that is if my son lets me. Then I make sure I take Archit to a nearby park, play with him and we both return home by 7 p.m. where our tea and his milk bottle awaits.
Then I cook dinner. Archit always accompanies me in the kitchen and we sing rhymes together. We have this tradition of eating dinner together, so we have our meals and go off to sleep at around 11 p.m.
Continue reading to know more about the challenges that Ritika faced playing the balancing act
If you were to create a pie chart of your life, how would your time be divided between work, spouse, kids, friends, and self?
I am a very even-handed person when it comes to work and family. However, despite everything, I get very little time for myself and my friends. My weekdays are dedicated to work and family and my weekends are also dedicated to family, although I do try to make time for my friends sometimes.
As a working mum, what are the challenges you face?
Speaking of challenges I think being a working mum is a challenge in itself. Earlier when I was working with a channel as an anchor-cum-producer, timings were really harsh. The work hours were demanding with late night and early morning shifts.
At that time, Archit was only 9 months old. I went through a phase where I was forced or you can say it was mandatory for me to make a decision and that decision changed everything. The decision was to leave my job.
What has been your biggest emotional struggle while bringing up both, your career and kids?
I left my job just to be with Archit and to execute rest of my responsibilities towards my in-laws, my family. But my husband Aman, never gave up on me. He kept encouraging me to keep my trademark passion alive. My mother-in-law suggested that why don’t I get into teaching. I decided to share my resume with a few top schools of Delhi and got through one of them.
But it was not that easy. That thought of leaving behind my passion and those 7-8 years of work experience in the media was surely not an easy step. I tried to pacify myself first and then listed out my priorities. The one who topped the list was of course my son.
Who was Ritika's sounding board through these ups and downs? Continue reading to find out
While struggling to create a balance between work life and your family, did things ever get bad enough that you wanted to quit? If yes, how did you manage?
Well, the job in media took a toll on my personal life. I was not able to spend quality time even at work. It's not an easy task maintaining work-life balance. In fact, it was all a mess in the beginning. And in the end I was in jitters.
So, I quit my job. My career and my fervor ended on a bad note. But that decision marked the emergence of something new and intriguing in my life in terms of my work. That's one decision I will never regret.
I share a strong bond with my child and family. I managed to rise with their help and support. It's like God helps those who help themselves. I myself wanted to come out of that moment of stress. And my dear ones around me helped me come out.
I've always been full of gratitude for such lovable and supportive in-laws and parents. They showed so much trust and faith in me that today I am able to justify and maintain both, my career as well as my family and kid.
Who has been your sounding board throughout your journey?
My husband Aman has been my sounding board throughout my journey. He is such a gem of a person and someone whom I always go to when something goes wrong. He confirms full faith in me which I believe is the strength of our relationship.
My in-laws too completely support me in my every decision. Archit loves their company and spends most of the time with his Dada-Dadi. He also loves his Nana-Nani, who are also my strength.
How do you unwind over the weekend (with the family)?
It's only Sunday that we get to spend relaxing. It begins with a sumptuous breakfast. Then we plan an outing with the entire family that ends with some shopping and lots of fun.
Continue reading for Ritika's advice to other awesome working mums
Your idea of me time?
'We' time describes my 'me' time better. I never go out alone. I am always accompanied by my loved ones. Even at home I don’t like sitting alone. I love to spend my time in a group of friends or family.
What does ‘being a mum’ mean to you?
It means lots of unconditional love, sacrifices, plethora of responsibilities and just being there for your baby all the time when he needs you. Obviously it means 'everything'. Being a mum is BLISS.
Advice to working mums who are struggling to achieve work-life balance?
One should always work upon solutions and not problems. Trust yourself and always take your spouse in confidence. 'Never say never' attitude is something which will take you a long way. But when it comes to taking certain harsh decisions, just remind yourself that it's okay to compromise on your career, but never compromise on your child.
If you know an awesome working mum we should feature, get in touch!