Back then, I used to be studious and almost excelled in every exam. Math was one of my favorites. And somehow, I wanted to learn and understand the subject more. When I told my father about my plans to pursue higher studies, he was very encouraging. My passion towards Math drove me to do my MS in Mathematics and Computer Science from IIT Madras. But I wasn’t satisfied. This was also a period when several curveballs were thrown at me. But whenever I got down, I picked myself up and moved on, knowing that challenges are just like phases. They all pass.
I began to study for my Master’s degree in Computational and Applied Mathematics at the University of Kaiserslautern. Everything was going well; my professors were happy with my performance and I was delighted to be able to stay committed to my passion to learn more. But very soon, things at my personal front changed.
I entered motherhood. Once motherhood strikes and responsibilities come our way, we become overwhelmed by the situations that life brings us. Although it was a tough time, the experience was life changing. Every moment, right from preparing and caring for yourself to going for exams, made me strong. Not to forget, my mother-in-law and my mother would often visit me and keep me calm.
I sailed through this phase while embracing every moment. My professors were very supportive and always assessed my work, not my situation. I now know how it feels to be a mother and a working professional at the same time. It’s not easy, but everything is about prioritization. There are situations when I can’t reach home on time owing to client meetings or deadlines, but my son is completely comfortable with it. He has learned to adjust instead of solely depending on my presence. He is in fact very independent and learning skills of self-sufficiency faster.
I believe being away from your child during the day increases the intensity and strength of a mother’s emotion. For the child too, there’s a heightened sense of affection and attachment when he or she sees the mom after a gap of several hours. Motherhood is not the end of your passion and work. In fact, it teaches you the skills of time management and multitasking. To be honest, motherhood has brought me closer to myself. Life just gets better when you learn to prioritize!
When I am not busy with work, my life revolves around my friends and family. I love to meet new people and interact with them. Maybe when I retire one day, I will do something to serve our society. I wish to use all of my experience to improve people’s wellbeing in some way or the other. Perhaps I will start teaching someday, and it will be my small contribution to the society that gave me so much in life!
For the newbies entering the professional world, I just want to say this – Take risks only if the challenge is worth it. Assess all the pros and cons and then go for it! Your rough times will eventually come to an end. So, forge ahead through these times, and do what you have to in order to conquer them.
Meet Rajani Rai: A Super Mom, Go-getter, and Buoyant Soul