Motherhood is a phase that almost every woman dreams of. However, as dreamy it may sound, it comes with its own share of responsibilities and a lot of hard work.
Today we are going to share the story of a mother who is not only responsible for her own biological child but also responsible for hundred other kids. Intriguing, isn’t it? Yes, cause this mother is also a teacher, and being a teacher makes your responsibilities a thousand times more as not only your child but hundred other kids look up to you and consider you as their role model. The life of a working mother is not easy, especially for those who do not have anyone at home to take care of their child.
This is a story of such an incredible mother, teacher, and most importantly a woman whose indomitable spirit of making difference in the life of our future generations.
‘Life teaches us different lessons. Life is a joyous ride for many and on the other hand, it is a difficult ride filled with many potholes and roadblocks.’
I am Shilpa P, a pre-primary teacher at a reputed International school. I hail from a middle-class family in Harihara, a town in the Davanagere district in Karnataka. I completed my Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce and I worked in a private school for some time.
In 2015, I got married and I had a daughter the following year. Though I had hands-on teaching experience, I wanted to become a certified teacher, so I enrolled for a B.Ed degree and gave my exams when my daughter was only one and a half months old.
Restarting a career after a break of two years, especially for a woman in this country is not an easy journey. I was surprised and disappointed at the same time. While giving interviews, I was told that I would be treated as a fresher since there is a gap in my resume and my previous experiences won’t be counted. Needless to say, this meant the remuneration and other perks that I deserved as an experienced teacher are going to be affected. Like any middle-class family, my husband, a PE teacher in another private school and I need to work to make ends meet. I needed to work not just to have my financial independence but also, because I did not want my husband to bear the financial responsibilities of the entire family alone, which I knew would have been very difficult. Though our families were very supportive but it would have been unfair on our part to burden them with our children’s responsibilities.
Then in 2019, I was offered a job at my current school. Initially, I was working in the BTM Layout branch but later transferred myself to the Bannerghatta branch for an easy commute. In 2021, in March I gave birth to a baby boy. I was overjoyed as now my family is complete and after completing 6 months of my maternity leave, I resumed work in Jan 2022. Unfortunately, it was a much bigger challenge to juggle my duties as a teacher and a mother at the same time now that I have two kids a toddler and an infant along with my students.
So, I decided to take my kids along with me to the school and take online classes, so I can fulfill all my duties without being obligated to anyone else. At the time of the interview with the current management, I shared my past ordeal and they immediately understood my situation and assured me to provide all kinds of support I might need in the future if I take my kids along. Here starts my second inning of teaching. While my young daughter sits next to me, my infant boy sleeps on my lap.
It has been an arduous task for me to manage both of my kids along with the classes. But what is life without a little challenge? My day begins at 4.30 am, with preparing breakfast, and lunch, getting two kids ready and heading to the school. Initially, I was not sure if I would be able to do it, but I was astonished having received great support from principal and my colleagues who pushed me to accomplish my roles as a mother and as a teacher.
After four months of classes after my second baby, I have now mastered managing both jobs. My colleagues often take care of my son whenever they are free, feed him, and put him to sleep if I am busy with my classes or students. I feel blessed to be associated with such a cooperative workplace, that encourages me to deliver the best performance as a teacher while supporting me whenever I need my kids.
Today, I am proud of myself that I have not only been able to successfully handle my kids but also achieved to financially support my husband. Maybe it’s not a big achievement but I would like to dedicate my success to my husband, family, students and my colleagues.
One small nugget I would like to share with the readers of my story is-irrespective of what hurdles we have in front of us, we should never stop and keep going until we reach our goals. On one hand, motherhood has taught me resilience and the love and respect of my students have given me hopes and happiness, that I will cherish all my life.