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Sona Mazumdar, CRO of India’s biggest parenting platform, Parentune.com, has a reputation for getting work done. As a modern-day mum who is seemingly in many places at once, Sona tells you, that it is alright to focus on your ambition while raising a family.
As a senior management professional, Sona Mazumdar has her hands dug deep in building brand partnerships, driving sales objectives, and growing the business for Parent Tune. Back home, she has also carved out her sense of balance with a supporting partner, two daughters, and a nine-month-old pup. A self-confessed home-chef with a wanderlust and a go-with-the-flow attitude, she is typically the first person to initiate a conversation in a crowd, arranges get-togethers for the family, and cries when she watches emotional movies.
Beyond her calm disposition, she is constantly multitasking. We asked her some basic questions that plague women struggling to balance home, work life, and judgemental relatives.
JustHer (JH): Would you say life changes once you get married?
Sona Mazumdar (SM): Life doesn’t really change if you believe in what you are doing, how you want your professional learning curve to take shape, and your spouse and his family's understanding of how important this is for you.
JH: A robust support system is hard to come by. What does that look like?
SM: There was this incident in 2015 that I recall when the support of my family became crucial to my success at work. I was in Delhi NCR for the launch of KidZania. My physical presence was critical since I was the conduit between my shareholders, the senior management, and my clients coming in from Mumbai and Bangalore. A day before my travel, my (then) four-year-old fell from the bunk bed, suffered a fractured elbow and needed to go into surgery. I was torn emotionally when my husband and mother-in-law stepped in and asked me to travel for the launch for which I had worked so hard. They said that they would ensure that the surgery went smoothly.
I was in a very fragile state of mind throughout the launch and couldn't stop thinking that I was possibly letting my daughter down by not being there for her. I put up a stoic front and everything went off smoothly—but surely it was a trying moment for me.
JH: In times of crisis when both lives demand attention, what is the checklist to go by?
SM: The rule of thumb: assess the area that someone else can fill in for you (be a proxy) and then take a call.
JH: What are some ways in which your parenting style is traditional or unique?
SM: Inculcating healthy eating habits, a sleeping schedule, respecting elders (my mother-in-law lives with us) and house help, shared responsibility around the house and no personal gadgets until they are 13.
Dinner time is always family time where no gadgets are allowed on the table. We take two-three holidays a year to bond as a family where both my husband and I try to log off from work barring critical matters. While at work, we make it a point to check on the kids as soon as they are back from school to make sure they are ok. Lots of hugs and kisses when they wake up, leave for school, and at bedtime!
JH: What would you say women with kids fear when they put their careers first sometimes?
SM: FOMO and not being able to do enough. Women should realise that it is a natural instinct for us to worry more than men—internalise this and don’t worry about it too much. Remember we are built to multitask and are damn good at that.
6. Does guilt creep in sometimes though?
Guilt trips are a part of a working woman's daily life; the quantum may differ. Whether it surrounds not spending enough time with your kids, missing some milestones when they are babies, being snappy when you are having a bad day or when you are too exhausted to pay enough attention.
The natural tendency is to make up for the lost moments by overindulging your kids in material goods but be practical and balance out such situations by creating happy memories together.
Sona’s Five-Point Survival Guide for Young Women Leaders
Parting Note: When in doubt, ask someone. No shame in that. ‘Me time’ is totally well deserved.
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