It is heartbreaking how many women, after motherhood, are made to feel guilty when they push themselves to pursue their dreams. More often than not, their friends and family make them feel guilty about not being a good mother if they give equal attention to their career goals and kids. Sadly only moms are subjected to this unfair treatment; not fathers. So, many moms succumb to undue pressure and abandon their dreams.
Time and again, they tell themselves, “When my kids grow up, I will…”. The lack of support and encouragement leaves little room to aspire to anything more than what society expects them to be.
But 21st-century women are refusing to give up on their dreams just because they are either married or embarked on the journey of motherhood. One such role model is Anu Kumari, who has set an example that marriage is no bar to pursue one’s professional dreams.
Anu Kumari, a mother of a toddler, who has secured the second rank in the UPSC 2017 examination has a uniquely inspiring story.
Spending early years in Sonipat, Haryana, the second of four siblings, Anu has one elder sister and two younger brothers. While sharing the details of her family with TBI, she mentioned:
“I am from a typical middle-class family. My father used to work in the HR department at a hospital, and my mother was a homemaker. After completing school, I secured admission in Hindu College, Delhi, and pursued a degree in Physics,”
After completing her graduation, Anu went to Nagpur to pursue MBA. Her first job was with ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund. After working for two years, in 2012, she got married.
Finding purpose in life
Anu was a very bright student in school. She was often told by her teachers to pursue the civil service examination. However, she was inclined to be financially stable before thinking about it.
“Once the financial stability came in, I started feeling meaningless. Questions about the purpose of life started coming to me, and I did not have any answers to them,”
In June 2016 Anu quit her corporate job and started preparing for the exam.
Aiming For Her Goal
Recollecting the time during her first attempt, Anu said:
“That period was maddening. I knew that I had very little chance of clearing the exam as I had no time; therefore I started working as hard as I could and would prepare ‘all-the-time’…..Even sleep seemed like a waste of time then.”
Mother’s Heart & Resilience
They say that mothers are one of the most resilient beings. And, Anu is a real-life example. Once she decided to pursue civil services, there was nothing that could stop her.
It wasn’t easy for Anu to leave her toddler in her mother’s care. It was a very difficult choice to make. But, being persistent about her goal, she stuck to it. While sharing the details of her traumatic life, she mentioned:
“Initially I was at my mother’s place and would go to the nearby library to study. However, once I came home, my son, Viaan, all of 2.5 then, would demand my time. I knew that even those few hours that I was spending away from my books would hamper my progress,”
“It was very difficult….Every time I left him behind, we would both would be crying, me much more than him….Sitting down to study after that was also a very difficult task. It would take me some time to get into the studying mind frame again,”
“I had moments when I wanted to give it all up and go back to Viaan. Something kept me going, and I am thankful that I did not give up. I had given up so much to clear the exams; my son, my high paying job – I just had to go on.”
Her Robust Support System
While sharing the details of her biggest support system, she mentioned:
“My mother played an important role, but the biggest support for me was my Maasi (mothers sister). She took care of every small thing. She would feed me, care for me, and was there as rock-solid support,”
At IFORHER, we want to thank Anu for inspiring millions through her inspiring story. We wish this brave and courageous mother all the best in her future endeavors.