Stories about working mothers

What it’s really like to be 26 and single in Pakistan

Sometime back, I was reading an article written by a woman about how she finally learnt to be single and ‘happy’ at the same time. What interested me more, though, was a comment under the article that read, “Why do single women constantly need to declare that they are happy that way?” To which someone else had replied, “Because, whether directly or indirectly, everyone feels the need to remind them that they are single and assume that they are unhappy.” I couldn’t have agreed more. On a personal front Most single girls my age will tell you, the words they dread the most coming out of anyone’s mouth are, “Why aren’t ...

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I want to live in a Pakistan where women support women

I once had dreams of building a successful career as a legal professional. I pursued this dream all the way up to studying for the Bar-entrance-examination. However, our society expects a girl to get married as soon as she crosses puberty – before she can make any serious effort to pursue a career. Eventually, I too had to succumb to pressure and tied the knot half expecting a career shift from the court room to the kitchen. Initially, things worked like a charm and I was blessed with a home that I could proudly term my ‘heaven’. Yet I couldn’t curb ...

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Working mom dilemmas: A life in progress

There are too many things on my plate. That’s how it has been for as long as I can remember. Selected highlights of a typical day of mine make me feel sorry for myself. I am a working woman and this is my life. My day revolves around handling my maid’s mood swings and training her to make Thai food or gajar ka halwa, while I make Thai food and gajar ka halwa, and masoor ki daal that happily simmers on the other stove. Amidst this cooking and cleaning, I take out an hour to do aerobics a few times a week. This involves stretches and workouts ...

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What makes a marriage tick?

Mess created by the construction of the Rapid Bus Transit System (RBTS) is testing the nerves of Lahorites these days. After braving several bumps on pot-holed roads, my car was stuck in a nightmarish traffic jam on Jail road. To vent my anger, I banged at the car’s steering, shouted loudly at the hawker selling coconut, and, then, mercifully, fixed my gaze at the horizon to empty myself of pent-up anger and frustration. The late autumn sun was low in the sky and kites were flying around it in concentric circles. The rhythmic flight of the birds, silhouetted against an orangish ...

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Is Sheryl Sandberg really an inspiration for working mothers?

Earlier last month Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, admitted that she’s been leaving work at 5:30pm to be able to have dinner with her kids. While she’s been doing this for many years, it is only in the last two years that she felt comfortable about admitting it publicly. The fact that this admission made headlines brings to light the huge hidden costs and informal penalties associated with choosing flexible hours, even if they are on your company’s official books. Sandberg was widely lauded for making this public admission, but it must be noted that she only did so at ...

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