Anika Parashar is an independent woman and a single parent who chose to overcome her fears and challenges in life. She is the COO for maternity services of a premium hospital in the country.
She is someone who has faced life as it has chosen to offer her. Anika shares with Mums and stories her journey of being this individual who looks at life with optimism and hope and her ability to take a stance in the world for herself and for her kids.
“My son was born in London and I loved my phase of pregnancy. I was exposed to a host of amazing courses like prenatal yoga, lactation services and birth related services that I soon wanted to begin with these services in India.
After my son was born, I happened to talk to my dad and told him that I wanted to begin a venture of these niche maternity services in India, but he said it was a little ahead of time. Somehow I knew this would be my career path and I started to qualify by learning and getting trained in maternity services. I learnt and practiced water therapy, hypno therapy, worked as a Douala practitioner and worked as a pregnancy and child birth educator.
Soon my dad passed away and I had to move back to India where I was shuttling between Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai where my mom lived.
I was on board of a premium brand and in charge of setting up mom related stores across the country. I was also in charge of setting up women care services for the organization.
In between all of these busy schedules and professional commitments I was a mom again but life took a dramatic turn when I was shocked to understand that I was going to be a single parent. Bottom of my heart I knew I couldn’t let what was happening in my life to impact my kids’ lives. I was vulnerable, ignorant on many aspects like how to pay taxes, bills and many more things that were a shared responsibility. I had to pick myself up, put systems in place and be the mom my kids wanted. I could not even lose focus as now I was the sole breadwinner of the family.
Being a single parent is not easy but my son has been an inspiration for what I do in life and my daughter has brought me a lot of luck. I am also the founder of ORGAN India, an NGO and that happened as I realized how several people need access to organ transplants to live life. My mom had a heart transplant and she is living a new life thanks to the donor. It was important for me to join the pieces of the puzzle in my life to keep sanity. I also have to admit in my brother playing a strong role in taking care of my mom earlier when required.
My mom is a strong woman and while I was there with her when she was alone like when my dad expired or during her ill health, she too has been a tremendous support for me in my life. It hasn’t been easy for her to see this daughter who after 13 years of marriage, who was independent, had a successful professional life, two kids go through a painful separation phase. But I know you cannot hang on to pain for too long and learn to let go of it. Perhaps my mom too has learnt to deal with life as it has offered her.
I love my time with my family which is right now my kids and my mom who lives close to us. There used to be a time when I was away on work for 3to 4 days a week. Even now when I am travelling or at Delhi, I have an awesome support system of staff, friends and family. I was ambitious in my career and even now am in my life. However it has never been an excuse on losing on core family values. My family has always been my priority and thankfully I have always worked with organizations who have understood my stance in life.
I think children follow your example. It is surely important how one conducts oneself in life. There are guilt phases of course and stressful peaks when I am thinking of getting back home, thinking about getting the homework’s done when I am stuck at traffic after work or when household staff need clarification when you are elsewhere or when 400 people of a company want to reach out to you as you are in the managerial role, but with time one learns to handle everything with care.
I strongly believe you can be this awesome individual if you have the willingness in your heart. I was broken and I will not deny it but I have learnt to picky myself up and be a go-getter to achieve what I want in life for myself, my kids and for my mom.”