Women are often praised for managing multiple roles, especially on Mother’s Day or Women’s Day, but it’s rare that people pay attention to the daily effort that is demanded of them. This gets a lot more tougher when it’s a single mother’s journey. To understand what it takes to strike a balance between work and home, Zee theatre actors Himani Shivpuri, Suchitra Pillai, and Vibha Chibber take us through their motherhood journey and discuss the difficulties they faced while trying to manage multiple commitments at home and on the work front.

Suchitra Pillai who stars in the teleplay Dance Like A Man, feels managing time can be tough as a working mother. There’s constant guilt of leaving the kids alone or with help at home. She adds that the hardest thing about motherhood is not knowing what is the right way to initiate sensitive discussions with your child. “You also cannot delegate motherhood to someone else when things get hard. It is a misconception that the bond between a child and mom used to be different generations ago or that it’s ok for a nanny to take your place in the upbringing of your child. No mom can rest easy doing the latter. Now that I am a mom, I also realise how my mother must have felt when I behaved in certain ways with her, whether they were good or bad.”

Over the years, Suchitra says, her daughter has taught her a lot of life lessons and she says, “I have learned from her, unfiltered honesty and selflessness and I would like to teach her to always be financially independent and not depend on anyone for her success or happiness. To never ever allow anyone to disrespect her or make her feel small. And to live life to the fullest.”

Actor Vibha Chibber, who stars in Panchi Aise Aate Hai, believes that the most difficult part as a mom is imparting the values, traditions, and culture to children. She explains that it can get difficult for a mother to keep up with the changing times. “Over the years, as a family, we have also busted the myth that you can’t be friends with your parents as we talk about everything and share every small thing with each other. It is truly a big blessing. My children have also taught me to take care of my physical as well as mental health. They have taught me that it’s important to take care of myself too.”

Veteran actor Himani Shivpuri, who is currently seen in Hamidabai Ki Kothi, lost her husband Gyan Shivpuri in 1995. For her, the toughest challenge was being a single parent of a young son. “I used to feel so guilty that as a working mother; I couldn’t spend enough time with my child. In my line of work, we don’t have regular hours and I still remember there was a time when I was doing three shifts in one day and would come home at about 4 am in the morning. During that time, my son’s exams were going on and even though I wanted to give him more time, I had too many responsibilities. But looking back, I think, I got through that time successfully even though the biggest misconception about motherhood is that a mother knows all the answers.”

About her relationship with her son, Himani says, “Well, my son has taught me a lot. He has taught me how to make the right decisions in my career and to just ‘chill out’ and enjoy life because he has seen me working day in and day out. He has taught me patience, love, how to love life despite its challenges and so much more. My son is so generous and such a wonderful human being. He is always thinking about others but one life lesson I would like to pass on to him is to cultivate some humility, and patience and to take life as it is.”