Name: Anushi Jayasinghe
Age: 34 Years
Designation: HR Professional
What was your pregnancy like?
I had a very easy and pleasant pregnancy. Couldn’t eat meat and craved a lot of Sri Lankan food so got lots of yummy food from friends and family.
Any advice to Moms-to-be on preparing themselves for the delivery?
Keep yours and baby’s bags packed by Week 30, make sure you have a couple of very comfy front open dresses. Take a bag of chocolates or sweets to the hospital for visitors and to give to the hospital staff. Take lots of big blankets to swaddle baby as well as newborn socks and mittens, they sleep well when warm and hospitals always have really cold rooms. I completely knocked off the AC and that helped her sleep!
What were some of the first foods that you gave baby when she was being weaned?
Rice, baby cereal, pumpkin and potatoes. She loves potatoes. Fruits like papaya, avocado mixed with a little formula and bananas.
What are your toddler bag essentials?
Diapers, wet wipes, 2 changes of clothes, mosquito repellent, water bottle, pack of tissues and her hat (which she refuses to wear!)
What kind of toddler activities to do you do with your daughter?
We read books, do action songs, walk around in the garden and play with our two dogs. We also love playing tea time and playing hide and seek. She loves to find me when I pretend to hide, finds me and laughs.
Name a mum that you are inspired by?
My mother. She has been the biggest inspiration and strength in my life. She is my best friend but someone who still nags me till I eat my vegetables! I am inspired to be a mother like her because for her, her family comes above everything else in her life. She was a working mother, being a teacher, but made sure her duties as a wife and mother were always fulfilled. The health and nutrition of her family were always her top most priority. She is a firm parent who disciplined us as kids all the time but also knows to have a good laugh and be a friend. I would like to be mother like that, I hope I can be.
What is quality family time like?
Doing grocery shopping together, going for a walk or spending time in the garden with our dogs. Just before bedtime my husband and I both sit and read books with our daughter, I love this family time together.
Are you particular about your daughter’s routine?
During weekdays all her meals and nap times are more or less to a routine. But during weekends it all goes haywire since we always take her with us if we are going somewhere or running errands. I’m actually not a fan of following a strict routine all the time. I think a little bit of flexibility is good even at a young age.
Did you always plan on continuing to work after having your baby?
Yes and no, meaning I had debated on this in my head many times and at different times came up with different solutions. I was actually planning to take a career break, but then changed roles to a very interesting area of work just before I conceived which made me want to continue.
How did you handle separation issues when you headed back to work after your maternity leave was over?
The first day was horrible. I literally cried all the way to work. Had to stop close to office and then wipe my tears and redo my make up and go! The first few days were extremely difficult. I used to spend a bit of time going through her pics and videos. But to be honest within a few days, I started adjusting and really enjoying work again and the break from mummy duties. Something what helped me were the reassurances from my friends who are also working moms, saying “Just hang in there, it does get better”, and it did.
What advice would you give to a mother who was contemplating whether to stay at home or head back to work after having a baby?
Do not be pressured in to working or not working, do what works for you and your family. There is no perfect solution. On one hand its lovely to enjoy the first few years of your child’s life, being with her a 100% – years that are so precious and go by so very fast! On the other hand its lovely to build something for yourself, to be recognized for your professional work and to be able to contribute financially to your family income and to be able to enjoy that variety in your life that comes with being a working mom. One more advice I can give is that we women are very good at multi-tasking, so if you do decide to go back to work don’t worry about the amount of responsibilities that comes with being a working mother. Just organize yourself and you can fulfill both roles very well. Don’t think or plan for years ahead, and take it literally one month at a time! Situations change, we change.
Do you wish you could be a stay-at-home mum?
At times I do, for instance these days my daughter cries when I try to leave for work in the morning. She clings on me and cries, its so heartbreaking leaving her and all the way to work I feel sad. Especially when I think of how fast she’s growing up and how much she longs for me at this age.
However as soon as I get to work I’m grateful for the change of role and the opportunity I get to make decisions, solve problems, work with interesting people who challenge me, network, and sometimes just to have a half an hour lunch break with friends and colleagues in peace! So it’s really a constantly shifting emotion.
I am also really lucky that both my mother and my mother-in-law are available full time to look after her. So I am very comfortable knowing well that she is very well looked after by her grandmothers. They take turns so that neither of them are tied up for the whole week either.
But to be completely honest, a part time option, working 3 or 4 days a week would be the perfect situation for me.
What values do you hold most important and which of these would you like your daughter to appreciate?
I would like her to lead a simple life, where she will appreciate and protect nature and relationships and not place value on materialistic things and be kind and caring, especially towards the helpless and towards animals. I hope she will be generous and learn to share her things happily with those less fortunate. I hope she will not place importance on building wealth and social status but on family and relationships and do her part to contribute positively, in which ever way she can to the society she lives in. I would like her to be duty conscious and virtuous, but also have a great sense of humour and not take life too seriously.
Location: Anushi’s Residence
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