Name: Nadeesha Chandrasekara
Age: 39 Years
Designation: Manager Consumer Services & Nutrition, Health & Wellness, Nestlé Lanka
What does Motherhood mean to you?
Being a mom is the most honourable blessing I have ever had. It reminds me that miracles do happen. My mother was my inspiration, she always made myself and my brother her priority in everything she did and I too want to have that bond with my daughter. I think it’s the hardest, most challenging, mostly unnoticed yet rewarding and best loved job I will ever have in my life.
Motherhood means infinite love, reading stories, staying up in the night to comfort her, missing a heartbeat when I hear her laughter and the endless joy it brings. It has made me consider my needs to be second to that of my daughter and it means the world to me.
What were the most important factors that were taken into consideration when you chose your daughter’s school/preschool?
For preschool, I wanted a place where she felt home, where it gave her ample freedom to play and mingle with the other kids – nothing to do with education (academic). For her school I wanted her to follow English medium yet a place where I can bring her up with values. So religion, reputation especially in terms of discipline were important. I also looked at the distance she has to travel and safety.
I anyways tried her current school by starting her there from nursery to get a feel of it and thereafter I had absolutely no reason to change it because I felt she was getting everything what I expected.
How do you choose which after school activities you daughter should attend?
I strongly believe that any child should do some sort of extra activity be it creative work or sports to shape up their character. For me the most important thing is to get her some physical exercises. Currently she is involved in badminton and Little Friends.
Whatever afterschool activities she does should add some value to her day to day life. Main reason for me to encourage her to do a sport is not only does it makes her physically active but also provides a good platform for her character building.
How involved are you with your daughter’s education?
I have a very limited time during weekdays to do any homework or any other school projects. My mother helps her and whenever she has something that she finds difficult, am always a call away. But during weekends I always sit with her for her studies.
I think it’s important that I show her how much I am interested in her studies. Having said that, weekends are weekends and I don’t push her too much to do studies except during term tests where we spend a little more time to catch up. I strongly believe that she should enjoy her childhood.
As a Mother, what are the most important lessons you want your daughter to learn?
The biggest lesson I want her to learn is how to survive in this society and be a truthful person. Children always take cues from their parents. So I always try to avoid any kind of deception so that I believe she will be a truthful person one day.
I also want her to have determination by encouraging her to take on a challenge. I want her to treat people fairly which will one day help her negotiate the complicated world of peer group relationships. Furthermore, I want her to know how to think about other’s feelings.
How strict are you with your daughter on things like TV times and bedtime?
I am a bit strict when it comes to TV. She loves watching cartoons which I have no reservations. But I certainly avoid too long TV. I encourage her to watch Animal planet or National Geography or something educational rather than Justice League unlimited :). It’s not only TV but she is also very thorough with the i-pad and mobile phone, but I make sure that she doesn’t have too much “screen time” altogether.
Bed time is strictly by 8.30 or 9 pm. It’s because we start our day quite early. Almost every day I go to bed with her, read a story or catch up what happened at school in detail and both fall sleep early.
How do you manage to stay fit?
I somehow find time to do some sort of a workout. I used go to the gym at least 4 days a week – early morning, play squash but now my gyming is not that regular since I drop my daughter at school every morning. I have no regrets whatsoever because I believe they grow up only once. After work I somehow find 45 min to an hour to go to the gym, minimum 3 days a week.
A work out for me not only helps me to stay fit but also psychologically I feel good. Once we have kids especially we as working moms find it guilty to stay away that long from kids. But our lifestyles are so sedentary that we need to do something.
How would you describe your sense of style when it comes to office attire?
One way we could show respect to the place we work is our attire. I think whatever happens we must dress up and show up
I try to wear sarees to work often, if not a proper attire. Being women we must dress attractively with a little bit of makeup. Sometimes I find it difficult to fight against time in the morning where I leave home by 6.15am with my daughter. But I keep everything ready the previous night and I must mention my mom who helps me in everything I do.
Do you have any favourite stores where you get your office attire from?
I go to India to buy my sarees. For skirts and tops it’s G-2000 / New York & Company. I always buy shoes whenever I travel, Charles & Keith, Nine West and most of all New York is the place for shoes and handbags.
I also shop at Avirate where they have an exclusive collection of dresses.
New mums often find it difficult to get back to work after having a baby and some seriously worry about balancing work and home. What would your advice be to new mums who want to continue working?
I agree. I remember exactly 8 yrs back when I had to leave Oneli home and report to work. It was killing me but I had commitments. At corporates we talk about work life balance. For me there are times you can’t have that balance and there are times you can. I think it’s up to us to make it.
Especially the first year we all get a feeding time and we must make sure that we utilize it. During the first few months of breast feeding we must find time to take the feeding break. Once the baby is on solid food and by the time we start work after our maternity leave I think we must remember why we need to go back to work. I constantly told myself it’s for her benefit, to give her the best in life, I must go back to work.
How do you manage household chores and work related deadlines at the same time?
I am blessed when it comes for the support. If not for my parents especially for my mom I wouldn’t have been a working mom today. The biggest challenge we all face is to leave the babies at home with the domestics. I never had to do it thanks to my mom. I can concentrate on my work and deliver mainly due to this reason. She was and is still there like a shadow of my daughter. Whenever they are not around I often take leave.
During work deadlines and overseas travel, what kind of baby-sitting support do you get?
Its once again my parents, they look after my daughter when am away. Whenever I travel, I plan and make sure that I do my marketing etc. and have additional stocks
How do you explain to your daughter why it’s important that you are Working Mum?
I remind her time to time why it is important that I go to work, to send her to a good school, take her on trips, go out during weekends, buy her little dresses etc. I think she will understand more when she grows up. Even now she does and that’s the other biggest blessing I have.
What do you do for “me time”?
End of the day we all need it. I love reading, watching movies and I do go out with my friends. A little shopping spree somewhere, especially overseas gives me the ideal “me time” and the ablility to recharge my batteries. Also going to a salon, having a manicure or a pedicure or a spa treatment helps me equally well.
What are your favourite on-the-go meals?
I am rice and curry person :). If I get rice and curry for all three meals I won’t say no! My on-the-go meal occasions are quite rare but to name a few, McDonalds, KFC, now Burger King or a good sandwich or salad.
Location: Nadeesha’s Residence
Find out how you can be featured as a Mumsible Mummy, email email@example.com