Harry Cao

Caia Story: Becoming super mom

By
Aswathi Thandassery
3min read

Ash is originally from India but is now settled in Sydney. She did her bachelor’s in engineering from India and worked for the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) as a scientist. At ISRO, she was part of some of India’s space programs like the mission to Mars.

She came to Australia in 2017 to join her partner who was transferred here. The long maternity leave gave her the time to hit the reset button and set her on a path that was always a dream somewhere in the back of her mind. That journey saw her complete an MBA at the University of Sydney, do a number of internships and even take baby steps as an entrepreneur in the energy-tech space before finally landing on her true calling, management consulting.

Superhuman

I am a mother of a beautiful 3.5-year-old daughter, and I am proud to say that I achieved a lot in my career and personal life in the last 3.5 years. A lot more than I achieved in my pre-motherhood life. I have had a steep learning curve as a mom. Thanks to my daughter, I have become an extremely strong (and efficient) problem solver and a multitasker. I even believe my brain mapping changed after I became a mom, making me more analytic and data driven. Motherhood taught me the value of a single minute in my life and I now know all the big stuff that I can achieve in a minute. She taught me empathy, patience and perseverance, which I am sure will take me far in my future career and life. In fact, I would say motherhood changed the trajectory of my life.

Motherhood unleashed my inner potential. I believe it improved my memory power and curiosity. I enjoy learning new things and immersing myself in unfamiliar environments. Coming from a non-business background, I started my full-time MBA when my daughter was 1.5 years old. I also cleared CFA level 1 in the first semester of my MBA. Post-MBA, I worked on my own start-up for some time and then later moved to a corporate job. I am sure my 3.5-year younger self wouldn’t have even dared to dream about doing all these things.

I also believe my self-awareness improved after I became a mom. I know my strengths and weaknesses well. I am not afraid of failures anymore in my life - as a mom, you fail a zillion times every day just before that one success. I just take each failure as an opportunity - to learn more and become better at something. I faced many failures in the past 3.5 years. The most important one being the failure of my start-up. Motherhood taught me to embrace these failures and use them as stepping stones for success. I also believe I became much more patient and empathetic.

Support systems

But yes, it was not just me alone. Support systems are important as well. My husband, for example, decided to invest his time and effort to help me embark on this journey. He cooked, cleaned and took care of our daughter whenever he was not working. He says this was the best time to invest in me!!

I had a strong support system at my school too. My friends used to babysit my daughter when I was busy with meetings. The staff and academics always made sure that I was not left out from any of the events or activities just because I was a mom. I believe I would have struggled with my MBA if these people were not around me.

I am so proud that my daughter will grow up watching her mom passionately chasing her dreams. I wish many more daughters and sons get a similar chance.

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