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Malaika Arora Recalls Being Told That Having a Baby Would End Her Career, Opens Up About ‘Working Mom’ Guilt

Today is the day that we celebrate mothers and motherhood. But, there are several notions related to motherhood as well- like would having a child put a full stop to one’s career and how those who are working moms deal with the guilt of leaving the baby away from her when she goes to work. Now, Bollywood star Malaika Arora has opened up about her journey as a mom and addressed those issues.

In a Humans of Bombay post, Malaika opened up about having her son Arhaan when she was just 28, and at the peak of her career, and how she balanced being a mother with pursuing her career as well. Malaika revealed, ‘“This will end your career!’ is what people said when I was expecting. Back then, after marriage, you’d barely see an actress on screen. But being raised by women who advocated being independent, I knew motherhood just meant I was to essay one more role—the role of mom!”

Malaika had continued to work while she was pregnant, and got back to it soon after her delivery as well. She recalled, “I worked through my pregnancy—shuttling shows, & rehearsals. And when Arhaan was born, I promised to give him the world. I also promised myself—I won’t lose my identity in the process of being a mom. Ever since, I’ve lived up to both the promises. 2 months after delivery, I performed at an award show. I was proud of myself because I also made it back home in time to tuck Arhaan in bed. Knowing that I could juggle motherhood & work empowered me. In fact, I said yes to Karan for Kaal Dhamaal a year after delivery!”

She added, “But I had ‘working mom’ guilt. So, I maximized my time with Arhaan. Every morning, I’d sing Malayalam songs to him, the ones my mom sang to me. Then, I’d strap him on & run errands before heading to work. And I always made it back home in time to read to him. I also had a solid support system in my family. And even Arbaaz & I had set rules—one parent was always present. No PTMs, or annual shows were missed. And I always picked him up or dropped him off at school. Soon, it became the highlight of my day. I spoke to Arhaan about everything! Even when Arbaaz & I told him we were separating, he understood. And ever since, regardless of our differences, Arbaaz & I’ve been a unit when it comes to parenting. When Arhaan had to shave, I called Arbaaz who took me through the process; it was fun!”

Now, Arhaan is 20, and has left home for higher studies. Malaika Arora revealed, “Today, Arhaan is my dearest friend. The morning singing routine has now transitioned into a Sunday cooking ritual. And now that he’s away studying, we keep DM-ing recipes to each other. I miss him; the empty nest syndrome is real, but it’s a good thing I kept my 2nd promise—to not lose my identity in the process of being a mom. I’ve my work, my friends & my life.”

Sharing a message with all moms, she said, “So, live your dream—go after that job, leave if you’re in an unhappy marriage, & prioritize yourself. Being a mom doesn’t mean you stop being you. Motherhood is not the end. Treat it as a comma, but never as a full stop!” #NoOneLikeMom”

Malaika Arora separated from Arbaaz Khan some years back. The two are in good terms and was spotted together when they came to drop Arhaan off to the airport as he left for his higher studies. Malaika is currently dating Bollywood actor Arjun Kapoor.

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