Thu | Jun 4, 2020

A Mother’s Love is Incomparable

Published:Sunday | May 12, 2019 | 12:00 AM
Anika Jengelley and her little bundles of joy.
Anika Jengelley and her children.

Mothers are the backbone of every family and are seen as superhuman in the eyes of their children. They wear many hats and daily demonstrate their ability to stay well balanced and driven. A mother’s ability to support her children mentally, emotionally, and physically, while putting her needs last, is one to be highlighted.

Anika Jengelley, assistant vice-president (AVP) of marketing at Mayberry Investments Limited, not only wears a title at work, but is also the definition of a true mother. She holds several positions at home with her two beautiful daughters; Isabelle, who is two years and 10 months, and Madeleine, who’s one year and two months.

Anika views motherhood as a fulfilling journey, with many surprises along her path. It teaches wisdom, understanding, and most important, patience.

According to Anika, “More than anything, motherhood has been a shift in focus. Before, my life used to centre around my needs, now my priority is my children. I put their needs ahead of mine, whatever those may be.”

In giving a brief insight into one of her typical days, Anika says, “We begin our day around 5:30-6 a.m. I spend some time reading and playing with my children, since I usually get home late and may not see them at that time. We then have breakfast, and get dressed to begin our day. By 8 a.m., my older daughter and I head out: she goes to preschool and I go to work. I pick her up during my lunch break and take her home, where we have lunch, then I return to work and the girls stay home with their nanny, who gives them a lot of love in my absence. The baby is usually asleep by the time I get home in the evenings, but I get to put my older daughter to bed most nights.”

However, this gives rise to the age-old question: how career moms manage to juggle motherhood and work?

Anika says, “At the moment, this is the most difficult part of the journey. I strive for balance, but the balance for me is not necessarily giving equitably to each. There are those days when work may demand 80 per cent of my focus and on those days, I have to find ways to make up for giving my children only 20 per cent of my focus. That may mean my husband steps in and gives 100 per cent of his focus, or we arrange a play date with a close friend, who takes over and ensures that the girls hardly realise that I’m not around. A true balance for me is really being able to dedicate what’s required for each area without having to compromise too much on the quality of output in the case of work, or standard of care for my children.”

She continued: “I would say, don’t expect to get it right every day. You strive to be as balanced as possible, but there will be many days when you’ll fail at that. Don’t be too hard on yourself, just get up the next day and try to be the best you can be on that day.”

Mother’s Influence

In recalling the influence of her own mother, Anika says that her mother is one of the strongest, most compassionate people she knows.

“She has a kindness about her that is truly inspiring. I grew up seeing her prioritising her children’s needs above all else and supporting her children’s dreams, no matter how insane they may have seemed. I thrived under her nurturing, and I aspire to be that pillar of strength and support to my girls as well. She is still, today, an inspiration to me on this journey.”

And as for advice for aspiring moms, the AVP says, “You should know that you will not be prepared for everything to come, no matter how much you’ve read or seen first-hand. Motherhood is a unique experience for each person. Just be open to new experiences and expect the unexpected. The journey can be amazing, but it also comes with considerable challenges. You’ll mostly find joy in managing and overcoming them.”

Being a mother, Anika says, can be very fulfilling, her most satisfying moment coming when she first set eyes on her children.

“When I met my children for the first time, that moment, even though I experienced it twice, is difficult to top. It truly was love at first sight in both cases ... even today, I still cry when I remember it. Being a mother, for me, means different things under different circumstances; but generally, I’d say it’s a wonderful lifelong journey that requires strength, wisdom, compassion, and selflessness. I live each day striving to be the best version of myself, knowing that I am the first example to two people who I’m trying to raise to become beautiful beings, inside and out,” explained Anika.