Motherhood and the world of work
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Michela Abraham Ali, Deputy CEO, NCN
Michela Abraham Ali, Deputy CEO, NCN

–The joys and the challenges

MOTHER’S Day is a celebration honouring
mothers, motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. It is celebrated on different days in many parts of the world, most commonly in the months of March or May.

This year, the Pepperpot Magazine highlights working mothers, and zeroed in on the media fraternity, where two extraordinary women and mothers have not only made great contributions to their craft, but are very much balancing the demands of their children and their household as a whole.

Natasha Smith Thomas and Michela Abraham Ali discussed their challenges and joys of motherhood as they balanced both their careers and their role at home.
Thomas explained that one of her major challenges as a mother was actually experienced as early as when she was pregnant.

 

Natasha Smith-Thomas on assignment for the Department of Public Information (DPI)

“I was pregnant with twins, and I went into premature labour at six to seven months,” Thomas told the Pepperpot Magazine. “I think that was because of how hard I worked, because I remember going home like about 8 o’clock in the night, and early in the morning I went into labour, like some time between 5:30 to 6. And since media is not a desk job, as a result of the fatigue, I lost one of my babies. I just have one of them now, and he is 10 years old.”

Thomas explained that another challenge she faced occurred while performing her function as a news anchor during her second pregnancy.
She explained that she was removed from the anchor chair as one of the leading news presenters, presumably because of her appearance. This matter caused some controversy, and was also publicised in the media.

Thomas explained that the experience took a great toll on her, mentally and physically. Again, the stress caused premature labour because of the attention the story received, according to Thomas.

“My boys are now five and ten years old, and, of course, they had everything that normal children would have. And they miss their Mommy, and they are made aware of the times when their Mommy has to work. They are smart kids; nevertheless, I receive a lot of support. I lost my own mother two years ago, and she supported me a lot in raising my children. But I also receive support from my other relatives, inclusive of my sisters and aunt,” Thomas told the Pepperpot Magazine

The Pepperpot Magazine also sat down with Media Executive Michela Abraham Ali, who now sits at the helm of one of the country’s leading media organisations as its Deputy Chief Executive Officer.
Ali, during her interview with the Pepperpot Magazine, made it clear that were it not for the support of her husband and other family members, she certainly would not have made it.

She expressed that this is because of the nature of her job, which entails travelling for long hours and days on end.
“Because of a very, very helpful, available, present father and husband, he continues to be there. Our family is such a better place because of him and his support of my own career. Between 2016 to now, I have had to travel extensively to the administrative regions of the country, which, in many cases, aren’t one-day trips. To his credit, he is there to ensure that they honour their commitments such as church, school and social. So, I have been able to do this with his support, and that of my in-laws,” Ali recalled during our interview.

The Deputy CEO made it clear that whenever those times of discouragement arise, she leans on her faith to cushion the effects of feelings of frustration, and all these negative feelings that go along with discouragement.

“I think my faith helps me to have a perspective when things get bad; when things get rough. When desolation steps in, — and I have had that in recent times, particularly in my field — when decisions are taken that I have no control over; when I feel like I have let people down. It is in those times that I go to God in prayer. My faith helps me to maintain a perspective when things get rough,” Ali told the Pepperpot Magazine.

Of working mothers, Ali had this to say: “Women are natural nurturers; that’s the mothering instinct in us, especially when you work in a hectic environment like media, journalism, and communication. It comes with sacrifices, and I am always in awe of all those single mothers who do have the father of their children helping them, like mine who helps me in such a great way. I salute them, and I recognise that because they love what they do, they want to effect change, hence they come to work every day, and they go through whatever challenges they face. I want to acknowledge their efforts; their sacrifices, and trust that there is going to be a point in their lives where they are grateful for it all; that their child or children will appreciate those moments of sacrifices.”

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