There were women who sacrificed their careers for family and there were women who sacrificed family life in order to become successful as career women. But there always have been women who could balance both in a graceful manner, having the best of both worlds. Let us have a look at some inspiring mommies who made it big professionally apart from those who hit headlines every other day like Aishwarya Rai, Angelina Jolie or Victoria Beckham.
1. Indira Gandhi
She had been active in politics since the days of Independence. At the age of 13, she founded the Bal Charkha Sangh and the Vanar Sena, comprising children who helped the Congress Party during the Non Co-operation Movement and after Independence, she was Prime Minster of India for nearly two decades. This fiery woman who was referred to as “The only man in her parliament”, took time to bring up two boys of her own with love and care.
2. Hillary Clinton
We have to appreciate Hillary Clinton on how she never allowed her job as United States Secretary of State, being the first lady, senator nor the Lewinsky scandal in 1998 to interfere with her wonderful parenting of her daughter Chelsea.
3. Madam Marie Curie
If anyone feels that the professional mommies are modern women, they stand to be corrected by the great example set by Marie Curie. Mother to two amazing daughters, she was a single mother who brought them up after losing her loving husband Pierre to an unfortunate accident. Her daughter Irene Joliot-Curie is a noble laureate as well.
4. Sarla Thakral
Sarla Thakral, the first Indian woman pilot, was also a successful businesswoman, painter and began designing clothes and costume jewelry. Despite her active lifestyle, nothing deterred her from being a loving mother to her two daughters.
5. Grandma Moses
Anna Mary Robertson, popularly known as Grandma Moses had ten children, five of whom died at birth. Being used to working on a farm, Grandma Moses took up embroidering pictures in yarn to fill her spare time when farm work became strenuous for her. At the age of seventy-six, because of arthritis, she gave up embroidery and began to paint. Today, Grandma Moses is recognized for paintings with an unrealistic view of life, presented with remarkable power.
6. Sharmila Tagore Pataudi
Sharmila Tagore is an Indian film actress known for her works, predominantly in Hindi cinema where she ignited the screen with her presence. Winner of two National Film Awards and two Filmfare Awards she has also led the Indian Film Censor Board and worked with UNICEF as Goodwill Ambassador. Moreover, she was a loving mom to her three children – Saif Ali Khan, Saba Ali Khan, and Soha Ali Khan.
7. Diane Hendricks
Diane Hendricks, the owner and chairman of ABC Supply, is one of only six self-made female billionaires in the US. She had her first child when she was just 17. Diane managed a growing business and blended it well with her family of seven children including husband Ken’s four children from a previous marriage and two more they had together. Today the billionaire is mother of seven and a grandmother of 17.
8. Mary Kom
Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom also known as Mary Kom is an Indian boxer who inspired Bollywood to make a movie of her success story. She is a five-time World Amateur Boxing champion, has won a medal in each one of the six world championships. While on one hand she fights her bouts fiercely, she takes out time to nurture her three children – a son and her lovely twins – with all the love and care.
9. Hema Malini
The one time ‘Dream Girl’ of Bollywood, this accomplished Bharatnatyam dancer and politician has always taken time to be there for her two girls – Esha Deol and Ahana Deol.
10. Nita Ambani
Being the wife of richest man in India has not stopped Nita Ambani from looking at the problems faced by those on the lower rungs of society and fighting for their cause. She is part of UNAIDS, which is aimed towards halting and reversing the HIV epidemic in India and Project Drishti, which aims to give sight to blind people from the underprivileged segment. She also finds time to bring up her two sons Ananth and Akash, and a daughter Isha with love and dedication.
11. Sheryl Sandberg
Many people may spend their time surfing Facebook, but the chief operating officer of the social media website, Sheryl Sandberg, shuts down everything and heads home to her two young children sharp at 5:30 to spend some quality time with them.
12. Shoba De
Shobhaa De is a controversial Indian columnist and novelist who is known as the “Jackie Collins of India”. She is best known for her depiction of socialites and sex in her works of fiction. What many people do not know is that Shoba De also parents six amazing children!
13. Rajeshwari Chatterjee
Rajeshwari Chatterjee was an Indian scientist and academic who was a renowned engineer from Karnataka. Chatterjee was a professor and later chairperson of the department of Electro-communication Engineering. She was also a loving mother to her daughter Indira, who is now a professor in University of Nevada, Reno, USA.
14. Indira Nooyi
Indira Nooyi is a powerful woman leading PepsiCo as the Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer successfully. She had confessed that being a mom to her two daughters while leading a full time career was very challenging, but she has pulled it off well with support from family and friends.
15. Reita Faria Powell
Long before Aishwarya Rai or Sushmita Sen took over the beauty pageant world by storm, it was Reita Faria Powell who brought Indian beauty to the limelight. She was the first Asian to win the Miss World title in 1966. She was a beauty with brains who also qualified as a doctor during her reign. Moreover, she is mother to two children and five loving grandchildren.
16. Sudha Murthy
Being an active social worker, writer in both Kannada and English languages, a computer scientist and engineer, did not stop Sudha Murthy from being a loving mother to her two children – Akshata and Rohan. An amazing personality, Sudha Murthy is the chairperson of the Infosys Foundation and a member of public health care initiatives of the Gates Foundation.