Date Archives April 2018

Guilty as Charged

This week, www.womenempowered.co.uk published their monthly online magazine called GRIT. I was asked to write about parenting including what I believe are the biggest challenges for bringing up children today, whether there are different ‘rules’ for raising girls and boys and even coping with parental guilt.

My section is entitled Terrorism, Technology and Trump. Just a few of the things that affect the pace at which the world is moving and how I feel affects our ability to parent today.

I jumped at the chance, when the word guilt was mentioned. It’s something I always relate to and am sure all women who take any time for themselves feel, whether it’s going to work or going to the spa. Ok maybe not the spa.

My guilt has taken various forms. Buying the most ridiculous and useless gifts from the hospital WRVS shop after a night shift, late night Amazon Prime buys of things that really could wait until their birthday, extreme junk food and late night movie watching cosied up on the sofa together. It’s the age old saying ‘You can’t buy love with money’ oh yes you can! Kids LOVE you when you do all of the above.

But as my children grow and their needs change from a two minute distraction toy and exams, acting classes and the reality of their future looms, the guilt spreads to how much quality time I can give them. Undivided. Un i-Phoned (Yes it’s a word, I just made it up) and with a smile.

I’m learning. It feels good, therefore I’m winning. And when they do their best, what more can one want? They re asleep right now and I only ordered one thing from Amazon Prime. Oops!

Read this months GRIT www.womenempowered.co.uk/grit

I’d love your comments

‘She’s here to make the place look pretty’ #Pressforprogress

‘This is Anushka Chaudhry. She’s a breast surgeon and here to make the place look prettier’

That was my introduction to a ‘by invite only’ society of reputable surgeons as we sat for our first lecture on digital mapping of the spine for fusion surgery.

‘I’d like to think I’m here to offer a bit more than that’ I said, seething inside.

Remarks such as this have always been a part of life and never really bothered me so much. I kick myself now for not protesting on the sexist comment and calling him out. I questioned the invitation that had made me feel special and accomplished. Should I leave this group?

I used to be a knee-jerk reactor but as I have grown, I realise that processing my emotions helped me rationalise what I was feeling and how to react. So that’s what I did. Some of these men worked in times when the theatre changing rooms were for ‘Men’ and ‘Nurses’. Their culture consisted of a hierarchy where the man led the team supported by their staff. Despite years of working in a changing environment of more female leaders, their position remained static and in the past. Should I take this personally, or understand it and move on?

In a quiet moment, I took him aside the next day and explained what had disappointed me. Met with a huge portion of apologies with a side of dismissive laughter, we agreed it was inappropriate.

I spent the next day engrossed in fascinating talks and discussions with surgical specialists that opened my eyes outside the world of breast surgery. It made me hungry for more and I told myself I’d stick with them. I deserved a place in this historical society and make history myself. As the second woman in the group and the first breast surgeon and Indian ever invited, something is changing. Slowly but surely.