There was a time when an actress’ career was considered almost over when she got married. It was considered definitely over once she gave birth. Several actresses over the years have voluntarily taken a hiatus from films after marrying or becoming a mother. But times have changed, and so has the attitude towards work. Actresses these days deftly balance marriage, movies and motherhood, setting examples for their fans. Anushka and Kareena have also proved that the audience do not necessarily lose interest in an actress as soon as she becomes wife and mother.
Kareena Kapoor Khan: One of the major examples of a modern-day heroine who did not let her pregnancy or motherhood come in the way of her career. She was part of major productions during both her pregnancies – Veere Di Wedding and Laal Singh Chaddha – and she managed to complete both films. She shed all her pregnancy weight and went back to work after son Taimur was born, and did the same after her second pregnancy as well. She has starred in Good Newwz and Angrezi Medium after her first pregnancy, and continued to be one of the most sought after actresses in Bollywood.
Anushka Sharma: Despite saying several years ago that she wouldn’t be working after having kids, Anushka is proving quite the opposite currently. From completing her work assignments during pregnancy amid a raging pandemic, as well as accompanying husband Virat Kohli for his matches, Anushka has shown how she can do it all. Their daughter Vamika was born in January 2021. The actress is currently busy taking care of her child and looking after her production house, which has bankrolled a bunch of critically-acclaimed projects during the lockdown, including Bulbbul and Paatal Lok.
Rani Mukerji: She married Aditya Chopra in 2014. The following year, she gave birth to their daughter Adira. The actress has said that she believes in maintaining a work-life balance after motherhood, adding that “it is extremely important for (a mother) to have a career and use her time constructively”. Following the birth of her child, Rani took a four-year hiatus and was persuaded by her husband to return to acting. She came back with the comedy-drama Hichki (2018). She also reprised her role as Shivani Shivaji Roy in Mardaani 2 (2019), and will soon be seen reprising her role as Babli in the comedy sequel Bunty Aur Babli 2. The actress, who completes 25 years in the film industry this year, is grateful to her fans for not writing her off after she got married and had a baby. “Without my fans, I would not have been able to survive, especially with the kind of prejudices a married actress with a baby has to go through. The fact that they have supported me throughout is nothing short of a miracle and that’s why I’m still working and doing relevant work,” she said.
Kajol: She married Ajay Devgn in 1999 and gave birth to daughter Nitara in 2003. Seven years later, in September 2010, she gave birth to a son, Yug. She faced some criticism for deciding to settle down at the “peak of her career”. Kajol, however, maintained that she would not quit films, but would cut down on the amount of work that she did. All through these years, Kajol never took a break completely from films, except for a few years’ break after Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001). She starred in Fanaa (2006), U Me Aur Hum (20017), My Name Is Khan (2008), and Dilwale (2015), continuing to work in films while bringing up her kids.
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan: She married Abhishek Bachchan in 2007 and gave birth to daughter Aaradhya in 2011. Her marriage happened amid one of the busiest times in her career – Guru released in 2007, she appeared in international projects Provoked and The Last Legion in the same year. She starred in Ashutosh Gowariker’s period romance Jodhaa Akbar and Ramgopal Varma’s Sarkar Raj in 2008, and in The Pink Panther 2 in 2009. Although she gave up on Madhur Bhandarkar’s Heroine due to her pregnancy, Aishwarya continued with her Cannes Film Festival appearances and endorsements after the birth of her daughter, and made a comeback to films with Sanjay Gupta’s Jazbaa in 2015.
Twinkle Khanna: She bid farewell to acting several years ago, but Twinkle has continued to work as an author, columnist and film producer after giving birth to two kids. She has co-produced films like Pad Man and Thank You, authored books like Mrs Funnybones and The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad. Twinkle is also part of various initiatives, all that she manages alongside handling two growing kids – Aarav and Nitara – and a superstar husband. The former actress often shares fun anecdotes about managing housework with worklife in her Instagram posts.