Shahnaz got married within six months of her graduation from Dow Medical College. Her marriage, however, did not stop her from powering through life to arrive where she aspired to be. She exudes professionalism, strength and intelligence. She gave birth to her first child during her house job and to her younger two children during post-graduation. She has been associated with Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre for almost three decades now with an impressive twenty five MPhil thesis to her credit as a professor.
Her struggles in life involved dealing with the loss of her mother at a young age, catering to her elderly father and mother-in-law, and now caring for her ailing sister-in-law. Her dedication to her career in medicine, however, remains unwavered. “There have been responsibilities and issues with work but I was able to handle them with the support of my husband and in-laws” she says. What makes her stand out as a miracle woman today is the way she faced the combination of these difficulties and came out a stronger mother, wife and professional. Shahnaz trusts that “where there is a will, there is a way,” and adds that the one quality that is undoubtedly the stepping-stone to success in life is dedication.
Shahnaz’s formula to achieve the perfect work-life balance rests on a husband and wife duo working together as a team. She is grateful that she has never had to make the choice between motherhood and work. Her pride lies in being able to look back and say with confidence that she has given a lot of time to her children. She displays her positive outlook on life by saying “no doubt, there are times when you are emotionally weak, tired and sick but I have now crossed that critical age with my children. As long as you are sensitive to the people around you and dedicated to work, things work out on their own”.
One thing Shahnaz gives a lot of importance to, as a professional woman, is grooming. “You should look nice and smell good”, she says. She follows a strict skincare and cleansing regime. She adds that she likes to take out a few moments to lay out her clothes, bags and shoes the night before and get everything personal in order to take on the morning headfirst.
When it comes to emotional independence, Shahnaz believes that it is impossible for a mother to be so. “There is no such thing”, she says, “You do get emotionally disturbed. You just need to regulate yourself and face things”. As far as financial independence is concerned, however, she relies on it as an outlet for satisfaction and happiness and believes that not having to ask anyone for money gives you confidence. In line with this belief, she marks her daughter’s graduation as an architect, her own miracle moment in life. In the end she reiterates that professional empowerment and liberation of women is what will take Pakistan forward.