I believe in balance. And balance doesn’t just mean to be able to be a good mom and a good employee. I also believe we need to have me time as well as infused passion that we all must work towards.
How do you plan your day?
I wake up at around 6:00 AM every morning. I make sure that some basic morning preps are done the night prior so that the morning is not a hurricane. I wake kids up by 6:30 AM and then start the running around. Helping them brush their teeth, dressing up for school, feeding them… There is not a single moment that I feel like I can relax or take a breather. Their school bus arrives at 7:30 AM. Once they are out, then I feel like I am at peace. I have my breakfast, get ready, and reach the office by 8:30
I have an 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM job. Once I get free from the office, I pick kids up from daycare and we spend an hour at the park running around (trying to tire ourselves). The evenings are spent doing homework, watching a little TV, reading stories, and then calling it a day!
Saturdays and Sundays- I get to spend a lot more time with the kids. We spend afternoons reading stories, doing kids’ activities, and learning new things. Evenings are for outings & dinner.
What do you think about our Indian education system?
I think lately our Indian education system has been moving towards a more progressive and inclusive system. If I could change something, I would make it even more inclusive so that people coming from across sects of our Indian society – in terms of economic background, religion, and neurological as well as physical conditions – All can enjoy equal access to education. I would love to see a schooling system that recognizes merit & has a flat fee system – institutions that are nonprofit.
Your key to juggling and creating a balance with your work and kids?
I believe in having a strong support system around. I rely a lot on my cook, my maid, the daycare, and the school to be able to devote my time at work and lead a happy, fulfilling life. I do not believe that the responsibility of raising a child is solely on a mother. If I cannot cook well, why not let a hired help and good restaurants do that? If I do not have elders at home who can help with managing kids while I am at work, why not let a good daycare tend to my child’s needs in my absence?
It takes a village to raise a kid! And while we are seeking support of this entire village, why not feel like we are empowering them all to contribute in a positive way? This village and community style of raising kids has helped moms like me to be able to have a career as well as be a good mom who comes back home from work radiating positive vibes.
What is the most challenging part of being a mother?
The most challenging part of being a mother is to be able to manage the emotions of my kids. They are at an age now where they experience things like a grown-up would. They experience emotions; they have a need for appreciation, validation, and recognition.
I try to have open conversations with them as much as I can. I try not to shut them up or give a response such as “Do it because I said so.” Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I don’t.
Another big challenge of being a working mom is being able to spend quality time with them and overcoming the guilt at times not being able to do so. In this case, I think one needs to develop a blindside to ignore what others say. If you are able to manage time and give your time and care to your kids, connect with them – that’s more than enough in today’s time.
How do you spend time with your kids on weekends?
We are a family of foodies. Both my kids love to explore cafes and restaurants with me. We love to go out rather than stay in during weekends.
We take turns in deciding where to go and what to eat. And we get a million pictures clicked when out.
One of the best times we spent together was a recent trip when we went to Agra for a weekend. This was the first time I dared to take a trip with both of them without any other family member along. Needless to say, it was tiring. But the food, the pictures, the sightseeing – it was a great experience for all 3 of us.
What tips would you like to give to moms with pre-schoolers at home?
If there is one thing I have learned from my experience in the field of education as well as mothering 2 children is that “LET THEM BE”
Learning can never be limited to what’s in books or syllabus or what’s age-appropriate. Each kid has their unique interests & individual learning style. Letting them learn what they want to is always good for their overall development. In fact, even the basic age-appropriate skills if introduced in a fun way would help them learn faster & retain for longer.
What is your parenting style?
I talk to my kids a lot about what’s right and what’s wrong. I explain to them about safety, personal space, ethics, etc. But after that I let them be. I let them explore, fail, learn, and then win.
I do agree that disciplining kids is also important, but I use the concept of non-material consequences and consequences for them. Rewards such as extra coloring time, extra TV time, an outing of their choice, etc, and rewards such as taking away TV privileges for a day, etc. works best for us.
For me being honest & real is more important than anything else. I do not want to create any unrealistic pictures in mind of my daughters which later when they grow, no matter how much they try, they will not be able to achieve. Perfection according to me is just a myth.
Having said that, I do try to do my best in everything that I take up, because putting your 100% and never giving up is also a value I want them to learn in life.
What would you like to change about yourself (if you could…)
Very honestly, I wish I was a better money manager than I currently am. I do not have much understanding of savings and investment, which limits my financial management in a lot many ways. I wish someone would just do that for me.
I am trying to take help from experts & learn the same so that I can overcome this little glitch in my life & be able to save better for the future of my kids.