It’s Friday! Finally! I’m back with another ‘Diary of a Working Mom’ Q&A. Today’s guest is Anandi Shah – we connected over the ‘gram. I LOVE her style. It’s trendy and cute while being affordable. I highly recommend following her at HeyAnandi.

Anandi is a busy lady – she works full-time managing a big team, is raising two kiddos, and runs a really fun side hobby/business (again, check out HeyAnandi on Instagram). I think you’ll love her responses because they’re filled with wisdom and a go with the flow kind of feeling.

1. Tell me a little more about your family – number of kids, names, ages.
Hey guys! My name is Anandi Shah. I’ve been married to my husband, Harshil, for almost 13 years and we have two kids – our daughter is 8 and our son is 5.

ell me a little more about your family – number of kids, names, ages.
Hey guys! My name is Anandi Shah. I’ve been married to my husband, Harshil, for almost 13 years and we have two kids – our daughter is 8 and our son is 5.

2. Tell me more about your line of work, role, responsibilities, etc.
I work in the Sales and Marketing department of my organization where I manage a team responsible for license agreement negotiations for our products, as well as supporting and managing our CRM. They’re two completely different roles which require me to put on different hats everyday, but my main role is managing the CRM (executing projects, working with stakeholders to ensure that deliverables are met, etc.). Basically, I make sure our system is running smoothly, projects stay on target, negotiations are managed and my team is happy and willing to come back another day!

3. Walk me through a day in your life. 
**DISCLAIMER: While I wish I had a set routine every day (which, trust me, I strive for each new day), my life is a little more like a “Choose your own adventure” book. Especially with two young, strong-willed children in the house and a couple of parents with a million things to remember! In conclusion, we wing it!

I digress…Here’s an example of one of the many types of days we live!**  I usually wake up around 6/6:15, shower real quick (under 10 min), wake up my oldest first who is pretty independent, except she needs to be pushed to do things faster (like we all do!). My husband is great and wakes up my son and gets him ready. While they are eating breakfast, I’m getting ready and multitasking to get their lunch out (which is packed the night before, reheated in the morning if needed), water bottles, backpacks, my breakfast etc. Once we’re all ready to go, I drop them off to school which is on my way to work. I try to get to work by 8 but that doesn’t always happen (all depends on how the morning goes. Sometimes I’ll forget something – kids’ lunch, their backpack, my laptop, did I leave my hair thing on, traffic, etc.). Once at work, I’m usually there until about 4:15/4:30, working through lunch if I get in late. If I do take a lunch, it’s usually to go run errands (oh hey, Target!). Then I pick up the kids by 5 (*a mom guilt trigger, my kids always want me to pick them up when their friends get picked up at the end of the school day). Once we get home, it’s dinner, baths, homework and getting ready for bed (pjs, brushing teeth, reading, etc.) Dinners could be anything from leftovers from the night before, something I was able to whip up real quick, a freezer meal, or take out (or on super special days, something my mom made that I was able to pick up during the day since she lives near where I work! *Thanks, mom for continuing to mom <3* )! The kids are usually in bed by 7:30 but can take up to a half hour to fall asleep. I tuck them in and stay with them for a few minutes.  Then, I go down to finish off the dishes, clean the kitchen, make lunch (if they’re not buying school lunch), pack snacks, etc. This can take anywhere from a half hour to an hour. My husband usually gives my son a bath, packs lunch some days and makes dinner if needed. Once that’s all done, I’m usually doing things for my insta-blog (could be shopping, engaging on social media, content building, stories, etc) and then I may or may not get the time to watch something (if I don’t fall asleep on the couch -____-). I try to be in bed by 11:30. 

4. How has becoming a mom influenced your role at work?
I’m more patient, more understanding, and can empathize a whole lot more. It’s helped me be a better teacher and help manage interpersonal relationships with my team and colleagues. Since I manage people, it’s also helped me be a better manager. 

5. What is your favorite tip on how to integrate work and life?
Keep the two separate. When I’m at work, I do my best to give my all to my job. I know the kids are in the best hands possible (after my husband and I, grandparents, etc.). You have to trust that, and if you don’t, it’s time to find new childcare. When I get home, my attention is given to the kids. If I need to check work emails, I check them after they’re asleep. To me, having a good balance means keeping the two separate.

6. How do you handle mom guilt?
My biggest source of mom guilt is probably feeling like I’m not spending enough time with them. So I do my best to spend time with them when we’re together. This also means that all the things I needed to do take a back seat—laundry to be folded stays piled up for weeks, cleaning, running errands. Over the years, I’ve gotten better at giving myself a break. Sometimes, I give myself grace and I’m better at letting certain things go so it’s easier for me—it’s ok to let them be on their iPads a little longer, get that cleaning lady in more often to help with whatever I need, get the grandparents to help more. Do whatever you need to so that you can be happier, and in turn, be a better mom.

7. What is the most surprising part about being a working mom?  
When I went back to work after my first maternity leave, it was hard. But after a while, once I was settled into work life, I realized I liked the separation between work and home. Although I was working full time, I needed this “break.” AND I got to dress up again! I’m a strong believer in if you look good, you feel good! And a mommy who feels good can bring that energy back to her kids.

And the most rewarding?
Believe it or not, I’m an introvert. Being at work, I’ve made some good friends through the years, people I enjoy being around (we laugh a lot) which makes coming into work that much better. It gives me a chance to recharge a bit. Don’t get me wrong, I have my days where I don’t want to go to work…we all do. But having a work environment that doesn’t make your stomach turn every morning and one that is flexible to your needs as a working mom (doc appts, events at school, etc) is so important.

8. How do you carve out ‘me’ time?  What does ‘me’ time look like for you?
My “me” time consists of different things. During the week, it’s the hour or so I get at the end of the night to either watch a show or do things for my insta-blog (website coming eventually but that’s a whole new ballgame I can’t seem to figure out how to find time for!). Some days, my husband and I tag team and I get to go to the gym straight from work (still working on getting to the gym more!). On the weekends it might be going out with friends or just going for a mani/pedi.  Regardless of what it is, my husband plays a huge part on helping me carve out that “me” time. And we BOTH give each other that “me” time—sometimes it’s planned weeks in advance and sometimes just the night before, but we work together to figure it out (sometimes after bickering!).

On that same note, what’s your guilty pleasure?
Ugh, if you haven’t guessed it already—I love to shop! I may need to cut it down a bit, but that’s a topic for another day! 

9. What’s your mama mantra?
“We’ll figure it out, it’s going to be ok”—laundry, folding of said laundry, dishes, organizing, getting kids from one place to another, date night, disagreements, getting the house presentable before people come over, finishing that school project that you completely forgot about until Sunday afternoon. If you have a partner that’s willing to figure things out with you, then that’s great because in the end because you’re in it together.

10. What’s the best piece of advice you received when returning back to work?
Start your childcare early! Whether it’s a daycare or an at home nanny, start it at least a week or two early. You’re basically easing yourself into someone new watching your precious baby but you don’t have that added stress of being at work too. 

11. What advice would you give to mamas-to-be about returning back to work?
Start midweek. Wednesday – Fri is a lot better than Monday-Friday. And if possible, ask your manager if you can work from home 2 days a week for a little bit (I did that for about 2 months I think), then cut back to 1 (if needed).

Thank you, Anandi, for taking the time to share your journey and thoughts! You’re a true inspiration, and your little family is so lucky to have you!

P.S. If you know someone who is willing to share her working mom/momprenuer story on MIS, shoot me an email (

By Parita

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