In my opinion, today’s mama Q&A requires no introduction! If you own an Instant Pot, I’m 99.9% sure you’ve come across Meeta’s blog – Piping Pot Curry If you haven’t tried her recipes, what are you waiting for…? Seriously though, her blog is a go-to for simple, easy, and delicious recipes and meal ideas.

I love Meeta’s story because she truly went from pursuing her passion on the side to turning it into a venture – a true momprenuer. I think you guys will be super inspired by her journey, the hacks she shares and more.

Over to you, Meeta! 🙂

1. Tell me a little more about your family – number of kids, names, ages.
Hi, I am Meeta, and my husband is Mahendra. We have an adorable daughter Riya who is almost 6 years old, and we are expecting our second in July this year. My daughter is super excited and looking forward to meeting the baby.  

2. Tell me more about your line of work. 
I am a former Product Manager by profession, where I worked at an insurance software company building and improving software products. What that really means is I was responsible for defining the direction and for improving the product I managed. Before that, I worked as a software engineer. I made the switch to product management after doing graduate studies in management. 

Currently, I manage my food blog called Piping Pot Curry, where I enjoy combining my culinary skills with sharing my love for delicious and healthy food with others. Having been a working mom, I understand the challenges faced by mom’s where they want to feed their family healthy food, while not spending a ton of time in the kitchen. It is all about efficiency. So I share recipes and tips to make cooking easier, and lots of my recipes can be made under 30-minute. 

3. Tell me more about how you got to where you are now with Piping Pot Curry.
As I was working in my previous job, I wanted to do something on the side, a passion project. All that came to mind was food. I am a complete foodie. I love to cook, I love to go out to eat. Cooking is like unwinding time for me. At the same time, I met some friends who were into blogging. So after learning about their passion and success with blogging, I decided to start a food blog. 

In February 2017, I launched Piping Pot Curry. It has been a wonderful journey. Initially, I was doing it as a side project on the weekends while working. But then for completely different reasons, I decided to leave my job in August 2017 and had more time to work on the blog.  I spent some time learning photography, all the social media, creating videos. It has been super fun learning about this whole new world of blogging. I also saw good traction on the blog. So here I am almost two years later and still enjoying doing this full-time. 

4. What does a typical day in the life look like for you?
Our day typically starts around 6am, when my husband and I wake up. We go downstairs, I make tea, and we both get some work done while sipping tea until 7 am. Then we start getting ready and making breakfast/lunches. 

My husband and daughter leave home at 8:20 am and he takes care of the drop-off. This is when I finish cleaning up/getting ready and start my work at home around 8:45-9 am. My work involves cooking 1-2 days in the week, and most of the other time is spent on the laptop writing posts, social media, etc. (yes, this might seem counterintuitive, and I don’t always have to be cooking even though I have a food blog).  

Depending on the day, my daughters school ends at 3:15 pm or if she has an extra-curricular class at school around 4:30-5 pm. So I wrap up work and pick her up. We come home and finish homework, which is luckily just 15-20 minutes currently. Then my daughter gets some relaxing time to play with her toys or watch a little episode of TV while I prepare dinner. 

We then play some games or practice music or just do some artwork. Riya loves to play some board or card games every day. We have dinner around 7 pm. Most days my husband gets home around the same time, so we can have dinner together. Dinner is a struggle with our very very picky kid who can live on snacks but no real food. I have to give in extra time to get some nutritious food in her belly. 

Then my husband or I go through our bedtime routine with Riya – shower, reading, sleep (by 9 pm). This gives the other person time to finish up the dishes, clean, etc. If given a chance, my daughter would love to stay awake and keep playing, reading, etc. So we have to make a real effort to get her in bed by 9 pm. She does make sure to get enough sleep by only waking up after 7 am. And then we go to sleep around 10 pm. Some days it is later depending on any chores we have to complete.  Some days I wake up earlier at 5 am to finish up work or my husband is working late to finish his office work. 

Weekends are for chores around the house, meeting up with friends, going to the park, grocery shopping and just having some family time. We try to also watch a movie or show after putting Riya to bed. 

Now, this typical schedule is completely going to change once the new baby is here. I plan to take a couple of months off and then ease myself back into work by getting a part-time nanny.  

But overall, I love the flexibility my work allows. It is satisfying as I get to do what I like and do not have the pressure of reporting to someone. At the same time, I do have my goals for the blog and am committed to making it a success. 

5. What are your best hacks, tips, and tricks for getting the most out of your day?
The main mantra to follow here is to be present in what you are doing. In the evening, I completely block out work and only focus on home and my daughter. And during the day, I focus on working on the blog.  

Planning the week helps a lot too. I use Asana to help me plan out my work week. I can add tasks and assign them to specific days of the week to make sure I accomplish my goals. 

We also try to divide up chores between me and my husband which makes it easier to manage the day…using the calendar is our friend. Any task that needs to get done by a specific time goes on the calendar. My husband and I add each other to the tasks or events which need both our attention. This also helps to not double book ourselves or over-commit. 

6. What are some of the big challenges you face and how do you overcome them?
Even though I get a good amount of time in the day, it feels like I am never able to get done all the work I planned out. I guess we all have a long to-do list of things to do both for home and work. And it is best to accept that the list is never coming down to zero. 

That said, how I tackle my list is by “prioritizing.” Whether it is work or home, we sit down and think about the most important tasks to finish on a day or on a specific weekend and try to get them done. For example, on the blog, I am deciding between creating a new recipe versus creating a video for an existing popular recipe. Or when I have less time in the day when my husband is traveling for work (typically 1 week in a month), I plan accordingly. 

On the side of spending time with Riya, there are always so many things we want to do along with her such as taking her to the park, zoo, museums or just spending the evening coloring and reading books. We are not able to do it all, but the idea is to have small wins and feel like we are making some progress.

7. How do you deal with mom guilt? 
I am the person who does not feel as much mom guilt. I feel like I’m now able to give my daughter a good amount of time when I can pick her up before 5 pm (some days at 3:15) and spend 3-4 hours with her in the evening. This was different in my previous job when I could only pick my daughter at 5:45 pm every day. So the time I get to spend with her is much more now and we definitely cherish it. This will change as the new baby comes and the time will get divided between the two.
Oh…a couple of areas I feel where we can do much more is in taking her out to various weekend learning activities such as the museum, exploratorium, etc. We also want to get the kids (and us) to spend more time with nature and get some exercise, but we have not been able to incorporate much hiking in our routine in the last 1-2 years. We used to be able to do much more of that. 

8. How do you carve out ‘me’ time?  What does ‘me’ time look like for you?
As I work from home, it is much easier to carve out me time. It is mostly a massage or catching up with friends over lunch/coffee for me. 

9. What are some of your guilty pleasures?
The simple things! Enjoying a good cup of coffee with a croissant while I work being one of them. Or there are days when I am not in a mood to work (especially if it is a day when I am at the laptop writing rather than cooking) or I’m too tired from other chores. Having my own work, also means I can decide on a whim to take time off and go for a massage!

I need to work on my health goals, but I also enjoy desserts, so there is no way I am dieting or leaving desserts out of my life!

Also, we don’t leave a chance when we can have a date night, by dropping Riya off for a play date with friends. 

9. What’s your mama mantra?
Prioritize the most important things to be done and be okay with things not being perfect. Every child (and life) goes through phases. Some will be wonderful and some not so much. Remember that if you are in a phase where you are stressed or are not enjoying as much, it too shall pass. 

Thanks for making time for this Q&A, Meeta! I love that you followed your dreams and made PPC a reality! I can’t wait to see what’s next…including your beautiful baby of course!

By Parita

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