So many of the moms I’ve interviewed for this series have told me to answer the questions myself. Well, it took me a while, but I’m doing it!
I thought this would be a good way for new readers/followers to get to know me, as the questions span everything from schedules to mottos to guilty pleasures.
Let’s get right to it!
1. Tell me a little more about your family – number of kids, names, ages.
My family consists of me, my hubby of 7.5 years Vishnu, and our beautiful and fun baby boy Kaiden. We’re originally from Atlanta but have been living in Chicago for the past 3.5 years.
2. Tell me more about your line of work, role, responsibilities, etc.
I work for a global accounting organisation and am a Senior Manager on the People and Culture (P&C) team. Essentially, I collaborate and work with and for P&C leaders in our member firms (we have ~140 firms) on various projects, initiatives, tools, etc. related to (you guessed it!) people and culture issues.
I like this role because it’s more strategic in nature. We don’t do any hiring, firing and paperwork. It’s really about working on the things that will impact our network and make us future-fit.
And I’ve been with my current organisation for a little over 7.5 years.
3. Walk me through a day in your life.
The answer to this depends on if I’m going in to the office or not.
Par going to office – wake up at 4:45 and shower + get ready; start prepping breakfast shake and mine and Vishnu’s lunch; Kaiden up at 6; cuddle with K, feed him breakfast, wrap up everything else; get K dressed for school and brush his teeth; get myself dressed; get out the door by 7:15; drop K off at school and walk to work; get to the office by 7:45; work work work until 4:14 pm; walk to Kaiden’s daycare, pick him up and get home by 5 ish; prep dinner and keep K entertained until it’s time to eat; sit down to eat at 6; either Vishnu or I give K a bath at 6:30 while the other person cleans up in the kitchen; once K is dressed and ‘creamed’ up, we sit, read and play; at 7:15, Vishnu takes K to brush his teeth; I then put him down (sing 4 songs, say our prayers and affirmations, goodnight kisses, lights out!); from 7:30-9:00, Vishnu and I hang out on the couch – watch TV, talk, blog, do work, etc.; I get into bed by 9:15 and read for about 20-30 minutes; then it’s lights out for me!
Par works from home – the day looks very similar to the above except I wake up at 5:30; also my afternoon looks different when I’m home – I stop working at 4 and then I clean up around the house, start prepping dinner, etc.
Vishnu and I decide who will pick up and drop off Kaiden based on our schedules. Sometimes he does one or both and sometimes it’s me.
4. How has becoming a mom influenced your role at work?
I feel like I’m a lot more efficient. Time and self-management are key ‘mom skills’ and I’m glad I’m able to transfer those over to my role at work.
Another way motherhood has impacted me at work is that I don’t take things to heart anymore. I used to analyze anything and everything someone said or did. I would get upset if I wasn’t included on a project. Work took up a lot of my mind space. Now? I realize work is one (small) element. My goal is to do what I need (and do it well) to do to provide for my family and prioritize the rest of my time around our family. Life is too short to spend so much energy on work (just my personal opinion).
5. What is your favorite tip on how to integrate work and life?
If you’re not already, become a list person. Like paper and pen list person. My lists keep me sane and on track – for work and personal stuff. I feel like if you have system for capturing the random thoughts that come and go during the day (and night!), you can more easily flow between work and life.
Also, don’t multitask. It’s a myth. Set a timer, focus on one task at a time, and slowly get stuff done.
6. How do you handle mom guilt?
To be honest, I felt a lot of mom guilt in the beginning…about anything and everything. And I think that was because Kaiden was so helpless and I thought I was the only one who could (and should) help him. As he’s gotten older, I see that he only benefits from having rich relationships with other people including his dad (duh!), his grandparents, his aunts/uncles, daycare providers, baby sitters, etc.
If you love the s*** out of your kid and make the most of the time that you do have with him/her, mom guilt should really start to fade away.
It does rear it’s ugly head from time to time, but I try my best to push it out because I know I’m doing the best I can and I know I love my child to bits and pieces and that’s all that matters!
7. What is the most surprising part of being a working mom? And the most rewarding?
Surprising – being ok with things being undone at times. I used to be someone who’d spend 4 hours every weekend cleaning a one bedroom apartment. I now don’t nitpick at that level. It’s ok if some things get left for tomorrow.
Rewarding – picking Kaiden up at daycare and seeing his face light up when he sees him (or when he gets home if Vishnu picks him up)!
8. How do you carve out ‘me’ time? What does ‘me’ time look like for you? On that same note, what’s your guilty pleasure?
I try to use the time when K’s sleeping (naps, down for the night) to my advantage. Sure, I could spend hours scrolling IG (which I occasionally do). But I really try to be intentional about how I spend the hours I do get to myself.
Me time for me looks like reading, blogging, chatting with a friend, watching a show with Vishnu.
And my guilty pleasure has to be chocolate. Chocolate in most any form is life!
9. What’s your mama mantra?
One day/hour/minute at a time.
10. What’s the best piece of advice you received when returning back to work after having your baby?
Don’t jump back in…wade back in. Everyone knows your capable but take the time you need to get re-acclimated.
11. What advice would you give to mamas-to-be about returning back to work?
Ask for what you want/need. The worst thing anyone can say is no! This goes for assignments, to pumping rooms, to everything in between. Be your own best advocate!