Sunday, March 23, 2014

Work life Balance or is it Integration?

As a working professional you always hear the word "work life balance" but after having kids I feel like that concept doesn't exist. There isn't a perfect balance between the two. I recently attended an International women's day (IWD) event and there were several successful women who spoke to us as part of a panel. One of them shared the phrase "work life integration" - and I thought to myself "that makes more sense than balance". I think there is so much pressure in today's world for women to be the best at everything (and I believe we do it to ourselves sometimes). We spend years educating our selves and want it all - Successful career and happy families. I feel like you can have a happy medium of both but not necessarily at the same time. I think we have to find a good way to integrate those together and accept the help that is needed to get to the end result that makes us happy.

When I got pregnant and shared this news with my boss, he sat me down and had a heart to heart with me. He told me when you have kids one parent usually has a a career and one parent has a job. And usually its the dad who pursues his career (not being sexist) but mothers usually have a harder time balancing the two and the guilt kicks in. When he first told me that - my ego and super competitive nature kicked in and I thought to myself "that's not true I can have it all". But now that I have been in this role of a mother for a year, I see his point. Don't get me wrong a lot of women do it all - but either they have really good nannies, strong support from their families around or just are super women. For most of us its reality to put our career's on cruise control (not park necessarily) to be that mother we want to be for a few years till our kids are old enough or till we decide its OK to kick start that career again. The challenge in wanting it all isn't that you cant do it but its the guilt that weighs on you and the fact you start questioning whether what you are doing is right and worth it. It's also dealing with the guilt of not giving what you are doing a 100% - whether its being there for your babies when they are sick or giving your executive the undivided attention when there is a fire drill at work and you need to put in the extra time. 

I think I have found my happy place for now and also realize I can control my happiness. If you know me you know I am a 'lists" person. I always have a long list of things that I want done - some essential and some just because I want to be creative and I have found a cool project on Pinterest. At the same International women's day we had a great speaker Arianna Huffington and she shared this "I was very relieved when I realized that you can actually complete a project by dropping it". So thats what i have decided to do to reduce the stress of that never ending list - even if it means taking a nap instead of worrying about the toy mess in the play area. Or hiring help to clean the house every other week so Amit and I have one less thing to stress about (spend that much less on a pair of shoes for the kids and myself in a month ha). I am OK admitting that I don't want to do it all at the same time - its fine if the play area stays messy for a night because its going to look that once the kids are awake anyway. Letting the little things not matter helps me be a better mum and working professional. 

I am very thankful to the people I work with and the company I work for - they worked with me to find that balance and I know that's not something all companies offer. I have a flexible schedule that allows me to take time away for the doctor's appointments and be there for my babies first. I am thankful for being able to work from home 2-3 days a week (but let me tell you I am also very excited to go into the office on Monday's for some adult interaction). My family is a big part of my life but I have also realized you need some time for yourself - even if its just 30 minutes to sit and enjoy a cup of tea and read gossip on your phone on a Saturday morning. Also when you have two working parents there has to be strong communication between you and your spouse and working together to make things happen. I am not generalizing but in my case I have come to realize you don't get things till you ask for them. So now I schedule time away to keep my sanity.

The last thing - us mum's need to be more considerate of each other and be supportive and less judgmental. I am a part of several groups on Facebook and I see some very judgmental and harsh responses to other mum's issues. We are all mothers - there is no right or wrong way to raise your kids and support your family. Do what comes naturally to you and surround yourself with positive and happy people. You will be surprised how quickly life is much better then! Another lesson from IWD (not that I didn't already know this but helps when you are reminded of it). A lot of us live in the past judging the past or in the future worrying about it - we forget to live in the present. Especially when it comes to our babies we should enjoy our babies - they wont be babies forever.

There is no right or wrong - if staying home with your babies fits you better do it! If you are like me and want to do both - do it! Hope you all enjoy parenting! And if you need to vent and need a ear - you know where to find me.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

What did I smile about in February!

This is a continuation from January as our trip crossed into February. Our DSLR stopped working as we got to Mumbai so we didn't get the best pictures there. I will take the blame for it since I dropped formula on the camera. Luckily my cousin was nice enough to lend us his in Bahrain.

Baroda - Next step from Ahmedabad was a drive to Baroda to see the rest of our family. The girls enjoyed running around Sadhna Ben and Dhiru Kumar's house and definitely kept them on their toes. Again the girls enjoyed everyone's company and loved meeting everyone there.
Mumbai - Off to Mumbai and our last stop in India. The only place where we stayed in a hotel - again we got to meet more family and friends. Amit and I also enjoyed our first night out alone without the girls with the Gala kids. Thanks to my parents, Ila aunty and Hemchand uncle for watching them while we enjoyed a peaceful dinner out.
Bahrain - Finally the most relaxing part of our trip. We all fell a little sick by the time we got to Bahrain but it was the perfect place to rest up before making our way back home. Amit and I took complete advantage of the house help we had and took some afternoon naps and relaxed at home while the girls were being looked after. Our parents had a get together for us so everyone could meet A&A at one place. We were so overwhelmed by all the love and blessings the girls received. They surely do have a huge fan club in Bahrain.
Valentines day - This year Valentines days was super low key and perfect in a way because we enjoyed the true meaning. Spent time with family and enjoyed each others company - Amit took a picture of these beautiful roses that bloomed just in time in my parents garden and shared them with me instead of buying me flowers. So sweet! Nothing is more precious than our sweet babies and they are so naughty now its hard to keep them in one place. The flash got their eyes ha and this picture doesn't do their pants justice but they have little hearts on them. I bought them these pants a while ago and estimated their size based on their birthday but our girls are tiny so these pants were falling off them.
Dubai again - we had a 7 hour lay over in Dubai on the way back and at first we were just going to get a hotel room at the airport but Deval (he had not met the girls yet) was in Dubai at this time and so the Dvivedi's came to pick us up and we were able to see them again and spend some time at home before the dreaded flight back home. Clearly Deval is ok waiting a while to start his own family - I think A&A scared him.
Back home and settled in - And finally the dreaded flight home. 16 hours from Dubai to Dallas direct but guess what it was a night flight and the girls slept most of the way back and so Amit and I also managed to get some sleep and rest. We arrived home on a Monday and so the nanny was there to help take care of the girls while Amit and I unpacked and got ready for the week. The best way to unwind. The girls settled right in and are enjoying the little pockets of sun we have received by being out on the deck. They love being outdoors.
A&A's new bff - "tat" - I am sure Switch didn't miss us while we were away but he is warming up to the girls except when they boss him around and chase him around the house trying to pull his tail.
Park - Amit came home early one Friday afternoon and so we took advantage of it and took the girls to the park while it was still nice out.
One year check with Scottish Rite - So back when we were still new at this limb difference thing I shared with you our first visit to see the Ortho specialist at the Scottish Rite hospital. Guess what its been a year and we went back for their follow up.The doctor was very pleased with their progress and continues to ensure us that they will be just fine and wont need much help till they are ready for specific activities at which time we will introduce some tools for them. For example when they want to ride their first bike or learn a sport or musical instrument. So again till next year we will continue to support our baby girls and watch them grow. They are very clever and learn to do things on their own. They both can hold things with their little arms and can also flip pages with their legs. Nothing is slowing them down which makes us very happy.
Selfie - long needed haircut. It takes planning to get a haircut now a days so I was happy to get one and take a selfie. Short and sweet - I am referring to the length of my hair so you can save the short jokes for another time ;).