'Taking a month old baby to work was tough!'
Read on to find out how Delhi based mompreneur, Sakshi Arora Valecha, rocked being a working mother!
At the risk of sounding sexist, Sakshi Arora Valecha can give some of the 'hard-working men' we know, a run for their money! This punjabi lass runs a PR agency, alongside playing mommy to her edible munchkin, Aryna!
Sakshi will leave you impressed with her credentials and the tasks that she handles with much elan! To find out why we are so mighty impressed by this Delhi mompreneur, read on!
So Sakshi, how does it feel playing super mum?
Supermom? Feels great to hear that. Managing work with a child is the toughest task I have gone through. But with little patience and time management any of us can succeed.
Kindly tell us about yourself?
I did my graduation in journalism from Delhi University, following it up with a Masters and M.Phil in the same field. Post that, I started working with an electronic channel as an anchor, producer and eventually a health reporter.
In 2008, I quit my media job for one in the PR sector. After my marriage, I started my own PR agency, Blink Communications in New Delhi in April’2011.
My daughter was born a year later, in 2012. It was tough as I was going through so many changes at that time. My work needed equal time as my body, but with my husband’s support, I managed it well.
Click on Continue Reading to find out how Sakshi divides her time between family and work!
Whats is a typical day like in the life of Sakshi?
Everyday is a new challenge! It starts with getting my daughter ready for school, as she leaves at 8.30 a.m. Then I tend to some household chores, before getting ready for work. By 12 p.m., my daughter arrives from school.
Then I take her with me to office, where she plays, and takes her nap after having lunch. In case I have to attend a meeting, I leave her at my mum’s place and pick her up on my way back in the evening. I try to spend most of my time with her.
Evenings are hectic too with making dinner! Actually, getting her eat is the most difficult thing. We take her out for a walk or to market post dinner. We sleep at around 11 pm. Sometimes, I try to manage work from home too.
If you were to create a pie chart of your life, how would your time be divided between work, spouse, kids, friends and self?
Right now I would say my business and baby take 30% each as both need most of my time and attention. Then I give 20% of my time to my spouse and the rest 20% to friends, family and self.
Click on Continue Reading to find out how Sakshi coped with the challenges she faced as working mother!
As a working mum, what are the challenges you face?
For me it was a challenge at every step. I started my business and within months got to know of the 'big news'. Complete bed rest was suggested by my doctor. I somehow managed the initial three months from home, thanks to my phone and laptop.
Taking a months old baby to work was again a difficult task. I used to take my office meetings at home. My mom and husband were my backbone at this time. They didn’t let me bend. I used to leave my daughter with my mom when I had to step t for work.
After her first birthday, I was diagnosed with DLE, an autoimmune disease, because of which I was not allowed to go out in the sun. It put me under depression. I was broken... I didn't know how I'd manage my work with my one-year-old child.
My husband, Dinesh, built confidence in me and helped me find a new set-up for my office, with no sunlight pouring in my room. I have to handle each and every issue at work, from finance to staffing, from business development to planning! It leaves me stressed out at times. But then I have my stress buster too, my daughter Aryna.
Click on Continue Reading to about Sakshi's biggest emotional struggle!
While struggling to create a balance between work and your family, did things ever get bad enough that you wanted to quit? If yes, how did you manage?
Yes. There were times when I felt like giving up. As I mentioned earlier, the reason was my health. But purely with my family and husband’s support I have overcome it.
What has been your biggest emotional struggle while bringing up both, your career and kid?
Managing work with kids is not at all easy. It is way more difficult, tiring and stressful than it looks like. We have to make adjustments at every step. Sometimes your work and sometimes your family has to suffer. However, I try my best so that Aryna doesn't suffer.
I have an autoimmune disorder, which makes me tired even doing day-to-day activities. But when my work or child demands more, I have to somehow be up for it. Sometimes I feel like giving up everything but then I know this time will soon pass.
Who has been Sakshi's sounding board so far? Click on Continue Reading to find out.
Who has been your sounding board through your parenting journey?
My husband, my mother and my friend Bhawna have been my sounding boards. I would have quit much earlier if Dinesh would not have been there. I share all my office matters with him, especially finance and legal matters. He guides me at every step.
As for my mom, without her I would not have been able to be at work. She is the one who looks after my child and I can work with no worries in my mind.
When it comes to my friend Bhawna, she acts as an advisor to me, and makes me relax with her gossips.
How do you unwind over the weekend?
I wait for weekends eagerly, as that is the time which is meant only for my family, unless some important event comes up. We wake up late as it’s an off for all of us. After having a lazy breakfast, we take Aryna out to the mall or visit my parents or friends. Tending to some pending household chores also takes some of our time.
Your idea of ‘ME’ time?
Dinner date with my husband or a movie date is my idea of 'Me' time. Also, when I am not going to office for a day, I try to catch up on some books or watch TV while my daughter is asleep or at school.
Click on Continue Reading to find out what Sakshi has to say to other rockstar working mums!
What does 'being a mum' mean to you?
Being a mum completes me. I forget all my pain and stress being with my daughter. Being a mom means you have someone out there to make you laugh, and forget all the troubles in life.
It's worth all sleepless nights and super busy days. And you are never alone when you are a mom. You spend more time shopping for your kids than for yourself!
Advice to working mums who are struggling to achieve work-life balance?
Don’t look at others. Just do what you feel is right for your child. Every mother knows how to raise her child. People will advise you, but you know what is best for your child.
Take your partners help! If that's not possible, then keep a help for yourself. We have to manage our time in a way so that we maintain a fine work and family balance. Patience and determination is all that we SUPERMOMS need.
If you know an awesome working mum we should feature, get in touch!