Monday, February 22, 2016

"What I Have Learned" Series - Featured Mommy: Simmi Puri-Gopal

I love hearing from moms, new and veteran, about their journey, their expertise, their stories and their learnings.  As such, I was excited to incorporate a new feature on this blog, where I hear from other moms and give them an avenue to share their insights.  I am delighted to present the "What I Have Learned" series. This series aims to not only host a network of moms that can relate to one another, but also just to celebrate this amazing gift and all the amazing woman out there.

So without further due, let's kick off our first featured mommy...

Simmi Puri-Gopal is a Marketing and Communications Manager at the University of British Columbia.  She is mom to horse-loving, dancing, bubbly almost 2-year old Aris.  

Simmi always knew she wanted to be a mom, learning curve or not, she was ready for the changes it entailed and loving it. While this mom used to fill her schedule with hobbies such as yoga, experimenting in the kitchen and trying new restaurants; she was excited to become a mom where less time was spent on hobbies, and more on trying to discover which foods her son would not throw on the floor.  

With such a demanding and important profession, Simmi has learned to strike a balance and says she has come to value something that is her own thing, which makes her appreciate what she has at home that much more (though it was definitely difficult going back to work initially).

Speaking to Simmi about motherhood, she had some delightful insights to share.

What would you say is your biggest learning(s) since becoming a mom?
I feel like each month comes with a new set of lessons for me.  In the beginning it was all about survival.  Get this baby fed. Get them to sleep. Then it became about how to keep then engaged and build that bond. Now, I would say my biggest learning has been to just be present. I've learned to just enjoy my time with him and not get distracted by my phone, TV, work, chores etc. Getting pregnant was not easy for me and now that I finally have his beautiful blessing in the form of a healthy baby boy, I want to cherish all those precious moments we have together.

What, if anything, was the hardest about transitioning to mommyhood?
I never really knew just how all-encompassing being a mommy is.  You hear from others that it's a lot of work and I had friends that would complain about how tired they were.  But I would just think that they were a)exaggerating or b)just didn't know how to manage their time.  I was way off.  Waaaaay off.  Being a mommy consumes every aspect of your life.  From the physical to the emotional.  But I still love it.  How strange is that?

What is your favourite thing to do with your child?
I love playing hide and seek in our backyard.  He's now starting to understand the concept and gets a kick out of me trying to look for him (he's not exactly good at hiding yet!). But then there are times when we just cuddle in bed with one of his favourite books.  It is the best feeling ever and sometimes I just close my eyes and soak it all up, thinking how lucky I am to be in this moment.

How do you balance work and family?
One thing I've learned that's helped me in balancing work, family, health, is that it's OK to ask for help.  In the beginning, I was a little stubborn about doing it all myself and I was blind to the fact that I was in the very fortunate position of having an army of family ready to help at a moment's notice.  It really does take a village to raise a child.  Also, being organized and sticking to a routine is essential when you're trying to accomplish a lot in one day.  But at the same time, all the planning and organizing in the world will not prepare you for the times they get sick or go through a growth spurt or (the absolute worst offender) teething! So sometimes it's not about juggling all the balls in the air, it's about not letting them hit the floor!

Any particular funny or insightful stories?
Poop, poop, everywhere.  From bath time accidents to "how did that dirty diaper get into the laundry?"  I've never seen, cleaned, or even discussed, so much poop in my life.  Sometimes I have to catch myself discussing it at dinner with friends or family.  "How did his poop look today" "Was it runny?" "Was it hard?" "How much did he poop?"  "Did he poop?"  "How did I get poop on my shirt?"  These are regular conversations I have with hubby.  So much for pillow talk.

What advice would you give to new moms?
There is a lot of pressure on moms in today's Instagram-happy, Pinterest-perfect culture to be perfect.  But the truth is that we all have those not so perfect moments on a daily basis.  It's easy to get caught up in the details and lose sight of the big picture.  At the end of the day, does my son really care that mommy didn't make homemade Valentine cards for all the kids in his class?  Does he even know what Valentines is? Does he know what DIY means?  Nope.  He's just going to take that beautiful, hand-crafted Valentine that some poor mommy slaved over and put it in his mouth.

Simmi and her happy family, can be found playing together in their backyard, at Chapters looking at horse items, or just generally laughing together while singing Mother Goose rhymes.  I love talking with moms that, amongst the busyness of life, remember to just hone in on the special time with their little ones, and Simmi definitely does that.

Simmi, husband Naveen, and Aris Gopal (with horse in hand)

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