The Coffee Chat (#19)

My conversation with Sakshi Gupta - Manager, Order Fulfillment Experience at Home Depot, self-taught artist and mom to a 15-month old baby girl

Welcome to the new subscribers who have joined us since the last post. Today this email is going out to 781 amazing individuals!

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Hi there 👋🏽

Decks and Diapers turned 1 year old yesterday!

Last year I started this newsletter, pretty much on a whim, to break stereotypes around working moms & dual career working couples with young kids.

Decks and Diapers was my little attempt to change the dominate narrative and learn how to do this parenting thing :) - part activism, part learning.

I wasn't sure if anyone would read it but 1 year in and we are 781 strong!

A big thank you to each one of you for giving me my little space on the internet. The newsletter has mostly grown through word of mouth and if you have enjoyed it so far I would love it if you could share the newsletter with 1-2 others in your network who might enjoy the content :)

 Now, on to today’s coffee chat…

Meet Sakshi Gupta

Sakshi is currently a Manager with the Order Fulfillment Experience Team at Home Depot where she focuses on delivering strategic projects to enable new capabilities in Last Mile Delivery space. In her free time she also loves teaching programming to kids and is a hobby artist. Last year Sakshi became a mom for the first time.

Sakshi and I met each other via Twitter - there is a certain instant connection you form with other pandemic parents :)

Below is my conversation with Sakshi…

Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your family

Hi! I am Sakshi Gupta. I along with my husband moved to Canada in 2017 from India. We were blessed with a beautiful baby girl right at the onset of pandemic. For my living, I work at Home Depot where I lead the Last-mile strategic projects team. I am proud to have launched the Express Delivery capability before leaving for mat leave, that became all the more significant during pandemic. I am also a self-taught artist and love to share my artworks on my Instagram account ( Besides managing my little human and painting, I also indulge in baking breads and rolling pastas at home. 

For you what was the hardest part of becoming a new parent? 

I think the hardest part was to let go of my old self and embrace the newer version which by the way turned out to be more patient, creative, empathetic and most importantly sleep deprived. 

You had your first baby in the middle of a pandemic. What has that experience been like? What is the support system you created? A lot of people talk about the challenging first 3 months, some even refer to it as the 4th trimester. How did you survive that :)? 

Having a baby during the pandemic was definitely tough. I couldn’t seek much support from my family as they couldn’t travel. Also, some of the amazing postpartum programs offered by Ontario Health Care were not available. As they say you need a village to raise a child. I realized I need to create my village ‘online’. My family and friends were available just a facetime away. I was amazed to find the awesome community of both new and experienced mothers on various social media platforms. My every query, every concern had a solution online. I also realized I need to take one day at a time and woosh, 15 months just flew by. 

After becoming a parent did you adopt any new beliefs, behaviors, or habits that have most improved your life? 

I did have to make a few changes in my beliefs, behaviours and habits. I kept reminding myself of the below:

1) There is no such thing as a perfect mother. You can just try your best and make well informed decisions

2) If you need a village to raise my child, then go create one. Take that first step!

3) Ask for help. It’s available in abundance out there

4) Set your priorities right and have a to-do list to take off that mental load

5) Stop procrastinating! If you can finish something now, please do it. You may not get the time again

What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you have made after becoming a parent?

Most worthwhile investment was focusing on setting up the baby's routine. This generated a great ROI in terms of finding *some* time for my hobbies & things that relaxed me.

I also enjoyed setting up a mini art studio where I paint and meditate, having a dedicated space for a hobby is a big enabler.

With regards to the baby, I subscribed to a wonderful app ‘Baby Monitor’ that really saved me hundreds of dollars in buying baby monitor devices. 

The biggest challenge that working parents with young kids have is a lack of predictability in their schedule and limited time for themselves. How have you managed this? 

Planning for the next day and if possible for the next week too, really helped us as a family. Both me and my husband literally get on wheels once the baby is asleep. For e.g. We prepare the next day's meals (freeze some stuff for the rest of the week), set up the house, workout and spend time on our hobbies. Divide and conquer is our strategy :) 

What choices have you and your partner made that has helped you become a dual career household with kids? 

1) Prepare a to-do list for both of us. This really helps us to get tasks done without thinking too much

2) Division of Labor based on our strengths

3) Be specific about our work hours as it can always stretch as much as you allow it to. We will have to strive for more efficiency 

What advice would you give others who are on the cusp of becoming parents? What advice should they ignore? 

Don’t take any unsolicited advice! It’s available in abundance. Every parent has a unique style. So, trust your instincts. Be gentle on yourself and take one day at a time. Journey to parenthood is indeed long. So, please take care of yourself too. 

Quick-fire questions:

What’s the best thing you have watched recently?

I am currently addicted to my painting tutorials on Skillshare. I also just finished watching ‘The Surgeon’s cut’ on Netflix. It shows the story of 3 different surgeons and the miraculous & innovative procedures they developed. It really intrigued me. 

What’s the best thing you have read recently?

I am a huge fan of Obama’s and have just completed reading ‘Becoming by Michelle Obama’. The next on my list is ‘A Promised Land’ by Barack Obama. 

What’s the best thing you have listened to recently?

I enjoy listening to Business Wars. It has some great case studies showing the game-changing conflict between two businesses.

I would love to hear from you, feedback is always welcome!

And if you happen to know an inspiring working parent who should be featured in a future edition (or if you yourself are one) - please do get in touch.

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