Perspective | What a stay-at-home parent does in a workday

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The “me time” I get after dropping my kids off at summer camp is well spent on developing a physical and mental wellness routine for myself, including things like hot yoga and taking time to go for a walk with my coffee.
I have also been taking time to journal, which I am trying to make a daily practice.
Listen 7 min Comment on this story Comment Gift Article Share Welcome to The Work Day, a series that charts a single day in various women’s working lives — from gallery owners to chief executives.
Name: Zeba Rashid Age: 36 Location: Manhattan Job title: Chief home officer Previous jobs: I worked in public relations for 15 years.
This was a role that turned into something that was always so foreign to me, chief home officer, and my first love had to take the back seat, for now.

Perspective | What a stay-at-home parent does in a workday

Listen 7 min Comment on this story Comment Gift Article Share Welcome to The Work Day, a series that charts a single day in various women’s working lives — from gallery owners to chief executives. In this installment, we hear from Zeba Rashid, a stay-at-home parent who recorded a day in August. Wp Get the full experience. Choose your plan ArrowRight Interested in contributing to a future installment of The Work Day? Fill out this form. Name: Zeba Rashid Age: 36 Location: Manhattan Job title: Chief home officer Previous jobs: I worked in public relations for 15 years. What led me to my current role: When I reminisce on graduating from the George Washington University and making a choice that changed the course of my career forever, I am glad that I conceded a safe and salaried position in finance to be a fashion intern at Vogue. As a bright-eyed, fresh graduate embarking on a risky and thrilling career path, I was excited but also anxious about the reaction of my parents. Despite my career trajectory being outside the South Asian societal norms of being a doctor, lawyer or engineer, my parents were surprisingly supportive of my choices. After all, my father, a cardiologist, always instilled a sense of independence and career ambition in all three of his daughters — ‘‘Be the best at whatever you choose.” As a Pakistani American bent on breaking cultural expectations, I was determined to succeed and make my public relations dreams come true. From a naive teenager’s dream of walking in Louboutins in Vogue hallways to getting the opportunity to embark on this journey, it all seemed surreal to me. I can proudly say that I have thrived in my PR career over the past 15 years. Over the span of my career, I cultivated meaningful relationships with my clients, media and industry peers that have transformed into genuine and long-lasting friendships. During this period, I also got married, had two beautiful children and completed my master’s degree. While I continued to work in the industry, creating and managing an ideal work-life balance with two kids and a demanding and high stress career was an uphill battle. Stepping into 2020, I had no idea that a global pandemic would reorient my priorities. During the pandemic, I had to isolate in our Miami vacation home with a toddler and a newborn baby while navigating through postpartum depression (PPD) while my husband worked as a front-line physician out of state. A silver lining to virtual working was that it gave me an opportunity to peripherally observe my kids during the day; sometimes, from inside my home office, I would hear them laugh and play, and those moments would really stir up my motherly emotions. For the better part of my life, I had put my career, which was my first love, above my family and most importantly my own mental health. However, with the increasing uncertainty of the world around me, racial injustice and senseless school shootings, I had to take a step back and deeply reflect on my outlook on life and what I needed in this moment. This is what enabled and empowered me to take the scariest leap of my life, which was to take ownership of my time and happiness. For the first time in my life, I have had the liberty of time to do those little and big things that bring me so much joy, focusing on my philanthropy work with UN Women, my children, my husband (who has supported me unconditionally in every decision that I make), family and friends. This was a role that turned into something that was always so foreign to me, chief home officer, and my first love had to take the back seat, for now. How I spend the majority of my day: Driven by my desire to consistently improve my quality of life, my life choices are determined by my goals and objectives, and life for me extends beyond myself to my loved ones. My husband and children are a sacred part of my life, and I’m making sure all touch points in their lives and our home are a tight-running ship. Recently, my days are centered around my children’s summer schedule (I am extremely hands-on in every aspect of their lives), managing our house staff, working with my philanthropy partners for upcoming initiatives, and focusing on preparing all materials and logistics to get my children ready for September. This means working around-the-clock, be it arranging things for my children, meeting with school directors, completing long intake forms, facilitating medical records or dedicating time to myself. The “me time” I get after dropping my kids off at summer camp is well spent on developing a physical and mental wellness routine for myself, including things like hot yoga and taking time to go for a walk with my coffee. After some well-deserved time to myself, I get back to my kids’ schedule, which means arranging and managing extracurricular activities for them for the remainder of summer and getting them a spot for fall 2022 activities, such as horseback riding, tennis or swimming. My workday 5:30 a.m.: I love waking up bright and early before my kids to refurbish my Zen state of mind with meditation and to get started on my routine. Typically, my children wake up by 6 a.m. and we have some heavenly morning cuddles. I prep their clothes and backpacks the night before, so the mornings are efficient in getting them ready and out the door by 7:30 a.m. Although it’s not always smooth sailing (we occasionally have toddler tantrums), I embrace these moments with my kiddos. 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m.: Noah and Liyana are at camp during this time, so this time block is dedicated to running errands, catching up with friends, and doing my philanthropy work and whatever I need to get done or want to do. 2:30 p.m.: I pick my kids up from camp by 2:30 p.m., and we have lunch. I coordinate pick up and drop-offs for their afternoon activities, and we come home and have free play. More often than not, I have my hands full, and the afternoons are so busy that it passes in a blur. 6 p.m.: As the clock rolls to 6 p.m., it’s time for dinner. I am no domestic goddess by any means, nor do I aspire to be, so cooking and the kitchen was always no zone for me, but I am learning my way! Luckily for me and the kids, my husband is a great cook. We love going out to dinner once or twice a week, but mostly we prefer home-cooked meals. The evening routine is important so my kids can get ready for bed with bath time, brushing teeth and reading time, and then so they can get to sleep on time. 8:30 p.m.: Some days, once the kids are asleep, I just turn my phone off. If I am up for it, I catch up on emails, texts and calls that I didn’t attend to during the day. I have also been taking time to journal, which I am trying to make a daily practice. I go to sleep with a grateful heart and look forward to another precious morning where my time is on my terms. GiftOutline Gift Article
The Original Article can be found on www.washingtonpost.com

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