* Hi Valerie! A little late but since we’re still in the month of March, Happy International Women’s Day! Can you share with us a little bit about yourself?
Happy International Women’s Day to you too and all the amazing women reading this! I am a mom of two – a soon to be 5 year old and a soon to be 2 year old. I also work full time and spent a part of my life as an athlete.
* You co-authored a self-published book titled “Go Shanti Go”. What inspired you to write this book?
The biggest inspiration for the book is my sister, Shanti, and celebrating her achievements and journey as an athlete. An athlete’s journey is long and faced with all sorts of obstacles, yet they power through them over and over again, and we wanted to recognise that too.
From the first time we spoke about this book, we knew that it was something we wanted to do as a family. It grew in meaning for me each year we worked on the book. After having my son, what also inspired me was seeing how much he enjoys sports, watching his masi (Shanti) race, and reading. When my daughter was born, it also became about giving her someone to look up to. She loves flipping through the book and recognising her family in the pages.
* What advice would you give to mothers who are juggling between home and work and who want to achieve their dreams?
To be patient. Achieving goals and dreams may take longer than you hoped, and that’s ok. It took us 5 years to finally see Go Shanti Go come to life. We adjusted our expectations and set smaller goals along the way.
* We’re so inspired by your journey and how far you’ve come. As a mother of 2, how can we mentor our little ones to dream bigger?
My kids are still little so right now I try to give them room to explore and develop their own interests. They are still discovering so their interests change regularly. I try to be excited with them and encourage them not to give up just because things get a little challenging because that is how we learn and get better.
* Lastly, your advice for new mothers?
One thing that helps me is reminding myself to be present and embrace the moments. Since day one of becoming a mother/parent, I have been learning every day. Learning how to be a mom to my kids as they are learning about the world around them. Every leap, every cuddle, every mood, every tantrum, every fear, every laugh, every joy. I also found that it was hard for me to tune in to these moments if I was constantly worried about what others would think or say.
It also helps to surround myself with a good community of friends and fellow moms who support each other and who are just a text or call away if I need advice or to just talk!
Photos by: Flashed