Who: Anjuli Arora Dow
Where: San Francisco Bay Area
With: My husband and our 3 children (8, 5, and 2)
What: I am a working mama to 3 kiddos and the legal director of a non profit that represents children in the Bay Area
Tell us a little more about what you do!
I am a working mama of three littles. I have always loved children and that has drawn me to this stage of my life surrounded by children in both work and home. On the work front, I am the legal director of a non profit law firm. Myself and the amazing attorneys I support and social workers we work with, represent children who's voices are often unheard in various legal proceedings affecting their lives (foster care, guardianships, education and immigration). On the home front, I have 3 children ages 8, 5, and 2 and needless to say, there is never a dull moment.
— On Self
How would you describe your style/aesthetic?
I am a first generation American of South Asian descent. My parents immigrated from India in the 70s. But I was born and raised in San Diego, California. So this contrast of my ethno-cultural background plus growing up on the beach has heavily influenced my sense of fashion and decor. I love bright colors but also love laid back styles. I would describe my fashion as bohemian chic (is that a thing?) and try to bring that to the work front as well. Bohemian business casual if you will? My sense of decor is comfortable and soothing vibes, I gravitate towards beachy colors including blues and pastels and the occasional wave and beach scene wherever I can sneak it.
What's your routine for getting ready in the morning?
Fast and efficient. A quick stretch and if possible a few yoga poses. Then I shower, get dressed, get the kids up and ready, make a big cup of tea and head to work.
What would you say is your go-to uniform?
Madewell button fly jeans and a half tucked sweater.
— On Motherhood
How do you create mom/life balance for yourself?
I am not sure there is ever a perfect balance and actually letting go of that idea after having my third child was transformative for me. I sure do strive for a semblance of self care though. I do try to work out and meditate to keep me feeling energized. Mostly I try to be fully present when I am with my children and have rituals that keep us grounded. I try to have one on one time with each of my kids and also family time together. I also am married to an amazing partner who encourages me to always take care of myself and do things for just me so I am eternally grateful for him.
What is your biggest accomplishment as a mother?
Honestly, I feel a sense of accomplishment when my children show true signs of taking care of one another such as helping the other when they get hurt or need help with something or even when I catch them giving each other hugs unprompted. It is the little things that I feel proud of knowing we have instilled in them the importance of love and kindness. It is interesting to write this in while we are in the midst of a global pandemic and we are sheltering at home. I feel so proud of my children for being so resilient and kind to each other and us and feel a sense of accomplishment just watching them.
What is your most vivid memory from your journey to motherhood?
I have three vivid memories and all are the first moments that I saw my babies after they were born. These first glimpses are etched in my memory forever.
What does a typical day-in-the-life with your family look like?
If it is a weekday, we are in that school/workday sprint until we gather again around 5pm. We try to eat dinner together and talk about our days. On weekends, we try to spend family time among the older kids sports whether that is dinner together or some sort of outdoor activity such as a family hike or bike ride or even family yoga time.
How did your upbringing differ from how you raise your own kids?
Being a first generation American, the daughter of two immigrants from India my childhood was different than my children's. My parents were assimilating and learning along with us the ways American children grow up and the constant contrast of seeing how privileged it is to grow up "American." The way I try to raise my children is to instill awareness in them of the people around them and the differences in everyone. I am trying to raise them to be grateful for the life we have and always give back in whatever way we can to the greater community.
One nugget of wisdom for other mamas?
I love the old mantra "this too shall pass" and think of it and repeat it often to myself. But with a caveat that this not only applies to the challenging stuff but also the awesome stuff. With that in mind, I encourage other mamas to really try to not let the mess of the house and the long to-do lists get in the way of experiencing the small stuff with your children. Because in the end, are your kids going to remember that their laundry was folded perfectly or that you go on the ground and played blocks with them?
— On the Future
What are your hopes and dreams for your children?
My hope for them is that they will grow up knowing they are capable of anything and aspire to accomplish their dreams.
When your kids are grown and out of the house, what will your Saturday mornings look like?
I can't even imagine this! But I can guess it will be much quieter. I love the business of our Saturday's and the pattering of little feet in the morning.
Traveling to as many places around the world to see places I have not seen. I would love to visit every continent and as many countries as possible in my life.
— Quickfire Round
To live in a house on the beach.
Can't live without:
Well this pandemic has halted this a bit but hope to get to Kauai someday.
Alarm clock set to:
Don't have an alarm set! My toddler is my alarm and she wakes up about 6:30am.
Late night cereal :)
To be a deep sleeper like my husband.