Hello Pooja! Can you tell us more about yourself?
I’m a working mom with a deep passion for writing and storytelling. Currently, I am the Associate Director of Content Marketing at Sprinklr, where I have the opportunity to fuel my passion through my work. Besides my role at Sprinklr, I also engage in writing for various blogs, websites, and even publishing children’s books like “Amma’s Work From Home Buddy” (2-5 years) and “Hairdresser in a Hairless Town” (4-8 years). With over 13 years of corporate experience in brand marketing, work-life balance as a parent is the key to my happiness 🙂
Being an author and a mom, I always find something fascinating in the pages of a book and in the moments of life itself, cherishing new experiences and preserving precious memories. Balancing work, home, taking care of my 5-year-old son, a 4 months old puppy, hobbies, and passions, I believe that true fulfilment lies in integrating all these pieces like a puzzle, even if they don’t fit together perfectly.
Can you describe what your typical day looks like?
My day begins at 7 AM when I take my little pup out for a morning walk. I then quickly get into my peaceful yoga session. It’s my special “me time” where I focus on my breath and rejuvenate myself before the rest of the household wakes up. Afterward, I enjoy a quiet cup of coffee, savouring the calmness before diving into the day’s chores.
Around 8:30 AM, I shift gears to get my son ready for school. Once he’s off, I take some time to get dressed, have breakfast, and spend precious moments cuddling with our adorable pup. Since I work from home, I utilize the early hours to catch up on emails and tasks that don’t require collaboration. I also make time for digital reading, exploring blogs, articles, and occasionally even diving into a few pages of a book.
As the workday officially begins, I immerse myself in calls and collaboration with my team. However, I always make sure to break for lunch and extend it to pick up my son from school. We use this time to reconnect and share about our respective days. Once he’s settled, I return to work while he enjoys some playtime.
My son often has activities such as karate or robotics classes, which I actively participate in by ferrying him back and forth. We also make it a point to enjoy some quality time with our pup, taking walks or cycling in the evenings. By 7:45-8:00 PM, we gather as a family for dinner, relishing the togetherness.
In the evenings, I occasionally have work calls after 8 PM due to collaborating with colleagues in different time zones. During this time, my son sits beside me, finishing up any remaining homework. By 9 PM, we shift our focus to winding down. We engage in a soothing storytime routine, follow our night rituals, and my son drifts off to sleep around 9:30 PM.
Before calling it a day, my husband and I make an effort to spend some quality time together. We discuss our respective days, watch some TV, or simply enjoy each other’s company. We aim to be in bed by 10:45-11 PM, allowing ourselves a good night’s rest to recharge for the next day’s adventures.
What activities or hobbies is your son currently pursuing?
My son is 5 years old and he has had exposure to multiple activities (mostly at home, and sometimes through paid classes)
How do you currently manage your priorities and what are the drawbacks with this approach?
As a mother, my first priority will always be my son. But, being committed to a full time job, I do need to prioritize work for many hours in the day. I keep my son’s schedule packed so I am able to easily focus on work. But planning his activities, dropping and picking him along with calls and work deadlines gets challenging. It feels like I am always running from one task to the next and also relying on my memory a lot to figure out what else needs to be done. I am always multitasking and that is the biggest drawback.
How does Fhynix help you manage things?
- I love the concept with which Fhynix has been designed – it feels good that someone out there is actually trying to help us solve the ‘unsaid challenges’ of being working parents.
- Before Fhynix, I used to rely on my memory for most things – upcoming birthday parties, school events, grocery lists, bill payments and more! I wonder how my head would explode sometimes. I have tried to set reminders on Alexa, write in my diary and even have post-its all over my desk.
- After Fhynix, I have one place where I can put in all my reminders and commitments and be able to view it in a single place. It helped me free my memory space a lot. Just the fact that as soon as I received a whatsapp invite for a birthday party, I could just send it to Fhynix and have it on my calendar is amazing! To top that Fhynix reminds me to buy a birthday gift before the day arrives and that’s a life savior!
One feature you like about Fhynix?
Single view of all events – My work calendar and personal calendar are finally in sync. From meetings to my son’s classes to even reminders to pay bills and plan meals – I am able to organize my life on one simple screen.
The best part – when someone asks me for a free slot – for a call or to even meet friends, I just need to check my Fhynix calendar and find a slot! So simple!
Based on your learnings as a parent, how can we make Fhynix helpful to more parents?
As working parents, we have so many things to juggle without limited time. But we still want the best for our kids – which means giving them the right exposure to activities and finding them good company. While Fhynix does suggest events and hyper local activities, it will be good to see if we can use Fhynix to plan play dates between a group of people – if we can see the common, free slots it will be easy to plan things for multiple kids together.
3 tips for parents based on your experience
- Answer difficult questions – Kids are curious and it’s good to encourage that curiosity. It helps them learn and evolve. Sometimes they have difficult or even awkward and embarrassing questions – don’t shy away or ignore – answer them age appropriately – and if you don’t have an answer read and learn about it and then go back and answer them.
- Don’t look for a playbook – Each child is different. Don’t just make note of that statement, but embrace it. What would work for one parent would not work for another. So don’t compare notes or look for a manual, go with the flow and make your own playbook!
- Create your own rituals – Simple things you do as a family and in your home make a BIG impact on your kids. Make interesting and unique rituals for your family and that will be something you bond on for years to come.
Can you share one hack that has worked for you?
I believe in integrating learn and play and make that a way of bonding within the family. We have specific books & board games that we read/play together and learn so many things in the process. For example a simple Snakes and Ladder game, teaches sportsmanship and my son also learnt numbers 1-100 in Kannada! A game called ‘Bus Stop’ helps learn mathematics – addition & subtraction. Through Guess Who – a lot of logic is understood. And these games make everyone enjoy an evening laughing together. Similarly with books we find hidden concepts and discuss learning together. I highly recommend books & board games for young kids and for parents to proactively slot time to read or play with them!
Any specific frameworks you use for time management?
I am a true believer of prioritizations when it comes to time management. Frameworks don’t always belong to the corporate world.We need to use them to make things more efficient in our personal life too.
I drew up a #WorkingMoms quadrant of only a small set of tasks that we do often. And by categorizing them into four quadrants, I am able to either Schedule, Delegate, Postpone or Prioritize each. ✔️
The same activities may fall in different quadrants for you, but make sure you know what you want to prioritize.
What is one recent achievement of yours that you would like to share to motivate parents
I believe that me being able to consistently sustain a life where I can balance multiple things is an achievement in itself. But in more recent times, I am happy to have been able to make my dream come true by publishing 2 children’s books and spending enough time and effort to market them. I even got recognition on National Newspaper for being able to do this along with a full time job and a child at home. This has been possible because of a great support system and me being able to prioritize my work and my time well. On that note, we have many interesting & fun book reading sessions lined up in the coming months. If you are in Bengaluru, stay tuned and follow me @Poojasriram to get updates.
What apps do you use and why
- Instagram – To document my own memories, keep in touch with friends and even discover new and fun things to do, see, eat, travel etc!
- Notes – To make multiple notes of interesting thoughts, musings and creative ideas.
- Oscar – An app that creates personalized stories for kids – so we have an interesting one on demand and whenever we want it!
- Fhynix – To manage my schedule, discover activities for my son and put less stress on my memory muscles!
- Shyft – My on-demand yoga subscription app, for classes and meditation sessions.
- Spotify – My world of podcasts for all those times when I can still be productive while I ferry my son or walk my dog!
Can you share 5 handles you follow
- @tweakindia – A space for Indian Women to challenge old ideas & discover new ones. I like the controversial topics they highlight and write in detail about.
- @thecuriousparent.harpreet – Interesting parenting perspectives.
- @momlife_comics – interesting, sarcastic and fun comics on the reality of being a mom
- @etkinliktadinda – simple, fun and lovely DIY ideas to do with kids at home to keep them occupied.
- @bombaykidscompany – shopping for kids & good quality gifts
- @thepawsomelifeofmurphy – all about a lovely Golden Retreiver dog (as im also a dog mom)
Three qualities you would like to see in you child as he grows up
- Never give up attitude: The ability to focus on effort vs outcome is something I would love him to understand. I even published a children’s book on this concept!
- Embracing emotions: Even though he is a boy, I do not want him to think he cannot be vulnerable. I want him to gracefully embrace all types of emotions and express them in the right situations.
- Helping anyone in need.
We as parents have the huge responsibility to model these things for him so that he integrates them in his life. I have written a blog about things I want my son to grow up with and it looks like I still resonate with it.
What would you like to do more?
Write more kids books – and someday even young adult fiction!
Also since you write for kids, can you suggest great books for 4-8 year olds?
We asked Pooja’s friends to describe Pooja
- “If I have to describe Pooja in 1 word it would be that she is persistent.She knows what she wants and she goes for it. She will go leaps and bounds until she achieves it with spear headed vision & focus. In a professional realm, her persistence and creativity delivers an exceptional performance with whichever task is assigned to her.” – Muriel Ann Fernandes, best friend for more than a decade
- “ We have collaborated on a children’s book and I’m lucky to know her as a friend and I think something that is really commendable is that she understands people and is able to empathize with them. We did a book reading some time back and she brings in the energy of a 5 year old and makes things so fun and creative “- Aanchal Kejriwal, illustrator friend since 2 years
- “If I have to say in one word, she is versatile! She is empathetic and always tries to be there for me.” – Aparna Mudiyanur (zumbini.with.aparna) mom friend since a year