Today’s post is a spotlight on Kasa’s talented operations manager Wendy who is my right hand woman, there for both the team and me. I appreciate her intellect, work ethic, business acumen, fairness and calm demeanor even in the face of a crisis. Covid reveals strength of character and Wendy has shown incredible strength through navigating this exceptionally difficult year. I know I speak for the entire team when I say ‘THANK YOU WENDY’. I am proud to work by your side.
Given that International Women’s day is coming up on March 8th (see promotion below), I thought it would be a great idea to capture her experience and thoughts of what it’s like to work in the restaurant industry whilst simultaneously raising children: Here she is:
by Wendy Kawada
Being a working mom. When I was asked to write about my experience as a working mom, I had to google the subject to get inspiration on where to start. I only have one kid right now, Keiran, who is four years old. So in a way, I still feel like a newbie to this. What I found on google was a lot of articles and blogs on the “pressure”, the “struggle”, the “challenges”, and the “things no one tells you about being a working mom”. The joys and rewards can’t be mentioned without the struggles and etcetera. All that is real of course.
If I’m being honest about how I feel about being a working mom, then overall I feel like I’m doing a good job. I don’t feel pressure, I don’t feel much guilt, I don’t think I’m struggling.
I don’t feel like I’m any sort of super mom. But I feel like I have my cake and I get to eat it too. I have doubts, worry and stress sometimes, but those aren’t things that would define my experience.
I felt pretty confident when I was pregnant with Keiran that I was going to be able to handle being a working mom like a champ. I definitely found that it was more challenging than I expected and I was a little over confident and naive. But, I got it down. Sometimes, Keiran begs me to put my phone down or close my laptop. While there is a little bit of guilt in those moments, I am mostly conscientious not to take the time I spend with him for granted. Every moment is precious with him and I try to soak that in my consciousness and memory all the time. I think that naturally lends itself to creating more quality time with him.
My husband feels a little differently. He feels a little guilty about being a working dad. I say he is welcome to be a stay at home dad if he wants! However, not likely to happen since living in the Bay Area is expensive. A stay at home mom is not for me personally, even if it was an option. I love working. And juggling work and family gives me more pride.
The other day, Keiran didn’t want to leave daycare and said right in front of me to his daycare teacher, “please can I stay here? I love you, Mama Eva!”. I imagine that would have crushed any mom’s soul and broken their heart. But I thought it was sweet. I’m happy he is happy at his daycare. I am happy that he loves his teacher. I think he is a lucky boy to be so happy. And I am lucky as a parent that I have such a great daycare for the time I do have to be away from him. I know Keiran would ultimately prefer if we skipped work and daycare and spent forever together.
I think part of the reason why I feel like I have this working mom thing down is three reasons. One, I naturally seek out balance in my life. Whatever I think or feel the balance needs to be, I am always working to achieve that and not worrying so much about the obstacles to get there. Two, I demand equality in my household. Between me and my husband, we are a team. It’s an expectation I strongly asserted in our relationship from the beginning and so we are true partners in managing our home life. And three, working for Kasa. I feel lucky to be working in a place and with people that I enjoy. I feel immensely blessed that I can work in the restaurant business and still raise a family. That’s not something that seems like it would easily work together, but many families already make it work. I just feel particularly blessed that at Kasa, I am able to be a working mom and never feel like I’m having to choose or prioritize one over the other.
Now I am pregnant with my second one. And if I’m honest about this one, I am a little nervous that I am about to experience the real real challenge of being a parent and a working mom. So maybe ask me again in a year or two!
Celebrating International Women’s Day
Join us on March 8th
Take photo pledge in honor of Women’s Day and gender equality and get a FREE samosa or Chai!
Visit any Kasa location to join in.