Shahiba Kogut (DS ’91)
As a working parent, what do you find to be the biggest challenges to achieving work-life balance?
Learning how to just be a parent. I would love nothing more but to be home with my two young precocious children. However, I know duty calls and I have to honor my professional work commitments as well. I regularly struggle with learning to “turn off work” and/or the inevitable guilt trip when I am dedicating more time to work than home. So how do I cope? I make the simple moments count; including my famous breakfast made for champions. It’s a win-win. The kids start out with a nutritious meal alongside happy, cheerful dispositions and I get good quality time chatting them up.
What do you wish you had more time for right now?
Reading. I wish that I not only read more and but had the motivation to at least finish reading what I’ve started. There’s just something about finishing a book or a newspaper from cover to cover that provides a sense of accomplishment or closure. As I am writing this, I am staring at the newspaper on my kitchen table, with different sections pulled apart and stories unread.
What is making you feel grateful today?
My kids. I have two healthy and happy children. They give me a sense of joy that’s simply irreplaceable. Despite the typical banter between siblings, the kids just beamed with laughter as we strolled through our neighborhood pool today to bask in the sun and enjoy a quiet picnic.
If you could travel anywhere for a 1-month adventure, where would you go?
Tour du Mont Blanc and beyond. A friend shared a NYT article, “100 Miles, 10 Days, Three Countries, and a Lot of Cheese” several months ago that I have not been able to stop thinking about. The idea of taking an arduous trek through the mountains of France, Italy and Switzerland sounds inspiring. Equally, the idea of the “epicurean indulgence”, which includes tasty cheeses and savory wines, is perfection! Extending this 10 day trip to a 1- month adventure would be a must.
Who inspires you?
My mom. I am in absolute awe of this woman’s quiet strength. She escaped her homeland of Cambodia with me at tow. In the US, she set aside the past events and started fresh, swiftly teaching me how hard work and fierce determination were key factors to growing up to be young, independent woman. Her steadfast will power and sheer drive to not only survive but be successful in whatever you pursue is infectious. I had no choice but to follow in her footsteps.