I’ve interviewed a lot of mamas on this podcast so I’ve heard many different answers when I ask guests how they juggle work and family but Shalini’s brutally honest and wildly accurate answer is definitely my favorite. She didn’t even stop to think about it… she immediately said… Well it’s more or less a dumpster fire. She went on to talk about how at some point there’s just this realization that you’re always going to be crazy busy. That there’s always going to be too much on your plate. And that if you’re doing well at one thing, you’re probably not doing your best at something else.
Even before I said anything back… my head was nodding in fierce agreement. Not only because her description was so perfect but because I felt so seen. Thank god I’m not the only one who feels this way. I can’t wait for you to hear what else Shalini had to share as she paves the way as a woman of color in the wine industry, grapples with an all consuming work schedule, and cares for her two kids.
Watch + Listen to the whole conversation:
Shalini Sekhar fell in love with wine, but she never imagined this love affair with wine would turn into a career. She initially studied music and earned her masters in Music Performance. She began working in a tasting room to pass the time while searching for a teaching job when she and her husband relocated to California in 2005. But soon she realized that her passion for wine was pushing her to pursue a full-time career in the wine business. She’s now widely recognized for her success, including accolades like Winemaker of the Year and has paved the way as a woman of color in the wine industry. All while juggling life with two kids and navigating a hectic schedule because the wine harvest doesn’t follow traditional 9-5 hours.
How do you make the juggle work? Especially during a global pandemic?
Well it’s more or less just a dumpster fire. The pandemic is just an item in the dumpster fire right now. In life, there’s just the realization that you’re always going to be crazy busy. There’s always going to be too much on your plate. It’s just like working motherhood. And if you’re doing well at one thing, you’re probably not doing your best at something else, and that’s okay.
What advice do you have for your pre-mom self?
Build your network. I didn’t understand that importance early in my career. When I was trying to change careers before having kids, I just thought it was all based on merit and what I put into it. Honestly, that’s not always the case. I wish I had been more open to asking for advice. I should have reached out to experts in the industry just to learn more, but I didn’t know you could advocate like that.
You are a woman of color in the wine industry. How are you helping more women and more people of color enter the field?
There’s a bunch of new organizations to support women and people of color in the industry. I’m part of a mentorship program for women who are thinking about transitioning into the wine business. We also help women who already are in the wine business and are trying to work their way up. I organized a resume workshop recently because I see a lot of terrible cover letters and resumes. I’m trying to be really vocal with my Instagram account to show others that I’m willing to chat and help others out. I’m always trying to welcome more people into this business and advise them in the process.
Co-founder & COO
Bridget is mom to two little boys, Hudson and Brooks, and a champion of working moms everywhere. NeighborSchools itself was borne out of Bridget’s challenge to find high-quality yet affordable child care, and the realization that so many parents struggle with these same issues every day.
Read more from Bridget, follow her on IG, and check out her new series, Work Like a Mother.