The Washington, DC area is full of amazing moms. There are working moms, stay-at-home moms, single moms, moms of multiples, foster moms, adoptive moms, etc. We want to highlight some of those moms like Achi Sharma! Each month we will feature one special mom as the mom of the month. Know a fellow amazing local mom here? Nominate them here!
Meet our November Mom of the Month: Achi Sharma
Achi Sharma is currently working as a Legal Analyst with CACI International Inc., supporting the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team of the Department of Justice. Achi grew up in India and completed her Bachelor of Laws degree from India. Before coming to the states in 2008, Achi worked as an attorney in the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court of India with specialization in criminal matters.
After arriving in the United States, Achi took a break from her professional career and focused on raising her kids for around 10 years. During that time, she volunteered at her kids’ schools in Vienna, VA and continues to be an active PTA member. After such a long break, Achi took an audacious step to restart her career. In 2019, she was admitted to George Washington University for a Masters in Law degree specializing in International Comparative. Between her studies and the responsibilities of a mom, Achi successfully graduated in 2020.
In 2020, Achi worked briefly with the Attorney General office in the Juvenile section. She also worked with the Global Language Network, a DC based non profit organization as a leadership fellow, to make language as a tool to make the world a more harmonious place. During the pandemic time, Achi helped the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia in drafting the manuals for the Unemployment Insurance (UI) program.
Achi lives in Vienna, Virginia with her husband, Asheesh Sharma, and two kids, Akshita (12 years old) and Amay (7 years old). In addition to enjoying raising kids, Achi enjoys hiking, playing golf, traveling, sketching and listening to music.
Here is our Q&A with Achi Sharma:
1. What advice do you have for moms going back to school?
Going back to school can be intimidating and challenging, no matter how long you’ve been at home. First and foremost, believe in yourself and remember that you can fully accomplish your goals. Remind yourself that these important steps in your education are going to help you and your family. There is no right or wrong age for learning, so if it’s something that you’re interested in, go for it!
Secondly, organizing your life is extremely important to reduce stress for stay-at-home moms going back to school. As moms, we are genetically engineered to have a great routine in place to keep your kids on schedule, your house chores, and always making plans ahead of things. Finally, take it one day at a time and set yourself small goals, and when you accomplish those – celebrate them!
2. How did you transition from going back into the workforce after being a Stay-at-Home Mom?
I have to admit, there was a lot of anxiety about returning to work after being a stay-at-home mom. Just looking at the 10 years long employment lapse on my resume gave me doubts about if I could get a job, and even if I did, how would I manage my work and my family simultaneously? I think I can divide my experience into three phases:
Phase 1: Going back to school gave me a good transition period and I learned to prepare for the workforce.
Phase 2: Questions in job interviews had always asked for gaps between employment on my resume. I was honest and brief in my responses and brought the subject of the interview back to the position, my interest, and my qualifications. I was also clear that I preferred a job that would offer me a flexible work schedule.
Phase 3: Finally, the actual return to the workforce. I felt that I was fortunate to have worked with great colleagues who were always willing to help and share their learnings. It helped build a community of support and a mindset to learn and grow. Having said that, there have been days when I felt overwhelmed. I always remind myself of my core principle of balancing work and life as well as putting structure around planning my activities and drawing boundaries as needed.
Overall, my advice is to have the right support system around you, take care of yourself, have a learning mindset, and enjoy the process.
3. What is the most rewarding thing about being a mom?
I love the traditional aspect of being a homemaker for my family! Waking up everyday to the needs of my family, and working towards fulfilling them (although challenging at times, like any job) is very rewarding for me! The idea of being the prime teacher of my children excites me.
My mother was a stay-at-home mom and during my growing-up years, my mom played a huge role in my life, influencing me spiritually and mentally. My husband and I are very involved parents, and we find comfort in being present for our children. Staying at home with my kids allowed me to build a connection with them which we valued.
Do you know an amazing mom? Nominate a mom of the month here!