Wonder Mom: Anjleen Kaur Gumer
With a Bachelor of Science in Advertising from the University of Texas and an MBA from Georgetown University and a work history at Microsoft for 8 years, this Wonder Mom is one smart cookie. But it’s not just her education that and her beautiful family that makes her stand out. Anjleen Kaur Gumer is a Sikh Awareness Advocate who has been dedicating her life to informing people on Sikh faith. In 2015, she was 1 of 10 selected advocates by The Sikh Coalition to attend a week-long training in Washington DC on community, political and media engagement. For over 5 years, Anjleen has been volunteering for The Sikh Coalition, a social justice non-profit, and The National Sikh Campaign. She also hosted “Who Are Sikhs” presentations for corporations, schools and cities. A Texas native who now lives in Arizona with her husband and two young Patka-wearing sons, whom she dedicates her Sikh awareness work to, strives for them to never have to deal with injustice, discrimination or bullying.
What is it that you do?
I educate others on who Sikhs are and what we believe in. Stand up against intolerance and injustice! My two sons, Aniak (5) and Jovin (3) are a huge part of the reason I do what I do. I never want them to experience any sort of discrimination.
As a Sikh Awareness Advocate, how did it come into being and how did you know it was the one to run with?
While growing up, my parents always took me to shelters to volunteer and taught me it is better to give than to receive. That stuck with me my whole life so throughout my Advertising, Marketing & Sales career, I continued to figure out ways to give back to the community. After having kids, my perspective on life changed. I wanted to change the world (big dreams, I know) so my two sons could grow up feeling respected and giving respect. While growing up, I remember my dad and brother (both who wear turbans in accordance with our Sikh faith) being harassed for looking different. After 9/11, things got worse. My husband wears a turban as well and he endures a lot of discrimination. My passion came from being a mom and wanting to protect my sons. They will grow up looking different because of their turbans and I don’t want them to be bullied or treated different because of that.
How has having Anaik (5) and Jovin (3) transformed your lifestyle?
My boys have taught me love and how to be loved in a new way. They were my inspiration for quitting my corporate job and wanting to make an impact. If I can prevent one child from being bullied or change one person’s perception, then this has all been worth it. I want to be their role model and make the world better for them.
5 words to describe your personal sense of style?
Comfortable, City inspired, Eclectic, Energetic, Fresh
How do you find time to get ready and maintain your style?
I reach out to my friends who have a passion for fashion and have them help dress me 😉
Where do you get your energy?
What energy? My kids and husband are nonstop…I can’t keep up with them!
What is your spirit animal or dream super power?
My spirit animal is a tiger. My dream super power would be to fly.
What inspires you?
I want to make a difference in the world. This drives my passion.
Who are your role models and why?
My dad, husband, brother and any other Sikh who wears a turban because they endure so much prejudice and still stand up for what they believe in!
Any words that you live by?
“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened” ~ Dr. Seuss
What is your favorite thing to do with your children?
Eat desserts because they have as big as a sweet tooth as me!
What would you do with more time?
I would buy a one-way ticket around the world!
How do you balance family and work?
Luckily, as a volunteer advocate, I have flexibility and get to dictate my schedule. I do most of my work when the boys are at school or late at night, when they are sleeping. My husband works overnight a lot so I do it when he’s gone.
3 products that you can’t live without as a new mom?
- White noise to keep the kids asleep
- Programmable coffee maker
- iPad for the kids
What do you do to relax?
Work out – that’s my therapy. I also love to relax with a good book.
What time do you get up and go to bed on a typical day?
My kids are my alarm clock so it really depends on them…usually around 7 am.
I sleep after watching 1 episode of some mindless TV show around 11pm.
What do you typically eat for breakfast?
Waffle topped with peanut butter and tea.
Coffee, tea, wine, tequila, or other?
Chai tea, especially the way my mom makes it!
What is something that you struggle with fitting into your lifestyle and how do you deal with it?
Planning trips – we end up buying tickets last minute and paying more $ or using miles. We book hotels on the way to the airport, and figure out places to eat, what to see, etc. once we get to the destination.
Any advice for new moms, or moms who are struggling to make it all work?
I feel like I was told this all the time but it really didn’t register until later in life…
“Work will always be there but your kids won’t. Don’t stress the small stuff.”
Check out Anjleen on a podcast for NPR.
Read her quote here on USA Today
Here is an op-ed Anjleen wrote for the Arizona Republic
Follow Anjleen on Twitter
ABOUT WONDER MOMS:
From Sheryl Sandberg to Marissa Mayer, women are not sacrificing themselves for their kids like they used to. Why? If you ask me, a confident and happy woman makes a better mother and role model. And whatever it takes to get her feeling that way should be done. But as a mother myself, I know how hard it is to maintain a sense of style, run a successful business and to feel like an okay parent all at the same time.
Women who are flawlessly manifesting this enchanting trifecta are the new wonder women of our times and they are my idols. So I got to wondering how they actually do it all and have it all. Is it really possible? Are they hiding something? Do they secretly never floss? I hope to answer these questions and to give the rest of us moms motivation to stay true to ourselves, live fulfilling lives and love our families as much as ever through interviews with moms who are already doing it. These are the Wonder Moms.
If you know a woman who fits this mold, please share her info with me on Twitter @metromomclub