When life throws you a curve ball. How do you handle it? As a career woman, and mother, Jasmine Daya started writing about her journey not realizing it would someday inspire her to write a novel. Loosely based on her personal experience, Daya’s LAW GIRL’S BUMP IN THE ROAD (under her pen name Leia London) paints a gritty but engaging portrait of a career woman dealing with an unplanned pregnancy.
Born and raised in Toronto, she began her career as an articling student in 2005. She became an associate at the same firm and and eventually moved up the ranks to become a partner.
We had an opportunity to interview Daya about her debut novel.
Your story is based on your own experiences but fiction. Why did you decide to go this route?
I decided to write a journal to my son chronicling my pregnancy experience. I did this partly to occupy my mind but partly because some of what was occurring was in my opinion, quite entertaining.
I started to write during the summer after law school. I was concerned about being pregnant at a time in my life that was very different than the route that I had planned for myself. My friends from law school were enjoying the summer before they started their articling jobs and real life. Meanwhile, I was pregnant and nervous about the unknown that faced me. Just before my son was born, I recall thinking to myself that this would be a great book one day!
What’s the different between you and your main character?
I’m far more opinionated than the main character and I always ensure that I get my point across. My husband says I lack a filter. I think he is right.
As career women, we often associate success with our jobs. Thoughts?
I agree. As a woman, we have so many different “selves” that we are living and balancing at once. We are juggling family obligations, a career, a social life and some me time. Every minute I’m awake of almost every day, I am scheduled. Yet it’s true that if I’m not doing well at work then I don’t feel successful regardless of everything else that I am accomplishing.
What was the first thing that came to mind when you discovered you were pregnant?
I actually had several thoughts that came crashing down on me at once. First however was the initial disbelief while staring at the home pregnancy test and trying to determine if a pink line actually meant “pregnant”. It was my first time taking one.
As a career woman, and a mother, how do you find work/life balance?
In my opinion, work/life balance does not equate to an equal amount of time spent on both but rather, prioritizing what is important to you and making it happen. I keep a colour coded calendar so that everyone knows where I am and when. Without my daily calendar, I would have no idea if I have an office meeting, court appearance, school activity, outing with a girlfriend etc. The calendar keeps me organized and ensures that I am able to accomplish everything I want. I also maintain a regular schedule from Monday to Friday. I leave the office by 5:30 p.m. and have dinner with my family, unless I have an unavoidable work commitment. At the dinner table, my kids each tell me one thing about their day and what they had for lunch (their schools provide lunch). They also fill me in or as they might say “remind” me about activities for the next day. After dinner, my kids do homework and shower before bed. At that point, I usually head to meetings or any other events that I am scheduled to attend. It was challenging to train myself to take a couple of hours out of the day for quality time with my family but it has really helped me achieve work/life balance.
If you had advice for women who find themselves in similar situations, what would you tell them?
Pursue your passion because the sky is the limit! When I am doing well at work and pursuing my hobbies and interests, I feel happier and more fulfilled and in turn, I feel like I am a better mother. My children feel the positive energy that I exude and feed off it. I love seeing their minds work in the same way.
How would you describe yourself as a mother in three words?
Honest, supportive and loving.
How would you describe yourself as a career woman in three words?
Ambitious, motivated and meticulous.
Leia London’s debut novel LAW GIRL’S BUMP IN THE ROAD is now available on amazon.ca
Enter for your chance to win a copy of her book! Contest ends at noon (EST) March 7, 2018. Winner will be selected at random from all eligible entries. Contest open to Canadian residents only (excluding Quebec). One (1) prize will be awarded and must accepted as is.
To enter leave a comment below- what is your best tip, you’ve given or gotten, to achieve work/life balance?