When CNN’s American Morning co-anchor Kiran Chetry and her husband, CW weather forecaster Chris Knowles, 41, first found out they were expecting their second child, they “joked around that it’s a miracle that we had time to actually make a baby,” says Kiran, 33. She’s on air weekday mornings while …
When CNN’s American Morning co-anchor Kiran Chetry and her husband, CW weather forecaster Chris Knowles, 41, first found out they were expecting their second child, they “joked around that it’s a miracle that we had time to actually make a baby,” says Kiran, 33. She’s on air weekday mornings while her husband works weekend nights. “We have almost the exact opposite schedule!” Add to that, they have a two-year-old daughter, Maya, to run after. Talk about a balancing act. “I would say a lot of being a modern mom is trying to juggle it all,” offers Kiran, who recently welcomed baby Christopher in April.
Kiran leaves the house for work every morning at 3 am, and keeps an exhausting schedule until she returns home in the early afternoon. Then, she heads to her bedroom for a few well-earned zzz’s. “A small afternoon nap is key,” Kiran says. “That gives me a little recharge so I can spend the afternoon and evening with the family and keep up with my daughter until her bedtime,” she says.
Afternoon hours with Maya offer Kiran precious time to impart her particular brand of wisdom to her daughter. “I want my children to learn to love and care for others and to do whatever brings them fulfillment and joy.”
No doubt, these are lessons she learned from her parents, who chose to follow an admirable but unconventional path in life. Kiran’s mother, Nancy, was a Peace Corp volunteer in Nepal when she met Chetry’s father, Hom, a native Nepali employee of the Peace Corps. After Kiran was born, the family moved to Montgomery County, Maryland.
Kiran says she grew up appreciating the beauty of both her American and Nepalese heritages and learned to celebrate her special position in the world. “I think when you’re little, sometimes you’re a little embarrassed to be different, and when you grow up you realize how special it is to have access to different cultures and experiences,” she says. “My parents encouraged me to try anything and never be afraid. I want to give my children the room to explore and discover their world.” She talks to Modern Mom about unconditional love, bubble baths and her guilty pleasures (would you believe, McDonald’s fries!)
What’s your definition of a Modern Mom?
Well, since I’m answering this question typing on my blackberry and wrangling my two year old in her doctor’s office for a check-up, I guess I would say a lot of being a modern mom is trying to juggle it all!
We want to be able to spend as much time as we can caring for and enjoying our kids, while at the same time many of us are working full-time or keeping a household running, or both!
What’s your secret to balancing career and family?
Hey, if someone knows the secret, tell me! But since I work so early (I leave the house just after 3 am) a small afternoon nap is key. It gives me a little recharge so I can spend the afternoon and evening with the family and keep up with my daughter until her bedtime.
What did your parents teach you about parenting?
Unconditional love, patience and giving your children the room to explore and discover their world. They encouraged me to try anything and never be afraid.
They lived their lives to love and care about all people. I hope to pass all those lessons on to my kids.
What do you want to teach your children?
To love and care for others. To do whatever brings them fulfillment and joy. To take chances but always be true to themselves. The importance of working hard, being honest and saving for a rainy day.
Who do you admire the most?
My husband. (I only said that because he’s peeking at this over my shoulder and told me to write this. Ha!) But if he weren’t here… I would have to say I admire every woman out there who is trying to make it work. The woman who is doing her best to raise her kids, take care of her family and in many cases go to work. She puts herself last — she doesn’t ask for thanks and through it all she learns there’s no “secret formula” to doing it right. It’s all about doing the best she can.
What’s your favorite family activity?
My husband Chris and I play our daughter Maya’s favorite toddler tunes CD and we all dance, sing and laugh like crazy. When summer hits, we head down to the beach in Delaware and take Maya to the ocean. She loves the water, waves and sun, just like her parents.
What is your greatest achievement?
My two year old says, “please,” “thank you,” and knows her ABCs!
What products can’t you live without?
Sadly, the Blackberry. McDonald’s French Fries. And my daughter’s favorite show, “Super Why,” which has helped head off many a tantrum, and taught my daughter to recognize every letter before she was two.
What do you do when you’re feeling selfish?
Run a long hot bubble bath and soak in it while paging through a magazine.
What’s keeping you busy these days?
Work, which has been incredible and exciting, especially since I was covering this historic presidential race. Family: our son was born in April, plus we recently moved from New York City to the suburbs. I forgot how long it takes to unpack the boxes!