How does she do it?: Anchel Krishna

Anchel Krishna speaks to us about the difficulties and joys of parenting her daughter Syona, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy a month shy of her first birthday.


Age: 31
Kid: Syona, 19 months old
Marital status: Married for five years to Dilip Krishna

On parenting:

What’s your parenting philosophy?
Just to figure things out as we go along. We realized quite early with Syona’s medical history that we could plan everything that we wanted, but it never seemed to work. Now we figure things out as they come up.

What’s the most unexpected thing you discovered only after you became a parent?
I have the strength to deal with whatever I need to for our daughter. The other thing is toddler barf; it smells worse than anything else I’ve ever smelled in my life.

How do you put your kid to bed?
In any way that works. She’s a terrible sleeper, but usually my husband puts her to bed. She gets a bath, bottle, story and a lot of cuddles and then into her crib she goes.

What is the one parenting tool or trick you can’t do without?
At this stage, when she does something or learns something that’s along the lines of what she’s supposed to do (like she grabs something the right way) we throw praise at her. That’s the only way Syona gets it. And she loves it; she thrives on praise.

What’s the best parenting advice you ever got?
When things are really tough, don’t worry too much about it because they’ll change. On the flip side when things are really great, make sure you appreciate them, because they’re going to change, too.

On Relationships:

What is your secret to a happy relationship?
One is communication: we talk about stuff all the time, even the stuff that’s really hard. The second is respect. We have a lot of respect for each other’s time and what the other person is doing.

On career:

What is your job status?
I am a stay-at-home mom and freelance writer.

What do you do for child care?
It’s mostly myself and my husband. We also have a lot of family around that loves to babysit, which we’re super grateful for.

On food:

How would you describe a typical dinner in your home?
Interesting. We try and have dinner together, but that usually involves both my husband and I eating while feeding Syona. It takes twice the amount of time, but we have fun, and it’s a nice way to end the day.

On downtime:

What are your favourite me-time activities to do?
Sitting on the couch, eating a bowl of popcorn and watching TV. And to counteract that, yoga. I’m hoping that one cancels the other out. What do you do that makes your kid say, “You are so much fun!” It sounds so simple, but we just laugh with her. She’s at the age where if we laugh, she laughs. It sounds cheesy, but really it’s just being present with her, genuinely enjoying her and allowing her to really enjoy us.

Update: Anchel Krishna is now blogging for Todaysparent.com about Syona’s journey. To read her compelling posts, just click here.