It’s a small gesture, but it’s the little things that matter. —Paranj Patel, father of two, Prudential
Director of Regulatory Supervision, Prudential Woodbridge, New Jersey
Every morning, Paranj makes a cup of tea for Rasna, his wife and mom to the couple’s two kids, ages 13 and 7. “That sets the tone for her day,” he says. “It’s a small gesture, but it’s the little things that matter.” For Paranj, supporting Rasna’s career as a senior analyst in claims and regulatory compliance for a cosmetic brand is important to him because it’s important to her. “She loves her job in a way that a lot of us wish we do,” he says.
How do you handle scheduling conflicts? We never challenge each other if we have a work obligation; rather, we adjust and adapt. If we both have a 6 p.m. meeting, we will take turns—I’ll skip Monday’s, and she’ll skip Tuesday’s. If a kid is sick, I’ll call out, and she will next. We take turns on what we sacrifice at work because I don’t want either of us to sacrifice our career.
How do you get everything done? My wife and I are first-generation Indian American immigrants, raised in an environment where the entire family had to pull together. We teach our kids those values too. My 13-year-old son makes lunch for everyone in the house at least once a week, and breakfast on Sunday. My 7-yearold daughter knows how to vacuum. We have cultivated a culture within our house that everybody should contribute.
What’s your secret to marital success? We don’t split every chore 50/50, but rather we complement each other’s responsibilities, and that’s key in a successful family. For example, we recently purchased a new home, and she said she felt like she didn’t contribute anything toward it because I was sweating day and night to make it happen. But she made sure nothing fell apart at home so I could get it done.