Raakhee Gonela

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

Age: 38

Job: Clinical Psychologist

Husband: Satish Gonela. We met at age 5 and had our first date in ninth grade. With a few bumps in the road, we managed to find our way back to each other and celebrated our 10th anniversary in July.

Kids: son Milan, 8, and daughter Maya, 6

Neighborhood: Powell

What's the most played song on your iPod?

I love soulful music and right now a song by Janet Jackson and Joni Mitchell called "Got 'Til It's Gone" seems to be on every playlist I make.

Who's your favorite TV mom?

Marge Simpson for her ability to live in denial and remain unaffected by the negativity around her.

Which superpower would you like to have?

Invisibility because I would be able to spy on my children and learn what they are like when I'm not around. And when I need a moment of respite, I could disappear, take a deep breath (or two), and return to the scene.

Favorite thing to do for cheap family fun?

The tennis courts with the kids or a little two-on-two basketball in the driveway.

Favorite restaurant to take the kids?

Marcella's (at Polaris). Great kids' menu and upbeat atmosphere. Last time we were there they gave the kids a set of uncooked pasta and string to make necklaces while they eagerly awaiting the food.

Favorite way to spend a Saturday?

The very best thing is being woken up by my children crawling into bed with me on a Saturday morning and cuddling while watching cartoons. Then it's a trip to the tennis court, out to lunch after and the day usually ends with movie night with the kids.

What's the biggest difference between your children?

Maya's need for an explanation for why she has to do something, and Milan's need for no explanation other than a firm directive and a strict "OR ELSE!"

What's something your mom or dad did that you thought was nuts when you were a kid but now you understand?

My parent sacrificed a great deal to send me to a wonderful private school, and at the time I only saw the financial stress and burden. I now understand their intentions. I have learned the value of education and reaped the benefits of their decision.

What have you learned as a parent that you wish someone told you sooner?

Truthfully, I never realized how much physical healing is required after having a baby. It is not just about caring for a new, complex human being but also caring for yourself. If you are not equipped for all the emotional and manual labor then the whole family system suffers.

What's the best advice you ever received as a parent?

To always carve out time to experience other aspects of being a woman therefore being a mom is only one aspect of my self, but I am also a wife, friend, daughter, sister, psychologist.