Some of you may know Amara Andrews as the “mom” in the adorable video recently released by the University of Illinois College of Business, which follows around Amara and her 2-year-old daughter as they do fun things together around Champaign-Urbana. Amara has been married to husband Kahlil for 12 years, and the family lives in Mahomet. They are the parents of 19-year-old Amanda, a sophomore at University of California-Berkeley; 10-year-old Tyler, 7-year-old Aidan, and Hope all go to Next Generation School in Champaign. Amara works at the College of Business doing career advising for MBA students; she also coaches and advises startups, and teaches entrepreneurship as well. A California native, Amara is a graduate of UC-Berkeley who received her law degree from UCLA. She maintains her bar membership in California and still practices “a little bit.”
See why we think Amara Andrews is a Chambana mom to know.
Q: How did you and Hope get involved in the video project, and what do you think of the result?
Haha. Well, I must say I don’t see any movie star checks in the mailbox. Actually, my mom and I half joke that we need to get her an agent. She was SO directable. She did whatever we asked her to and she’s pretty darn cute. J
To encourage people to come to Champaign-Urbana because it is a great place to raise a family!
Q: You are a California girl who has made Central Illinois your home. What do you miss about California and what do you love about living here?
I miss my family in California. My parents, sister and brother live in L.A. I also have a lot of close friends there. The weather is nice as well. But, I hate the materialism, superficiality, and traffic. Oh, and I can do without the ridiculous cost of living.
So, living in Champaign has been surprisingly perfect. I enjoy that it is an intellectual community. There is a lot of diversity. No traffic. Great for the family. BUT, some days in the winter absolutely suck and the food is just ok. I would like more yummy restaurants. (Though you didn’t ask me what I don’t like!)
Q: You are devoted to running and working out – how do you find the time between three kids and a full-time job? Give us your tips!
I rarely sleep. It is so hard honestly, but I am totally committed to staying fit – by any means necessary. Part of my motivation is that I am athletic and active so I LOVE working out. My current schedule is that I workout at the crack of dawn before anyone rises – up and out by 5:30am. We also try to maintain an active lifestyle as a family so my kids come to the gym with me some times.
Q: What is your biggest parenting challenge right now?
Oh boy! There are so many and they are different for each child. I guess my overall challenge is one that all working mothers face – lack of time, guilt over not being present … It’s the work/life balance or lack thereof. But, I must say I have come to the realization that there is NO BALANCE. You just do the best you can at home and at work. It is not a balance; it’s mostly lopsided – one week in favor of family and the next work. There is no perfection. It just IS. And it’s fine!
Do you know a fantastic mom, dad or couple? Nominate them today!