Five Questions with Dikxi Varughese
July 19, 2020
Like most parents, Dikxi Varughese has had to get creative to balance the challenges of work and family life in the midst of a pandemic. Find out how her open-minded approach and deep faith guides her in her roles as a mom and wife, and in her job as a claims manager with PartnerSource.
What surprises people most when they learn about what you do?
It surprises most people how complex what we do at PartnerSource truly is; it’s more than sprains, strains and processing paperwork. We use our expertise in Texas injury benefit plans to help clients navigate the process to ensure the injured worker gets the best possible care, and the best medical outcome. When injured employees go back to work, most are so grateful and appreciative. Some of them even write thank-you cards! Knowing that we help injured employees get back to their jobs and back to their normal lives is very rewarding.
How are you balancing work and family during this unique time?
I have two kids under the age of seven, and they are my greatest blessings. It’s definitely been interesting during this pandemic, being together 24/7, and teaching and entertaining them--I had to figure out how to be even more patient! We have “mommy summer school” going on right now because at their ages, they enjoy structure and predictability. They have an hour of TV, an hour to get themselves ready, then, they have about two hours of school related work (Brain Quest workbooks and the Khan Academy app have fun ways to engage them in learning). Then, it’s mandatory recess for an hour (they can play outside or upstairs), lunch and a movie, and then craft hour to finish the day. That routine has worked for us, as it allows us the ability to work and gives them a balanced day. My kids have also started serving as pen pals for nursing home residents. We’ve been writing to them, going back and forth with a couple people to brighten their day. Writing a letter is something my kids might not otherwise do in their lifetime, unless they are asked to do it. I showed them how to put the letter in the mailbox, and how to ask other people questions in a letter. Now, they cannot wait for the mail to come.
How are you teaching your children to handle challenges that come their way?
When my son was 18 months old, a student driver drove their vehicle into my son’s daycare, injuring my little boy. My son was airlifted to Children’s Medical Center, where he underwent a craniotomy. He had fractures in his skull and last year had to have another surgery to repair a hole in his skull. Even with all of that, I solely believe in the fact that God is good. We read the Bible and pray every night as a family. My husband and I teach our children, even at a young age, to trust in God. My daughter sees what’s going on in the world, and she’s been asking, “Why is God letting this happen?” I tell her that the only thing God has guaranteed any believer is a place in Heaven. We have to have faith that He will get us through this no matter what state we’re in. I’ve heard her praying and telling God, “My mom says to trust in you.” It’s great as a parent to watch your child’s faith grow and know that you’re a part of it.
Many parents are grappling with how to explain issues of diversity, equity and inclusion to their own children. What is your approach?
We are trying to educate ourselves as best we can so that we can explain and teach our kids about diversity, equality and inclusion. Recently, we watched the special that “Sesame Street” did and, if my daughter had a question, we would pause and do our best to answer her. We’ve started to watch some documentaries and for our children, we ordered books on racial differences (We’re Different, We’re the Same by Bobbi Jane Katesis a good one), to better understand how to stand up for different people. We all need to be open to learning and viewing from other’s perspectives so that we can be better prepared to be able to help others. I want my children to have a very wide perspective on race. For me, it’s also a learning process, so I’m teaching my children and also educating myself at the same time.
How do you unwind?
I’m in a book club with women that I’ve known my whole life. Now, we meet virtually. I started the book club when I was 30 because it was on my “bucket list.” I chose people who would pick different books than I would choose. Traveling and seeing the world is another goal, and I’ve also wanted to read the Bible cover to cover. I’m through the Old Testament and on to the New Testament now—which is even harder now that I have two children!