Sangita Patel, co-host of ET Canada, and her husband Samir were content to let events play out naturally after deciding she would stop taking birth control. The couple were open to what might come next, which, hopefully, would include a baby.

“I wasn’t feeling well so I went to a walk-in clinic to see if I could get some antibiotics,” Patel recalls. “I had flu-like systems, tiredness, and queasiness. The doctor suggested I take a pregnancy test. I was shocked. I had become pregnant in just three months!”

After a rocky first trimester with morning sickness and fatigue, she began to experience that famous glow that happens for women who are expecting — luminous skin and thick lustrous hair, paired with happiness. “Around the sixth-month mark, I enjoyed feeling the baby kick,” she says. “And I realized this was happening for real.”

Striving for work-life balance

Fast-forward a decade and the talented television personality is the mother of two daughters, ages 10 and 7. Motherhood has been a challenge for her as she juggles her career, a busy travel schedule, and her family. It has been a struggle to maintain a work-life balance and to deal with feeling guilty about needing to travel and be away from her family. After some soul-searching and support from her husband of 14 years, Patel has found the sweet spot between caring for herself and for her family.

That means carving out time in her schedule for self-care, including exercise. She discovered the joys of Crossfit and what it does for the body and mind. Patel works out three to four times a week and has added boxing into the mix. It’s a routine that makes her feel good, while sending a positive message to her daughters about empowerment as a woman. She hasn’t weighed herself in more than four years. Exercise is about health — not the numbers on a scale.

Celebrating being a mother and wife

The television host also makes sure she and her husband plan regular date nights once a month. “We go out for dinner and just check in with each other,” she explains. “We have a rule that we limit the amount of discussion about the kids.”

When it comes to the lessons learned from motherhood, Patel is candid. “I appreciate my own mom more than ever. I need people around me who know how to raise a child. I don’t know everything,” she says. “My mom is an incredible woman, and I hope to be that for my daughters, too.”