I’m Sha Sha Chu, a Pinterest Engineer, and I’m a Parent.

Sha Sha Chu is the technical lead of the Android platform at Pinterest , a site that allows us to store all of our favorite inspirational quotes, Instant Pot recipes and potential guest bathroom paint colors in one neat place. Her early years as a mother were tough, but she manages to make it all work. That’s how her parents are.

Name: Sha Sha Chu Location: Menlo Park, California Job: Android Platform Tech Lead at Pinterest Family: Wife Amanda, kids Simon (4) and Willow (15 months)

Tell us a little about your family and your career. Was life mostly according to plan or were there any surprises?

Mainly I got into computer science because it was a way to get away from medical preparation. I grew up playing a bunch of video games and surprised my mom by proving to her that you can really make a living making them. After working in the gaming industry for about ten years, I got the opportunity to go to Pinterest, where I worked on an Android app.

Our path to parenting has proven to be more challenging than we ever expected. Our son was prenatally diagnosed with a congenital brain cyst and ended up having about 20 surgeries before he turned a year old, so we spent most of his first year in the intensive care unit of Auckland Children’s Hospital. Sometime later, he was diagnosed with epilepsy after a severe seizure, and about a year ago, he was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Our daughter had a very difficult labor and we weren’t even sure if she would survive the first few days. And yet, somehow, we are left with two of the dumbest and happiest kids you will ever meet. At least it made us grateful for every day we spend together. (Although when my daughter breaks my face with her Lucky Apple toy, it can be harder to remember.)

Tell us about your morning routine. What are your best tricks to get out the door?

My wife is a doctor, so she usually gets up before me and prepares lunch for our son in kindergarten. After the kids wake up, we switch to the “do what you have to do” mode, in which I usually put scrambled eggs (only with white cheese) in our son’s mouth and at the same time comb my hair while our daughter eats the leftovers. eggs from the fetus. floor. As long as the whole family walks out the door in their pants and at least one parent is taking a shower, it seems like a huge success.

How do you share home / childcare responsibilities with your partner?

I would say that we are quite even taking care of the children and tend to share and take turns fighting with the children quite naturally.

When it comes to household chores, I am not proud that my wife takes on more than she is supposed to, although I do my best to do my part. Having a child with special needs can be a challenge in itself, and organizing all of his therapies and visits is essentially my wife’s second job. In addition, she manages to maintain order in our house. Let me just say that my # 1 advice for newlyweds is to hire cleaning ladies.

How much outside help do you get as a parent? Who or what cannot you live without?

On weekdays we have a nanny whom we and the children love very much. Plus, both of Amanda’s parents live in the area, so our kids are lucky to be able to see their grandparents on a weekly basis. We would not have survived without them.

What gadgets, apps, charts, or tools do you rely on?

How much will I be appreciated if I say “YouTube Kids”?

Has the way you work changed the way you become a parent?

This made me about 10,000 times more efficient at work. Due to my wife’s schedule, I often have to come in both morning and evening to meet and change my nanny. Since I travel to work by train, this means that I have set the hours at which I can be in the office, so I have to make the most of the time when I am there.

Plus, after what happened to our son, I got a new perspective on things that really matter in life, which made me much less fearful at work. I’ve survived the worst-case scenario of most people, so speaking in meetings is pretty easy compared to that.

What does your evening routine look like?

Our children go to bed early, so my wife and I spend about an hour with them before they go to bed. A quick dinner and a little play, and then their daily routine before bed, which we managed to keep to a minimum: stories, bath and bed. After that, equal parts are busy with day to day work and seize up Netflix.

How do you unpack?

I am a member of the 501st Legion, a volunteer costume organization from Star Wars, so I spend a lot of my free time dressing up as an Imperial stormtrooper and doing volunteer and charity work. It’s as boring and awesome as it sounds.

What are you most proud of as a parent?

We have gone through major crises with both of our children, while remaining married and largely sane.

What moment are you least proud of?

For five minutes in a row I chewed on a poor freshman in the intensive care unit because I was upset and she was standing in front of me. I apologized a year later.

What do you want your children to learn from your example?

Just because very bad things are happening does not mean that you still cannot be happy. Although what happened to our family has changed me forever, I try not to get a black cloud enveloped in it. I can still enjoy a beautiful sunny day or stay up until 2am while making a Spider-Man Halloween costume.

What are your favorite funny / weird / special family rituals?

One of my son’s favorite YouTube videos shows a man ordering Pupuccino from Starbucks for his dog . Every night, when we put him to bed, we must follow this scenario:

“Simon, do you need anything?”

“Yes”. “What do you need?” “Pupuchino”.

What’s the hardest part about being a parent?

Ignorance. Every parent does their best every day, but it’s hard to accept that the future of our children is a giant black box that we just pop so often.

The only thing I would like to say to other parents who are pursuing a career:

Enough for you.

What’s the cool thing you pinned on Pinterest?

This is a DIY Lego tray .

What else do moms and dads need to know?

Costco sells Annie’s Mac & Cheese in bulk.


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