If you are new, Life of Real Moms is a fortnight long, prompt based Photo Challenge that happens every month on Instagram with the objective of building a community, and you can read all about how it started and how you can play along, by clicking here. As a part of this challenge, every month two or more Insta-Moms will bring to you a lovely theme-based photo contest with exciting prizes and fun games.
And the second Host for LORM April 2018 is…
Jasmeet is a mom to an almost three year old boy. She is a commerce graduate, an interior designer and a post graduate in education. Jasmeet has been a teacher in a few esteemed institutions before she plunged into motherhood. She is a self-proclaimed optimist, loves to teach and survives on cocoa. Jasmeet blogs at www.mommyvoyage.com
Let’s get to know Jasmeet a little better.
You have been blogging for so many years now. Tell us when and how it began and what inspired you to start?
Jasmeet says, “I have been blogging for over two years now. After Gunbir was born, I was well aware that I wasn’t going back to teaching anytime soon. While I was awake at wee hours breastfeeding and wiping butts, I thought why not disseminate what I have learnt during my teaching course and parenting classes to other moms through a short course. The idea was to gather a few interested parents at home and teach what I believed all parents must know as a child’s first teacher. With a vision to promote this idea, I started my blog. The idea faded but the blog survived.”
When did you know you wanted to be a teacher? How has the experience been?
Jasmeet says, “I knew I wanted to be a teacher since I knew what a teacher was. I’d wrap my mother’s dupatta like a saree and make all my cousins sit as students to play teacher-teacher. In high school I’d keenly observe all my teachers and visualise myself in their shoes.
In our country, teaching is considered to be a “safe” job for women. So my parents were glad to know of my choice. Fortunately, I got admission (not very easily, inspite of real good grades) in one of the best B. Ed colleges in Mumbai. Soon after I was teaching in the same classroom where I would day dream of being a teacher. That journey from dream to reality has been magical.”
What did it teach you about children? How has it helped you in parenting your own baby?
Jasmeet says, “My teaching journey started with an internship in a higher secondary school. After the internship I knew I wanted to teach younger kids. More so because I was myself quite young. My first job was of a homeroom teacher in Grade 1 at an esteemed school in Andheri.
I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I said they taught me as much as I taught them. Their innocence, their unconditional love, their ability to uncomplicate things, their laughter and calm made me want to be one of them. My teaching journey has been like a precursor to the kind of mom I am. It’s during that time that I learnt kids are unpredictable and the only way to teach or even have a normal conversation with them is with Love.”
Tell us about your love for red lipstick.
Jasmeet says, “Haha.. I can’t believe you remembered that. I know I am a mom and looking pristine is a luxury. But I love to try, I love stealing a few moments to decorate myself. The winged liner, the bright red lips, the hair-do, may appear to be superficial things and may have very little to do with my inner self, but they are a part of my physical being. The bright happy red cheers me up. I wore a red lipstick to the hospital, for my C- Section delivery that was scheduled because of an emergency. My doctor laughed and said, ‘We will take this off for now, but I promise you can wear it back after the surgery.’ It just makes me happy or makes me feel hopeful, I haven’t really figured that yet!”
In a day and age where religious people are automatically assumed to be extremists, you are proudly raising your son as a Sikh. Tell us more about that.
Jasmeet says, “I have immense respect for parents who choose to raise their kids free from religion. However I have a different opinion about this. We live in a secular nation and every religion offers deep, meaningful lessons rooted in evolution of humanity and mankind.
My fondest memories of childhood are visiting the various gurudwaras in our country and listening to Baba Nanak’s stories and preachings from my mom and dad. The foundation of my life is what my parents taught me about Sikhism:
- Vand Chakna (sharing with all),
- Keerat Kamai (absolute honest earnings),
- Sewa ( serving others),
- Sarbat da Bhalla (goodwill for all), and
- Imbibe equality, empathy, honesty and gratitude.
I think in most Indian homes, a child is conditioned into a religion in some way. I want to use our religious preachings to build his character and morals. Unless I teach him, how would he know of it.
Having said that I am not a religion fanatic. Later whether he wears a turban or not is completely his choice. His mamma cares if he chooses a modest life with values. I wouldn’t mind, matching my outfit with my son’s turban one day though.”
If you could have an entire day to yourself – just to yourself – how would you spend the day?
Jasmeet says, “I am glad you asked this question, because I have planned this in my head a zillion times and I get to speak it out loud here. I would begin my day with ordering South Indian breakfast, savour it peacefully, shower for at-least forty minutes, meet my girlfriends, make a solo trip to the mall, head home, curl up in the couch and read a book. Aahh, and I am sure I will call my husband asking about Gunbir at-least a thousand times in between.”
What do you love about Instagram? Has it changed your life?
Jasmeet says, “I love Instagram is because it’s visual. I love how a picture speaks a thousands words there. I love it because it’s fun to click pictures, add fun filters to it and share it with my loved ones. The best part is my son gets to see them all in one place when he grows up.
I discovered Instagram only after Gunbir was about six months. It hasn’t changed my life, but has definitely become a part of it.”
What’s the hardest part about being a mom, the biggest challenge according to you? How do you deal with it?
Jasmeet says, “Motherhood is challenging and it sure is! The flip-side of the unconditional love, excitement and happiness is the paranoia, fear and anxiety. The hardest part for me has been to be able to cope with my new identity. While I still exist on six hours of broken sleep, it’s been challenging to strike a balance between being a mom and still being Jasmeet.
Making optimum use of nap times and my spouse have helped me make peace with my new roles.”
How has connecting with people on social media been for you (Moms in particular)? Would you recommend it to others? Why? Why not?
Jasmeet says, “Being a mother ain’t easy and one can get really lonely sometimes. Social media is one place where if you’ve found your tribe, they’ve got your back through the rough days. I have been fortunate to have found a few good friends through social media.
Then again striking a balance is the key. I recommend finding like minded people and connecting with them on social media for sure.”
On rough days what keeps you going?
Jasmeet says, “Rough days are rough days. I just try and keep a check on my behaviour to not regret it later. Otherwise, a few deep breaths, a cup of coffee and a power nap can get my sanity back.”
If someone were to visit your blog for the first time, what would you like them to read first?
Jasmeet says, “I’d love it if you could start with these:
- 9 Steps I Took When My Child Started Hitting
- Which Language Should We Use With Our Kids?
- What You Must Consider Before You Choose A Playschool For Your Child”
Thank you for taking the time out to do this. It’s so good to get to know you a little better! We are so happy to have you as a part of the LORM family.
Details of LORM April 2018 will be up soon on LORM’s Instagram! Stay tuned.
for Life of Real Moms