If you are new, Life of Real Moms is a week-long, prompt based Photo Challenge 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 week two Insta-Moms will bring to you a lovely theme-based photo contest with exciting prizes and fun games.
For the week of February 25 – March 3, 2019, our theme is ‘7 Days of Gratitude’
The first host for this challenge is…
Mamatha, mommy to little Diya, was a software engineer by profession. She gave up her job to take care of the twornado and she is loving it. Her instagram is an excerpt of her day as a Mommy next door. She is a DIY- fanatic who spends good amount time planning D’s activity adda. She blogs at All About Mommying.
Let’s get to know Mamatha little better.
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND WHAT LIFE WAS LIKE BEFORE YOU GOT MARRIED.
Mamatha says, “I am a computer science student by qualification and worked in an IT firm for two years. Even before I could realize the importance of a career, I was married. I had to move to a different country and my dream to work had to stand by. I was always an introvert and it was very hard for me to start a conversation in a group. Though I am a good listener it was a task to catch up on and voice out. It took years for me to come out of my cocoon and speak up. Life before marriage was so carefree that my routine was just work-sleep-repeat. My passion was music and dance which I never practiced or even tried to, because my parents then believed only marks and academics can take me to places.”
YOURS IS A TRADITIONAL ARRANGED MARRIAGE.
How did you and your husband meet and how’s life after marriage?
Mamatha says, “We had a traditional arranged marriage where we met few times to know each other with parents approval. We have an age gap of 6 years and my husband was sure to reject me looking at my bio data. When we met for the first time, I still remember I hardly spoke to him because I got call from work and I had to rush. Fast forward to now, when I ask my husband what he liked in me he says it was my “dedication to work”. We had long conversations and something just blossomed and we both thought we were meant to be.
Life after marriage is definitely a bed of roses to me. I like how my decisions or opinions are given importance to. More than husband and wife, we are friends. We have same friend circles to hang out and have fun.”
HOW EASY OR DIFFICULT WAS. . .
…the move and transition to The States after you got married? How did you deal with it?
Mamatha says, “Initially the transition was difficult emotionally. Leaving behind the place you know, family, and friends, to start off a journey from scratch does sound challenging. I used to feel homesick, and staying indoors all the time was breaking me down every day. The biggest problem when moving to a different country is the dependency. Dependency to go grocery shopping or even step out of the house. The only way to deal with it was to make a home away from home. I made Make as many as friends you can. Speak to every random person passing by and get to know them. Build your own tribe like family is the only mantra.”
LITTLE D’S ACTIVITIES ARE ALWAYS ONES TO LOOK OUT FOR.
Tell us more about how you plan these. Do you spend a considerable amount of time to research and plan to prepare these for her or just go with the flow?
Mamatha says, “When I wanted to start with a Montessori space for D, I first did my homework. I read books from Maria Montessori and Paula Polk to understand the concepts: how and why. I spent considerable amount of time planning her day and researched activities around them for the week. If we are on our numbers journey I usually try to create my own activity or pick an inspiration from Pinterest if I am brain dead. I usually setup an activity with things in the house. It should be quick and engaging.”
WHAT IS THE ONE THING ABOUT PARENTING THAT YOU FEEL VERY STRONGLY ABOUT?
Mamatha says, “Parenting takes a lot of patience. Dealing with kids is like writing an exam. Every word and action is important because you have a tiny human watching you all the time. For their observant nature, any small mistake we do can cost us in the long run. It’s very important to think before we say or do something which, I feel, is challenging. To raise them as a Good Samaritan we as parents need to change a lot as well.”
WHAT DROVE YOU TO SHARE YOUR LIFE’S SNIPPETS AND THINGS ABOUT DIYA ON INSTAGRAM?
Mamatha says, “Diya is a happy child and I am so lucky to have her (touch wood). When I started sharing D’s videos and our daily life routine I received a lot of text messages saying how they wake up to D’s videos and how she makes them smile. I have a virtual family here and there are some very sweet people who love D like their own. Those messages drove me to share more about our life snippets and how D is making it even more special.”
WHAT DO YOU LOVE THE MOST ABOUT INSTAGRAM?
How has it impacted your life?
Mamatha says, “Social media has both, pros and cons. What you pick from it is what makes or breaks your life. For me Instagram was an inspiration. I religiously followed a few early learning enthusiasts who gave zero screen time and spent the entire day with their cubs. I always felt I could do that too. That’s when I started off with activities. My day is around D till she goes to bed. I enjoy doing that and D equally loved the attention and new things she learns. This was possible only because of Instagram and few profiles I followed. When I started with our activity adda I may have touched few other mommies’ hearts too (by God’s Grace) and the chain goes on.”
IF THERE WAS ONE THING YOU COULD CHANGE. . .
…about your motherhood journey or one thing you could have done differently, what would it be?
Mamatha says, “Hands down, baby led weaning. Though I started with traditional weaning and fed D till 8months of age. I regret that decision and I always want to go back and change it. If I got a chance to redo it I would allow her to self feed from her 6th month and I would let her decide the quantity of food she wants to eat.”
HAVE YOU BEEN SUBJECT TO MOM-JUDGEMENT ONLINE?
How did you deal with it?
Mamatha says, “Hell yeah! All the time. Recently I posted how I stood up for my child when a stranger touched her without her permission. I got a hate message saying it was normal in “India” and that I had overreacted. This response came as a shock to me because even after so many debates about good touch, bad touch, touch with permission, we as parents are failing to know the importance of it. How to deal with such remarks is to let them know what’s right. May be they are less informed so it’s high time we talk back and stand up for our child.”
IF SOMEONE WERE TO VISIT YOUR BLOG FOR THE FIRST TIME. . .
…what would you like them to read first?
Mamatha says, “I’d love it if you could start with these:
- Toilet training 101: A Simple Guide to Toilet Train Your Toddler
- Friendships hit a rocky patch after having a baby
- How to deal with Stranger anxiety in babies and toddlers.”
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.