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Super Mom of the Month – Sheetal Tarun

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sheetalEver had that fleeting sense of regret of not being able to finish or begin that particular course or program? Sometimes, it is inspiration itself to just read about someone who has done what you thought was impossible. And we’re hoping that reading about Sheetal Tarun, our supermom this month will inspire you to go ahead and do it! An ex air hostess, model, actress to now being a full fledged lawyer, mum and above all a committed citizen who wants to make this world a better place, Sheetal took on the challenging course of Law after her daughter was born. It’s quite simple really, she says. Read on and see how she did it.

1. You decided to do law after your daughter was born! What made you want to study, and how did you manage the whole thing?

I always wanted to do law while I was in College, but I was too busy with basketball and modelling that I didn’t want to sacrifice that for being in a hostel at Kengeri to do just law. But when Taarushee was born I had met an old friend who had completed her law recently and from a college close to my house (Vivekananda Law College). That inspired me as I felt this would be the best time to do law when Taarushee is still young and my parents are around to support me.

It was kind of tough because I was still feeding Taarushee and she was a little baby who need my attention all the time. I started Law when she was 8 months old. But the Law School timings were good, it was from 8am to 1.30pm. I would go from 8-12pm and bunk the last hour.  I had a very supportive Principle, Mr. Kempe Gowda and my parents were there all the time. Every 6 months when I  had my semester exams, I would leave Taarushee with my parents 20 days before exams and pump milk and store it in Medela Packs in the freezer for her. Those 20 days I would study day and night and take a break in the evenings to go see my little darling. Studying  was hard as I was not in college anymore and as you get older that ability diminishes but somehow I managed and got through 3 years! I must also mention that Taarushee was a good child and very adjusting and a supportive husband and mother-in-law who helped me during my exams and otherwise too in many ways. All this put together I managed to complete my law and am practicing with MMB Legal now for the past 2 yrs.

2. What are the challenges to getting back to studying while being a mum?

The challenges are many!  A diminished ability to memorize , missing your child, not having enough free time to study and catching up on missed portions. If that isn’t enough, you still have to cope with the roles of trying to be a daughter, wife, daughter-in-law, mother, a student and just myself all at one time :-)

Its hard, but absolutely possible if you really want it!

3.If one has to go by your social media updates, you are doing a million things in a day along with work! How do you do it all? What keeps your energy going? 

It’s all about time management according to me with good skills of planning your day or week well in advance, which I always do. The energy- well I’m a hyper person in general and always on a sugar high! Besides I exercise thrice a week to keep my mind and body fit.

4.From being an air hostess to a model to an actress and now a lawyer, besides mum, daughter and wife – which has been your most favorite role?

Well, I would rephrase that to being a daughter, a sister,  a student, a basketball player, a model, an air hostess, an actress, a wife, a daughter-in-law, a trainer in the aviation industry and grooming, a mother, a student again and being myself (the individual me) :-) the most favourite role is that of being a mother and a daughter!

5. You have a daughter, what according to you are the best lessons we should teach them to have a fulfilling life?

My lesson to her will be, do whatever you feel like doing, dream big and do  not hold yourself back for anything or anyone and don’t regret what you have chosen to do. Just take everything as an experience that you have learnt from, but most of all, remember to have your head on your shoulders at all times and be a humble and caring human being.

6. What is your advice to mums who are eager to study but are afraid of taking the step?

Nothing to be worried about. Just know that it will be a little tough, but not impossible. Focus on time management and plan how you will do it and get good help for your kids while you are away. If parents support is available then nothing like it. Once you have it planned out, you will sail through and it won’t be long before you have completed your course. Be positive, plan well and do well.

7. Supermom tip

Be happy always…it is the attitude that matters. Be positive and never assume anything to be tough and do it happily…..Time management and planning is very important if you want to do a lot of things in one day :-)

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Super Mom Divya Nichani

Yoga is the answer to a healthy mind and body. And we were more than convinced when we met Divya Nichani, certified yoga teacher and mum to 8 year old Vivaan. Divya helps us understand the benefits of yoga for adults and children. This yogi mum and wife juggles work, home and an active social life without making any compromises and is well on her way to introducing us to her raw vegan food line Puraw vida. Read on, as this happy and healthy mum inspires us to take her lead.

Super Mom Divya Nichani

1.How did yoga come into your life and what made you want to teach it as well?

It’s my mother, an ardent yoga practitioner who inspired me to start yoga as a young girl. I was more than convinced about the benefits of this holistic way to wellness. With the support of my in­laws I got certified from the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Institute which is the heart and soul of Iyengar yoga. Over the years, yoga became my world as I came across wonderful people who changed my life. Initially I started teaching with a small group of women, but now I am so happy to be teaching kids too. I also take a lot of therapy classes for people with specific problems relating to the spine, knee, diabetes and as well as pre and post natal yoga.

2. Tell us about the impact it has had on your life. Does it influence how you play the role of mum and wife?

Just like all moms I too juggle different roles, but being a yogi­mom, I have found ways to soothe anxiety, fear, fatigue and all other emotions that we face. I am always ready for challenges and feel like a role model as both my husband and son appreciate me for being what I am. Hence, being a yogi mom and yogi wife have been equally rewarding.

3.Yoga and kids. Do they need to cart young and why?

I always say kids are born yogis. Starting yoga at a young age not only just strengthens them up, but also teaches them how to relax, concentrate and to appreciate some quiet and still time especially in their busy schedules. Yoga for kids is not about attaining the perfect poses or ‘being the best’ about developing a good sense about their body.

4. So you are calm and relaxed all the time?:)

We all have times in our lives when we have too much stuff going on. There are always too many priorities to juggle and there are days when everything seems to be going wrong.That is the time when i just love to practice some restorative asanas and some gentle yoga. Even half an hour of yoga and sitting in silence can recharge my battery.

5. We are you are working on a new project involving raw foods. What is it all about?

Yes. In my journey of teaching yoga, I realized that not just yoga, but raw foods could help help healing­ emotionally and physically.In 2007, I turned vegan after seeing some really disturbing videos by PETA. Since then, I have been working and researching the benefits of raw, organic and plant based foods. In september 2014 I graduated from the premier Raw Vegan school in California. The living light culinary Institute . I am already working on creating my own raw vegan recipes which include flax seed crackers, raw granolas and yummy desserts which I will be supplying under the brand name PURAW VIDA, meaning pure life, full of life and eventually this is life­ in spanish.

6. A typical day in a yoga instructors life?

I value each day of my life. The day begins at 5am everyday to send my son off to school. I typically teach three times a week and practice for myself on the other days. I make sure that my husband and I get enough quality time together. We walk together and have an active social life as well. The rest of the day is dedicated to household chores and preparing some amazing raw vegan meals. The evenings however are completely dedicated to my son and his activities and classes. The day goes by meeting lovely people and by following my mantra of ­ focus, sweat and laugh.

7. Where does one get great yoga clothes?

There are loads of great stores to stock up on yoga wear. Typically, you just need a simple t­shirt and a pair of comfy yoga pants. Keep it simply and fancy free. There are also some great yoga brands that are available in all the major stores nowadays.

8. A supermom tip 

You must always remember that you know your child better than anyone else and I believe that life is constant but magnificent, so slow down and savor the simple pleasures of everyday life.

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SUPER MOM Naomi George

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Love yourself, says Naomi George, first time author of Mum-Me and our supermom of the month. Possibly, the best advice for all of us mums who tend to put ourselves last. And Naomi tells us just how to do that through her book, after battling through the universal motherhood trials. She works, juggles two kids, exercises, parties and stresses on the need for some romance time. Yes, absolutely possible. It is all in the book!

Naomi George has done it all—from discovering that breastfeeding does not necessarily mean maternal bliss to stalking her daughter in playschool to finding the perfect job—before she learnt to find the right balance between being a mother and being a woman. She offers tips from hard-won experience on how best to express milk, sleep-train a baby, handle sibling conflict and choose the best pre-nursery. More importantly, she tells you how to fight self-doubt and baby blues, and focus on a life other than mothering. Eat right, find time to get back your flat tummy and slim legs, take short breaks to romance with your husband: these are the things that will make you healthier and happier.

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A book on motherhood and life around it. Tell us how it has changed your life.

I have learned to love myself and not apologize for it. When I do things for myself, including going to work, fitting in a yoga class in the day or meeting friends on a Saturday night; and my children want me to stay at home and do none of the above, I do feel guilt. But I’ve learned to manage the guilt and acknowledge that I need to take care of the ‘me’ within to be functioning at my best for both my children and myself.

2. What got you thinking about writing it all down?

The book was inspired by my mummy-blog which I began when my daughter Tamara was about 5-months old. It was all about my experiences and feelings as a new-mum and began as an outlet or even release for myself. However as women began to respond, sharing their feelings and frustrations in the process, I realised that we’re all telling the same story.  That raising babies and toddlers does take a toll on a woman’s sense of self because she is so busy trying to be that perfect mum!

I know other women face the same dilemmas and frustrations that I do as a mother and through Mum-Me I wanted them to know that they are not alone in what they are experiencing. That it is absolutely natural and indeed healthy to want to do something for oneself separate from children and home.

The blog and the response to it from mothers led me to the idea of a concise self-help book that would provide handy hints and information on raising babies and toddlers, but written with an empathy towards the woman within.  I have learnt that living solely for children is not healthy, and that while nurturing our babies is a given, women must also nurture themselves.

3. How different would a typical Naomi George day be from everyone else?

Well as a mother I am sure it is no different than any other mothers –juggling, planning and attempting to stay on top of the roller-coaster mummy-ride is just about any mum’s life, especially those in the toddler/baby category.

Personally, I always make time for fitness (three times a week, and as far as possible I don’t take lifts – I climb stairs. I eat consciously, keeping indulgence for those times when it is worth it like the weekend or special nights with friends/ my husband.  Fitness and a trim body are important to me and I manage my habits/routine accordingly.

And I am a sunscreen fan – too much according to my husband, who is convinced I have vitamin-D deficiency, but so far so good!

4. A self-help book for moms, but how can we help the dads? Any tips for them?

Dads should read the book so they realize just what motherhood entails and that it is not without challenges.  When a woman says she is hormonal there is a reason for it, baby-blues and PND are linked to hormonal changes in the body as it changes from pregnancy mode to one that facilitates breast-feeding.

Being mother takes an emotional and physical toll on a woman and if men realized that , it would help them to support their wives better.  Women and men need to help each other out as parents. Working together also helps to strengthen the relationship between partners and lessen feelings of isolation that a woman or man may experience when babies arrive because they can be all-consuming.

When both parents pitch in and help to shoulder the physical and emotional demands of parenting,  then each has the right to ask the other to understand and give importance to their individual or personal needs.

5. As someone who has lived outside of India and then back home, what advantages does parenting in India have?

Well the obvious ones are that in Indian domestic help is a huge help.  Maids and cooks to help with the cleaning, cooking of a house takes a massive load of any mother’s shoulders.

In India the social fabric is strong and so dropping in at a friends’ houses or asking them for help with baby-sitting or just to step out with you to get a cup of coffee and a chat is a whole lot more spontaneous than it can ever be in the West, where the onus of parenting, managing homes and careers are solely on the parents, albeit with help from grandparents.

In that regard I feel it is possible to have a social and subsequently personal life even when one has babies/toddlers as opposed to the West where a life other than that of the families or work is difficult and doesn’t happen without considerable advance planning.

6. A supermom tip?

I am not too much in favour of this term because it implies that mums are prefect and we can never go wrong. We should each knowledge to ourselves that we are human and fallible, and it is okay if we don’t get it right, things go wrong and the days goes completely off our carefully charted plans.  Let’s cut ourselves some slack!

No supermom tip other than what would apply to all mums –  to prioritize the needs of the day or the week and take it from there. Effective planning and putting in place structure helps to get that task-list done!

Naomi George has done it all—from discovering that breastfeeding does not necessarily mean maternal bliss to stalking her daughter in playschool to finding the perfect job—before she learnt to find the right balance between being a mother and being a woman. She offers tips from hard-won experience on how best to express milk, sleep-train a baby, handle sibling conflict and choose the best pre-nursery. More importantly, she tells you how to fight self-doubt and baby blues, and focus on a life other than mothering. Eat right, find time to get back your flat tummy and slim legs, take short breaks to romance with your husband: these are the things that will make you healthier and happier.

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Super Mom Smitha

Supermom SmithaInterior designer SMITHA ZACHARIAH says it is not about having it all, but about understanding and adapting to the situations around you that matters. Calm, collected and practical, Smitha tells us that design has shaped her life to what it is today, from running flourishing design company to keeping up with her active 6yr old. She firmly believes that being a supermom is only possible with the help of a super dad. We agree.

1. Give us a typical Smitha Zach day

It’s a mad dash from 5:45 am with my son, getting him ready for the school bus at 7 am followed by my gym session.  The rest of the day typically consists of meetings with vendors, clients or reviewing current projects. Evenings consist of activities, time with Vir and then back to work which is some alone time for creative thinking and design.

2. Does your love for design influence your daily life in any way?

For as long as I can remember design and color have played a vital role in my life, it has always been a matter of personal expression. I believe I am what I see, taking in images and storing it as an internal visual diary and later retrieving it for my creative processes. It is my personal scrapbook of my passions from great architecture, landscapes, fashion, flowers and textiles that help me create and live this lifestyle on a daily basis. It is important for me that my clients understand that I not only create beautiful spaces but I also help them imbibe it so that they can transcend the mundane and live a charmed existence in which the small details matter. Read More »

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Super Mom- Sarayu

vatsalaIt is a daunting experience to uproot yourself and your kids from the warmth of familiarity and comfort to a whole new beginning. It’s not easy. But our supermom of the month Sarayu Hegde has accomplished this with such ease and comfort that she is a true inspiration. Not only has she set up a new home, settled her son into his routine, but she has followed her dream of owning her fashion store- a dream we are truly thankful for, we really needed The Bombay Attic! Read on and see how she does it all.

1. A new city and a new business. How has the comeback been? what were the challenges you faced?

A.Since I schooled here,Bangalore beckoned with an easy familiarity and was a natural choice to settle in.The Comeback has been very welcoming, the city has made me find love & my identity. Well as for the challenges -from dealing with driver’s to dengue…we’ve had it all!

2. How was the adjusting process for your son in a new environment? How have you guided him through the process?

A.Frankly I was the one with all the fears, but surprisingly my son took to the new environment like a fish to water. What might have helped is that we approached the situation by being transparent and keeping Ranai very close, discussing the changes in our situation very freely with him, being sensitive to his every need & always giving him the required confidence in whatever he does. Read More »