In the Real Moms Real Stories series, meet the founder of an award-winning blog, our real mom – Devishobha Chandramouli who has been the driving force behind KidsKintha. Recently, she hosted Special Kids International Summit 2020 with UNESCO on her platform. Let’s say what this super enterprising mommy blogger has to say about life and work/life balance.
Do we tend to glorify motherhood a lot and that tends to put additional pressure/ mental load of motherhood on a mum?
It is definitely true, though I think the menfolk also have their own pressures in terms of workplace stress. I do think that moms are blamed by default for any ‘shortcoming’ in their kids- as perceived by others. We are not raising cookie-cutter models- we are raising humans with their own distinct personalities and abilities. I have only 2 kids, and even though they grow up in the exact same environment, I know they absorb different things differently.
Anyone with more than one kid will know this for a fact, which is why I think it’s unfair to put all the pressure of external behavior correctness on the mom. Imagine the olden days when they had 10-15 kids! No wonder, the parameters for good motherhood was limited to ‘cooking and modesty’ from herself. Even today, when women have obviously stepped up and filled various roles inside and outside the home, the expectations have not changed. In previous generations, women were not expected to be responsible for their children’s admission to a good school, for dentist and doctor appointments, for parent-teacher meetings – to be their mentor, cook, driver, and everything at once. In a way, we have stepped up as women, but we have been so busy proving ourselves that we have forgotten that all this ‘proving’ will burn us out.
They say it takes a village to raise a child – tell us something about your village?
I have received help from both my in-laws and my parents for raising my kids. However, I must also say that leveraging a village also comes with its own challenges- there has to bee plenty of understanding and respect for each others’ views. Everyone involved needs to have the maturity to reconcile expectations and conditioning from different upbringing circumstances and expectations. Ultimately, the village should work for the benefit of the child, not result in unnecessary clashes.
What’s something you always wanted to do but didn’t ― and why didn’t you?
I have always wanted to travel solo- but haven’t been able to because my partner has had a very hectic work schedule.
Was there something your parents did when you were a kid that you swore you’d never do yourself?
There are many, but I would say that my parents did the best with what they had.
What is it like being a stay-at-home mom? What would you change?
I have been both a working and a stay-at-home mom and I can only describe our lives with one phrase: “Work expands to fill the time.” I miss my working days when I would look forward to coffee time with my colleagues. If I could change something, I would focus on having ‘unwinding time’ toward the end of the day- but with a hectic routine, I have it much less than I would like.
Have you ever done something really impulsive? How did it go?
I have done many impulsive things. I would say the ones I have good memories of are because of the company I had while doing them. We often say, ‘enjoying the company of others’- but what it truly means is that being in that person’s presence makes you feel good about yourself. So impulsive or not, find someone who uplifts you, and be that person for someone else.
What do you want or wish most for your children?
I want them to be fulfilled human beings. Today, I believe that you can earn a lot of money with talent and there are so many ways to make use of your skills, and I am convinced that today’s kids are far more capable than our generation. What I truly wish for them is that they find the secret to being happy with themselves.