We’ve heard of motherhood being described in several flowery terms, but never as a wilderness! But when you think about it, it is the most apt description for a new mother, for no amount of reading parenting books or searching the internet can prepare one for the incredible (and exhaustive) challenge that is motherhood. And as Ms. Cusk said, it is up to each mother to find her own way and script her own motherhood story. And today, I’m going to tell you my Mom Story – the story of how I found myself as a mother and as an independent woman.
“As it stands, motherhood is a sort of wilderness through which each woman hacks her way, part martyr, part pioneer” – Rachel Cusk
I was enjoying my stint as Occupational Health Physician at a corporate company when I got pregnant. Since my job was a full time one with demanding schedules, I decided to quit so that I could focus all my energy on raising my little girl. I was living in Raipur at the time, away from my family and my in-laws. Being a new Mom with innumerable doubts, I found myself turning to the internet for support. That was when I came across a Mommy group on Facebook. There, I found that the biggest concern among Moms was regarding the age-old question, ‘What do I feed my baby?’
Weaning babies was a universal challenge and since I was also going through this phase, I decided to do something that would help new Moms like me as well as act as a repository for my own recipes – I started a blog!
My Little Moppet was born in 2014, and I began to post about baby recipes, baby health and other parenting topics. Although, I must admit that it’s the weaning recipes that garner the most attention among my readers! With traditional wisdom from my Mom and Mom-in-law combined with my medical background, I was able to sift through all the information and pick out the facts. On the blog, we discussed recipes for every stage of weaning, ways to get picky toddlers to eat, common health issues in young children, breastfeeding, adoption, activities for babies and toddlers as well as other assorted parenting topics like travel tips and birthday party ideas.
Getting to know my readers has been an important part of my Mommy blogger journey. Today’s Moms are educated, well-read and ready to challenge traditional notions of parenting. They want the best of both worlds – time-tested tricks from the past as well as tips that help them match the pace of modern life. The blog’s Facebook page became a hub of activity, as Moms from all over the country connected with me to clear their doubts and ask for advice. I’ve had Moms on both ends of the spectrum – on the verge of tears to brimming with relief!
But all this communication brought up another fact – that no matter how much Moms did for their kids, many of them were still struggling under a load of Mommy guilt. When their baby failed to latch or refused to eat or cried incessantly, the guilt raised its ugly head and our super-cool Moms were left doubting themselves and their parenting skills. That’s when I started broadening the scope of the blog to include Moms as well. Moms needed to know that they were gorgeous, capable people and perfectly equipped to handle the mighty challenge of motherhood. We started talking about relationships, Mom wellness and sanity saving tips for Moms.
But there was still one common problem – no time! Every Mom wanted to provide the very best nutrition to her little one, and everyone wanted to avoid commercially processed baby food as far as possible. There was a renewed focus on eating healthy, homemade food, but many Moms were finding it difficult to source individual ingredients and then manage to dry roast and grind each one individually. That’s when I realized that I could help – I could do the roasting and grinding for them!
And that’s exactly how Little Moppet Foods was started in November of 2015. I got together a team to help me and together we began sourcing natural ingredients and preparing the baby food powders at our own little unit. Since my customers were going to be tiny people with immature digestive systems, I had to exercise the utmost caution and hygiene while preparing the mixes. So, all our workers were required to wear hygienic clothing including caps and gloves all the time. We prepared small amounts at a time to preserve freshness and packed each mix in individual packages. We started out with baby cereal, instant porridge, and health mixes, included toddler health drinks and soon progressed to health products for Moms. I was now an entrepreneur!
Moms who used our products were relieved to know that we used only natural ingredients and used absolutely no salt, sugar or preservatives in our products. That’s when I decided to take it a step further and go organic. I had always wondered if organic foods were worth the hype, so I set out and researched a lot about it. I realized that buying organic was indeed worth every penny and I have since switched to organic food for my family too! We partnered with Organic Mandya in February 2016 and launched our 100% Organic range – to the delight of our Moms!
Today, My Little Moppet is a widely read blog, with 15,000 views everyday and a place among the Top 100 Parenting Blogs. More than 10,000 babies have benefitted from our store products, which means that there are a lot of happy Moms out there too! I am blessed to have received a lot of support all through this journey, both from my family and my dear followers and customers. That’s not to say that I don’t hear negative stuff too – there are people who ridicule me for giving up a medical career, claiming that I have ‘wasted’ away my education. But then I remember this quote by Donovan Bailey, “Follow your passion, be prepared to work hard and sacrifice, and above all, don’t let anyone limit your dreams.”
This article has been written by Dr. Hemapriya who is a medical doctor by profession, but no longer into active medical practice because of her two little kids. She helps and guides new parents through their journey of raising healthy babies through her blog MyLittleMoppet.