Meet Swapna | Mompreneur Of the Month

I have started a new series called M.O.M, Mompreneur Of the Month. I know a bunch of people/bloggers/entrepreneurs/moms who are doing great jobs and I completely admire their effort of balancing work and family life. I love these ladies so much that I have decided to introduce them to you. So every month, I will be asking one of my mompreneur friends to write a special post for The Mommy Blog. That way you can take a look into their life, and may be find a new friend of your own.

And today, I’m so so happy to introduce you to Swapna Thomas of The Mom Views. I first came across her beautiful blog a couple of months ago through a random search. And instantly fell in love with it. Not just a mommy blogger, she is a Certified Business Coach as well, and is happy to help other mompreneurs. And you know how much I love mothers who are entrepreneurs, don’t you??  So that’s when I decided I was going to get her featured here on my blog, The Mommy Blog, whenever I start an appropriate series. And here she is, to share with us, her story.

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Meet my mompreneur friend Swapna

 Tell us a little about yourself.

Hi! My name is Swapna. I am a Work-At -Home Mom to an angel called Samaira who is surprisingly devilish in her ways, keeps our household on toes and inadvertently teaches me the true meaning of life every single day. I am a true introvert who likes nothing more than staying at home and snuggle with a good book (nowadays on kindle). I belong to god’s own country Kerala but I was born and brought up in Delhi and now stay in the bustling metropolis of Gurgaon. I am a Science graduate, an MBA in Marketing and I have worked for 6 years in a research position in the corporate world. 
 What is your blog, The Mom Views, all about?
 The Mom Views is for every woman who is striving to be the best mother she can be for her little ones and rediscovering her own identity in the process.

The blog chronicles parenting tips, product reviews, fun activities for kids, birthday party, decor ideas and interesting tidbits for parents. From a fledgling blog it has now become a work-from-home career for me. I have been given opportunities to work with some great brands and picked up a few awards on the way ( including India’s best Parenting blog award by Indiblogger). Even better has been the experience of connecting with thousands of mothers to form a like minded community.

What/who convinced you to become a mompreneur?
I became mom to Sam in 2009 and quit my job to savor motherhood. When Sam turned two, I was getting itchy to create a new identity. Since writing has always been a passion and I loved the US mom blogs I had been reading for a while, I decided to start my own blog. Slowly but steadily the blog gained thousands of readers and I started being approached for working with brands.
 
As a mom blogger I worked with a lot of mom entrepreneurs and other mom bloggers as well. Sometimes they would ask my advice about the issues they were facing and I really enjoyed helping them out. Last year I started training as a business coach and today I am a Certified Business Coach who helps Mom Entrepreneurs and Bloggers achieve their dreams through my other website MomBizCafe
What is the biggest challenge you face being a mom and an entrepreneur?
 
One would be the attitude that brands usually have towards bloggers. We are almost always expected to work for free and everytime I turn down an unpaid assignment they behave as if I have committed a sin. 🙂 
 
Another is the constant demand of being online. As an introvert and a very private person, I don’t like to be online all the time but being in digital media you have to constantly be on the go. 
You work, run a blog, have a life, have kids…that’s a lot. How do you manage everything without losing your mind?
 
Who says I don’t! :p There are days when I do absolutely nothing and then there are days when I work like a mad woman. My trick is to never feel guilty about anything. When I am working I don’t feel guilty about not being with my family or daughter and when I am with my family, I never feel guilty about shirking work. So I enjoy the best of both worlds. I don’t want to be a supermom, I just want to be a good enough mom. 
 
 If/when you do lose your mind, what do you do to relieve the stress?
 
I dance with my daughter. Honestly we put on the cheesiest bollywood numbers and we dance! If any of my favorite romcoms are on television then I watch that to get de-stressed. 
Tell us a little about your better­-half and kids.
I married my high school sweetheart and we have been together for 16 years now ( 9 years of dating and 7 years of married bliss). Ours is an interstate and inter-religious marriage as I am a Keralite catholic and he is a hindu punjabi. He is a doctor by profession. My daughter Samaira is now 5 and a half years old and is the light of my life.
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 Your favourite on-­the-­go recipe for kids?
I am not a very kitchen friendly person but I make the yummiest oreo milkshake ever (atleast according to my daughter)
 
Something you want your readers to know about you?
Because I feel that mom bloggers come across as a judgemental lot, I want the readers to know that I have used television as a babysitter sometimes and I am not ashamed of it. 
 
 Your current favourite beauty product?
I don’t use makeup but I wear Kajal all the time so it has to be my Inglot eye pencil.
The most common colour in your closet?
Even though I love the color purple the most common color in my closet has to be various shades of green.
 
 Finish the sentence: Happiness to me is….not a destination. It’s a way of life. 
Thank you so much Swapna. Okay lovelies you may now go and check her out on The Mom Views and don’t forget to see how she helps others bloggers achieve their dreams through Mom Biz Cafe.
Cheers X
The Mommy Blog
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Guest Post: My New and Improved Post-Partum Body

This is the third in the series of the guest posts on my blog. And I’m happy to introduce you to Hilarie of the Positively Panicked. She’s here to share with us the struggles she faced and the efforts she put in to get back that ‘perfect’ body, she always deserved, even after having a baby.

Over to you Hil.

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I have always been a fairly healthy and active person. I danced until college, became a certified fitness instructor and taught dance, gymnastics, yoga and movement to kids for six years. Physical fitness is a part of who I am. When I became pregnant I knew, without question, that I would exercise throughout my pregnancy. I’ve done my research. I know how to safely workout while pregnant and I know all the benefits it provides both Mom and baby. The real struggle came once my baby was born.

Because I tried my best to eat (mostly) healthy and workout during my pregnancy I only put on about 32 pounds. Then, thanks to being unexpectedly very sick right after delivery, I lost that 32 pounds in a week during a 10-day hospital stint. That was NOT how I wished to lose the weight. After being so sick I was encouraged to eat basically whatever I wanted. I needed calories to keep up my milk supply and to get my energy back.

Between the pregnancy, delivery, sickness and diet changes and breastfeeding, my body was looking completely different. I am fortunate to have good genes when it comes to weight, so I appeared thin, but I felt soft. I was frumpy in places that used to be firm, my skin was lose where it used to be tight, there were new stretch marks and I just felt off. I felt beautiful, strong and healthy during my entire pregnancy, but the aftermath was completely different. I felt like I was in a stranger’s body.

Once my body healed, my health improved and I got released from my doctor I immediately revamped my daily routines. My Husband and I began Focus T25 by Shuan T and I have incorporated more physical activities into my daily life. We take walks with the stroller, stretch during my daughter’s tummy time and make an effort not to sit in front of the computer or TV too long. One week into my new workout regimen and I was already feeling better and stronger.

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My diet also needed tweaking. I do not like to be on a diet, I just try to eat healthy in general. I decided to cut way back on processed foods and to ditch chips altogether (my biggest weakness). It is SO hard to not have any processed food, but it has gotten easier every week. I try to keep nuts, dried fruit, hummus, granola, chopped veggies and fresh fruit on hand. If I do not have these items ready I know I will just grab anything quick and ready-to-eat, which is typically junk. Preparing my snacks ahead of time has really helped. I don’t deprive myself when I am craving chocolate, but I don’t over-indulge either. I can often snack on a dark chocolate bar for five days.

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I am almost four months post-partum now and feeling awesome! For the first time since having my baby I feel as beautiful and strong as I did prior to having her and even during my pregnancy. Sure, my body still has a few stretch marks and my skin is not back to normal yet, but I’m proud of my new body. I made a human for goodness sakes! My new body just reminds me of the incredible experience and the strength it took to not only have her, but to get back into fighting shape.

What is most important is that I am healthy, confident and comfortable. I feel great, my skin looks better and I even feel less anxious. I want to remain healthy and happy for not only myself, but for my daughter and hope that she learns some healthy habits from me too. I would encourage all new Mom’s and pregnant women to find a healthy routine that works for them and stick to it; you won’t regret it!

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Hilarie is a new mom to a four months old beautiful girl Luna Hazel. Come over to her lovely blog Positively Panicked to know more about her.

Guest Post : DIY Lava Lamp

This is the second in the series of the posts, by the guests hosted here on my blog. And here, I introduce you to Sara, our guest, who is here to share an easy DIY that you can make in just a few minutes and entertain your li’l one.

Hello people….. Peace be on u all! 
Thank you Haajra for giving me the opportunity to write for your blog,keep up your passion for writing.I like your writing style.

My LO has always been fascinated by moving or swaying objects and my husband gave me the idea of making this lava lamp at home. The baby just loves these and find watching them quite relaxing.

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Things you will need:

  • a transparent glass or plastic container with lid
  • 3/4th container Cooking oil
  • 1/4th container Water
  • 1 tsp Food colour/colours of your choice.
  • Alka seltzer or fizzy tablets…(I used eno powder). The purpose is to create effervescence.

 

What you need to do:

  1. Fill the container with 1 part water.
  2. Mix the food colouring.
  3. Add 3 parts oil.
  4. Now add Eno powder

You will see oil droplets( now coloured ) effervescing.

       VOILA!!!!!! Your very own lava lamp is ready.

Quick Tip:

If the effervescence dies down u can add Eno powder again.

How it works??

Oil and water do not mix with each other. Even if you try to really shake the bottle up, the oil breaks up into small drops but will not mix with the water or the (water-based) food colouring. This will keep the oil distinct from the coloured water, giving the lamp a nice effect. In addition, the Alka-Seltzer or Eno reacts with the water to make tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide gas. These bubbles attach themselves to the blobs of coloured water and cause them to float to the surface. When the bubbles pop, the color blobs sink back to the bottom of the bottle.

Sara M is one of my very good friends, high-school senior, a doctor by profession, a doting momma of a five months old munchkin and a very simple person at heart. If she’s not busy changing her little one’s nappies then you will probably find her juggling between her medical books and internet.

Guest Post: “Tomorrow a Daddy’s Girl”

This is the first in the series of the posts by the guests, hosted here on my blog, Hfareen’s Space. And today I’m glad to be welcoming Lina, our very first guest, of The Adventures Of Mom-Mom to share her feelings on mothering a daughter and having fears of the “Daddy’s Girl” persona.

  Goo

Walking is no easy feat, and moments after she begins to toddle, she attempts to run and slips on a stray book she’d left there. She cries harder when he is the one who finds her. Still, he attempts to comfort her. He does everything right, but she continues to cry, writhing in his arms to get away.

Goo reaches for me as if this man who’s holding her is a stranger, as if he’s done it all wrong and she needs me to make it better. My husband gives me the look, the one that lets me know he’s broken on the inside. He wants to know why she doesn’t love him. But she does. She just loves him in a different way.

Still, he chuckles as he hands her to me and her cries are silenced immediately. She wipes her nose on my shoulder, grabs my hand. Chris says to me:

“You know you love it.”

I look at him and give him the answer he might want to hear:

“It’s so exhausting, being the only one she’ll take.”

It’s not a lie. It can be frustrating when all I really want to do is take a shower, or eat something, or pee, and Goo’s cries ring throughout the house because Daddy’s not good enough. I feel bad for Chris. I want her to accept him. I want her to be able to relax, fall asleep with him, accept yogurt from his spoon. But at the same time…I am okay with being her superhero.

Because he’s right. I am so loving this.

Today Goo sees me as the one who comforts her, the one with the Goldfish crackers, the one who is warmest and smells just right. I love being able to engulf her in my arms, feel her head plop onto my shoulder as her tiny fingers stroke my wedding ring. Today I am her favorite. It sounds selfish, but I know it’s not, because one day she will not see me in this way. One day she is going to understand who Daddy is.

And then I will become a shadow.

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Chris is a great dad. Not only does he give Goo the on-the-floor play time complete with kisses and “monster.” He also reads to her in high-pitched voices, straps on a dangerously feminine Boba carrier and wears her out in public, demands to push the stroller, and ignores when something has smeared glitter all over his Batman shirt (this is a giant feat, considering he is well-known in our family to be a sparkle-phobe).

So I know that it’s only going to be a matter of time before Goo discovers this world of Daddy, and my world becomes old news.

It’s a widely known fact that most girls become besties with their Daddy. This isn’t a new study, or something I read in Parenting magazine last week. The pictures of little feeties on polished black shoes as father-daughter practice for the many-years-from-then father-daughter dance at her wedding go way back, decades, a century.

One day Goo is going to wake up in her toddler bed, climb out, and crawl next to Daddy. Her little elbows are going to jab me in the side as she slowly edges me off the mattress, stealing the covers. When they wake, he will make her laugh. She will demand to be carried, hugged, snuggled, but only by him. He is her protector. He is her superhero. Daddy is strong. Daddy will make the monsters go away.

It will be both beautiful and lonely, bittersweet to say the least.

Then, my daughter will grow even older. She will show Daddy how tall she is compared to him, have him help her do math homework, build science projects with paper-mâché. He’ll make her chocolate milk–because he makes it better than Mom-Mom–and then they’ll snuggle in front of a movie, hogging the couch, projecting me to the cold floor in front of them.

And when my daughter is a teen, she will argue with the both of us, but Daddy is the one who will give in. He will give her the keys, she will kiss him on the cheek.

“Thanks Daddy. You’re the best.”

And I know I will have a role with my daughter. I will be able to watch her as she shops–because I will know nothing of her type of fashion–I will be able to help her with English, show her the best books to read, talk to her about boys. But who will she want to hold her, to pick up the pieces when a bully pokes fun at her new shoes, when she gets an F on her spelling test, when a boy dumps her for the first time?

Daddy.

When Goo was a wee babe, I was downright terrified that my snuggling moments were limited. Today, those worries melt a little when I watch the two loves of my life read stories and play on the floor together. There’s nothing sweeter than a daddy enjoying a tea party with his little girl.

Still, I can’t get enough of her mom-mom snuggles and especially-for-me kisses. She needs me today. She may not need me tomorrow.

But I will need her forever.

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Lina is a stay-at-home momma to her greatest muse and a wife to her biggest fan. She enjoys cooking, taking pictures, and pretending she can sew. Come visit her at The Adventures of Mom-Mom!