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A Heart-to-heart with a ‘Real Mom’ – Mamma Bear Nikita


August 10, 2017 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Raising a Parent


A Heart-to-heart with Mamma Bear Nikita - Baby & Beyond

If you are a “momstagrammer”, you would definitely have heard of the “We Are Real Moms” photo challenge that takes Instagram by storm from the 1st to 15th of every month. I am here to introduce you to the face behind this initiative, Nikita.

Not that Nikita (better known as Mamma Bear or Laddoo ki Maa) needs any introduction. This bubbly, cheerful mamma is everyone’s favourite InstaMom. Though I have never met her in person myself, my few interactions with her have been full of warmth, friendliness and fun, something that her blogs and posts exude too.

When I saw the Write Tribe prompt for Day 6 – “Feature a guest interview”, I knew instantly that I had to feature Nikita. The timing could not be better, considering this challenge also coincided with World Breastfeeding Week and We are Real Moms’ “Nourish, Nurture, Flourish” challenge. And being the complete sweetheart that she is, Nikita immediately agreed to do this, despite the short notice that I gave her.

 

So without further ado, lets get straight into a candid interview with Being Mamma Bear.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m Nikita from Mumbai, and I am a memory-keeping addict. (Hi, Nikita! :P) I have an almost-eleven month old daughter – Baby S a.k.a. Little Laddoo – and I’m married to the boy I fell in love with when I was nine years old. ❤ (B&B: Wow really!! You must tell me this story some day!)

I was studying to be a Chartered Accountant when the Universe made me see that I had other talents (I believe in that kind of stuff), that I was too creative to be stuck crunching numbers, that I should be a writer, a crafter, a designer, or a photographer. So I decided to become all of those things, though the designer and photographer thing still needs work, A LOT. My dream is to have a few bestselling novels, a giant craft room cum art studio, and now, even a small bakery.

But right now, I am a mother first and ‘Mamma Bear’ is my internet alterego.

 

 A Heart-to-heart with Mamma Bear Nikita - Baby & Beyond

 

Tell us about Being Mamma Bear. How did you first get into blogging?

Writing has been a very important part of my life for as long as I can remember. I have always been better at expressing what I feel by writing it down than by saying it out loud. Blogging just seems to be a natural extension of that. I first started blogging in 2009, but that was just rants from a 20-something year old with a few stories and poetry here and there. Today, if I go back and read what I wrote, I am sure that even I would be embarrassed.

I started blogging as @beingmammabear in March 2016, when I was nearing the end of my first trimester. We didn’t want to share the news about the pregnancy with everyone on our friend list but at the same time, I wanted to keep an online diary to remember this (not so) glorious period. That, and I needed a project because I was feeling so horrible during those days that I just wanted something to do that’d take my mind off being pregnant. So, ironically, one night I decided to create a brand new account to post about my pregnancy (my sister came up with the name) and even though it was anonymous right until the day the baby was born, I managed to document most of my pregnancy.

Now, almost a year and a half since I started, I have wonderful pictures and notes to go back to, I have met some wonderful moms, I have shared my experiences with moms whose kids are younger than mine is, and learned a lot from more experienced mothers.

 

Tell us more about We Are Real Moms (WARM). What inspired you to start this initiative?

I have always believed in being myself. Even though blogging meant taking pretty pictures and even staging a few, I was never embarrassed about how messy my hair was or how tired and sleep-deprived I looked without make-up on (I really was, and still am tired and sleep-deprived.) I was barely sleeping so there was hardly any time for me to dress myself up for one Instagram story! So the choices I had were to either give up some more sleep to look presentable or to avoid posting any snippets of me looking like a housemaid. I chose to not hide who I was.

We are Real Moms - Baby & Beyond

 

So many moms sent me messages telling me how relatable I was and how everything about what I shared was so ‘real.’ And then I realised that all the moms I met on Instagram were as real as I was. Well, at least most are. 😛

After the fantastic response to the Holi Photo Challenge I did with three other amazing moms, I wanted to continue something like that but more meaningful. So I thought why not create a platform for moms to be real and honest about their adventures and struggles as moms, and at the same time introduce them to this wonderful community I have the fortune of being a part of. That’s how We Are Real Moms was born.

 

“I have always believed in being myself. Even though blogging meant taking pretty pictures and even staging a few, I was never embarrassed about how messy my hair was or how tired and sleep-deprived I looked without make-up on”

What has been some of the feedback you have received from participants of WARM?

The best feedback that I received was that the prompts inspired moms to do things that they had been putting off for so long – like the “Trying something New” prompt for June, or how “Mama, you’re awesome” for July (where we had to compliment someone for being awesome – someone who would not expect it from us) made so many moms feel special! The next best thing is when people say they’ve started sorting through their pictures after the list of prompts has been shared. The energy, the enthusiasm, and the honesty is amazing.

 

“The best feedback that I received was that the prompts inspired moms to do things that they had been putting off for so long”

A Heart-to-heart with Mamma Bear Nikita

 

Coming back to you…what is a typical day for you like? How do you manage your time between baby, home, Insta/blogging and WARM? (I am always inspired when I see your posts about lettering and baking. Where do you find the time?!)

I’m sure you know that as a mom to such a young baby means there’s no fixed schedule no matter how hard you try. Each day is unpredictable. I don’t feel like I am managing my time as much as I am squeezing the life out of myself to accommodate things that I like doing, and I wouldn’t advise anyone else to do that.

I only do lettering when the baby is asleep or there’s someone around to watch her while I take a few minutes off. Same goes for baking. As for my home, there are piles of washed clothes that need to be folded, we haven’t dined at the dining table since July 2 because all my baking supplies are spread out on it since the day I first made red velvet cupcakes. I have baked on three more occasions since then but the stuff is still there. But that’s okay. As long as the most important things are getting done, I have learned that we need to let a few things slip and accept that a perfect house is something you can have only if you are the Queen.

 

A Heart-to-heart with Mamma Bear Nikita - Baby & Beyond

 

But my weekdays are usually something like this: Wake up, change Laddoo’s diaper, have coffee and/or breakfast, give Laddoo a bath and put her down for a nap, try to get some work done when she sleeps, call the maid as soon as she’s up, run around the house picking up toys, etc. from the floor, put them all back when the maid is done, make / heat lunch, have lunch, try to put her down for another nap and get some work done, play with Laddoo when she’s up, have a snack (optional), make / heat dinner, Laddoo has dinner (sometimes I eat with her sometimes I wait for my husband to come back home), give Laddoo a sponge bath, try to get her to sleep for the night, work some more till I can’t keep my eyes open any longer.

(Insert nursing sessions and diaper changes as and when required.)

 

“As long as the most important things are getting done, I have learned that we need to let a few things slip and accept that a perfect house is something you can have only if you are the Queen”

 

What was life like before baby Laddoo?

My God! It seems like so long ago and I don’t even remember exactly what it used to be like. But I have always been a night owl, and I work better late into the night. Before Laddoo, I was working on a novel, I was designing for a couple of craft stores, working on custom orders for greeting cards and scrapbooks, and watching too many TV shows! I went out to meet friends on a regular basis, my husband and I ate out at least once a week, we watched so many movies! I was busy, but never exhausted or sleep-deprived unless there was a deadline. Honestly, that seems like a different lifetime.

 

A Heart-to-heart with Mamma Bear Nikita - Baby & Beyond

 

The theme for this year’s World Breastfeeding Week was Sustaining Breastfeeding Together. Tell us about your support system that has helped you through your motherhood journey.

As far as breastfeeding is concerned, we have been lucky to have a smooth sailing *touch wood.* We didn’t have supply issues, or latch issues, or anything. So at least this time, I haven’t needed any support in that regard. But what helped me not fall into the trap of feeling guilty and having doubts when my baby nursed often was the fact that I read a lot about breastfeeding and how to establish a good relationship and signs to look for before getting concerned that something was off. So I was confident that I wasn’t doing anything wrong and I just took cues from my baby and nursed on demand (something that I still do.)

 

What has been the best part about your motherhood journey so far? Do you have any regrets?

The best part is the smiles, giggles, cuddles and now, even the little kisses. Every new thing that she does seems like a personal milestone even though I know that all babies do these things and she’s not the only one on earth. But still, watching her figure out how to use her fingers, watching her dance to music, her expression and curiosity when she spots some new object – they are all so humbling and remind me that the real pleasures of life are in the simplest of things.

As for regrets, I regret not using my pre-baby time efficiently. Considering how productive I now am if I just have 30 minutes to get things done, I shudder when I think all that I could have accomplished when I had all the time in the world.

 

“Watching her figure out how to use her fingers, watching her dance to music, her expression and curiosity when she spots some new object – they are all so humbling and remind me that the real pleasures of life are in the simplest of things.”

Ok now lets have some fun…just put down the first word that comes to your mind for these prompts. No explanation required and no cheating 🙂 First word that pops in your mind:

Motherhood: Emotional

Laddoo: Sweetheart

Nikita: Mom (Damn! Creative was the second word that came to mind)

BreastfeedingBeautiful

Family: Us

Husband: Best friend

Instagram: Community

Being Mamma Bear: Diary

Sleep: Rare LOL!

Me time: Rarer

Mom guilt: Real

Keeping it real: No pretention

 

write tribe #festivalofwords #writebravely

I am participating in the Write Tribe Festival of Words #6. This is my entry for the Day 6 Prompt – “Feature a guest – a guest post / an interview”.

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Comments
  1. Vinay Leo r. said on August 10, 2017 2:27 pm:

    Nice to meet your guest, and her adorable baby. 🙂 I think many moms would have been able to relate to the “Sleep: Rare” answer. I know a few moms who would say so.

  2. Kala Ravi said on August 10, 2017 3:17 pm:

    What a lovely interview this was! I enjoyed reading about Mumma Bear’s journey and her how she manages her time to do all she loves alongwith a baby. All the best Nikita, keep rocking it with Laddoo the way you are!

  3. Zainab said on August 10, 2017 4:00 pm:

    Loved reading and getting to know more about you mamabear:)
    Keeping it real is the best 🙂

  4. Sheethalsusan said on August 10, 2017 4:35 pm:

    I loved reading this. So much warmth in her words. I am going to check out her vlog and insta account. laddoo is such a cutie pie, and what a cute name. Laddoo! :*

  5. Keerthi vydyula said on August 10, 2017 4:42 pm:

    Amazing interview. REAL and heartfelt 😊

  6. Lata Sunil said on August 10, 2017 5:54 pm:

    Wow.. I had not seen this website or lady as my children are teenagers now. But, I loved the concept. Let me tell mamma bear, you are doing a great thing. Just telling a new mom that you are awesome, is a big thing. Everyone is always focussed on the baby. But, the mom also needs all the support she can get. I am totally tired of listening to Kareena Kapoor and Lisa Haydon’s baby and mommy talks. This is real. Good one.

    1. Baby & Beyond said on August 16, 2017 5:30 pm:

      So true Lata. The standards for motherhood set by mainstream media are so high, it is easy for new moms to feel inadequate. That is why it is great to have an initiative like this.

  7. SHALINI BAISIWALA said on August 10, 2017 8:04 pm:

    Thanks for sharing insights into the life of such a creative and enthusiastic mom!! I loved reading about her initiatives and how she manages the day. Bes tthing, she doesnt oush for perfection by way of how neat her house is…. Do the important things first and thats what counts!!

    1. Baby & Beyond said on August 16, 2017 5:27 pm:

      Absolutely!

  8. Anchal said on August 11, 2017 7:34 pm:

    I just happened to meet Nikita yesterday. And she is a great person to know. We are real moms is a great initiative.

    1. Baby & Beyond said on August 16, 2017 5:26 pm:

      She really is. I can’t wait to meet her and Laddoo 🙂

  9. Charu Sareen Gujjal said on August 12, 2017 12:32 pm:

    Loved reading this! Glad to know more about you, Nikita. We share our creative interest for writing.

  10. Apeksha Rao said on August 12, 2017 3:45 pm:

    Aww…Baby Laddoo is so cute 😍😍😍 hats off to Nikita, for creating such a supportive environment for other moms.

  11. Anubhuti said on August 17, 2017 5:15 pm:

    I liked the rapid fire thing from the whole lot… 😋

  12. Prisha Lalwani said on August 18, 2017 6:36 pm:

    Ladooooo is cho cute!! Thank you for taking us through her life, Mahak!! Happy to know more about Nikita 🙂

  13. Vasantha Vivek said on August 19, 2017 1:47 pm:

    Heartfelt interview. I really fell in love Nikita and her bubbliness. Thanks for introducing her and her WARM. Not aware of it earlier since I’m new to Insta. Great initiative for connecting real mom’s together. Big applause to you for bringing out this interview in an amazing way.