Information is Queen!

Ever since it occurred to me that motherhood has evolved and that moms today are the new age moms, I have been asking myself what really is the thing that drove this shift. Was this always going to happen? Were there any specific enablers along the way that could have contributed heavily to this … that continue to contribute? Is there one thing that is really important in such an ‘evolution’? Can I identify that?

I believe that technology, and more specifically internet is the key enabler to this paradigm shift. But, what did internet provide that wasn’t otherwise as easily available? The answer, is Information. We Millennials have an edge because of it, and I truly believe that the amount of information available to us today is unprecedented and is a source of a lot of power.

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With information, we can achieve great things. We can CONNECT with people in the farthest corners of the world. We can SEE the farthest corners of the world. With things like Virtual Reality, we can now EXPERIENCE the farthest corners of the world like never before! We have information available to us at our fingertips and we have information available to us on command.

I have come across a lot of interesting personalities in my life and the most interesting people I have ever met have been people who were well-informed and well-read (Speaking of reading, this slowly dying form of information consumption is still one of my favorites and I am soon going to write something meaningful on this topic). As a matter of fact, there are several examples of new age moms in previous generations as well and they were similar to my definition of new age moms purely because they were well-informed and well-read.

This does lead us to a logical recommendation and I know you all have probably already deduced it – go read more, go learn more, go gather more information – Information is Supreme!

Before I sign off, I do want to make a quick note about what negative does information bring. It is true that ‘With great power comes great responsibility’. While Information is good, the kind of information we consume is important too. Much like what we feed ourselves determines what our body ends up looking like, our mind too is shaped by what we feed it. And in some ways the Information we consume is even more important than what we eat because the mind, specifically what it knows and what it has learned, governs our actions. Remember, Hitler too was well-read and well informed! So feed yourself well people, give yourself the gift of good information.

Information has made you who you are. It makes you think your thoughts. It makes you evolve. It makes you build great things – perhaps a cure to a disease that infects millions of people across the world, perhaps weapons of mass destruction. Depriving yourself of information is not a good thing. Don’t do it, you are reversing evolution. Think of North Korea, the biggest thing that is contributing to the state of the subjects of that country is the lack (or extreme censorship) of information. Think of the term radicalization – what is it – it is constant and continuous feeding of misinformation.

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So, I would like to encourage myself and others to read more, to go back to school if you are thinking about it, to take online courses if you can’t go back to school, to find someone who knows something good and learn from them. Whatever you do, learn good things. Learn also to separate the good from the bad and make this world a better place. And especially women (moms or not) across the world, get as much information as you can. Anything you want, anything you are fighting for, anything you stand for, anything you want to teach your child, anything you hoped to learn when you were a child and were not able to,  you can learn it from a book. Go do it now – Go read!

P.S. I would really love it if you would leave me a comment (even if it is a recommendation for a book to read), let me know if you have any question/topics you would me to research/discuss.

Meet the New Age Moms!

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In a recent article, I read about three mothers from India who drove from New Delhi to London, crossing 17 countries, about 13,500 miles over 97 days in the journey of their lifetime.As they put it, “they dared to give wings to their childhood dream”.

It got me thinking who would I want to join me on what I would term as the journey of a lifetime? Who would I want to share a smelly car with me for several days while we drove from state to state or country to country? I so wanted to do this (actually still do) that I started reading the article again.

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I looked up from my computer for a second and stared across the room at my mother, who was visiting me from India, and was sitting on the lazy boy reading a book. Actually, I wasn’t even really looking at her. I was looking towards her and honestly was just staring at infinity … but somehow she came into focus. I thought to myself, would she have asked the same question to herself as I did upon reading this article? So, I asked her. Her response was very matter of factly, “How do you think I would ask myself  that question if I would not have come across such an article?” She did not mean that that the absence of internet was the reason. She was very clear in her mind that such a thing would not have happened some 25 odd years ago in India.

Anyways, apart from a new found appreciation of the internet in general and google maps in particular, I made a quick mental list of the friends I wanted to literally go and pickup in my car right then, to embark on a long and winding road-trip across the continent. I know they are all mothers, they are all my close friends, and they are all adventurous but I expected at least one of them to say no, can’t do. But, to my surprise, they loved the idea. They were bought in and we started working on the detailed plan. So as of now, it seems that we should be headed on a cross country trip sometime soon. More on that later!

At this point though, I want to highlight a few things about my four girls. They are the new generation moms who love what they do and do what they love. They hold themselves to highest standards and expect their kids to do the same. No wonder new age moms are one of the largest and most attractive demographic that every marketer wants to sell to them. They are every company’s target segment because they can be your loyalists (stand by you) and your advocates (stand for you). Gone are the days when motherhood revolved around watching soap operas, taking care of children and keeping the house sparkling clean. These NAMs are ambitious, assertive, confident, adventurous, fiercely independent and very family oriented.

They are “The New Age Moms”.

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Samreen is an entrepreneur, she started her business the very year she became a mom. Smart, successful, tech-savvy, hard working and of course an awesome mom.

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Deval: Tell me something about yourself?

Sam: I am a working mother of a beautiful 18m old boy. My academic background is in Business Management but after my son came along, I started exploring different paths for my career. Makeup has always been a passion of mine, so when my son was 6m old I decided to take it up professionally. I went to Toronto School of Makeup and Art and later founded Samreen’s Vanity (Freelance makeup and hair services). Currently I am working for Macy’s as a Sales Manager for the ready to wear fashion line, and working hard on expanding Samreen’s Vanity.

Deval: How different are you from your mom?

Sam: I am very alike to my mother yet poles apart. I have her values and practices, which help me, be a better mother and wife, however, I have not forgotten about my personal being. My mother devoted her entire life to us ( her children) and husband. She didn’t have any personal goals or desires other than what included her family. I give my 100% to my family, yet, I work hard for my career, taking care of my self, keeping up with my social commitments, and making time for my husband and I.

Deval: Do you think motherhood has evolved?

Sam: Motherhood has evolved over time. From a time when women were not allowed to go places without a “husband” figure leading them, when women didn’t work and their sole existence was based on finding a husband and having babies, women have come a long way, today. A modern day woman is an all rounder. She is a full time mother, a full time wife, and a full time career woman. She is best at juggling her time and fulfilling all responsibilities. Why should woman only have to pick and choose between personal life and career? Women are equal to men and should not have to pick between.

Deval: What is your mom mantra?

Sam: My life revolves around my work and family. So, when I am working the only secondary thing on my mind is my son. I am constantly working on bettering myself at making time for my family. I believe personal success and contentment makes me a better mother. Its not the quantity of time spent, it’s the quality of time spent. I think working mothers make the most of their time with family/kids.

To follow Samreen like Samreensvanity on facebook or snapchat with her @Samreensvanity

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Polina is a student mom like me and juggles her time between school and home. There is never a dull moment with her. She is a hard-working, compassionate, fitness enthusiast, high-energy, goofball of a mother.

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Deval: Tell me something about yourself?

Polina: I’m a 27 y.o. Physician Assistant Student, who immigrated 10 years ago from Russia. I didn’t plan to become a mother that soon, but it happened, and it was for the best. I love Latin dancing, working out, beauty stuff, as well as learning new languages and cultures. My daughter Sonya is almost 2, she goes to daycare twice a week, and I rotate my mother and my mother in law to help me get through.

Deval: How different are you from your mom?

Polina: My mom had to move to another city to built her opera singer career when I was 10 months old. So I was brought up by my grandmother up until 13 y.o. Even though I have an option of sending Sonya to either of her grandmothers, I prefer not to do it (unless I absolutely have to). Growing up without mom was tough, and even if my daughter can see me 5 min a day, it’s better than once per 6 months.

Deval: Do you think motherhood has evolved?

Polina: Of course, motherhood has evolved in this country! It feels like a woman cannot be “just a mother” anymore, even though being a mother is a hard 24/7 job. Too much social pressure: built career, have a perfect body, be interesting, etc. Of course, I want to do all those things too, but if I didn’t want to… what would happen? How would society and even my own family treat me? Also, to do all those “extra-motherhood” activities, you need recourses (financial, family, health). I feel blessed for having them and utilize them fully.

Deval: What is your mom mantra?

Polina: Just gotta get through today. (I actually don’t have one.. LOL)

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Soniya is a supermom. She runs a business while handling two high-energy boys in their toddler years. She runs Sonya Couture, a marketplace where each piece is hand-picked to make you look as beautiful as you are. She is very passionate about her work and a very involved mother.

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Deval: How different are you from your mom?

Soniya: My mom is a microbiologist who gave up her career in microbiology to take up a career in teaching because she loves children and she wanted to work only when we (4 sisters) were at school. Despite the fact that my dad had a successful career my mom wanted to work because she wanted to be somebody on her own.

Deval: Do you think motherhood has evolved?

Soniya: Yes, indeed, but I am very similar to my mom since I was brought up thinking that anything is possible and everything is achievable with some hard-work and luck of course. I have had a successful career in global brand management and I wanted to do something on my own despite the fact that I have 2 young children like my mom.

Deval: What is your mom mantra?

Soniya: Love your children to the fullest and spend time with them. Nurture them such that they become confident and compassionate individuals. I do not compromise on the time I spend with them which is why I say I am a mom by the day and a business woman by the night which is the time I work.

To follow Soniya, like Sonya Couture  or visit www.sonyacouture.com

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I idealize Garima as a mom. She is a home maker who chose to quit her job to take care of her children. She is intelligent, compassionate, energetic and a highly involved mother.

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Deval : Tell me something about yourself ?

Garima: I am a stay at home mother to two beautiful children. My son is nine and my daughter is five. In my pre-kid life it was hard to imagine my self as a stay at home mom. I quit my job of five years as an English language instructor in Japan when my son was born. It was a perfect time for me to take a break from my outside work life. Believe me, It’s been more work to stay home all these years for my family.  But so far thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s satisfying to me that I could and everyone is happy including me. As my daughter will join school full time next year from SAHM I want to able to spare time to work part time. Life is all about learning new things and look out for opportunities that can make you happy.  In my free time I enjoy listening to Music, I love to dress up my home for seasons and enjoy Zumba lessons few times in a week for that much needed work out. Life is good ! 

Deval: How different are you from your mother?

Garima: I am more hands-on kind of a mother than how my mother was with me. I have my own challenges of raising my two kids in United States and yet be able to teach them language, culture of their parents being from India. Having said that does not mean that I am not following an established pattern from my mother. In certain situations, like when we go home for holiday, familiar phrases from childhood I think and react like my mother but I also hope that I continue to able to re-work on some things that I feel my mother could have done differently. My mother is also part of my motherhood and that’s OK too ! 

Deval: Do you think Mother hood has evolved ? 

Garima: It’s easy to take the job description of mother hood for granted.  Take care of your kids whatever way you want. I think, The specific’s are always going to be trickier. 

The meaning and duties of being a mom have undergone great upheaval. Yes, It has evolved. Should a mom stay home to take care of the children or work outside ? The answer to this question in every era has been different. But In today’s generation more moms work outside the home. I think it’s easier as now days as mother’s have many opportunities, facilities, support and no set rule or formula to the right way for motherhood. 

There is no doubt that more moms are bringing home pay checks today than in the past. They are successful in their own ways.       

Fathers are equally involved in every aspect of household and so the mother’s can spend quality time with their kids. Most people like mother’s more now. The politicians can’t get through a speech without praising the role of a mother in today’s society. That was not the case in the past. 

Deval : What is your mom mantra?

Garima: Being a mother of two kids make me more knowledgeable in the area of kids perhaps is not true. Motherhood does not come with an attached manual. I am OK with the fact that I do not know it all. I am doing what feels right to me in other words ” I trust myself ” and as challenges and surprises come to me I try to give my best. I would like to believe nobody has everything planned out and  no mother knows it all or have it all. There are no breaks in motherhood so we have to roll with the punches and give our honest best. 

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Who runs the world? … Moms!

I will nourish you, nurture you, teach you everything I know. Guide and support you when you want to learn things that are new to both you and me. I will comfort you when you fail.I will let you fall, but I will always be there to help you get back up. I will do everything I can in my power to make you a strong, compassionate, beautiful, and loving human being. I will always love you … unconditionally!

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These words only capture a small part of the flood of emotions that every mother feels when she holds her child for the very first time and for the rest of her life. These emotions haven’t changed, and they never will, but Motherhood has evolved. The way we think, act, and in fact the way we “are” has changed. We, as women, have evolved. We are tech-savvy, career-oriented, selfie-loving fashionistas, and “we want it all” and we go for it. We work out and we work hard. We love our children but we love ourselves too so we now strive to keep a balance. We are “The New Age Moms”.

Is it possible for women to have it all? Can we balance the demands of a career and still be “successful” mothers? Can we be stay-at-home moms and not be judged? Likewise, can we not have all our attention on our domestic lives and still not be made to feel guilty? Like me, there are several other mothers who struggle with these questions every single day, but somewhere they find the will, the energy, the time to do the balancing acts that they do everyday and continue on the quest to “have it all”.

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Join me on my journey as I myself learn this very balancing act, and as I try to uncover the different layers that make millennial moms.