Imagining candy-coloured ball pools and dream theme parties, these women know how to add fun and play to a child’s life. By ADITI BHIMJYANI
THE MONTH IN ART, SOCIETY, PHOTOGRAPHY, BOOKS AND MUSIC
TEJAL BAJLA, KIRAN C AMLANI, SHREYA LAMBA
Founders, The Mommy Network Friends, careerwomen and new moms Kiran Amlani and Shreya Lamba decided to create a support group and social network for other mommy friends in 2014. The Mommy Network Facebook group started as a well-curated community of mothers who were allowed to join only by invitation. Members share parenting experiences that range from weaning babies to school interviews. A few months after the group took form, the duo invited fellow momtrepreneur Tejal Bajla, founder of Brainsmith (known for making ﬂashcards that are as pretty as they are educational), to address a session on early brain development, and eventually join
Mommy blogs to Instagram parenting guides, these moms are spawning a generation of smart children with their online ventures.
By ROSHNI BAJAJ SANGHVI
Creator, co-producer, writer, host of The Tara Sharma Show Tara Sharma’s father, also an actor and writer, once told her: “If something doesn’t exist, create it.” So two sons later, when Sharma realised that India lacked a parenting show that was honest, fun and relevant, she knew what she had to do. “My show is intended to be a realistic parenting diary,” she says. With over two million views, her eponymous, multi-platform show, broadcast online and on Star World, is co-produced by her husband and media entrepreneur Roopak Saluja. Tarasharmashow.com
KARLA BOOKMAN GODREJ
Founder, The Swaddle After the birth of her ﬁrst daughter, Godrej realised there weren’t any parenting resources that spoke to her, so she created one. The Swaddle publishes original content with a commitment to high-quality, deeply vetted research on children’s health and development, as well as topics like gender equality, neuroscience and behavioural psychology. “We joke that The Swaddle is the parenting site for people who don’t read parenting sites,” she says. Up next: videos that answer all of those pesky questions parents have, in their website’s tongue-in-cheek tone. Theswaddle.com
ATIYA DARBAR, AFRA KOCHRA
Founders, Kiddiegram Atiya Darbar and Afra Kochra are sisters who got married young, had children early, exchanged notes about parenting in India, and realised there were no local guides on social media. This led them to start Kiddiegram, “an Instagram parenting guide”. In late 2014 Darbar put up her ﬁrst post about the trials and joys of travelling with her kid. Since then, they’ve gained over 30,000 engaged followers, looking to nd ideas for meals, activities and shopping for their little ones, all laced with mommy-brain humour. Kiddiegram.in
Humans get trained and educated in many ar- eas of sports, driving, learning languages—but there’s no scholarship in parenting, a role that demands dozens of endlessly adaptable skills and instant expertise in keeping a brand new human being alive, bright and happy. Motherhood throws so many curveballs, it makes The Hunger Games look like a Disney production.
It’s never easy being a mother—but it is eas- ier being an Indian mom in 2017 than it was a few years ago, all thanks to a bunch of mothers who decided to pay forward what they have learned while bringing up their brood. Earlier, when a new mom in India had questions about massages or Mozart lullabies, diaper rashes or disciplining, she turned to the limited knowl- edge of family and friends. Books and online parenting resources didn’t quite solve issues that Indian moms uniquely grappled with.
Now, we have these: Helpchecker, a Facebook page that is best described as Yelp for maids, nannies and the agencies that supply them; mommy blogs like Kidsstoppress.com that talk about products and services available in Indian cities (and even hand out their own awards); book and toy libraries such as Smart Cubs that fulﬁ l neighbourhood needs in ways that Ama- zon can’t; social networks like BabyChakra, speciﬁ cally for Indian moms; Localowls.com, an aggregator for the best local teachers and class- es for children; and games boxes and develop- mental toys such as Mom-dom and Flintobox. These are all enterprises started by mothers from a variety of pre-parenting backgrounds, serving the Indian context. Here are a few of our favourite momtrepreneurs who bring us news and information about parenting and help us educate our children and selves. — RBS
Motherhood throws so many curveballs, it makes The Hunger Games look like a Disney production