June 25, 2021

Anupama Dalmia on discovering new identities for herself and for her mum

She is one of the busiest bloggers when it comes to writing on nuances of parenting.  She’s also a dancer, choreographer, a mum and someone who took steps to establish new identities for herself and also for her mum.

Worth your time- do read the story of Anupama Dalmia.

“My parents have a huge contribution in making me an independent woman. I never even knew what gender inequality means till I ventured out of my home after school. The rules, responsibilities and expectations were exactly the same for my brother and me. Because we come from traditional patriarchal families, it was hard for them to raise me the way they raised my brother.

I am sure they must have been told by many to teach me household work instead of spending on my education, but my mother is an extremely strong as well as open-minded woman. She was clear that come what may, she is going to raise her daughter to be as educated and a good human being as her son.

My parents always encouraged me to pursue my passions. Those times were different so, of course, they wanted us to focus more on studies but not even once did I feel that I am being forced into something by them. I knew that after completing my education, I can choose to do whatever I wish to and they would support me.”

Talking about playing different roles in life Anupama shares, “It sure is challenging. There are times when I am sleep deprived, there are times when I feel totally consumed. But, I know this is the kind of person I am. If I have to keep each part of me happy, I have to do all that I love doing and it is this love for all these roles that keeps me going. I do try to plan my schedule so that it does not get too hectic.

Like when I have a dance workshop planned, I take up fewer writing assignments. I also try to do most of my work when my daughter is sleeping or at school so that I can give dedicated time to her. My daughter who will turn 3 years old soon is a super active child and once she is around me, it is almost impossible to do any work. So as I mentioned before, the only way I can manage time efficiently is by working when she is at school or when she is sleeping, though getting her to sleep itself is a struggle 🙂

Recalling the transition from an earlier fixed corporate career to pursuing various passions, Anupama shares, “Well, one fine day I realized that my corporate job is not my true calling and I decided that I want to resign and pursue my passion. There were many at that point who felt I should not be leaving such a flourishing career and that it was a foolish move. But I believe in taking charge of my life. My husband was supportive which was a huge motivation was and I took the plunge.

However, at that point I had no plans of getting into professional writing/blogging. I became a dance instructor/ choreographer and also launched “Tingle Your Taste Buds” with my mother. I used to write a lot during childhood and college life as a hobby. After motherhood happened, I wrote a poem for my daughter on my first Mother’s Day and shared it as a Facebook post. It was widely appreciated and my husband pushed me to start blogging. He was the one who created a basic website for me which I kept building on with time (http://anupamadalmia.com ) and that is how it all began.

However before giving any tip to others on blogging; I would tell them upfront that blogging is not easy money which is what many people believe. My advice to new bloggers or those who want to enter this world is – Be patient and write consistently. Always be open to constructive feedback/criticism and keep working on yourself.

Learn to use social media to market your work as that is very important to expand your blog reach. And above all, write in a style that comes naturally to you and share your own voice/opinions. There are many forums where parenting related articles can be published. Share your posts on these platforms as well apart from your own blog.”

(Anupama Dalmia with her mum Usha Dalmia)

Talking on her mum she says, “Oh I can just go on and on about how inspiring my mother is. I am so blessed to have her in my life. She is an amazing human being and an expert at whatever she chooses to do. She is an excellent cook and finds immense happiness in treating everyone to her delicacies. It’s due to her I realized that cooking is an art which needs knowledge and nurturing like any other art form. She always fostered a dream to open her own restaurant. When I resigned from my corporate job, I knew I had to do something to help her achieve her dreams. But, of course due to monetary and other constraints, the option to open a restaurant did not seem feasible.

That is when I started a Facebook page and eventually our own website http://tingleyourtastebuds.in My mother was not at all tech savvy and hence, was unsure of whether this venture will be successful. But like I said she is awesome and at this age, she learnt it all and am proud to say that today she is an entrepreneur with her own brand and a dedicated subscriber base. Nothing gives me more happiness than seeing her knowledge reaching out to food connoisseurs across the world.

I must mention here that support from family and friends has been instrumental in aiding me to efficiently don different hats. My hired cook is also an integral part of this journey. Because of her, I do not need to worry about food preparation and she is extremely dedicated and trustworthy.

With changing times and the presence of social media, you know you will be judged constantly. There is pressure on kids, pressure on parents, it almost feels like one is running a race. But, good thing is it all boils down to our own thinking. Personally, I am a chilled out person who believes in focusing on one’s own journey and being self-driven. That somewhere translates into my parenting style. As parents, we need to stop being too hard on ourselves. We are humans and we will make mistakes. We learn from them and move on. We must learn to let go of the mommy guilt. My heart breaks when I see many women struggling to even breathe at peace because being a “supermom” apparently means excelling at everything. This pressure is harmful. I am NOT a super mom and it is OK. Our children do not “need” a champion.

I also would like to mention that even the increasing pressure on kids to excel at everything is unfair. It is a competitive world, yes but we also need to be aware that there is an alarming increase in statistics of teen suicide or children with mental health issues/depression. There is a thin line between motivating kids to put in their best and pushing them to a point of discomfort. It is essential to follow the child’s cues and with my own experience, I can say that a happy and sensitive child will definitely find success. Let them look within first before looking out.

For me the most special part about being a mother is unearthing different facets of my own self. Also, it is important to realize that motherhood is a bed of roses in which the thorns will prick you at times. I personally never want to be glorified because I am a mother. I wish there comes a day when we can stop the glorification of motherhood. There is no need to place mothers on a pedestal and then encumber them with the burden of living up to this “superhero” image. It is a beautiful phase of my life albeit full of challenges and responsibilities. I am enjoying my growth as a person, as a mother and also as a responsible citizen.

One more thing I want to mention is that I have seen mothers judging other mothers a lot for their parenting choices and ideologies. We are all different and all kids are different. It would be great if we can love more and judge less. The least we can do is show more empathy and sensitivity towards other mothers, knowing how tough this role already is.

I do feel that women should pursue their interests to explore their capabilities. Not even in my wildest dreams had I ever thought that I would be an award-winning blogger some day but it happened. So, do not limit yourselves and also do not fear failure. Put in your best and explore. You will be surprised yourself to know how much you are capable of doing. The happiness of doing what you love is unmatched.”

Talking specifically of helping parents who have earlier not had professional identities on their own, she says, “Most definitely educated working children must help their parents to pursue their interests especially stay at home mothers. It is not just good for them but it also will help in the betterment of the society as a whole. All of us know how things were generations ago. Our mothers did not have the opportunities and the right environment and support systems to pursue their passion.

Now, at this age it is hard for them to start from scratch. All the efforts that I have ever put in towards establishing “Tingle Your Taste Buds” in my way of expressing my gratitude to my mother for giving me such a blessed life. I have always said that pursuing any hobby/passion is imperative in the life of every person, whatever be the gender or age. It is something which completes you and stays with you always. It is something which will never let you feel lonely even if you are alone.”

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