1. My Mom Quotient:
I'm very involved in my children's lives just like any other mother. So the power of decision making and its impact are well understood by the kids. As parents we are working towards a scenario where our children learn to take their own decisions and it starts from small things like how much food to eat, to prioritise to which birthday parties they can skip, books to read, to involving in bigger family decisions like holiday destination. My husband and I are observants and wherever there is a need to explain the consequences of their decisions we do that. I feel this kind of parenting makes children responsible and independent from an early age.
I read 'The Leader in Me' by Steven Covey where he explains how schools can change their course of action to instil life skills and leadership in children. It is a good read for parents and gives a holistic perspective. As a parent, I am trying to instil that the most important thing in life is to be safe and the second most important is to be happy. In order to work on their decision making skills, we, infact, give them different scenarios and ask them to take decisions which should involve evaluating their well being and others around them too.
2. My Mom Inc. Story:
I have always been a working mother. When my first child -- my son -- was born, I went back to work in 4 months because the launch of Times Now was also like a baby to me. Surely, I made a few adjustments to make sure both my babies have my attention and time. We rented out our place and moved to a leased apartment close to my office so that I could be in office for the required duration and come back home without traveling much. A working mother has to sort out her priorities. While working makes me happy, being with my children keeps me going to achieve more in my life.
I have been a mom for more than a decade and an entrepreneur for nearly six years. And I have to admit entrepreneurship is more challenging than working in an office. Because once you are out of office, you have the option to switch off from work related matters but being an entrepreneur, you can't even if you want to. That's the reason I'm very supportive of working mothers who are currently involved in my current venture. When I started Red Polka in Jan this year, one of my team members, a young mother, was encouraged to gradually increase her work hours so as to acclimatize both the mother and the child to the new time gap in their lives. She started with just 3 days a week each day lasting for 3 hours only for more than 6-8 weeks and she delivered on all the parameters of being an excellent employee. She now heads a team in the company and has contributed immensely towards the growth of Red Polka.
In terms of my business growth, we started this year with 3 brands and had a vision of signing 100 designer brands by the end of the year but we surpassed our own expectations by signing up 100 brands last month itself. Our platform is for those designers who want to get discovered by customers who are always looking out for unique lifestyle designs. We work closely with upcoming designers and curate their work to present absolutely the cream of their designs. We also curate kidswear up to the age of 8 so that independent and working mothers can shop for themselves and their children at one place. We curate a new fashion theme every week and we have done many themes around kids only. Every Sunday, our curation turns to #SundayPlaydate which is meant for kids and stands out for building bonds. Even on Red Polka blog -- Polka Coffee -- we did a feature on 10 books every kid should read.
We are in the business of enabling businesses and enriching lives. Since we curate and add value to the brands, we have been able to build strong relationship with our brand partners and they have made Red polka the only platform where they pay a fee to register.
3. Who inspired/ supported me:
I draw inspiration to keep going from my husband and parents as they have been extremely supportive of my decisions always. Now, even my children take keen interest in my work to the extent of checking out new weekly editions & buying gifts for their friends from Red Polka -- I want to instil that same confidence in my children too. My school motto was 'Work is Worship' and it has stayed with me till this day. For me, work is a way of life just like anything else.
Moms, if you think starting your own business will give you flexibility of time to juggle between being a mother and business woman, you may be right but to achieve a balance, you will have to calibrate your ambitions vs time. However, always keep parenting as your first priority. Because not only it will help you make the right decisions for your business and for your children too, it will help you carry on for much longer in your professional life.
Personally, in early years of growing up, kids depend on their mothers for more of physical support but in their teen and pre-teen years, they need you more for emotional support. Make sure you are there for the emotional support. Physical support in early years can be provided by your parents, in-laws, husband and even the help but no one else can replace you when it comes to emotional support.#mominc #mominc