Hello and welcome to Mom Blogger October on the Times of Amma. As regular readers know, the Times Of Amma community is all about inspiring Moms and building them up as they work on being themselves and Mothers. And so, this month is dedicated to featuring Moms who are working on being themselves and mothers, while expressing themselves through their blogs.
Today we meet, Madhuvanthi Ramakrishnan or Madhu, a Dubai based Mom, navigating the treacherous seas of work-life balancing. A private banker by profession and not exactly by choice, she drinks copious amounts of coffee and constantly dreams about travelling, food and puppies. Despite having lived in the Gulf all her life, she has always found herself very fascinated by her heritage and culture, instead of the opposite happening. Hence, she is staunchly and proudly South-Indian. Her parents raised their two daughters to always have wings on their feet and dreams in their heart, a valuable life-lesson she hopes to pass on to her daughter eventually. On her blog, Latte Musings you can catch up on her endless musings about life, parenthood and the horrors of living with ALL the first-world problems.
What was it that prompted you to become a blogger?
I have always enjoyed writing right from my school days and also happen to be an avid reader of just about anything I can lay my hands on! Although with the birth of my daughter in 2015, I must admit that I have now been relegated to mostly reading nutrition and ingredient information on packets of food and juice! Sigh.
After becoming a Mother, I found myself really moved to share my personal insights into how the life of a Mother drastically changes. Also I firmly believe it’s not all rainbows and butterflies, as many would like us to believe. There are tough times and there are times you just want to throw in the darned towel, but those are rarely ever documented or spoken about. I try not to mince words and keep my writing/ accounts brutally honest!
Which has been your most memorable post to date and why?
The post which I hold most dear to my heart is “This or That, No in-between” published in March 2017, because it’s a very personal description of how my everyday life with my daughter as my accomplice is. Children have a knack of turning even the most routine, mundane chores into a spectacular adventure! Towards the end of the post I describe in great detail our night-time routine of putting her to bed (tongue-in-cheek of course), and I found that, much to my surprise, I had tears in my eyes while writing it, because it was so special to me.
What has the most memorable comment on your blog been so far?
I think a lot of my Mom-Tribe is able to really relate to my content because I don’t shy away from calling a spade, a spade! So any comment from a fellow-mommy really makes me smile, because I they know exactly what I am talking about. After all, it takes one, to know one!
Have you ever been trolled? How did you handle it?
I can’t say I have ever been trolled, but I wish I would be! This can only mean my content is reaching a wider audience and any comment (good or bad) is an additional view! Besides, I can be quite sassy when required, so really would not be averse to receiving any ‘interesting’ types of comments! Bring it on!
Have you ever started to write a post and then abandoned it? Why?
Plenty of times! Good ol’ writers block really hits hard when it does, doesn’t it? When I start a post and if I find that I don’t really feel the path/ shape it is meant to take, I usually save it to complete later. Every day of our life brings with it different set of perspectives/ moods/ experiences. All these definitely influence or color our writing in some way. So ‘parking’ a project for a couple of days could be the best remedy to churn out your best work yet!
Do you stick to a regular posting schedule or do you post whenever inspiration strikes?
Do you have a writing routine?
I don’t really have a posting routine, but since ‘Consistency is Key’ I suppose this could be exactly what any blog needs to ensure a rapidly growing following. Although it is not really only about the ‘numbers/ views’, this does get factored into the equation too. I usually make a mental note, when an interesting idea or anecdote pops into my head - and this is usually when the seed is sown for a future blog post.
Do you find it hard to get your voice heard in the crowded blogosphere?
I think this really depends on what one is trying to achieve from their blog. At present I am happy with simply having a reliable platform where I can upload content and it’s largely a creative outlet for me, more than anything else. So I do believe there is enough room for everyone to thrive and survive. The people/ Mothers who read my blog are able to relate on some level and this to me itself is a victory and means I am ‘getting my voice heard’.
Many say that blogging is dead thanks to other micro-blogging avenues like Instagram,Twitter and others. As the owner of a traditional blog, how would you respond to that?
While the visual medium is obviously more eye-ball grabbing compared to the written medium, there are some things which should be left as they are! ‘Don’t fix what isn’t broken’ as they say! I, for one, don’t own a kindle, and love the smell, feeling of picking up a book and reading each page eagerly till the end. Similarly, if you want to really express yourself via your writing on a tried and tested platform, it is tough to top a blog. Instagram and Twitter are great for quick-fix validations and social-media reach.
Do you see your blog as a stepping stone to something else? Do you see yourself wearing the tag of 'blogger' five years down the line?
Yes definitely, my daughter is growing quick (as they do!) and I am learning something new about being a Mother, every single day. This will surely provide lots of fodder for the writer in me! Who knows what’s in store? Perhaps I may even add to my brood. Watch this space! (Or better yet, follow my blog!)
What tips do you have for other Indian Mom bloggers?
Writing is therapeutic. It calms the soul and heals the heart. So even if it is a private blog where you simply vent out your feelings, JUST DO IT. Years later you will thank yourself for taking the trouble to document all the details of various people, places, memories and faces that you encountered in life.
You can follow Madhu's blog here.
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Click here for the 2016 edition of Mom Blogger October.