Will having a Second Baby affect your W.F.H career? Listen to what Supermom Mitali has to say
Those ‘eternal’ sleepless nights changing nappies are still crisp in your memories. And the terrifying dread of getting bitten by beast-like teeth on the nipple used to be nerve racking sometime ago. While you stacked your treasured petite handbags & clutches in the last shelf of your wardrobe (secretly praying that you’ll get to use them again!) ;-), mammoth-sized baby-friendly bags became your outdoor partner. Amidst all these sweet-and-sour memories, what you might have taken a break from or totally broke up with, is maybe, your CAREER. Right, Mama? 🙂 So does HAVING A SECOND BABY still make it to your list now?
If that’s what you’ve been thinking, reading this hearty conversation with Mitali Jakatdar, Business Director & Influencer at SuperMOMMitali.com, could just be your compass!
Mitali is the founder of SuperMOMMitali, which is an extensive portal for parents. Donning an illustrative career as an RJ & Channel Executive in the entertainment industry for over a decade, she’s now a really well-known name in the digital influencers’ realm.
She’s mom to 2 beautiful princesses – Reina & Naina who are fondly called Renny & Shiny by parents. And man! Mitali is a hands-on mother who knows tending to both, an effervescent kindergartener & a winsome little 5 month old, like a pro while running her own enterprise.
Today, a lot of millennial mothers are opting to WORK FROM(AT) HOME (WFH) owing to the challenges on the face of mushrooming nuclear families they’re inevitably becoming a part of. Not just that; but those with typically long-haul work hours & pressure often tout women to take a huge break or quit that job after having child(ren). Well, I myself quite relate to the situation.
So, while having handled a kid already, having a second baby may possibly come across as a deterrent to an otherwise smooth-sailing WFH career.
And here’s what Mitali had to tell us how having a second baby has only had the best of her without affecting the work she does.
Mitali, how old are your kids & what do you have to say about their age difference?
My elder one, Renee was born in January 2014. I always wanted my kids to be only 2-3 years apart.
When Renee was about 8 months old, I had started my own video production house. And like most of us know, for any business venture to settle down, it takes at least a good 3 years to settle down. So, when she turned 3.5 years old, we considered having a second baby, as that was the time I had taken a break from my work which involved a lot of traveling besides all that went into video production.
However, with my first one being 4 years elder to my Baby#2, I’ve only seen the perks of their bigger-than-planned age difference. That’s because Renee being 4 years old already, is quite independent. She can manage her basic stuff herself & doesn’t require my presence about her round the clock. So it’s easy for me to spend most of my mommy time with Shiny (5 months old) who obviously needs me all the time.
I feel 4-6 years of age gap between siblings is quite ideal as the two bond really well together with the older one being capable of not just loving the baby brother/sister, but can also help take care of him/her.
When did you start your own venture & blogging? What does your typical work day look like?
As my work revolved around video production already, we dealt with shooting equipment day in & day out. And one day, a friend persuaded me into speaking on the camera about anything I loved to talk about. Since I had just started parenting my first born, matters related to babies intrigued me naturally then. And that led me into creating a string of videos that resembled a newsreel quite closely. (laughs)
They’re still there on my YouTube channel.
With all thanks to the content, I received feedback, which was really encouraging despite an average production quality then. Well, video content creators were quite in demand by YouTube then. I was approached by YouTube; one thing led to another & I started my YouTube channel with its maiden foray with a different name. It wasn’t SuperMoMMitali then. It was christened 10ThingsM before it became SuperMOMMitali.
Before having a second baby, I set out to work at 10.30 AM & got home by 8 PM. My office routine involved planning & scheduling shoots, replying to emails & everything related to video-recording.
I started a parenting blog while still working in 2015, which mostly saw me just blogging when I got time. However, it was in 2017, when I quit my job, I started a full-fledged website, aiming to reach huge brackets of parents over the world. That’s precisely how SuperMoMMitali took shape.
By the way, I don’t call it a ‘BLOG’. Because you can’t relegate our efforts to just that when we do much more than writing for leisure.
What does your typical work day look like?
Now that my younger one is just 5 months old, you could say that I’m on a partial maternity leave.
However, mine has never been hobby-blogging. We have an office set up here in Mumbai, which is a properly funded organization. An entire chunk of my mornings is dedicated to her. And now that we’ve upped our Insta game, this also involves recording our moments on Instagram, by the way. Conveniently attending to official calls & mails when Naina is asleep or is being taken care of by my husband is what I do at home right now.
Were you apprehensive about losing out on your blogging time & efforts, given that you may or may not be able to do that after having a second baby? Did you plan to take a sabbatical?
For the second time, I already knew how & which things followed after the baby. Also, for my first child, we had settled in with a great maid by the time she was 8 months old when I started working full-time.
Right now, my work timings are flexible since it’s my own business. I’ve, technically, never taken a sabbatical. I’ve always been available on call & emails.
I’ve always envisioned SuperMOMMitali to be an extensively insightful portal for parents of kids belonging to various age groups, couples with difficulties in conceiving, parents of differently abled children etc.
Here’s a thumb rule.
If you feel you cannot do it. You just cannot do it. And vice-versa.
This applies to everything in life. If you’re a career woman & still want to have 2 kids, then go for it like NIKE says, “JUST DO IT” 🙂
Yes, it’s tough; but you’re unstoppable when you decide that you’ll strive for it. The number of children doesn’t matter here. But your gut feeling does. Well, the CEO of Pepsico, Indra Nooyi also has 2 kids. So, what else can you say? (smiles)
What do you want to tell parents who stress alot over the age gap between the kids?
I’d only say that the age difference doesn’t matter at all. Because what you actually need after having a second baby is a lot of help. Luckily, I have an excellent nanny who takes care of my daughter like her own child. Of course, it would have been great if my mom or mother-in-law could join us. But it isn’t possible as they have their own issues. Mom still works & Mom-in-Law just recovered from a liver ailment.
Support system possibilities aren’t cozy for all of us. Are they?
So what matters is NOT the age difference, but having the RIGHT support system for you & your children.
What would your advise to WFH moms be?
I had this certain somebody that I didn’t particularly like. However, today I see a silver lining in what he said. “You’re either at home chilling or working (in an office)”. This is what I’ve fairly realized & that’s why we have a dedicated headquarter for our business in BKC, Mumbai.
Because working from home is hard. You’re meddled not just with your actual work but a lot of chores pile up on you & that makes it hard for you to focus on work with constant distraction. You may save on rent, travel time & money. But what you’ll have in the end is more productivity. I go to my office at 11 & return at 5. And I call these 5-6 hours more productive than how I could have worked at home. Well, even when I hire my freelancers, I ensure that they’re at least working from a cafe.
So, if you WFH mom, I salute you, because it’s just not easy!
Nonetheless, I’d suggest that you decide on a separate workstation for yourself. It could be a dedicated room in your house with a proper work setup with minimal distraction & fixed hours too.
Thank you, so much, Mitali for taking out some time for FITBEWELL & being so patient, cool & cheerful throughout! And you’ve certainly enlightened us a big deal. Take a bow, SUPERMOM! 🙂
Hope you, too, loved this tête-à-tête with this cool mompreneur as much as I loved interviewing her. Let me know in the comments.