When it comes to women, the term multi-tasker itself associates with them. Working or stay-at-home, a woman is capable of handling and managing a lot at any given time and that is quite evident to the society.
Today, we had an exchange of dialogue with a multi-talented and extremely amazing woman who despite the general hardships in life came up with a brilliant idea of starting a group named “Babies and Bump” that is quite popular on Facebook.
Yes, we are talking about Umbreen aka ‘Umm-e-Azaan’.
Chalktalk: Tell us about your educational background.
Umbreen: was 14 when my dad passed away. Due to unplanned turns in life, I had to drop my plan of mainstream education. I have done bachelors as a private candidate.
Chalktalk: How did you come up with the idea of “Babies and Bumps”?
Umbreen: I moved to a different city after my marriage. I live in a nuclear system and when I had my kids I had so many questions every day. Looking up the internet would confuse me at times and calling up my mom 100 times a day was not possible either.
I thought there would be other moms like me who are struggling daily. And some would already be experienced. Hence I started this group with an aim towards peer extended learning and support.
Chalktalk: What does it take to run a big group? How do you manage it all?
Umbreen: Starting the group I never thought it would grow at this speed. In about 2 years we have organically grown to 33000 members. I don’t manage it alone. I have a wonderful team who facilitate the process of running this community.
Chalktalk: What’s your take on women empowerment?
Umbreen: I am a strong believer of women empowerment. Women comprise a substantial chunk of the population and a society that empowers women is basically empowering its own self. It is sometimes sad how this beautiful concept is misunderstood at times and is labelled as “hunger for power” which it’s completely not.
Chalktalk: Motherhood tends to shift a mother’s focus on her child solely. How important do you think it is for a mother to invest some time in herself?
Umbreen: As soon as we become mothers, we are expected to be perfect beings. We get an unwanted societal pressure on every choice that we make, whether it be using formula, or pacifier or diapers. To make it worse; we also experience self-doubt and self-imposed guilt. All of this is very unhealthy; moms should know that they are individuals and then mothers, giving some time to themselves or making a choice that eases parenting is never wrong. Take out time for yourself, relax, rejuvenate and then start back with more energy and positivity.
Chalktalk: Apart from “Babies and Bumps”, you are also an event planner. Did you face any struggles on the way?
Umbreen: Every new endeavour has struggles of its own. I am married into a financially sound household; when I started working, it was a surprise for everyone and they’d always question “you don’t need it, why do you do it?”. I had to manage time and multitask in order to maintain the household and work together.
Chalktalk: Family support is something very crucial when you head out to any venture. What’s your say on this?
Umbreen: Indeed it is, however, at times you don’t get immediate support from your families. Don’t worry and don’t have major showdowns. Slowly and gradually work your way to what you want in life.
Chalktalk: What has been the best moment in your motherhood journey?
Umbreen: I think motherhood has been the best thing that has happened to me. I cannot pick and choose a moment that I can term as best. There are just so many of them that warm my heart and define the purpose of my life.
Chalktalk: In the society we live in, boys helping around in the kitchen or doing other chores are not perceived in a positive way. What good things do you want to instil in your sons?
Umbreen: I want them to know that there are no tasks that are gender specific. In daily routines, I make them do tasks every day. Setting plates on the tables, washing their handkerchiefs, making rotis out of dough etc. they should know that if need be, they should do everything without shame or being handicapped.
Chalktalk: Some pieces of advice to mothers struggling between their home and work life?
Umbreen: “Prioritize, Slow down, take it easy!” Seek support from around you. Be it home or work. If it’s home; take the family members on board. If its work is clear about the workload you can manage. If it’s not possible to work full time, convert it into a part-time endeavour or work from home arrangement.
It was very enlightening talking to her where she answered each question with a positive vibe in it and we wish her all the best for her ongoing as well as future ventures.