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Many an Indian mother today ends up as a Stay-At-Home-Mother (SAHM). For some, this phase is temporary (lasting a few months to years) and for many it is somewhat permanent (extending to a lifetime). For some, it is a personal choice (For e.g.: They don’t want to leave their children with maids / nannies / grandparents) and for many it is out of lack of choice. (For e.g.: A nuclear family with no real social support system or they can’t afford nannies / fancy day-care with one income).
So here’s the first thing | Being a mother and primary care-giver for your child in the initial parenting years can be an intense and lonely experience. It can drain you physically, mentally and emotionally (& even financially), and can take you away from social networks and connections – which are important for any human being. Especially if you are well-educated or/and have been working before, just going through every single day as the primary care-giver for your baby can be a challenge; and takes you through phases of emotional lows. During this period, a lot of mothers are exploring ways to express themselves, share, connect and engage with people from within the confines of their homes.
Here’s the second thing | Social media today is ubiquitous. And most Indian homes do have a laptop and internet connection at home. So, several new mothers attempt to solve part of the issues listed above in the virtual (online) world. One popular route is by writing blogs on topics of personal interest (Could be parenting, cooking, book reviews or just their personal thoughts). Not only does writing a blog provide a mother a channel to express herself, but also gives her some “ME time” for herself; and something to do on a daily basis which is really about “her” & not her baby or the family. In addition when your life revolves 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (24 X 7) around a “baby”, the interactions with other people through social media platforms provides some social / emotional / intellectual stimulation; and is a welcome break even if its for a few minutes. It does wonders to a mother’s overall sense of well-being.
The good thing about blogging is that it is “good writing practice” for anyone. And practice does make one perfect. Hence, many a mother who continues blogging for months / years improves her writing skills over a period of time. As her baby grows, several mothers are keen to resume active employment. But they are on the look-out for flexible working arrangements, and freelance writing / content writing (online and offline) / business blogging / ghost-writing are great options – especially if you need to continue to work from home. So many mothers take up work involving writing! And with this comes more “writing practice and experience”; and of course some financial earnings! Not to mention professional connections and networks, which definitely help in the long run. Over a period of time, many mothers gain more confidence in their writing skills & also join communities and groups and start writing in more than one national / global forums.
Here’s the third thing | Social Media is here to stay. And “Content is KING on Social Media” (Personally I think Content is the KING, Social Media is the Queen and together they rule the Online World! ). So if you have the skills to continuously generate compelling content, that’s definitely a plus as far as your career is concerned.
And then moving ahead. Interestingly, for many Indian mothers – Their blogs are the starting platform to build a personal brand and reader base. At some point in time (when they have a book idea), they make the transition to books and serious writing; and end up as published authors. The good part is that there are many real-life success stories of many an Indian mother who has turned into a published author.. Examples include Shoba De, Kiran Manral, Preeti Shenoy, Rashmi Bansal, Yashodhara Lal, Judy Balan, Madhuri Banerjee, Sonja Chandrachaud. And almost all these Indian mothers are also regular bloggers.
Lastly – if you look at data, it is evident that the Indian publishing industry has been open to new authors / new book genres (Though I still wonder who reads all these published books) over the past few years. Also self-publishing is an alternate medium for writers to publish books (Though it is still new and evolving in India). Add to this the fact that book-writing / publishing is showing positive growth potential in the years to come, writing sure looks to be a serious career option for the Indian Mother.
That’s my view.. What do you think? Is writing emerging to be a serious career option for the Indian Mother? Leave a comment to let me know.
[Editor’s Note: If you are looking to grow your writing into a serious career option, we have a workshop coming up in Bangalore, Aug 21, on Cracking the Freelance Writing market, do check it out.]
Working Mom • Marketologist - Digital Artisan - Brand Storyteller • Ideapreneur • Writer - Blogger - Columnist • IIMB Alumni • Mentor • Horizon
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