Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Motherhood = Marketing/Brand Management?

V and N, my sons, are usually the focal points of every conversation people have with me now. Very often I meet people who ask me- "How do you manage 2-2" :). With special emphasis on- 2-2!!! I sat down to wonder one day if what I have been doing is actually extraordinary?? It may seem like rocket science but in reality, it actually has reflections of what one usually does at their work place as Marketers, Brand managers etc. So read on and find out the similarities:
  1. Timing- It is very important to understand that 'what' is the correct timing to launch a brand: Elder's wisdom and experience told us that - come what may- If you plan to have 2 babies (which you should!), then plan them as close to each other as possible. In the initial years it did seem like a bad decision but with time I have savored the fruits of having reduced the mental slog by a great degree. 
  2. Team work- Never undermine the support of a helping hand around you: If you have an able and active elder's help at home- GREAT! If no, dont worry. Get as much help as possible from whoever ever offers it! Maid, husband, neighbor, milkman, internet- get hold of anyone who is available and DELEGATE. Oh you dont believe in taking help? All the best :)
  3. Saying No and Saying Yes- One should always know the importance of their Yeses and Nos- Just because you hold something dearly to you, does not mean you can be liberal with your Yeses and just because you never wish to cause any hurt to someone , does not mean you should never say No! Think about it- if you can master a firm yes and a timely NO, wouldnt you be much less stressed. I say YES everytime my kids want to sleep and NO whenever they 'dont feel like eating food'.
  4. Be confident about yourself- ALWAYS- If you appear to be wobbly about your conduct and about what you wish to convey, how will the kids learn to be confident themselves. Manage them with a lot of confidence (even when in your heart you may not be feeling so) so that even those around, trust you. When I held the nail cutter for the first time in my life to chop their nails- in my head it appeared (to me) as big as an axe but I pretended I was holding a tiny piece of cotton and everything (read everyone) will be fine!
  5. Lead by example- It may be the most abused advise ever, but I guess this is the biggest contribution to your child's upbringing. If you continuously abuse in front of them, how do you expect them to be sober and dignified. Clinch your teeth tight, if you may, but never do anything that you do not want them to, in front of them. So when I feel like pulling Saurabh's hair, I gesture to him that it shall be done once his kids are sleeping. It keeps the 'expectations levels' in our relationship alive !
  6. Rely on your Instincts- In business, never underestimate the power of your instincts- Its a classic motherhood rule that every woman knows her child best through her instinct. She will always know the difference between- when the baby is hungry to when he is creating a ruckus just for attention. So next time you see Nevaan howling like I have administered 3rd degree torture on him, please keep in mind that being his Mom, I have ruled out all 'logical' reasons why he should not be doing so!
  7. Respect experience yet change with time- Its fatal to discard old beliefs completely and still expect success. Do change with times but always learn from other's experiences. For example I refused to put 50 kajal spots on my babies' faces to save them from 'buri nazar' but always silently pray to God that he protects them from everything evil :)
  8. Observe your brand at every stage and mould your approach accordingly- Only you know your kids best like you know your work best (if you love it). So observe closely and then react. I absolutely respect Viraj's choice of certain food stuff that he has 'tasted' and refused to eat. It does not hurt my ego. Instead it makes him confident that he has a say in his life :)
  9. Taking responsibility of your actions- Its the worst idea to constantly shirk responsibility and play the blame game. If something goes wrong, admit it! Not only are you setting an example, you are also making way for improving yourself. For instance, let them fall and get bruised! And in case you CANNOT let that happen, I am sure you have made special arrangements to accompany them to school everyday and to their colleges and office too.
  10. Treat 2 brands as 2 different entities and dont generalise solutions of similar problems- Despite same set of parents, similar upbringing and same rules, both my sons are 180 degree apart in their attitudes and reactions. Hence instead of making Viraj as strong as Nevaan (mentally) and making Nevaan as sensitive as Viraj (from the heart), I encourage them to be what they are and provide solutions to their problems by riding on their individual personalities rather than basing my solutions on comparisons.
  11. Discipline- One Saurabh in the house is enough to discipline a million sets of V and N. Jokes apart (or he will pull my hair!), there are some cardinal rules which they HAVE to follow because I know how those will shape their future lives. So they have to meet Dadi before they leave for school. They have to sleep for two hours in the afternoon or they wont be taken to the park. N is not allowed to raise his hand on his elder brother. V has to solve all of N's school related issues and not bring them to us etc etc
  12. Nurture- A girl called Parul Tyagi, today makes complicated food like Gajar ka halwa, Besan/atta/khoya laddoos, Chicken soup, Spaghetti in Red sauce loaded with veggies, Thai green curry, muffins and much more- What is the big deal? IT IS! I did not enter the kitchen before my kids were born! In a nut shell- Take charge of what your little ones eat- in your hands. Its one of the most fulfilling ways of creating happy memories in their growing years :)
  13. Revisiting your own rules and breaking them yourself before revising them- While we encourage kids to abide by our rules, we also keep a watch on when is the time to break them. They may not be allowed to eat chocolates and colas when ANYONE except for us offers it to them but every single time they hand over the chocolate, that has been offered to them, to us, we reward them suitably with something they ll like even more :)
  14. Let go! - When you have made the foundations strong, let go sometimes. Stay around and be watchful....but do allow them to be themselves. So get rid of -"Let Mamma feed you, let Mamma tap you" as soon as possible. 
  15. A bit of you in your work- They were born out of me. I have spent every single minute of their lives with them. How boring will it be if the world does not see a bit of me in them :). Good or Bad, my babies are a bit of me and Saurabh and thats how they should be :)
Image courtesy: www.cartoonstock.com


  1. Parul the next blog should be on The name for the kids. Do spell out all the name you, we him, they, us thought off.

    1. What do you mean? Please elaborate! If you are doubting the relevance- have babies. If you are looking for name suggestions- Why??? Call!!!

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  3. Thanks for making it all sound simple and boiling them down to simple management rules but the first step is still a mystery... deciding if u want to get into the mommy mode and when :(
    BTW... Thakur, we can all suggest names, just let us know whenever the good news is awaited ;)