I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”- Douglas Adams
I believe this quote totally describes my life!
I can clearly divide my life in two parts – before First Moms Club and after First Moms Club.
In my previous avatar, I was an advertising professional, married to an ex-banker. I have worked with agencies such as VyasGiannetti Creative, RK Swamy BBDO and Mudra for brands like Sony, HBO, Nestle, Dabur, Aditya Birla Group and The Taj. Two kids, three countries and four cities later, I finally found work-life balance as a freelancer. I was happy designing logos, brochures and books for others till First Moms Club ( FMC) happened – and life changed completely.
What is FMC?
I was the first among my friends to have a baby. Unfortunately (or fortunately) in our generation, we don’t depend as much on our mothers or aunts for support, as much as we do on our peers or on the internet, for that matter. Initially I started First Moms Club on Facebook only to connect with my mommy friends. The group allowed us to share our post-pregnancy experiences, doubts and worries with each other. Some continued with their careers, while others became stay-at-home moms, and few like metried to figure out a middle path.
While we were different in many ways the one thing common that bound all of us was that we were all grappling with this new role of becoming a ‘mother’. I felt that we needed to reach out and figure it out together without worrying about being judged. On the community I try to encourage the fact that nobody can be perfect and it’s really ‘Okay’ being an ‘Okay Mother’.I believe that even the toughest of challenges can be fun if handled with a sense of humour and an ability to laugh at oneself. After all, motherhood is tough enough without having to take it more seriously than necessary.
Right from the time I created this community (one fateful evening in October 2010) to this day, I find building this community very fulfilling personally. Seeing moms from all over the world connecting and communicating with one another is truly worthwhile. Which also encouraged me to launch the FMC website this year (www.firstmomsclub.in) where I could showcase all that we have shared on the community for the past 3 years.
Why FMC is different?
While most websites or platforms mostly address parenting concerns, FMC is completely dedicated to the woman behind the mother, who is often forgotten in this roller coaster journey. As time passed, my mommy friends invited their mommy friends who then invited other like-minded women onto the group and slowly but surely, we’re now a 23,000 strong community, and growing!
Unlike most parenting sites or expert pages, the mommy members themselves power FMC. It’s not a one-way gyan giving platform, but one where every woman/mom can voice her opinion and bond over common issues. It’s almost like each mom has a megaphone in her hand and she is not afraid to voice her opinion on this platform. FMC members have to adhere to certain rules, so that the group continues to remain meaningful as it was in its early days and yet is a cool space for moms to hang out.
FMC is probably India’s largest closed group of moms. Its primary aim is to connect mothers where they connect as women and not just moms. And while there are many milestones that FMC has celebrated, it’s some of the smallest things that make me most proud.
For example: When the mom of an autistic child can tell her story and connect with other moms from around the world who face similar challenges, desi moms living abroad meeting in person after connecting first on FMC, members contributing massively to a toy drive for an NGO that teaches underprivileged children – these are proud moments for me as the fraternity of FMC grows.
FMC ‘s Future?
FMC’s fundamental goal – whether it is the group or the site, is to ensure that it is always a platform for its members to share, connect, communicate, to grow as individuals and professionals and to have fun doing so.
The first objective of the website is to allow moms to access relevant content a lot more easily. That will also allow the group to be connected more intimately while information can be accessed on the site. The site will help mompreneurs grow their businesses by opening up a bigger market for them via online and offline events.
True to our philosophy of staying relevant to our members, the website will build on and grow based on the feedback we get from all the members.
FMC recognizes that there’s a lot more to a woman than raising children and helps celebrate those other aspects too. Connect and Communicate are not just the tagline they are cornerstones of this initiative.