Sanchi Nasta Ray, an erstwhile blogger whose digital presence is still intact via Instagram showcases her life – the good, bad, and the ugly – with her adorable daughter Alaia and her Life and Business Coach Husband, Sanjeet Ray, through the medium. I spoke to her for this article because I wanted the perspective of a new parent and an honest one at that. Excerpts from our conversation:
How’s the lockdown treating you?
I think I’ve gotten pretty used to the lockdown now and to having a ‘no-routine routine’. When the lockdown was announced we were living at my house for a couple of days and as soon as Modi announced the lockdown, Sanjeet and I took a bold decision of coming home. There were a couple of reasons for that: we wanted our space, this seemed indefinite and most importantly, we would never get this opportunity again. So we took on the challenge! My family still thinks I’m crazy, and we’ve been doing everything ourselves. Anyone who knows me knows that I was never a domesticated person, I couldn’t even boil an egg before marriage, it’s not that I’m proud of it, it’s just the way it was. Its been a month now and apart from handling cooking 3 meals every day, I’ve managed the house, cleaning, sweeping mopping all along with a very demanding little one so I’m pretty pleased and proud of myself for that.
As you absolutely should be. Kudos to you! How old is your baby girl, Alaia?
She’ll be 15 months old on the 30th of the month.
Has the lockdown been challenging as a parent?
Extremely! Before the lockdown, I had part-time house help and we had just kept a part-time nanny for Alaia and both of them were extremely friendly with her so I could take a couple of breaks in between the day. Every evening, Sanjeet and Alaia used to go the park for at least an hour and I had a pretty strict schedule. With the lockdown and being homebound 24/7, we’re trying to figure the new normal and also to keep her entertained. Oh, and I can’t even dream of peeing without leaving the door open and having Alaia watch me (gross, I know!). One good thing that’s come out of it is that we’ve been reading books A LOT, which was something that wasn’t happening before and we’ve also started playing living room football.
Love that you’re looking at the bright side! Have you valued this extra time with family?
Absolutely! It’s a blessing to be spending so much time as a family without worrying that the weekend is getting over and now I have to wait for the next weekend. Also made me realize that I used to wait for weekends to go out, eat good food but there is so much joy in the mundane – experimenting with recipes, putting your baby to sleep, staying up till 1am (which is a lot for me).
You’ve been open about the bad days on your Instagram. What made you do that?
Its just a part of who I am. Also as a new mom, its so damn difficult. As I mentioned earlier, I never had help for Alaia and we’ve recently hired a part-time nanny. For one year, I did everything myself and there were days I just cried while breastfeeding her. I don’t want to paint a rosy picture cause things are not rosy but are they worth it? Absolutely. I just want to offer people my two cents and if that helps them in any form, then my job is done.
Thank you for always keeping it so real! Are fellow mothers on Instagram supportive?
Oh yes. I think motherhood is a very sacred club where everyone understands what you’re going through and people in general are supportive and more than happy to help you in any form they can.
What has worked and not worked as a parenting strategy in this phase?
I’ve never been a parent who’s had any strategy, Alaia was the first baby I had a close experience with so I didn’t know what to expect. I’ve always taken things on the go with her and just tried to keep myself from going insane. In fact even things I wasn’t enjoying like nursing to sleep, I’ve made my peace with it and find a way to make it bearable.
Any tips for young parents struggling right now?
It’s okay, everyone is struggling. You do you. Don’t worry about the kids, they’ll grow up and do their own thing. But if something keeps you calm for a bit, don’t guilt yourself on it like screen time or making them eat not-so-healthy food. You are doing the best you can and there is no such thing as perfect parenting or perfect children.
Any blogs/youtube channels/insta accounts you’ve found helpful to help with parenting ideas in this phase?
Frankly, I’ve stopped following anyone to the T. I take ideas from here and there and put my spin on things. I’m just so exhausted that at times doing the basics take a chunk of energy.
What’s the first thing you want to do post this lockdown?
Go to the park and see my mom and Nani.
Sanchi Nasta Ray is a friend of mine, a wonderful mom, and a lover of books and travel. I thank her deeply for taking out time for this interview because I know her hands are more than full right now. I got drawn to Sanchi’s honest parenting posts on the ‘gram and really wanted her to share her perspective with us here. I hope it helps some of you. Do share the post with someone who might need to hear this from another mom.
Follow Sanchi on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sanchinasta/?hl=en
Follow Smriti on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/realgirlco/
Check out my podcast ‘Real Talk With Smriti Notani’ here:
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