Co-Founder Kiddiegram, Atiya Darbar, Spills To Us What She’s Un-learning With Her Kids
- IWB Post
- May 13, 2017
Modern age moms are not only tech-savvy but also know how to use the power of social media to help each other.
Atiya Darbar and Afra Kochra are two mommies who used Instagram to reach out to the Indian parents, especially mothers.
Kiddiegram, an Instagram Parenting Guide, is the brainchild of these two Mumbai-based sisters who came up with the concept soon after the birth of their second children, in 2014.
Atiya’s second child, a girl, was just a year old, while Afra’s son was just six months old at the time when Afra suggested the idea of an online guide for parents.
“I remember that I had just returned from London with my husband and two kids, when Afra told me about this concept and my first reaction was, ‘NO WAY!’ I explained to her that our hands are already so full and that we hardly get any time for ourselves,” confided Atiya in a conversation with us.
“Parenting isn’t about what’s right and wrong. And, with Kiddiegram we didn’t want to preach what’s the ‘right way of parenting.’ Kiddiegram is all about providing parents with the options of products, events, classes, crafts, ideas, and other activities for their kids.”
Atiya also revealed how their first post was actually about her London trip with her husband and children. “We shared our experience of traveling with the kids.”
Me: In the fast-paced world that we are living in, so often, parents overload the kids’ day schedule with tuitions and other extra-curricular activities which can lead to stress amongst the kids. How do you guide them on the importance of free time for kids?
Atiya: Yes, sometimes parents overburden the children with classes! Instead of enrolling the kids in too many activities outside, they can plan fun activities at home only. At Kiddiegram, we focus on giving them a lot of home remedies to keep their children busy which also involves them thereby strengthening the parent-child bond.
Me: You have a mom’s guide. What is the father’s guide of Kiddiegram?
Atiya: We give a lot of tips to the fathers on how they can share the load of the mothers’ and give them free time. However, our guidance does not focus only on the moms or the dads but integrates every family member in the process.
Me: And, in your opinion, what is the most challenging thing while raising the kids in the modern world?
Atiya: I think it is the competition factor! And, it’s not a new thing. Most parents compare their children with their neighbors’ or friends’ children and we NEED to come out of it. We should not and cannot use the same parenting approach for every child. We have to see a child as an individual and understand his/her needs and act accordingly, otherwise, the child’s growth can get blocked.
Me: Very true! What new things are you learning with your kids?
Atiya: *laughs*Honestly, we are doing a lot of un-learning now! We are unlearning and then relearning things with our kids as the approach towards everything today is very different from what it was in our times. And, of course, the technology and the use of gadgets is one thing that our kids know way better than any of the parents today!
Me: Your advice on coping with the parenting stress?
Atiya: Don’t be a parent, be a child with your little one! Get involved in your children’s activities. Be their friend first! When you’ll be carefree then the kids will also feel more comfortable around you and will be more open to sharing their stories, opinions, and thoughts with you.
Me: Tell us about a few stigmas that you are fighting through Kiddiegram.
Atiya: We always advocate the need and importance of mothers supporting other mothers. In our society, the biggest issue is judgment! Be it the taboo around breastfeeding or stereotypical mindset towards working mothers, it is disheartening to see women judging other women and mothers for their choices. We should support each other and not judge!
Atiya: So, we promote other children-related products and services. We are moms first and entrepreneurs second, and so, we always try out everything that we advertise and only after being satisfied with the quality, we finalize the deal.
For us, Kiddiegram has never been about the money. It’s a platform where we all share our experiences as mothers and help each other in every which way.
“It’s now time for some fun questions. Mommy Atiya are you ready?” I asked excitedly.
“Absolutely, let’s begin!” Atiya chimed in.
Atiya: We are very much into theme party ideas for kids, and so, we get a lot of queries on it. A lot of parents enquire about the innovative themes for their kids’ birthday parties.
Me: Summer Vacations will be soon coming up. Suggest 5 fun home activities keeping the children busy and entertained.
Atiya: Number 1, Baking! All the kids enjoy baking and plus they get to eat the cake too! You can do some DIY art and craft with them. Also, from the fitness point of view, you can get a trampoline at home and take turns on it. It’s a lot of fun and a great workout, too. Or, you can also join a Zumba or Yoga class with your child.
I wanna do all of this too! *sulking*
Me: Your favorite travel destination with kids?
Atiya: Oh, without a doubt, London! It’s super children-friendly and you can do so many things with your kids there.
Me: As a mother of two, share the difference in approach on the following:
Nappy Change: So, my first child is a boy and the second one is a girl. It was tougher with the first child. It was very easy with my little girl.
When the child got sick: Oh! It’s a universal thing. Even the pediatrics know that the first time mother will consult them even if a child sneezes. But, with the second child, I waited for three days and if the condition persisted only then I would call the doctor.
Shopping: It’s not about the first or the second child. Boys need lesser clothes whereas with the girls you not only need to buy different types of clothes but also matching accessories, footwear, etc.
Grandparents Attention: Well, I think it’s equal for every child. The younger the kid, the more he/she will be spoilt by their grandparents.
Night Duty: It took us 5 years to get our son to sleep in his own room while it only took 2 years with the second one.
Me: Suggest suitable gifts for the children of the following age groups:
Infant: Playgym or playmat and walking or bark chairs
Toddler: Motor Skill or talking toys
6-9 years: Books and sports equipment
10-12 years: *giggles* Gift vouchers or money is the best gift for this age-group as it is very difficult to please them.
P.S. For more such tips and updates, visit their Instagram page, here.
(This story was first published on March 20, 2017)