We stand tall because of the deep-rooted parental love that keeps us warm in moments of uncertainty and dismay. Raising children was never easy; somehow, our parents never seemed to be so bothered by its challenges. Now that we have the baton of parenting, the wholesome responsibility of raising our children looks pretty demanding and ever so exhausting!
We learn to be better parents with each experience, and as the child grows, our sack of parental wisdom gets deeper. Parenting coaches and influencers have transformed social media into the hub for ‘everything parenting.’ They have integrated the digital world with their unique parenting stories and have given us a warm, exciting, and fresh look into parenting.
Once in a while, we come across a mother who makes parenting seem so natural and easy. In our quest to look for dynamic entrepreneurial mothers, we stumbled upon a young lady who is by far the most unconventional influencer we have interviewed. With a master’s degree in Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science, UK, and the University of Cambridge, UK, Riddhi Deorah is a beautiful mom with a fresh and vibrant outlook on parenting.
Her spirituality, simplicity, positivity, and energetic approach to life as a parent have attracted over 105k followers on Instagram in under one year! In her interview with Kidskintha, she laid down her love for her family life, passions, and how innovation and creativity guided her through various ventures… and today, we know her as the sought-after Parenting Coach and Influencer!
Hello Riddhi! Thank you for taking the time to talk to us. You are a parenting coach and an Instagram influencer. Please tell us more about your journey up until you started your Instagram page.
For seven years, I retailed casual knitwear apparel for men, women, and children through marketplaces like Jabong, Amazon, and Flipkart. In 2015, I got married and moved to Gurgaon. Since my operations were based out of Calcutta, I dissolved this business when I transitioned from one city to another. After marriage, my sister and I started our fashion label called Riddhi & Revika. This exclusive designer wear brand was making a fashionable mark in the clothing segment, but unfortunately, in March 2020, it all flatlined due to the pandemic.
I follow Nichiren Buddhism. The topic for one of the meetings was the importance of sharing your experience with others. Something clicked for me in that meeting, and I felt an urge to share my motherhood experience with the world at large.
When I opened my Instagram account, with around 30 to 40 posts on parenting, to the public for 24 hours, I got 800 more followers and 2200 likes and comments. My journey as an Instagram influencer took off that day!
How did the pandemic trigger exponential growth in your Instagram following?
Before the pandemic, I used to post once in three days, and the posts solely captured my motherhood experience. As I grew accustomed to having more time for myself during the lockdown, I started posting three times in a day, and my posts targeted content that moms wanted to read and hear about. To date, my Instagram followers dictate my content. As an influencer, I respond to their queries, concerns, doubts, and questions through my posts.
I have been following a ritual since the beginning. Before I hit send for any post, I say a small prayer which goes like this ‘may this post reach the person who needs it the most.’ Even if my post is reaching 10 or 15 people and they are benefiting from it, I feel my post has achieved its purpose.
I also started getting calls from moms on my Instagram page, and I found myself glued to my cell phone, answering their questions frequently. As the volume of these calls increased, I asked them to review my calls. I got a lot of positive feedback from mothers and realized that people were happy and content with the advice I shared with them. When these calls increased exponentially, I started charging for them.
Over the past year and a half, I have created digital products for kids, like phonics, audio-video flashcards, rhyming words, sight words, and many more. For parents, I put together products like an easy parenting formula, easy stress management, 101 easy kids recipes, and a few more. To cater to parents who are against screen time for their children, I’ve made physical products like flashcards, activity books, etc.
You practice spirituality. Can you give us a brief insight into your beliefs and daily practice?
I follow Buddhism, and I also practice Hindu rituals such as Hanuman Chalisa. I feel your experiences guide you towards spirituality. Chanting for hours doesn’t make you a spiritual person. Spirituality is internal and a way of life.
You have chosen parenting as your primary subject. As an influencer, what about parenting resonates with you?
I read something beautiful, and it aptly answers this question – ‘you don’t find your mission, your mission finds you.’ And then all you need to do is respond and act. I feel parenting chose me and not the other way around. My posts and advice are based on either my personal experience or in-depth research on topics. I am currently taking a parenting expert course, and I will soon be a certified parenting expert. It’s always good to validate your qualities with a degree. And I am on the path of doing so.
For me, parenting isn’t my whole life. I believe it is an added relationship in my life. I treat my son as an adult, and this has worked for me. Parenting doesn’t give me anxiety or stress in any way.
What is a parenting coach and influencer, and how did you come to identify yourself as one?
A coach or an influencer is a person who encourages others to act positively through their own experiences. An influencer or a coach isn’t necessarily an expert – it’s a way of calling out to people and telling them that you have information that might help them. On Instagram, if one piece of content resonates with someone in a small way, they tend to follow that person and become a part of their tribe.
How do parents subconsciously influence their children?
Parents are constantly influencing their children through their actions. Parenting doesn’t stop with the biological mom and dad. Anybody who spends time with the child interacts with the child and loves him takes the role of a parent. All these interactions are imperative for the holistic development of a child.
The role of any parent is to nurture their baby, and the nature of the infant has a significant impact on this.
I read somewhere, ‘the best way to teach your child is to not teach your child but to do it.’ The more you work on yourself, the less you have to work on your child. This really works. Whenever I want to see a change in my son, I first bring about a change in myself. If we can discipline and change ourselves, we don’t have to do anything for the kids.
Who, in your opinion, influences the child most – parents, teachers, friends?
The primary caretaker – the person who spends a lot of time with the child and taking care of his primary needs, influences the child the most.
How can family influence you?
Living in a joint family is a gift for the child. A joint family setup allows him to interact with different people. The child’s personality will develop and blossom after interacting with multiple people. Children need to have their unique personalities.
What is one piece of parenting advice that you wish you had known earlier?
When I first returned to work after having my son, I couldn’t give my hundred percent to work or family. I found myself getting distracted at work with my parenting responsibilities. At home, my mind was racing with work assignments.
That’s when simple advice worked wonders for me. Someone directed me towards the importance of living in the moment. I accepted and applied this in my life, and it transformed me as an individual. Neem Karoli Baba’s saying comes to mind – ‘You can plan for a hundred years, but you don’t know what will happen in the next moment.’
What is the one parenting advice you would like to give expecting parents and new parents?
It is essential for parents to read and educate themselves about parenting. If you know what you want to do as parents, your parenting journey will become a lot easier.
What is one practice that keeps you fulfilled as a parent as well as an entrepreneur?
There are two things I practice. As mentioned earlier, I live in the moment and give my best to everything that comes my way. Second, I strongly believe in having an attitude to give. When you follow this, you will see that even your kid will tune himself to this ideology and inculcate these beliefs in his life.
When help and contribution are your focal point, success and growth will automatically follow.
What were the challenges that you faced when you started your digital journey as an Influencer?
There wasn’t a big challenge as such. I’ve realized that I did not have the appropriate and complete knowledge of the space I was operating in. This resulted in slow growth. During the lockdown, I chose to educate myself with five to six digital courses, which gave me the know-how and the momentum to establish myself on this platform.
How would you describe your childhood? What key elements have you incorporated in your parenting style, or how different is your parenting?
It’s not entirely the same, but there definitely is an overlap. I reminisce about my childhood with a radiant smile on my face. My mother was lenient and very approachable. Nothing was ever forced upon me. Decisions were explained, and the underlying rationale was always brought to the forefront.
I would also like to share an open and honest line of communication with my son. My parents influence my parenting, but it cannot be the same. My mother was a homemaker, and I am working, so our time management styles are different. No two people are alike; even if it’s a mother and daughter, the parenting styles will vary.
Which family member has the most influence in your life?
My mother has influenced me the most.
What were the challenges that you faced as a first-time mom? How did you overcome them?
In the first few months post-delivery, I had this conundrum of how to manage everything efficiently. As time passed, I came to understand how to live in the moment. And since then, my life has become a lot easier.
What would you say are the pros and cons of having a good digital media presence?
It is very easy to get consumed by digital life. There has to be a demarcation between the digital world and personal life. I spend a maximum of two hours putting up posts and carrying out my daily digital activities. I use the digital space to create and share and not to consume.
As you gain visibility as an influencer on social media, a handful of people will always shower you with negative comments. I treat that as noise and never respond to these messages or entertain them in any way.
The positives of the digital world are limitless. One message can reach and benefit so many people. The digital space is a beautiful channel to communicate and share information.
How difficult is it to have a happy digital presence when you are going through tough days as a first-time mom?
It isn’t possible to have a happy digital presence when you have a tough home life. You have to be authentic about who you are. If you are projecting to be someone you are not, people will see through it. For instance, I have just recovered from Covid, and when I was unwell, I didn’t post anything. My followers didn’t leave me because of my temporary absence.
When and how did you start with the Easy Parenting Hub? How is it different from the Instagram page?
Easy Parenting Hub is a structured platform for parenting. I started it in May 2020 with an array of digital products. On this platform, parents can interact with each other and respond to each other’s queries.
As an Instagram parenting influencer, what are the top two challenges that you face? Can you tell us the strategies you use to overcome them?
I enjoy what I do, so I wouldn’t call it a challenge. I definitely put in a lot of effort. As an influencer, it is necessary to be consistent on Instagram. I have always responded to parents’ questions in one way or the other. I believe it’s basic courtesy to respond to any question that is asked on digital platforms.
When I didn’t understand the potential of Instagram, I took 1.5 years to reach 13000 followers. When I vested time and energy in understanding this platform, my followers reached 100k in under a year. People who have a million followers probably understand Insta better than I do. There is still scope for me to understand this segment a little better.
How did you manage to multiply your audience? What, according to you, attracts the viewers to your page?
Understanding the platform, creating the right pieces of content, using the right hashtags to make the content visible, being authentic and true to yourself, and being consistent on the deliverables has got me here today.
For a parenting influencer such as myself, it is important to shift the focus from yourself to the parents – who they are, what they want, how the information can help them, and how they can benefit from it.
Once you have the right content, you have to know how to make it visible to the right audience. Once you achieve this, you can question whether the content is appropriate.
What is your one attribute as a mother that you think every mom could use?
The more you work on yourself, the less you have to work on your child.
How do you cater to screen time to your child? What are the dos and don’ts for him?
I give my son screen time of 35 to 40 mins a day, over and above his digital school time. My husband and son watch a movie every Sunday, and that’s my break time.
I feel if you are giving your kids screen time, you should do it happily. The child cannot be glued to the screen all day. Parents should be conscious of what their child is consuming and for how long. Screen time is completely something that a parent can control, and it has to be complemented with physical and other activities that are essential for the overall development of children.
What does your typical day look like?
Two to three hours in the morning are exclusive to me. That’s when I do meditation, pooja, and chanting.
I don’t follow a work-life balance. I chose work-life integration. There isn’t a fixed routine for me. When I get the time I work, when I feel I need to attend to my family, I do so.
What advice would you give moms who are about to embark on their entrepreneurial venture?
An easy life doesn’t necessarily mean a happy life. Once you find your natural frequency in life, you should go for it. Parents should not use children as an excuse to not do anything.
How would you define your parenting style?
I treat being a parent as a new relationship in my life. I give my child a lot of independence and treat him like an adult. This approach makes parenting easy for me. The role of the parent is to build a happy and nurturing environment for the child, and when that happens, your child will automatically thrive.
One word about Kidskintha
Great space for all things parenting.