Making sense of motherhood
LIFE LESSONS: Kanika Chadda Gupta
KANIKA CHADDA GUPTA DISCUSSES HER POPULAR PODCAST
PARENTING is challenging and more so during a global pandemic.
Former CNN anchor/executive producer Kanika Chadda Gupta has helped ease the burden with her top-rated podcast That’s Total Mom Sense, which has inciteful interviews with distinguished guests, tackles interesting topics and helps solve everyday problems parents experience.
The popular podcast providing plenty of answers has entertainment value, attracts big names like Kareena Kapoor Khan and is blazing a unique trail. The podcast has also been turned into a popular global radio show, and she has also launched merchandise to enhance the listening experience.
Eastern Eye caught up with mother of three Kanika to discuss her podcast, importance of listening and what mom sense really means. She also gave great parenting tips for young and older children.
You have had a successful career on CNN, as a director of programming for a leading international network, editor-in-chief for an online fashion retailer and running your own digital marketing firm, but what led towards creating your That’s Total Mom Sense podcast?
It was shortly after my husband, and I had our three kids. I had boy-girl twins and my youngest son. I was thrown into the deep end (motherhood) when I had my three kids within a year and a half. It was drown, or doggy paddle my way to the top. As a journalist, I’m hardwired to ask tough questions, so found myself seeking answers about life as a parent. I knew others were in the same boat. With no time to read mountains of self-help books, I was yearning for tools to simplify daily life, as well as an outlet to feel part of a conversation and community. Just like that That’s Total Mom Sense was born.
Tell us about the podcast?
I invite distinguished guests who are New York Times bestselling authors, Ted speakers, celebrities, and trailblazing entrepreneurs, to share their ‘mom sense’ experiences and dig deep on topics like what to expect when you’re done expecting, managing mom guilt, rekindling your marriage, and dividing up the workload at home. Guests have included Kareena Kapoor Khan, Mallika Chopra, Lisa Ray, Rebecca Minkoff, Reshma Saujani, Bobbi Brown and Natalie Morales.
What has been your most memorable episode?
My most memorable episode, released on Diwali 2021, features Kareena Kapoor Khan. She is Bollywood royalty, a global icon and above all a doting mother to two boys. She shares how she’s ever confident in herself, whether she’s a size 0 or a size 10, how she manages her work and family, and the inspiration behind her book, The Pregnancy Bible: The Ultimate Manual for Moms-to-Be.
What are the biggest challenges mums have faced during the pandemic?
Moms are dealing with burnout. Due to the childcare crisis, many left the workplace to home-school their children or manage remote learning. They need support and resources more than ever.
What advice would you give mums with young children?
When with your kids, be present. When we’re on our phones and snubbing our kids, it’s called ‘phubbing’. Researchers found that parental phubbing was associated with students’ depression in late childhood and adolescence. You don’t want your kids as teens phubbing you, so set a precedent and be a good example. Also create magical moments through one-to-one time with each child – making individual memories that will have a lasting impression through adulthood. Also affirm, don’t complain. I spoke about this with Bobbi Brown who said we can’t control our circumstances, it’s how we respond not react to them, so we have to ‘get over it, get over ourselves, and get out there’.
What helps with this?
Start your day with a list of affirmations. I say these affirmations every morning by Charles Haanel who wrote The Master Key System. “I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious and happy”. And trust your mom sense and dad sense.
Tell us about that?
To me, our mom sense is our built in sixth sense and superpower of intuition. No paediatrician, nanny, teacher, friend, or book is going to truly understand your child, so you trust your gut with what you think they need. It will never steer you wrong. You have all the answers.
What about mums with older children?
Listen to them. Don’t tell them about how things were different in your day. Just listen and they will always feel comfortable to come to you, to confide in and be there no matter what.
What key lessons are there for men?
One of the pillars of the show is inclusivity, so I feel it’s incredibly important to regularly speak and hear from fathers and give them a platform to share their opinions and perspectives. In 2022, I am releasing a monthly segment called What Matters Most where I co-host with a start-up founder of the parenting management app, Maple, and father of two, Michael Perry. On this series, we discuss the lack of dad-driven community groups, how to navigate infertility as a hopeful father, how effectively to divide the workload at home, and how fathers can make an impressionable impact on children well through their adulthood.
What are the plans for your podcast?
I am also writing a book based on my show and plan to turn it into a live talk show for OTT platforms.
What is the secret of being a successful working mother?
Trust your mom sense. It will always steer you on the right path when it comes to raising your kids. Take time to build your tribe of empowered women who are there to support and uplift you, and to whom you can be of service as well.
What inspires you?
My mother and grandmother were my role models. I am most inspired by women who chart their own path and pass on their family values to their children. We are superheroes!
Why should we tune into your podcast?
Tune in for the inspiration, laughs, personal
stories from global thought leaders, and most importantly as a means to fill your cup so that you can give back meaningfully to your family and community.
Visit Instagram: @kanikachaddagupta, @thatstotalmomsense and www.thatstotalmomsense.com