For those of you masalamommas who blog out there, you're part of a select crew. While there's been an explosion of blogging moms over the years, South Asian moms who blog, aren't necessarily on the radar.
For many parents, the impulse to write about their parenting lives is a powerful one and some South Asian blogging moms we spoke to say having a blog gives them an outlet for support, inspiration and the hope to connect with others just like them.
Some might say, that prior to marriage we may not have necessarily been part of a "group" so to speak, but the minute we get married and have our first child, we immediately have something bigger in common. That is, a culture which is so intimately intertwined with the concept of family and the cultural expectations that go along with it.
"The most important thing I bring to light in my blogs and tweets is being a divorced single South Asian mom and domestic violence in the South Asian community," said one Hindu-Punjabi mom blogger known as V4Vaishali, which has a growing twitter and facebook following. "I started to blog about the power of positivity and how it initially helped me out of a dark period in my life. I found that to be very therapeutic and decided to write more about my personal experiences, thoughts and feelings more as an outlet for myself more than anything."
While many South Asian moms who blog feel the same, some say they don't feel connected to the mommy blogger community as a whole.
"I notice that I have a large South Asian female following, which is great," said Sheba Siddiqui, a mother of two and writes a personal blog. She gives readers a glimpse into her world as a mother, daughter, television producer and reporter.
"I feel that by reading my blog, they connect with me, understand my pressures and stresses and know what it's like to grow up as a first generation Indian-Canadian woman who is now handling the demands of being a wife and mother. On the other hand, I don't personally know any other South Asian mommy bloggers. I know they're out there but I haven't met any in my own community."
Some moms like Radika Kowtha says connecting to a community may not always be a priority.
"I have always considered myself to be a person, human being and a woman first. Mother, wife, student, daughter, friend were all roles one plays while being a person, human being or a woman or ma," said Kowtha who blogs are called Tunneling Thru, Click and Cesmots. I did not intially crave to meet other moms, I was quite content just writing about everything I chose than just focusing it on my kids and their activities. Mommy bloggers are a huge very connected networked community and Ive always been on the fringe,not necessarily by design but it's just the way I am. There are a few women bloggers I have struck a healthy wonderful relationship and only a couple of them are moms. It wasn't the criteria. So in that regard, yes and no, but that's just me."
Siddiqui adds many South Asian women, including moms, aren't necessarily encouraged to go public with their issues or concerns so blogging doesn't come easy.
"Based on my observations, there seems to be a stigma in the South Asian community about speaking your mind and letting the world into the ups and downs of your life. It's like we should all pretend to be the roti making, chai drinking versions of June Cleaver. So when I come across a South Asian mommy blogger who is telling it like it is in her world - the good, the bad and the ugly - I admire her for her courage."
Naya Weber, a mom living in Texas says she started blogging partially to provide that South Asian voice that was missing in the blogging community.
"I don't know of many South Asian mommy bloggers," said Weber, who writes about the importance of breastfeeding mixed with her passion for style on her blog, Lactivist in Louboutins. "The mommy bloggers I follow are Caucasian, African American, or a mix of different cultures. Part of why I started blogging was because many of the mommy bloggers I came across were stay-at-home moms. I knew when I got pregnant that that was not an option for me. I wanted to provide the point of view of a working mother and post about any South Asian related issues if and when they arose."
Siddiqui says it's these 'issues' that have a place in blogs written by moms in the community.
"I recently blogged about miscarriage and was surprised at the overwhelming amount of private messages, emails and anonymous comments that were posted on my blog from women who've endured such an experience. Now if we could only get to the point of bringing it out into the open and realize there is no shame in it. Even if no one responds to my blog postings, the fact that they are logging in or searching the Internet to read my blog makes me hope that it is having an impact."
"I think society wants to hear from us and is intrigued by us but we're too shy or feel like what we have say doesn't hold as much value," said Toronto-Area blogger Salima Jivraj, who writes a blog called halalfoodie.
Whether you're a mom in India, or a mom living in Canada, UK, US or elsewhere, being a parent can be an isolating experience at first and blogging can provide a sense of feeling connected to someone else going through a similar cultural or parenting challenge. Maybe there's someone who is two steps ahead of you in that same challenge and can give you another perspective.
By Anjum Choudhry Nayyar
Read more about South Asian moms who blog on masalamommas.com