Mom Blogger Monday: Neesha, Shradda, Puja & Reena: The Chai Mommas
The Chai Mommas Blog!
The four South Asian women behind the Chai Mommas Blog are hard-working, creative moms that happened to meet in Southern California after a series of coincidental events.
Once they all knew of each other, Neesha Desai who is a project manager at a healthcare agency decided to organize a meeting and she invited Reena Dayal, a stay-at-home mom (former school teacher); Puja Shah, a writer and dentist; as well as Shradda Patel, a consultant at UC Irvine. The four women hit it off instantly and became each others' support through their motherhood journeys and cultural experiences.
"The fact that we can connect on being south Asian allows us to laugh at the funny differences that can translate into our parenting...like turmeric fixes everything...LOL," says Puja.
The women decided to take their friendship further by creating their blog, which proved to be a successful endeavor. Almost immediately after launching, they started getting attention for their unique take on raising kids. They were nominated for a best blog award by Parents Magazine and eventually co-wrote a book titled The Tell All on Breastfeeding for Modern Moms: Using ancient secrets to increase your milk supply and maintain a healthy body.
The Chai Mommas blog covers everything from recipes and crafts to breastfeeding and beauty. On any given post, readers may be able to catch a glimpse of each of their individual lifestyles, through their pictures and storytelling.
"We have the corporate mom, the stay-at-home mom, the free spirited holistic mom and even the mom who was supposed to have multiples. BUT, over time, I feel what keeps us connected is more about the similarities…the culture we come from, the languages we speak, the food..." says Shradda.
Awesome job, Chai Mommas! Your blog is great and your stories are fun, dynamic and inspiring. Thanks for providing great, informative content to read!
What inspired you ladies to become bloggers?
Neesha: My first goal was to create a space to help families feel more like a community and bring unity in accepting different lifestyles in motherhood. I also knew it would give m e a chance to show my creative side which I don't get to do in my day job and that I could with three of my girlfriends.
Reena: My day-to-day life with the kids because being a mom is not easy so sharing our stories with each other and the world felt really inspirational and therapeutic. I also feel like we are so relatable to so many mommas out there. We don’t just fit into one niche.
Puja: While I studied to be a dentist, writing has always been my passion and forte. I blogged on the side prior to Chai Mommas and had a fashion blog with a friend on designer bags as well as a personal blog of my poetry. I now write almost full time for my and my husband’s ecommerce company and Chai Mommas.
Shradda: Everyone who knows me well, knows that I have a deep creative, artistic side. I have always loved all things design, fashion, and enjoyed writing since childhood. I knew that I needed some type of outlet and I don’t think I truly knew what I was getting into when I first spoke with Neesha about the concept but it’s been one of the best things that I have committed to. I get to be creative and connected to three of my closest friends out here.
What is your proudest Mommy Blogger Moment?
Reena: When our followers can relate to a post and show us that by their engagement with us on a topic. One post I wrote was the “5 things not to say to a stay at home momma” and that one felt so so so good to not only write but to get so so so much feedback on from so many mommas that felt the same exact way.
Neesha: I wrote a post on my miscarriage. Anything in your life related to women's reproductive health is very private in our Indian culture. As an Indian woman, I wanted to bring awareness and to let woman know that that they are not alone.
Puja: When my Chai Mommas post “Letter To My Mother’s Cancer” got published by the popular Elephant Journal.
Shradda: I think my post on tips to increase breastmilk production and how much reach it got, that’s something I am super proud of. When I joined the blog, I was expecting twins. I went to very premature labor and one of twins survived and we lost the other. We were in the NICU for over 4 months and my main goal was to produce my own milk for him.
What are your favorite places to take the kids in SoCal?
Reena: Disneyland! My kids really enjoy it and my husband and I may even beat them with just how much!
Neesha: Pretty much any park! With two boys who are super active and sportsy, it's a great way for our whole family to stay healthy, have fun and get the kids’ energy out.
Puja: We are the typical north county San Diego beach family so love beach bummin’ once a week if we can.
Shradda: We live in Orange County and so we love to tuck into Crystal Cove for an afternoon at the beach.
What are your favorite LA Hangouts without the kids?
Reena: We love hitting up Huntington Beach... It’s just a perfect drive away for a weekend getaway and so calm, relaxing.
Neesha: We love hanging out at the Grove in the summer. Great food+ live music + shopping.
Puja: The Magic Castle - we know a member so got invited once and it was an amazing experience!
Shradda: Love driving the PCH into Malibu and indulging in brunch!
Best Motherhood Advice?
Reena: Know your child the best. Never let anyone doubt you on this. Go with your gut, that mother’s intuition is real. This is one piece of advice my mother gave me when I had my first child and it has stuck with me since then. It’s so true!!
Neesha: Don't lose yourself once you become a mom. Take time to balance your life so you still always have time for yourself, your family and your friends.
Puja: Breathe, stay present and have fun...it goes by too quickly to sweat the small stuff.
Shradda: Motherhood is truly a miracle. So through the challenges, the frustrating moments plus the good times and the shining moments…always remember that it’s a gift no matter what journey led you to become one.