Today I have another incredible young mama to introduce you to, Akshaya Borkar. Akshaya is a 29 year old artist and business owner. She became a mum at 24, and she now has two children, aged 5 and 2 – just like me 🙂
Akshaya’s business, The Art and Craft Gallery, recently won a Brilliant Biz Mum Award (2015) for Best Web Presence. You’re one talented mama, Akshaya!
REBECCA: Hi Akshaya, welcome to Sunny Mondays! Please tell us a bit about yourself:
AKSHAYA: I am Akshaya Borkar, 29, co-founder of an unconventional online gallery, The Art and Craft Gallery. I have 2 children, elder girl is 5 years old and son is 2 years old.
RW: What do you believe is the best thing about being a young parent?
AB: You have lots of energy, patience and time to spend with your little bundles of joy and energy. The generation gap is not huge, so it’s easier to connect with their generational thinking, learning and growth needs.
RW: Have you faced any obstacles as a result of being a young parent? How did you overcome these challenges?
AB: Parenting puts a hold on many activities like socialising, travelling, or having me time for all age groups of parents. But being a young parent, it puts financial strains as early in our career we don’t have a substantial bank balance to support our mortgages and living costs, which increase with the nappies and baby goods. So we had to do lot of financial planning when I was on maternity leave for 10 months to survive on one income.
Also, I had to put my child in day care early as I went back to fulltime work early, to supports us financially, which meant more juggling on the home front.
We decided to reduce time on socialising and doing everyday chores as a family so we can spend more time with each other. We spent weekends only doing things that our little girl would like, so she got more attention from us.
RW: Many young mums feel like their parenting ability is judged because of their age. Was this true for you, and if so, how did you deal with it?
AB: Yes, parenting abilities are constantly judged by maternal nurses, doctors, school teachers because of my age. “Actions speak louder than words” is something I believe and follow. I never retaliate or argue with these people who don’t believe in my parenting abilities, but thank them for their caring advice and for making me more focused about supporting my child.
The maternal nurse, who lectured me for first whole year after my first child was born, confessed to me that she was amazed to see how well my girl has been brought up by 4 years of age. The same maternal nurse was completely relaxed and supportive for me when I visited her with my second child now.
I firmly believe that everything in life happens to us, because we have the strength to sustain it positively.
RW: Do you have any advice for our young mamas about pursuing their passions while raising children?
AB: Never stop dreaming about your passion. Motherhood is an important part of your life, but it’s not the only life you have to live. But the first 2 years of a newborn’s life are very important and this time you should prioritise them rather than your other passions.
Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo, has said that, “Women can’t have everything at the same time, but we have managed everything at all times”. So accept that you will not be 100% at everything at all times. Sometimes you will be a mother, other times you will be a working woman, or entrepreneur etc. as per your priorities.
RW: Sunny Mondays is all for mums making their self-care a priority. What are your favourite ways to practice self-care?
AB: Healthy eating and getting enough sleep are my favourite self-care priorities as I fall sick often if I don’t maintain a balanced weight and rest.
RW: If you could offer the Bright Young Mamas of Sunny Mondays one piece of advice for thriving as a young mother, what would it be?
AB: There’s a saying in Hindi, “Everything in life happens for a reason. You get what you are destined for when the right time arrives.” So, believe in yourself and follow your dreams.
Thank you for sharing your story with us Akshaya!
Connect with Akshaya
Akshaya Borkar is an award winning, first generation immigrant to Australia’s sunny shores. Her art has won awards in London, and her business, The Art and Craft Gallery, was awarded Best Web Space Award in the 2015 Brilliant Biz Mum Award. She was also nominated for the best Creative Marketing on a Budget, and was a runner up.
Akshaya’s business, The Art and Craft Gallery, connects artists/artisans with art lovers worldwide through their online gallery. Buying and selling unique handmade gifts for every occasion is now simple and quick. The Gallery invites artists, artisans and hobbyists from around the world to showcase their beautiful creations, to gain high exposure and connect with art lovers.
Over to you, Mama ::
What did you learn from Akshaya? Feeling inspired?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below 🙂