Now more than ever, there is a need for moms to reunite and uplift each other. It’s time to change the tide and celebrate the women who have not only created a strong family foundation but also made a name for themselves in their respective careers. To turn this idea into reality, Mompower360 has introduced a conference series for moms, The Mom Power Conference is launching its first conference in Bangalore in association with Motherhood Hospitals. The panelists are pioneers of their fields who along with inspiring mom-achievers and mom entrepreneurs will come together to empower moms to believe they can undoubtedly have it all.
The brains behind Mompower360, Lakshmi Seshadri, is a mother of three, a wife, a social entrepreneur, an engineer, founder of The Joy box, an ex-model and Mrs. India who was crowned Mrs. Perfection among the top 10 of Mrs. Universe in 2016. Post pandemic, she observed the burn out faced by moms everywhere as they tried to maintain all facets of their busy lives.
In an exclusive conversation, she says..
Tell us more about yourself…
I am a social entrepreneur, a busy mom of 3 and I live in Florida with my husband and 3 boys. Though I’ve settled in the US for the past 15 years, my heart continues to remain in India which makes me bring my family for summer by default every year so kids are rooted to our culture.
Being 6 ft tall, modeling was one default field I was pulled into during my engineering. Went on to model for many Indian designers, won multiple titles and proudly represented India in Mrs Universe. I also run a charitable project called the joy box which redirects surplus from the community to NGOs and those in need. I believe in living a life with purpose that makes waking up to a new day exciting and with the Mompower360 project it’s been quite an amazing experience weaving my passion into something that’s impactful.
What is the idea behind launching MomPower 360?
The idea was to empower moms because they are the core of a family. If we can enable and strengthen this core from inside out, we can create healthy happy families and stronger generations. And it all starts from a mother consciously working towards it because she has the power and responsibility to impact the next generation for better or for worse. With busy life everyone leads, quite often certain areas take a backseat which has long term consequences. So how do we mitigate it on its track and redirect our direction to better possibilities?
Being a mom is a full time job which is extremely rewarding yet challenging at times. We don’t come equipped with manuals and it’s a constant work in progress where we have to reevaluate our strategies towards various aspects of life whether its children, spouse, our health, mental wellbeing or career. Creating a platform for just that would be quite valuable for many especially for today’s mom whose approach to life is quite different from previous generations.
What is the objective behind it?
The goal is to create a real platform for moms beyond the digital clutter out there. A place where they can all come together to reboot, reset and kickstart any areas they choose to with various perspectives presented to them from a whole bunch of inspiring moms while building their own network of moms. Mothers are the first teachers but we don’t come with a manual or training. We leap into it and figure it out as we go. It’s never the same either. It’s constantly evolving and adapting to various needs of the family and one’s own personal wellbeing. How do you tackle that? Do we fall into default mode that might be damaging in the long run or do we mindfully evaluate and take it upon ourselves to work on what matters. End of the day it’s our own mindset that dictates which direction we are leading the family.
How is it like being a mother of 3? How do you maintain the work-life balance?
It’s fun, chaotic, tiring and exciting all at the same time. Each kid needs their own individual attention so it is all about consciously making time for each one of them and being mindful with whatever time we have together while also making time for other things. Routine is the key. Everybody in the family knows what to expect throughout the day and it helps to keep everything going smooth.
What made you go back to modelling?
The extra motivation to work out and get back in shape after I had my second one. Competing for Mrs Universe made me a bit more disciplined when it came to working out and eating right.
Who has had the biggest impact on your career?
Many for that matter. I am constantly inspired by brilliant people who go after their dreams and lead a meaningful life. We have something to learn from each person we meet. So hard to point to one in particular.
How did you select the panelists? What was their first response after hearing about the initiative?
First it was evaluating all the areas moms are constantly striving to nail from fitness, nutrition, parenting, relationship, fashion, hair/makeup, career and entrepreneurship. Then it was about bringing different people together with various approaches to each of these categories. Because there isn’t one shoe that fits all when it comes to motherhood. We want women to listen to various perspectives and absorb the one that works best for their lifestyle to create a road map for themselves in this one day power conference.
What is your plan for MomPower 360 after the event?
We will continue the conference series in other cities and in the interim have various activities to engage moms in the community. We are launching an app for moms that will enable them to engage without the digital clutter or noise of social media which is nothing but a perpetual blackhole that sucks time out of our precious day.
‘The Joy Box’, what is it?
It was one of my other instinctive initiatives I started after a visit to an orphanage. It just felt so unfair to see little babies without the love of parents. My donations could only go so far. So I wanted to create something that is sustainable and which benefits people on both ends of the spectrum. So instead of cash donations, I started donating life size metal boxes called the joy box to large apartments, companies, and malls where people could drop off their surplus. Once full, the proceeds get redirected to the NGO of their choice. It’s running successfully in various locations including Infosys, brigade, puravankara etc.
Any advice to young mothers who are just starting out? Tips to maintain the work-life balance…
Life is going to get very busy when you have kids. It’s important not to lose your identity because you will be a better mother, a partner and professional when you take care of yourself. You are bound to struggle in certain areas and it’s okay. Everything is a passing phase and it’s constantly adapting which takes time, patience and perseverance. Be wise with your time so you can allocate what truly matters and other priorities. As long as you consciously choose to be mindful and grateful, you will truly enjoy this journey of motherhood, work and life in general.