Parenting 101: Instagram’s ‘motherwithsign’ paves the way to the Internet generation’s heart
Fifteen weeks ago, Poonam Sapra, who is better known as ‘@motherwithsign’ on Instagram, posted two pictures where she is holding two cardboards with a rhetorical question each — “Who says your generation doesn’t listen to parents?” followed by, “How come so many are reading what a random mom is saying?” The ‘random mom’ being Poonam herself.
At her 76th post on the social media platform now, the netizens are listening to her and how.
For the longest time, most children have not been keen on sharing the virtual space with their parents. There are enough memes and jokes on how parents gradually took over Facebook, and their children moved to other platforms. The younger generation clearly does not want their parents encroaching Instagram, except for Poonam Sapra.
Picture courtesy: Instagram account @motherwithsign
At ‘64-years-young’, the influencer mum is winning hearts online for all the right reasons — advising her followers to eat their veggies, drink water regularly, wear enough clothes not to catch a cold, as well as sleep on time.
A millennial generation mum
Her son Pranav Sapra, who works for the foodtech unicorn Zomato, first suggested her to get online and fashioned the account after @dudewithsign, who features protest posts around everyday annoying things.
“This was totally Pranav’s idea. He wanted to do this as a mom’s take on life and situations. I am having a great time, and this opportunity to express and get so much love that I never imagined,” Poonam says.
While the best thing about her Instagram experience is the feeling of connection with so many young people, the mother says that such social media platforms should be used in a responsible manner.
Her content includes things mothers would generally say. “It is a very ‘mom’ thing to say to carry your raincoat. I think it is striking a chord there because it is so universal,” she adds.
Speaking on keeping up with the millennial culture and slangs, she says, “There is no conscious effort but spending time with my children, their friends, and my nieces and nephews. I keep hearing the current hot things they talk about and I’d understand a bit of slang they use."
However, it is not just the oh-so-relatable motherly nags that are finding all the positive love, especially from those who are away from their parents. In fact, there are some messages that may not be convenient to discuss in Indian households, but youngsters would love to have, such as — “Don’t let anyone tell you if, when, and with whom to get married”, “Round rotis do not decide whether you get married or not, you do”, and “Mask your face, not your feelings.”
Personally, she says, motherhood is the most beautiful thing that can be understood only by experiencing it.
“It is as most parents tell their children, Jab tum hamare jaga hoge, tab samajh ayegi (you’ll know when you are in our place). It is like your heart is walking out there and you feel so protective. But you can’t be in their space. Afterall, it is their life,” Poonam says, adding that each day was a new lesson while raising her two children.
One day at a time
Hosting an Instagram live session for the first time with ‘a spirit of adventure’ during the lockdown, the much-loved mother said, “Both of us are hugely enjoying it. I never expected this much engagement, but it feels really good. I also receive messages from children saying they are away from home, and it feels good to see me and my messages.”
Pranav shares that his mother is an optimist, and the account is a true reflection of who she is as a person. “And, if I am positive and try and be as funny as possible, it all comes from her genes,” he adds.
During the coronavirus lockdown, Poonam says that she cherishes her time with her family. She is taking it one day at a time, and is dividing her time between exercising in the morning, working on art, and binge-watching television.
“Whatever is going on, every moment of life is precious and beautiful. Look at the beautiful skies and everybody is talking about mother nature being regenerated. So, latch onto the positive and live in the moment,” she said during her live session.
Adored for all the ‘happy updates’, her Instagram description is a classic parody that reads — “If your parents tell you about Sharma Ji's son, tell them about @pranavsapra's mom.”
On the occasion of Mother’s Day, what’s better than to relive your mother’s advice on Instagram! Here are a few for you:
On being your own boss:
On cherishing the present:
A reminder to take rest from your phone:
On writing your own rules of life:
A parent's plea:
And of course, this motherly advice:
And it wouldn't be complete without this: