I haven’t blogged since December 2016, so first off I would like to extend my warmest wishes to you all for a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2017! Secondly, I have to mention that I really appreciate the lovely emails I receive inquiring about my family’s well-being. Thankfully everyone is doing well but I still haven’t been able to keep up with Modern Day Brown Mom due to time constraints. My husband works six days a week and for those six days it is just me and my three children at home. As you can probably imagine, it gets overwhelming and exhausting pretty quickly and leaves very little time for anything else. However, I have been quite active on Instagram so that’s where you will find me the most. As for the blog, I am going to make an effort to write more regularly and fulfill all the recipe requests that have accumulated over the past few months. Please bear with me.
I have gained many new readers over these couple months, so I feel that is appropriate to take this opportunity to introduce myself and of course the inspiration behind Modern Day Brown Mom. I am often referred to as Modern Day Brown Mom in the emails I receive (which I think is hilarious), but my actual name is Geerthana Uthayakumar. I am a 28 year old mother of three: 6 year old Akshaya Shakthi, 4 year old Udayan Karthik, and 8 month old Achyuthan Vishnu. You can learn more about how I chose my children’s names here. If you are following me on Instagram you can probably guess that I am quite passionate about packing lunches for my two older children, and providing them with a wide variety of nutritious, homemade meals. I am equally passionate about health, organic foods, and the Tamil-Hindu culture.
I may come across like I have it all figured on Instagram but trust me when I say motherhood has been my biggest challenge thus far and probably will remain my biggest challenge in life. What most people do not know about me is that I have lupus, an autoimmune disorder that when active, wrecks havoc on literally every part of the body. My whole identity these past few years has revolved around being a mother and being the best mother that I could be to my little ones, despite life’s day-to-day challenges. According to loved ones, it only seemed fitting to share my passion, experiences, and knowledge with others. Less than two years ago, with lots of encouragement, I hesitantly began Modern Day Brown Mom, mostly as a pastime but also in hopes of inspiring other young moms like myself.
Here is a little background about my journey into motherhood: I found out I was pregnant with my daughter when I was 21 years old, legally unmarried, and still working towards my undergraduate degree in Biomedical Sciences. The majority of people in our lives advised me to terminate the pregnancy and continue on pursuing my education, career, life. Instead, I happily chose to keep my baby and let life fall into place. I had absolutely no idea what motherhood entailed or how I would handle it. All I knew was that when a little life is put into your hands, you love, protect, and care for it the best you can.
As often as I hear praise, I hear criticism for my choices. It is still something that will be frowned upon, but I do not regret it one bit. With the support of my amazing father, who babysat Akshaya while I attended school, I was able to continue on with my education. However, I chose not to pursue a career because I felt that I had missed out on too much with Akshaya during her first year. Soon after Udayan came into our lives and I have been a stay-at-home-mom ever since. Being a SAHM had not only given me the opportunity to watch my kids grow but it has also (forcibly) shaped me into the woman that I am today. That being said, as soon as Achyuthan starts kindergarten in 2020, I will be off pursuing a career along with the dreams and aspirations I have for myself. In the meantime I blog, and get paid to write/edit, occasionally.
The title of my blog may seem controversial at first glance but I let me tell you that it is not and here is why. I chose the name Modern Day Brown Mom, because it sums up who I really am; I am a modern-day, not-so-talented version of the amazing mothers that occupy my native land of Sri-Lanka. I am always in constant awe of how women back home successfully raise many children while cooking amazing meals from scratch daily, making numerous sweets and short-eats, and tending to all household chores. Both of my grandmothers effortlessly juggled careers and families at a time when women with careers was a rarity and that has always stood as an inspiration to me. I think people mistaken me for being arrogant by calling myself “modern” but in actuality I do mean “modern-day” as in “the modern day brown mom” specifically because I was born and raised worlds away from my ancestral land.
I believe the concept of the modern-day brown mother applies not only to me but to all second generation South Asian mothers – the children of the diaspora – who are raising children using the parenting methods of both the Western and Eastern worlds. For example I urge independence, implement time-outs, and celebrate holidays like Christmas and Halloween, but I also cook delicious Sri-Lankan fare and celebrate Hindu holidays so that my children can be exposed to and whole-heartedly embrace our roots. It is extremely important for me that my children know where they come from and maintain that piece of identity with them wherever they go. For the above mentioned reasons and more I consider myself to be the modern-day brown mom.
The feature image was taken by none other than Kanthini of NamNEe Studioz. You can view all her beautiful portraits on her Facebook page here.