Ruchita Dar Shah grew up in Mumbai, went to Xavier’s and Sophia Polytechnic. In her previous avatar, she was an advertising professional, married to a banker (now ex-banker but still current husband!). She worked with agencies such as Preeti Vyas Giannetti, RK Swamy BBDO and Mudra on brands like Sony, HBO, Nestle, Dabur, Aditya Birla Group and The Taj. Two kids, three countries and four cities later, Ruchita finally found work-life balance as she began freelancing as a graphic designer. Around the same time, in 2010 she founded First Moms Club. Here she tells her story.
‘We’re now a 45K+ strong group’
What is First Moms Club and how did it start?
I started First Moms Club (FMC) to connect with my mommy friends. Facebook made it easy to share our experiences after having become mothers. Some continued with their careers, while some others became stay-at-home moms. While we were different in many ways – be it our education, our career choices, where in the world we lived, the one thing common to all of us was that we were also grappling with this thing called motherhood and needed to reach out and figure it out together without worrying about being judged or being labelled ‘not good enough’.
Over the last 5 years, my friends invited their friends who then invited other like-minded women onto the group and slowly but surely (and despite screening and it being a closed group) we’re now a 45K+ strong group (and growing!)
…Where every woman can voice her opinion and bond over common issues
FMC has been built and grown organically. While most websites or platforms address only parenting concerns, FMC is completely dedicated to the woman behind the mother, who is often forgotten in this roller coaster journey called Motherhood. As against most parenting sites or expert pages, FMC is powered by us mommy members ourselves. It’s not a one-way ‘gyan’ giving platform, but one where every woman/mom can voice her opinion and bond over common issues. It’s almost like each mom has a megaphone in her hand and she is not afraid to voice her opinion on this platform. FMC members have to adhere to certain rules, so that the group continues to remain meaningful as it was in its early days and yet is a space for moms to hang out.
Many new initiatives online and offline were planned to keep the community growing strong each year. The mother is always at the heart of each initiative that FMC has planned or plans to do in the future.
What has been the most fascinating story in the journey so far?
FMC has made me an accidental entrepreneur and I love each moment of it. Also it has given me an opportunity to meet many like-minded women entrepreneurs. I totally believe that women should collaborate with each other to help and grow. Through FMC I have collaborated with many such women entrepreneurs for events.
Real fulfillment to me is also seeing what I do make a real impact to women like myself. I feel proud of having created a platform where women from all walks of life connect with one another, share their concerns, ask each other for help and are able to share a laugh ensuring we don’t take ourselves and this whole motherhood journey too seriously. Also FMC will always stay relevant to our members. The main focus is to build FMC into a platform that can accommodate many more members while still delivering a personal experience to its members.
How is FMC different from a Kitty Party or a ladies club?
FMC is an online digital platform. FMC started as a FB group and then slowly we also had a FB page, A website www.firstmomsclub.in, Instagram Acccount and now an App, that is available for Android & iPhone which connects Indian moms across the world. There is no membership fee, no money exchange, no monthly meets or hierarchy in this club. Everybody is equal whether you live in big city or small. The only qualification one needs to be part of the group is that you need to be a Mother and you love to share your experience, support each other in this journey and enjoy while you are doing so.
A happy mother makes a happy child
How does one get FMC membership?
Currently our App is only open to the Members of the FB FMC group. For now we want to keep it open only for loyal members who truly value FMC and understand its ethos and essence. One can become a member of the FMC Group on Facebook and then download the App.
India is lacking in happiness index. What steps are you taking in this regard?
I personally believe that a Happy Mother makes a Happy child. Children are our future. So FMC loves to keep the Mom happy through its daily dose of humour, sharing of positive blogs. Indian moms and I would say most Moms everywhere forget their own happiness once a child comes in to their lives. Life becomes more about the child and less about themselves. FMC always focuses on the woman behind the mother. We only want the woman to feel special, happy and complete so that she can be a happier mom for her child. FMC encourages humour and believes that yes motherhood can sometimes be a roller coaster, wild and crazy life altering journey …but if dealt with loads of humour …it could be best ride you ever sat on!