My parenting journey started as a huge surprise. At 26, the last thing I was prepared to hear was that I was expecting. That too while juggling a crazy work schedule in New York. My husband and I had hoped to move to India, and settle down in our careers before we started a family.

However, life has a way of throwing out your well-laid plans and we began to prep for the arrival of our little one while my husband was still doing his MBA. I worked through my pregnancy, drove to work in the Bronx in the wee hours of the morning, ate all kinds of junk, didn’t make it to the gym, and while I knew better than to eat for two, I ate more than I was supposed to, using the demands on my work life as an excuse.

As a public health professional, and someone who ran outpatient units, that too in internal medicine, I had long hours and often had to drive from place to place for meetings, stopping on the way to snack, and then rushing home to feed my little Yorkshire terrier, who I was convinced had satiated my parenting desires for the time being.

I had severe sciatica that limited my mobility at times and I did what I could to prepare for the baby with the other constraints that I faced, however, given that I had never worked out a day in my life, I had no intention of starting it with a baby in my belly. I assumed my wellness goals were met by the pre-natal vitamins I took religiously.

It was only after my son was born and I had an impossible time losing the 18 kilograms I put on that I realised I should have been less impulsive and more focused on my recovery. As a decade-long patient of the polycystic ovarian syndrome, not only was it difficult for me to shed any weight (despite nursing around the clock), but my hormonal troubles actually got worse.

However, there’s a drive that parents have that I believe makes them even more efficient than before. I’m not quite sure how I got through my initial parenting journey alone in the States—it’s now a blur of boxes being packed, a lot of nights awake, and no time to breathe. And yet, I began to share tips and tricks online for other parents and started my journey as a writer during my maternity leave in 2014.

My blog, Mommy Diaries, that began as notes on my phone jotted down while nursing, has grown into a community of 170,000 readers, and 65,000 social media followers across Facebook and Instagram. And this remains my passion project that often gives me sanity and a place to vent, beyond my daily juggle.

We have moved to India, had another child, added another puppy to our family mix, and I got back to work, joining my family healthcare business. I also have a start-up, grown out of my awareness of what’s lacking in the baby care space in India, that keeps me on my toes through the week.

Yet somehow in the middle of all the chaos, I knew it was time to focus on my health and well-being too. Which has become a priority in every way, as my visit to the treadmill or pilates studio is now a part of my daily life. Parents really are more efficient, perhaps because we get used to the less sleep, or we want to be better human beings for our babies, but somehow, it’s easier to get it all done than I would have imagined.

Wellness though, for me, is about how you feel about yourself. Whether it is having a safe space to share your thoughts, a group of girlfriends you can vent to when you are low, or a machine to run off your stress at the end of the day, the goal is to feel better about yourself, which is something that every mother needs. Fitness too, can be a big part of this, and for me it now is—with the goal being strength and steadily increasing my own abilities day in and day out.


  • Tanya Khubchandani Vatsa

    Blogger, entrepreneur

    Tanya Khubchandani Vatsa has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Economics, Psychology and English from the University of Pennsylvania. She graduated with her mind set on a public health degree knowing that she wanted to spend her career in health care and her time working in a hospital setting. In 2010, Tanya graduated from Columbia University with a Master’s in Public Health focused on Health Management and Policy and with some experience under her belt that had made her realise that the work she enjoyed most was looking at quality and safety issues in the hospital space. Subsequently, she joined Montefiore Medical Group in the Bronx where she worked as a change management coach and was responsible for operational restructuring four outpatient sites that managed over 200,000 patients collectively. However, the change Tanya initially was not equipped to manage as seamlessly was the serendipitous one that came out of her, demanding endless amounts of attention and was up through the night—her son, who was born in February 2014.  While on maternity leave, she realised that a lot of parenting came naturally to her, and all the reading she had done in preparation had helped her a great deal, what she didn’t know she was learning on the job, and the rest she was researching at night and making notes of. Tanya realised that it was time for her, her husband, and her eldest baby Coco (other than her husband who she, till date, refers to as her eldest) to move back to India, where they would have a support system so that she could help her father diversify his business into healthcare like she had eventually planned to, and so that her son did not have to be a daycare baby and could grow up with his grandparents around him. Tanya also started to email out the notes and research that she would keep jotting down on her phone to friends who were expecting and would ask her for advice. Eventually, she began to receive replies encouraging her to put those notes into a blog, and so she did, and that blog evolved into Mommy Diaries. As of September 2017, Mommy Diaries—the blog, has crossed over organic 108,000 reads without promotions of any kind, except for shares on Tanya’s own social media pages on Facebook and Instagram. Tanya moved to India in August 2014, and joined her father at the Khubchandani Group soon after. They are working together to open a chain of hospitals and have a multispecialty hospital in Juhu, Mumbai and a cancer centre in Mumbai. Tanya is simultaneously working on expanding her blogging proprietorship to spread the message about instinctive and hands on parenting to more mothers. Tanya plans to enter the media space and is exploring various options with leading publications and digital/ TV networks. Tanya has recently had a baby girl, and adopted another puppy, and has also taken on a personal mission to get fit and to help moms feel better about themselves.