Big Little Choices is one of our favorite podcasts, and we’re so excited to have Sri Bodanapu here to share some insight on navigating motherhood in today’s opinionated society.
What made you start the Big Little Choices podcast?
I started Big Little Choices while navigating my own parental journey as a mom to a 2-year-old. I felt like there was no shortage of information on how to raise my child—between my incredible mama tribe, the wealth of information online and the endless stream of well-meaning family and acquaintances. And while it was easy to just conform to someone else’s opinion of how to raise my child or be a mother, it never felt authentic or right for our family’s needs. I wanted to do things my way but was hesitant to question what I was told was ‘the right way to parent.’
So I started reaching out to moms in and outside my community. To hear from them on what their ‘normal’ was. How moms who didn’t look or think like me were making decisions that might seem unconventional and don’t necessarily conform to cultural or societal norms but are done from a place that lends itself to authentic and sensible parenting.
This podcast came about as a way to spread these stories and celebrate the rich diversity of inspiring choices in our communities.
What’s the biggest lesson that motherhood has taught you?
That you have to let go of control—of when you have a child, how you have a child and if that child will be what you expected her/him to be. They will fall sick when they want to, refuse to eat the elaborate meal you prepared for him or decide they don’t want to be friends with who you think might be good for them. Letting go of that desire to control life has been my biggest lesson as a mother.
Do you have any tips for other working mothers?
Take pride in whatever you do. You might have an incredibly busy job or maybe you only work part-time. But regardless of that choice, you are setting an example for your child. That you can be a mom, and have an identity outside of that role. That you are independent and working hard to further whatever aspirations you have for your life.
What are some essential lessons that other mothers have taught you that you didn’t know before?
To have courage to make an unconventional choice. I grew up in a family where we didn’t question choices that parents made for us or didn’t necessarily have the courage to do something that was off the beaten track. I’ve been so lucky to have so many role models around me. From my mother and aunts to my cousins and friends and now all these incredible women I meet on the podcast. Every one of them has helped me let go of some guilt, insecurity or anxiety that comes with parenting.
How do you stay so positive?
Perspective and people.
I get to meet so many incredible women who are dealing with so many challenges of their own. When something brings me down, I have to remind myself that everyone is dealing with their own unique problems in life and this shall pass, too. I also get to do what I truly enjoy, have an incredibly supportive husband, family and friends and a precocious 3-year-old.
How do you deal with insecurity?
That’s a really hard one. When it comes to my work, I have to keep reminding myself that doing something is better than not doing anything at all. And there might be some people who don’t like my work but for every one of those, (hopefully) there’s someone who really enjoys the content I’m putting out there.
In my personal life, currently it mostly revolves around if I’m doing a good enough job as a mother. On days when he prefers being with his dad, or when he tells me lunch was terrible it makes me question my competency as a mother. But one of the lessons of motherhood is that you can’t control the outcome especially with a 3-year-old. Do your best and the rest will just play out as it’s supposed to.
How do you see BLC growing over the next few years?
I would love for BLC to be two things.
1. Be a platform where any mom who has made an inspiring or unconventional choice, will feel comfortable sharing her story without fearing judgement but using it as a way to educate other people in our community about choices that may be perceived as unusual. I want it to be a place where ordinary women are celebrated for their extraordinary choices!
2. Become a place where you can seek support from another woman who went through a similar life experience as you. Whether it’s that you want to adopt, that you have a special needs child or that you homeschool your kids, I want this podcast to be a starting point where women can hear stories that encourage them to make that unusual choice, and feel confident to seek out more community to support them through this choice.
What do you hope that other women take away from your podcast?
So many things. Our guests are full of wisdom!
1. That you can make an unusual choice and have a happy ending. Just because your life doesn’t look like someone else’s in your community or friends’ circle, it doesn’t mean that it can be less fulfilling or enjoyable. Yes, each of our lives are different and circumstances don’t always lend themselves to our ‘ideal,’ but like one of our inspiring guests once said, ‘This might not be the garden I thought I was going to be planted in, but we are definitely going to bloom in the garden we were planted in.’
2. That we have to be respectful of each other and our choices. Every mom is trying to do the best for her family, and even though someone else’s choice(s) might seem unusual or unrelatable, we need to understand that choices are not black or white. Let’s try and be empathetic and supportive of how we parent!
What were you doing before BLC?
I had a couple of careers before BLC. I started my professional life in market research, worked at some exciting companies like Facebook, then took a detour and worked for an incredible non-profit before going back to school and getting a degree in nutrition. I spend part of my time consulting on nutrition and the rest on the podcast.
Who or what inspires you?
My dad who at 69 is still unstoppable, never afraid to take on new challenges, ask questions or push himself to achieve more. Also, so many of the women who are on the show. They might be working moms, stay-at-home moms or single moms, but all of them show so much courage and determination in doing what’s right for their children and families.
What are 3 things you can’t live without?
Family, friends and really good food!
What’s your favorite thing to do to relax?
Be sure to also read 5 Ayurvedic Habits To Adopt This Summer and 5 Small Routines To Get You Excited About Waking Up!
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