Individuality in Motherhood and Mommy Wine Culture | Jyoti Chand
Hi everyone, thanks for joining me today on this episode of MomTalks with Christa. I'm so excited because I have Jyoti from Mama Jotes on Instagram here today. And I found her like scrolling through reels one day, and she has the most hilarious but relatable reels on there. And so I was like, I have to have her on here because she just has this real and raw approach to motherhood and I think our audience here would just love it. So, welcome and thank you so much for coming on.
Christa: Right. So just to get started, tell us a little bit about you and just kind of what brought you to I guess this point of kind of starting your own channel and spreading humor in this way.
Jyoti: I actually started my Instagram page when I was pregnant with my second. I have a background in stand-up comedy and I improved and writing. I got my degrees in creative writing so I was always inclined to push towards entertainment took a break to have some babies. I was born and raised in LA, which is why I think I just think like, that's a natural instinct of being born and raised in LA, you're like, I'm going to go into entertainment but I didn't. I left LA and I live in Chicago now but I was pregnant with my second and there is an immense loneliness and motherhood that a lot of people unless they've experienced that don't understand, like, it doesn't matter if you're surrounded by an entire village. There's still this like deep loneliness, motherhood. So then I started trained with Instagram for entertainment and connection. And I wanted to connect with other moms on there. And I'm also I love doing comedy. So naturally, I started weaving in comedy to my page, probably like a year after I started it. And yeah, I made so many friends off Instagram and I always have this like mission you just want to make people smile. I know moms have like some of the we had tough days and we all just want to like at the end of the day just like chill out and smile. So, my goal has always been to like, bring smiles and now I've reached an audience a lot more than moms, which is really cool. Like I there's people who are like in their early 20s, who resonate with some of my content. So, I love that I'm able to reach like men and women of all ages and but it did all start with a mom in mind.
Christa: That's awesome. I love that. And so, where do a lot of your like humor or ideas come from like when you go to like plan out a post, are you like planning way in advance, you're kind of just like, oh, there's an idea, I'm just going to go ahead and do it?
Jyoti: A little bit of both. I have like an ongoing list of ideas. As they come to me I'll just like jot them into a notepad and I have this like super long like, I'll take the link of the sound bit or like an idea of a song or whatever. And like write down my caption and everything in this like Notepad. And we'll you know, time will come to film because as moms Time is of the essence we had these like spare moments. So when I get these spare moments to film, I will like make three of them in a row from that Notepad. But then there's other times, and what's funny is sometimes these videos just do better. I don't know why, but like people just resonate more. It's like when they come to me in that moment and I just like film it in three minutes, and then I put it up and they're like, but no, feel like I've had no time and he was just like so random and it'll blow up and I'm like, Okay, cool.
Christa: You kind of hear that a lot. Like you know, it was being on reels and seeing people on reels that they say like a lot of times like the ones you put like the police effort and like almost like they resonate with you the most because you don't need it. You don't need to act in it. You know, it's kind of like me, it's a real life. It's almost like people can just resonate with those the most or Yeah, it's like there's like some secret potion to I don't know what it is. Yeah.
Jyoti: It's authenticity. Like I think that when we're not overthinking it, and we're not planning it and we're just like, lol, this is me, I'm being dumb right now. Like I remember one of my first reels to kind of go on to have like, over 100,000 views was me dancing with my daughter and an Ergo baby on my back. And that was literally just like me like learning again, but I had to do it with an Ergo baby and that taught me my partnership with ERGO Baby, which is insane. So and it was one of those like I asked my husband to put this up, like it's that kind of video and then you know, so if there is a slight beauty of just coming in real raw and real. So people want to see that's what people feel connected to.
Christa: Yes, yeah. I love that. I know even the other day I was doing like a story or something and I always try to make you know like, try to rehearse In my head and make sure it sounds okay and I totally like messed up the words like I was having a hard day with work and so it was hard and I posted the blooper and a wheel message and they're like, show more of these like be more like real and I was like okay that's a good point people want to see what real life is like you know they want to feel connected. So I know we have a couple of topics that we want to talk about today that are really important to you and one was individuality and motherhood and a marriage and then also mommy wine culture. So let's kind of start with the importance of individuality. So, what do you kind of mean about by that and how do you keep that individuality within your marriage and in motherhood?
Jyoti: Yeah, so I know that sometimes in marriage we can kind of get lost in the label of being a wife I know I did definitely when I got married and culturally. I'm Indian, I'm Punjabi and we have like roles like we are given like you know marriage is like a big thing for us like it's like you go to school you get your you go to college, you get your masters or your professional degree, and then you get married and then and then you have kids and then there's like this timeline in this role and when it was almost like a 24. I thought that like once I got married I was done like I was like I'm done doing everything else I've ever wanted to do in life. I need to complete anything any dream I have or any ambition I have before I get married so I did I did lose myself in the role of a wife which is why I did take this like break from comedy and entertainment and it took me a while to realize like I'm more than that. Like I'm more than just like a mom and a wife I love those roles and those parts of my life but they're just parts of me and so gaining some individuality from being like my husband's wife which is what I really felt like for a couple years not because of him in any way but it was really just what I put on myself and maybe a little bit of like society influence what is that I felt like for the first time like people were not my parents but like just like the circle the Indian on these and all of them are so proud of me because like I got married and like before that, I was just like a rebel without a cause and it was a big thing like, oh my god actually like you're a nice guy like this is cool. This whole concept of individuality is like finding that your what's yours like my thing. Yes, my husband does participate now but when I started this, this is mine like Mama Jotes is my thing and I know he talks about this in her book fair play she says you'll find your unicorn space and I think it's so important because when we don't have this like piece of us like whether it's new or it's something that you've done your entire life like dancer anything and we're not giving ourselves to that a little bit we kind of lose ourselves in these other roles where we're just caretakers and a part of something else versus just a whole self on our own. You know, does that make sense?
Christa: Totally No, I can totally relate to that and I've kind of talked about this before on like my personal channel about how people like when you get married or when you're engaged people tend to always ask you like, when are you getting married, when are you getting engaged, when you having a baby but they don't tend to ask you about like your personal things or how works going or how your passion project or whatever it is. So I totally yeah, that made a lot of sense and I think that's so important what you said about finding your own thing and those are all pieces of you you're not just one thing and this is this is you that's it and you don't have any other time to keep going so I think it was really important what you said.
Jyoti: We're also complex, right? we have all these like different hobbies and we're you know I like to think that all of us are jack of all trades like you know, especially moms like we can do so many things. I know moms who like build and you know fresh cabinets out of wood and I'm you know and these are all just like that's our individuality like that's makes us more than just married and mom, a married mom or like you know more than a wife and a mom and I didn't see that a lot growing up. I didn't see like moms and wives is more than that because I didn't see like hobbies or in within my own community and my own culture so I really want my kids to see that like you can do all of it in a way.
Christa: Yes, yeah I love that. I think it's definitely changed a lot over the years because it's like when you grow up, it's like you know the you know moms a lot of times that was their main thing. They didn't have the other hobbies outside but like we would see our dads you know working or you know, having other hobbies and stuff. And so, I definitely think it's something that it's becoming more normalized now, but we can still you know, do a little bit more and show you know, others that this is okay, we can all have me jack of all trades, like you said and do different things. And so, what are your best like, tips for someone that's kind of watching that are listening, and they're like, oh my gosh, the way she explained It like that's me like I don't have hobbies anymore. I don't feel like I have a role outside of you know, motherhood or a wife. So, how would you kind of what tips would you have for someone listening to kind of find their voice or find their space again, to kind of feel like them?
Jyoti: I think one of the reasons that sometimes and this was my reason was guilt, right? there's this guilt of doing something outside of your family or your kids, that's just for you. And we, as moms carry that mommy guilt so heavily, because we're like, oh, like, you know, even when you like, want to be away from your kids, which is totally okay to want to be away from your kids for a while, we still have that like yearning of like, I feel bad like, we have this self-talk that, keeps us from wanting, or keeps us from that. And I think the first tip would be, drop yourself, the drop the guilt, drop the negative self-talk, and because it is okay to love your kids honestly, and want space for your children, like, and your husband, like you don't have to spend all this time with your spouse, like, it's okay to like, be in two separate rooms one night, and you're just reading a book, because that's what you need, without having to feel like, oh, this is the only time I get to spend with my spouse, it's like, it's okay, but you want to spend time with yourself too. And I think the more you start spending time with yourself and showing yourself self-love and giving yourself self-care. and that doesn't mean like going to massage days or whatever, literally, self-care is like, sitting down having a cup of tea with no kids yelling at you, like, that's self-care, and you start finding your own, you start connecting with yourself, and then you find joy, you'll find what you find joyful. That makes sense. Like for me that was making videos, and comedy and connecting with other moms and writing. And you know, for someone else that could be like taking a dance class once a week and finding that rhythm again, or taking an improve comedy class or you know, just having something that's just yours, you know, the kids in the house aren't invited to quite get.
Christa: Yeah, I love that. I think that's, those are amazing tips, kind of just finding that thing. And even if it's something you've never tried before, just go out there and try it and just see, just see what happens. Yeah, that's amazing. So we also want to talk about mommy wine culture. And so, for anyone that's unfamiliar with what this is, can you explain a little bit about what this is? And we'll kind of go from there.
Jyoti: Yeah, so I've learned a lot over the last year. So mommy wine culture, alcohol has been really advertised to moms, whether it's through gear, merchandise, videos, it's been a lot of like, increase of like, needing alcohol to get through motherhood, this whole you need a glass of wine, like it was a rough day with the kids versus like, let's process the rough day. There's been a lot of alcohol for coping and motherhood, and it's been supportive, and it's actually become like the norm. Right? I fell into it pretty easily. And as someone who was already had a negative relationship with alcohol growing in my adolescent years, I was the one who never hold my liquor, or I would be the one who passed out at the club and things like that. And, yeah, it's funny to laugh at now. But then I got married and had kids and I was sober. Probably that's about pregnancies. So I didn't really drain and then I fell into the money, wine culture and terrible dream pandemic, because where we'll be doing your home with our kids, trying to be trying to build a platform, while purely mommying you know, just my husband's help. And at the end of every day, like we're the one like it was like any no and I had girlfriends I could think about it when they were like, yeah, girl, get you a glass of wine, like you know, and it's like, it's supported, but it's not to me in my opinion. For me in my story, it wasn't working for me and I always say for me, because some people can handle it. And it doesn't raise their anxiety and it doesn't pause and mine was like a vicious cycle of anxiety for asleep, just from one glass of wine, making me irritable, making me not the best mom that I can be and it just didn't work out for me and I like to I'm spreading the word about alcohol culture in general on this over the AC because in my culture and in my community, there aren't enough people talking about it.
Christa: No, I think you bring up an amazing point because I've even just noticed that within the last few years like you'll see like wine glasses or mugs that are really geared towards like you know, like what's it you don't know what's in here or you know, like that secretive like alcohol to deal with like you started to deal with your kids or like, oh, as soon as you know, 4pm hits, it's time like, you have to deal with everything. So I think you bring up a really good point about how to make sure like see what is working for you. Like if it's being if it's a problem that may be addressed the situation and be able to you know, pull yourself out of it and be like, Okay, what do I actually need right now? Is this actually making me better or, you know.
Jyoti: I was I had gotten to a point where like, I could admit that I was dependent on my nightcap because there were times where I had open a bottle of wine the night before had a glass, which was like eight ounces, no five ounces. And the next night I had no intention to drink Island didn't even want to drink. I was like, already open the bottle, like, I'll just have a glass, it was almost like this dependency of having to have the glass and that's where I kind of had to like, step back and be like, whoa, but this can get really bad. If I let it keep going. Alcohol was invited everywhere, like it's invited to play date is invited to the park is invited to the zoo in like a disguised cup. It's invited to Disneyland, right? Like, this is like normal. Like, I hate to use word normal, but it's what society accepts. There's just like, this is this was cool. You know, we're hiding booze to take with our kids to the zoo. Like, that's cool. I never stopped to question it and now when I look back on my fancy silly.
Christa: Yeah, I know, I was saying to someone recently, it's more around like, Oh, it's a party for the adults because they have to deal with the kids for the birthday, but I don't know. Yeah, it's definitely. It's definitely changed a lot.
Jyoti: It's changed it's changed a lot this last year and not everyone out in the end. Alcohol is a drug whether people would see it that way or not. It's a widely accepted drug that when you don't use it, your question is what are the few drugs that when you don't use it? People are like Why? Like what's wrong with you? Are you a Holic? But it's like, well, I can live the way other people can handle it. It didn't benefit me anymore. And did I like lose some friendships or have some friendships go a little more silent like I did and does that stuff Yeah, it does. And I don't judge my husband still drinks alcohol on an occasional basis my some of my closest friends will drink alcohol. I don't care. I'm not judging you for drinking. I'm saying I had a revelation in my own mind of why I didn't benefit me anymore. Like I didn't want it to be invited to everything and it was you know, becoming a main character of my life. I would take it kayaking. It was just one drink you know, because felt like it wasn't like I was taking an entire bottle of whiskey kayaking I just took a drink but it's like a cast myself in the kayak or why not like I don't know. I don't drink soda for the health benefits.
Christa: Right? Yeah, you're like well, if I'm yeah, I'm just bringing what's the point of even doing it? Like can I just enjoy it.
Jyoti: I enjoy it and can I handle motherhood without alcohol. And that was a cool thing about this year is that like, I definitely can. And I think that yes, was it hard? Were there some days where I was like, God, I just want a glass of wine. I just want to tone this anxiety down. Yeah, but I found other ways to cope that were healthier. Meditation, yoga, Pilates, Netflix binges. Always to cope.
Christa: Yeah, that was yeah, that's actually going to be my next question of like, when you know moms that are kind of feeling like they might be heading that kind of dependency way or listening to this and they're kind of worried like okay, maybe I shouldn't be cutting back. Yeah, what other what tips would you say so when you say meditation yoga, find a good show Netflix?
Jyoti: You sober buddy. I have a sober buddy who is another mom who also found herself going into like a dark abyss. I would also say to keep non alcoholic beverages around like those there's so many non alcoholic spirit companies now that like they make alcohol. So there's like roses and it's not like alcohol removed it's like fully made out of like tea and it tastes like a rose day, it's really amazing. So it's a good like placebo effect for those days really pushes you to drink, I've done that. I've just poured like a non alcoholic Prozac and it's given me that same like vibe, something like okay that's what I wanted. But there's so many other things and it's you know, this is what's inspired a lot of people is going sober has given me sober productivity and all those times I spent a little bit but now are used towards. I don't know my brain is clearer. My creativity is better. I've gotten my audience from 15k to 166k combined, and I got an A. I wrote a book and I got an agent and all this happened in the nine months that I was sober. That's something I've been trying to do the entire time and I don't think it's a coincidence at all. I think that my brains button sharper without alcohol in it but if you were looking to try to cut back even moderate your alcohol to like one day a week or two days if you have the capacity to do that I did not once I started I couldn't stop Oh like sober mom sober accounts, get inspiration from that because it really what we consume on social media is going to affect us. So, when we're consuming videos of mommy's like, putting the kids aside and opening a bottle of wine video. I totally made a year ago you know, that's what we're going to resonate with Rick yeah, I get it. Like I'm going to build it, you know, and but when we're following accounts that are showing you different ways to cope with motherhood and teaching, like, oh, like, check out these Netflix shows or these books or go on a walk and try this tea blend try this month tail, there's so many other things you could do when you're drinking.
Christa: Definitely, yeah, because and that's also a lot easier to and you're not drinking during the week. I've told friends like so I drink but I don't drink like a lot. But during the week, like, I I'm an avid workout in the morning, and even if the older I get even if I just have one glass of wine there stick mornings where I'm like, it feels like I drink a whole bottle because my head is killing me. And so there's, I'm like, I don't even want to risk it. Like, if I know I want to be productive in the morning, I don't even want to take that risk.
Jyoti: That's what it is. It's that one glass. And so it's people think that you have to have like a major problem with alcohol and you have to be to be considered, you know, an alcoholic, or you know, alcohol. In my opinion, alcoholism is a spectrum. That is not a scientific fact. I just think that there's so many different ways like now there's gray area drinking, which is a really big movement that's come along and Holly, I can't remember her last name. She runs the temptress wrote a book called quit like a woman. And that's the book that really sparked my interest in sobriety. It's amazing, because she just she's not a lot of the sober literature books are about people who had like full on rock bottoms, and like redoing like, every kind of drug possible, they ruin their entire lives. It has no inciting incident. But Holly, her book is kind of like you have to hit rock bottom to stop, right? Like, you can just stop you could be for health reasons. It could be like you said on warning, I got a groggy head, I just don't want to feel like that anymore. Oh, I wouldn't be more productive. I don't know, like overtime to my liver. Or maybe I am seeing myself getting a little bit dependent. I don't want to get more dependent. There's so many reasons to stop drinking. And I think as a society, we need to stop questioning why people aren't drinking. Like if you're listening to this, and you are someone who enjoys to have a beverage or five or whatever it might be. And your friend is somebody who doesn't want to have alcohol, you stop asking them why and stop offering them alcohol. Like they don't just like if I said I was gluten free, like, give me a non gluten option.
Christa: Exactly. Yeah, you're totally right, like hit the nail on the head when you said it's the only drug that people actually like asked you like, Well, why aren't you like, there's been nights I've gone somewhere where I have to, like do something over the next day so I'm not drinking at all, or I'm driving home so I'm like, I'm not going to, like, Well, why just have one, you know, they people can't, it's a lot harder for people to understand. Yeah, but what I love about your approach and all this is your, like non judgement approach, like you kind of understand from all spectrums that there's not like, you know, you said people don't have to hit rock bottom, people don't have to be dependent. They might just, you know, they might have a glass of wine, and that's okay. And I think it's so important, like how you just explained all that being non-judgmental, that you know, everyone's lifestyles different, and we kind of just have to see what works best for us and then pull ourselves back sometimes and be like, okay, is this a problem? Or Is this okay? Because you know, I only do it every once in a while or you know, whatever.
Jyoti: I think that's fairly important to ask, because I always say compared to compared to my husband, who can nurse severe there has been a nurse literally one year with his friends and be completely fine. I've like seen him drunk like once in our entire marriage at a wedding. And that was it. And you know, whereas for me, I'm like, I feel like I have drinking water and I'm chugging and I don't have the same ability. Yes, I do for a moment of time, but over time, the more I drink I lose that lack of control and I'm pretty good willpower so it doesn't really come down to willpower. I think it really is like dependency and it is it affects people's brains differently. Well you drink is going to how you are an alcohol is going to be completely different than how I am with alcohol. And so it really is it's a personal journey and this personal assessment and you have to look at yourself and be like, Okay, do am I okay with alcohol? Like who am I? Am I like an emotional drunk? Do I end up in bad situations? Do I have a lot of alcohol induced trauma? Was I the one who always blacked out? Where am I at today? Drinking every day adds up feel. And so there's this like whole self-assessment and no one can tell you have a problem. It's always got to come from within where you're like, maybe I can like take it to just the weekends. Or maybe I can stop at like two shots versus five or whatever it is.
Christa: Yeah, I love that. I love that there's spectrums. Yeah, totally awesome. And so as we kind of, you know, and this interview, I always like to end them with fun thinking questions, I call them. So if you could have a billboard made today where you could share one tip with moms everywhere, what would you have it say?
Jyoti: Laugh every day.
Christa: I love that. That's awesome. What are your tips for getting people to laugh? Like if they're having like a rough day?
Jyoti: Honestly, I think entertainment was made for a reason. TV is made for a reason, even if it's like your own favorite old episode is paid by the bell, like watch it on YouTube, like I know I love rewatching like, some of my favorite scenes from family matters. And this is so funny and assaulted and just makes you think of good times. And I think social media is a great place to laugh when you're following the right accounts, then it's there's some very funny people on TikTok and Instagram and framing out and it's really the new entertainment industry. And I think it's so nice to laugh and even has the laugh over some of these reels. And then yeah, that's really how we laugh. We just laugh over like video. I love that. Yeah. video content.
Christa: Yes, exactly. I know like, laugh like as you're making something or yeah. I love the nostalgia to what you said like I'm a sucker for I mean, I love saved by the Bell. But like our friends, I love all that all that stuff.
Jyoti: Watch the Lizzie McGuire movie. And then at this ending scene, I was bawling. I was crying. I was like, how has it been so long since this movie came out? And my kids are like, why is she crying about it? I was like, you don't get it. Like, if we add the time that this movie came out to now you're leaving college? That's it. We're done.
Christa: I'm going to sound like such a dork. But my fiancé and I just watched I convinced him to watch Beethoven's second. I don't know why I was my favorites as a kid. We watched it. And I'm literally crying at the end when they get the puppies back. He's like, are you okay? And I'm like, it's just a beautiful moment, because they got their dogs back. I don't know.
Jyoti: The first time you watched it. And I think that just like, you know, you remember all of that.
Christa: I can cry all thing about anything. What advice would you give to moms that are in a hard spot right now?
Jyoti: It gets better. I think we've all I've personally been like very hard spots in my life, I have seasonal affective disorder. I've gone through depression, anxiety. And if I could go back to my own self, and just tell myself like, dude, it gets better. Everything is temporary, every feeling every moment, every phase is just temporary. There's going to be a new one in like, moments, you know. And then if also asked for help, wherever you can, whether it's professional, help family, help spouse, a neighbor, ask for help when you need it, no one's going to judge you or put you down because you need help. We're not meant to do it all we're as moms like, I think that we forget that we're not really superheroes and we're just human and we're going to have a lot of feelings. And when I need to tag myself out, I find a way to tag myself out. I'm like, I need a break out and I'm so grateful that I have that kind of support. I don't think we're meant to do it all alone. My parents did it with a village so.
Christa: Yeah, that's amazing advice. I love it. And of course what do you have coming up next, where can everyone find you on Instagram and all that fun stuff?
Jyoti: Oh my god, I have so much happening. So Instagram mamajotes, Mama Jotes across all platforms. I've been tweeting, which is kind of fun. Sometimes a passive aggressive lead tweet like last night, my husband said something I was like, I was like, on the learning is just as important as learning behaviors learned. Like he was like sitting there. And then I sent him a tweet.
Christa: Aggressive to me and passive aggressive. Listening I would do.
Jyoti: Yeah. So you know, my husband's psychiatrists, and he thinks I'm hilarious, because he's just like, hearing Jake Gillis. So now the Jotes on all platforms. I have a book that I wrote this year like I had mentioned and I'm working on revising it right now. And it is going to be published. I just can't announce all the information yet because they haven't announced all the information yet. And then I really want to I'm working on a project to bring to it TV. I am a little bit like it's a new realm for me. And I really want to bring it out early next year so stay tuned for that. That's very mommy centric and yeah.
Christa: Cool. Yeah, that sounds awesome. Well, I can't wait for your book. So yeah, whenever you get more done details, let me know I can always put it in the show notes or update the audience as well. Oh, it was so nice meeting you and it was an awesome conversation, a lot of really important topics. So I really appreciate you coming up.
Jyoti: Thank you. I appreciate you have a good weekend.
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