Mitali Sagar from House of MISU on the Trials and Triumphs of Becoming a New Mom

One half of the power duo behind the popular fashion, beauty and lifestyle company House of MISU, Mitali Sagar gets candid about handling motherhood during the pandemic, returning to work as a new mom, and the advice she would give to new mothers.

By Shreya Maji
31 Jan 2022

“Other moms may inspire you, but your journey is your own,” Mitali Sagar, fashion influencer behind the popular House of MISU, wrote in an Instagram post with her son, then one-month-old. Motherhood is the ultimate learning curve. While you might be expecting the overwhelming amount of love you feel for your little bundle of joy, no amount of reading up on parenting books or consulting YouTube vloggers can truly prepare you for the curveballs that having a new baby can throw at you. “There will be diversions, re-routes, unpredictability and challenges,” continues Mitali in her post. “You need to take a deep breath and accept that all that matters is what is best for you and your baby.”


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Mitali's pregnancy and early motherhood coincided with the first wave of the global COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The one upside of having a baby during the pandemic, anecdotal evidence shows, was the freedom to bond with one’s baby without the added pressures of societal obligations or entertaining visitors. Mitali echoes this. “Having the guilt-free ability to devote oneself entirely to the task of being a new mother was a tiny silver lining in having a baby during the pandemic,” she says. “I wasn’t being pulled in other directions because I had nowhere else to go. No FOMO, no work events—just me and my bubs. Even with a fog of exhaustion hanging over me, it had been bliss. I also had Sid (Siddarth, her husband) working from home the first 5 months, which gave us plenty of time to settle in as a family and get to know each other in our new roles.” Research from the Center for the Changing Family, University of Southern California, found that the pandemic led to many dads working from home, allowing them time for a lot of interaction with their newborns, which led to better bonding and connection.


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In picture: Mitali Sagar with her son


But parenthood also arrives with the absence of holidays, downtime or any breaks. Between the postpartum recovery, learning to breastfeed your baby, running on extremely little sleep and looking after all your baby’s needs while also trying to function as a human being yourself, you can quickly run yourself to the ground from sheer exhaustion. “I did of course have some moments where I wished I could have been at girls' night, or I didn’t have to leave a lunch date early to go breastfeed. I’m only human,” observes Mitali.


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So what are some actually helpful tips that helped make her journey a little less stressful? “One great tip I picked up along the way is to keep your baby and your weight healthy, breastfeed as much as you can, and invest in a good quality breast pump,” says Mitali. “Do not eat for two as that’s a complete myth. Stay active, unless your doctor recommends otherwise. Don’t buy everything your mom-friends suggest because you probably won’t need so much. Tell your friends and family what you need so they don’t gift you things you already have. And make sure to use Vitamin C and sunscreen to avoid pregnancy-related pigmentation.”


With the myriad of duties on a working mother’s plate and the endless expectations of getting it “right”, it can be easy to experience feelings of guilt and anxiety. “I always imagined myself as a mother who could do it all: work, play, cook amazing meals, take care of the baby, spend time with my friends and look fabulous while doing it all,” Mitali captioned an Instagram post of her son back in December 2020. “But the truth is, I struggle, and there is rarely anything fabulous about the way I look.”


Mitali resumed her work as a professional fashion blogger soon after, juggling her home and work life with an impressive amount of energy, enthusiasm and optimism. So how did she navigate going back to work as a new mom? “First and foremost, you cannot let the guilt consume you,” advises Mitali. “You have to remember that you’re a great mom; being a working mom just means you wear more hats than most. If you are feeding, set up a pumping schedule so you are comfortable at work. Invest in good nanny cams so you never have to wonder what might be happening at home. Set up a schedule in general so you can stay on top of your tasks. And when it gets too much, remember to ask for help. Motherhood isn’t easy, but it is the most wonderful feeling in the world.”



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