Stepping out of the everyday routine is a challenge for everyone, but especially so for women.

I am sure a lot of women can relate to this:

Son’s school leaves early today? – I need to leave the office early and finish this presentation late at night. Husband’s travel plan changed? I am going to extend my work-from-home request. Daughter has to turn in a school project? Let me skip the gym tonight.

So many women end up making everyone’s routines their routine, that having an established routine for themselves becomes a challenge. Women often deprive themselves of the time and resources they need for their own nourishment.

On the other side, we have the media routinely feeding us ‘self-care’ products- as if an expensive eyeliner is all you need to wipe out the feeling of sleep-deprivation from those eyes. No, it won’t.

Self-care is about managing burnout, stress, anxiety, reflection, and self-esteem. It takes time and energy, precisely the resources we seem to lack. As it goes, self-care is not all bubble baths and smoothies – it is hard work.

Sometimes, it means seeking things outside your comfort zone. And while most of us merely nudge and push the corners of our comfort zone meekly, Amulya Kulkarni, vaulted herself out of her comfort corner in one sweep. She decided to test herself, and surprised herself- and everyone else! And emerged as Haut Monde Mrs. India Worldwide 2019 finalist, Amulya Kulkarni.

Read on to know more about Amulya’s journey in this brief chat we had with her.

Hey Amulya!  You are a finalist for Haut Monde Mrs. India Worldwide 2019 contest. Tell us how it happened to you.

Haut Monde Mrs. India Worldwide Amulya Kulkarni
As the finalist of the Haut Monde Mrs. India Worldwide Contest 2019

This was in Sep 2018 when I sat one day pondering how my life had changed since I gave birth to Myra two years ago. While I had got back to work, I had lost the real me in the journey of becoming a wife, mom, and daughter in law. I was reading about women who had been through this and came across Aditi Govitrikar and then researched more on Mrs. India. I came across Haut Monde and when I dwelled into the contest details, it seemed unachievable for a normal working mom. But then, that was the sole motivation to explore my own capabilities which had taken a huge backseat in the last two years.

On becoming a Haut Monde Mrs. India Worldwide Finalist

How did you prepare for this contest?

The contest required us to be healthy and fit which meant toning yourself, taking care of your skin, hair, food and maintain basic hygiene that makes us presentable and helps showcase our internal and external beauty. Hitting the gym, continuing with my dance choreography, trying to sleep early and yes- keeping calm and thinking positively paved my way to the pageant finale.

Most of the see the final glimmer and glamour of pageants. What’s it like behind the scenes?

Hahaha! In short, on screen and off screen are two different worlds. I have begun to appreciate the glamour industry and artists a lot more post my three-day stint at the Agra Orientation. Let me take you through the auditions first: We had three rounds starting with ramp walk to an introduction round and finally the talent round with 15000 competitive women across continents chasing the dream. For an amateur like me, the practice started with trying to walk in stilettos. I would practice about 15 mins every day to gain the confidence to carry myself with poise on the ramp. The introduction round was to present myself to the world ‘who I am’ in less than 45 seconds. It was important that I draft, rehearse and speak in an impactful way that would help me stand out. The talent round was probably the easiest- since I love to dance. However, I practiced in advance, once the song selection was finalized to ensure I stick to my choreography.

The Video shoot at Agra was the best learning experience- we braved the scorching heat at noon in our picture perfect makeup, gracefully done hair and elegant dresses with the 5-inch heel sticking into the sand. While each of us had to wait for the turn to shoot the 2 min video, I learned to appreciate the people and effort that goes beyond any media content that we see. I try to capture my journey behind the scenes on my Instagram and Facebook page, so feel free to catch up anytime.  

How did you manage to balance your work, family, and preparation for the pageant?

I would be lying if I said that I have got it all!

It has been a roller coaster ride and continues to be one till date. With a spunky preschooler and a full-time job, in addition to managing a

Haut Monde Mrs. India Worldwide Amulya Kulkarni
With family

household in a nuclear setting is surely a challenge. But I believe that when you love something so much so that you desire to see it happen- we do make the space and stretch for it. Mrs. India Worldwide is that sparkling star that I see twinkling every night. And I only go to bed having assured myself that – If I do it for myself, I have done it for thousand other women out there who have been telling me that they want to be like me. 

Have you seen these skills transfer to other areas of your life?

Multitasking: I believe we as women certainly have a knack for it, but I am getting even better with each passing day.

Also See: 5 Things Mompreneurs Can Do To Crush Overwhelm

Thinking beyond boundaries: While we do this at work, I have seen this influencing my personal capability to think beyond the normal and challenge the status quo. I am glad to see that my posts have triggered conversation, dialogue and debate on social media.

 To not fear the road not taken: The zeal to take on new challenges and tread on the road not taken. We often do it at work, but this was my personal journey which required consistency along with quirkiness.

What’s on your bedside mantle right now?

 ‘When Women Ruled the World’ – I am glued to this book post my Egyptian adventure.

 A strip of Becausles tablets to fill in the vitamin gap in a day.

What’s your message for fellow moms?

Haut Monde Mrs. India Worldwide Amulya Kulkarni
At Zasken schans in Amsterdam

It is normal but natural for us to prioritize the kids, spouse, and home over us. And if there is a space- we squeeze in work and the extended family.

At the end of the day, we are content in finding joy in smiling faces around us. However, it is important that we smile for a reason of our own- your own self. Be it eating what you like, reading a book, watching TV, shopping, cooking, traveling or just lazing around!

Also Read: Jyotsna Ramachandran: What this maker of self-publishing bestsellers could teach you about home-based businesses for moms!

Do take time out for yourself. Make yourself your priority no 1! Be your own favorite!! Only when you are happy, you can spread the joy, warmth, and positivity around.

I struggled to do this initially, but now I see the change.

What’s your vision for the future?

In the next few years, I would like to see myself as an HR leader who is result oriented and drives an organization impact through people. On the personal front, with the Mrs. India Worldwide journey, I would like to evolve myself into a woman who can inspire and ignite any strata of our society while being the compassionate mom I am!

 Kidskintha and our reader wish you the best for the upcoming final contest! 

 

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Devishobha Chandramouli

Devishobha is the founder of Kidskintha- a global parenting and education collective, and the host of the global virtual conferences hosted on the platform. You can also find her voice on the Huffington Post, Mother.ly, Entrepreneur, Lifehack, TinyBuddha, Thought Catalog and many other publications.

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