Founder | Host | Television Anchor | Entrepreneur | Podcaster
Like my grandmother, I have a fervent belief in the power of storytelling and human connection and have built my life and career around that. I was born in India and my parents, and I immigrated to the US when I was two years old. Gathering around the television to watch the evening news was a ritual in our home and I knew that one day I would be on air like the incredible women of color before me - Oprah, Connie Chung, and Lisa Ling to name a few.
I began my career at CNN stationed in India (funny how life comes full circle!) and covered the gamut of global events from Slumdog Millionaire at the Oscars to the 26/11 terror attacks. After moving back stateside and continuing to work as an executive producer for international networks, I got married and ended up having my three kids within a year and a half. Yes, that includes a set of twins. I felt overwhelmed. Burnt out. Confused. I listened to podcasts to get me through, but found the parenting space was bereft of a show that is I) informative, II) engaging, and III) inclusive. And just like that, my fourth baby, That’s Total Mom Sense podcast, was born!
What were the biggest initial hurdles and how did you overcome them?
Parenting in a pandemic was tough. I homeschooled my 2-year-old twins and 1-year-old for over a year. I was always tired and hated that daily tasks like grocery shopping became a crazy field trip. However, I made the most of it. I would tell myself, “this is a blip in time,” and that it was a blessing that I got to spend so much time with my kids during their formative years. I would wake up at 5 am to get work done, would take them outside to play at a park or for go on a nature walk 365 days/year no matter the weather (I’m talking sleet, rain - we just dressed appropriately!), and when they napped in the afternoon, I recorded guest interviews on Zoom and got back to work late at night. I ended up releasing bi-weekly podcast episodes, a Parenting in a Pandemic guidebook, the Breaking Down Covid-19 series, and At Home with HOMER series, because I wanted to serve my audience of parents who were in dire need of support, resources, and key takeaways from experts. Giving back to my community made every challenge worth it.
What books are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading Saumya Dave’s Well Behaved Indian Women. I’m lucky to call her a friend and love the nostalgia she brings as she illustrates female stories of generations past and present. I’m also reading Did I Say That Out Loud by Kristin van Ogtrop, which is a laugh out loud memoir about overcoming midlife crisis.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started?
There’s no such thing as an overnight success. Even virality happens after working long days and years of chipping away to create your overall vision. You have to have persistence and grit to keep you going.
What advice would you give to an upcoming youth or talents locally and internationally?
Rather than focusing on you, think about who you want to help. This could be your podcast audience, viewers, social media following, or local community. When your objective is rooted in problem-solving and serving others, it’s that much more meaningful and will leave a lasting impression.
You can learn more about Kanika Chadda-Gupta and her podcast at www.thatstotalmomsense.com.
PODCAST & SOCIAL MEDIA:
Podcast: That’s Total Mom Sense