#CoolestMoms: Pooja, Sailaja, Priti and Kiranmai

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May 10, 2015

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In honor of Mother’s Day, we asked readers to nominate the #CoolestMoms they know, the ones who admit to not being perfect—and not trying to be. Then, we reached out to those mothers to find out more about what makes them tick. Today, we wrap up with Pooja, Sailaja, Priti, and Kiranmai as they share their joys, struggles, and parenting philosophies.

 

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Pooja, #CoolestMoms

POOJA SOLANKI

I am an interior-architecture professional, V. P. Projects at Tiles & Styles. I live in Mumbai with my husband, Tejas, 10-year-old son, Karan, and my in-laws.

TS: How do you think you’re keeping it real as a mom?

Reality hits you the moment you experience labor pains and manifests into M-O-M. Then on, there is never a moment when you aren’t aware of being a parent. I suppose keeping it real involves not losing yourself and your identity in the process. With all the demands and challenges that come along with the role, it’s just as important to remember to keep your desires alive and achieve them, too.

TS: What are three struggles you face as a parent that you aren’t ashamed to admit?

Parenting is tough as is it, and, with time, it’s become harder to remain grounded. As parents, when you are forced to compare yourself with peer and parenting styles, you tend to question your own from time to time. It almost feels like a rat-race in itself, from the doctor you’ve chosen, clothes, classes you’ve enrolled or not enrolled your child with … especially in a city like Mumbai. We need to understand this and remain within limitations of your own comfort.

TS: What’s the one thing you look forward to doing by yourself when/if you get the chance?

Most certainly spend a day relaxing by a pool while having someone serve me food, followed by spa and rejuvenation!

TS: If your child could put you in time-out, what would it be for?

Most certainly making him do his own chores at home, even on holidays!

TS: Please describe your parenting style in 3-5 words.

Tantrums won’t get results, don’t give in, and don’t give up. You know your child best, what makes sense for you may not be the most obvious way for anyone else, follow your instincts with caution. Kids crave love and attention, no matter how complicated or busy we may get, especially with working moms. Just don’t falter on this front!

TS: Fill in the blank: If only someone had told me … 

… it’s just not limited to terrible two’s; there are three’s, and four’s, and five’s, and all the way through adulthood!

TS: If there’s one thing you could say to every mom in the world, what would it be?

Every passing year has a new challenge. We need to constantly adjust the ratios of nurturing to supporting to being a friend to being their strength and maintain the right balance.

 

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Sailaja, #CoolestMoms

SAILAJA AYYAGARI

My daughter, Bhavana, is an MBA student at AIT, Bangkok. She is everything to me! My super best friend, Manu, is like my family. Mom and Dad are retired and settled in Hyderabad, India. Elder Brother, too, lives there with his family.

TS: What are three struggles you face as a parent that you aren’t ashamed to admit?

  1. Not able to spend enough time with her by her side
  2. She is so far away that most of the time I am worried about her health, safety and well-being
  3. I want her to be a financially independent woman, but can’t make out how she will be able to cope

TS: What’s the one thing you look forward to doing by yourself when/if you get the chance?

Travel to a remote countryside  ​or hill station and spend some me-time ​ and foot massage-time​.

TS: What is your craziest mommy trait?

Giving discourses sometimes to a grown-up daughter! She calls me (for fun, of course) “Maata Sailaja Nanda Mayi“!

TS: What are three annoying habits of your child?

  • She sleeps like there is no tomorrow.
  • She doesn’t read much.
  • ​One look at her closet makes me go wild and mad!​

TS: What is the one habit/phrase/trait your child has picked up from you that you wish they hadn’t?

Staying up late nights and I often wonder “Why this habit?!”

TS: Please describe your parenting style in 3-5 words.

​Positive Discipline/ Authoritarian/ Friend-like

TS: Fill in the blank: I’d feel content that I raised a compassionate, good kid if…  

… she is loving, giving and caring.

TS: Fill in the blank: If only someone had told me … 

… what motherhood is all about!!

TS: Admit it, you’ve bribed your kid.  Tell us about the biggest bribe your child has managed to elicit from you.

A ticket to Bali​!​

TS: If there’s one thing you could say to every mom in the world, what would it be?

Just be the Best Friend to your kids—it helps.

 

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Priti, #CoolestMoms

PRITI SAHGAL

I am a mother of a 22-year-old son, living with my husband and an extended family. We are a big joint family with seven members: my husband, son, father-in-law, brother-in-law, co-sister-in-law, and nephew. We have a common kitchen and we dine together. We are together in joys and sorrows, giving moral strength to one another in times of need.

TS: What are three struggles you face as a parent that you aren’t ashamed to admit?

  1. To feed my child nutritious food when he was a toddler.
  2. To prevent my child from watching TV (excessively).
  3. To make my child admit honestly if he scored low marks in examinations.

TS: What’s the one thing you look forward to doing by yourself when/if you get the chance?

I would spend my time with my favorite book, a cup of tea, and would also tune into Bollywood hits of the 70s, 80s and 90s the whole day.

TS: Do you think there’s a lot of pressure on women to be perfect? How can moms help create a healthy role model?

Yes, there is! By turning pressure into pleasure. Well, I mean, one has to be calm and composed in dealing with crucial things in life and especially in the matters of children. It’s natural and easy for any mom to panic and get anxious relating to matters of their children. I have been and still I am an anxious mom, but I have learnt to control my anxieties through meditation. It greatly helps! I don’t say I have no anxiety, but it has reduced tremendously.

TS: What is your craziest mommy trait? 

Giving my kid all sorts of nicknames out of motherly affection.

TS: What are three annoying habits of your child? 

  1. Stubbornness
  2. Eating junk food
  3. Laziness (occasional) when it comes to domestic chores

 TS: If mom and dad disagree on a parenting decision who wins?

Mom, of course 🙂

TS: Please describe your parenting style in 3-5 words.

Love, pamper, admonish, sacrifice

TS: What or who was the biggest influence on your parenting style and in what way

My own mother. From her, I have learnt to be patient and sacrificing, if the situation requires.

TS: Fill in the blank: If only someone had told me… 

… that I should not worry about society or my job and give more priority to growing years/stage of my child and devote more to it.

TS: If there’s one thing you could say to every mom in the world, what would it be?

Give yourself TIME! Time once gone can never come back. Be there when your child needs you and even when he/she doesn’t need you.

 

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Kiranmai, #CoolestMoms

KIRANMAI PENDYALA

My husband Mr. P. Ramakrishna is an entrepreneur, loving and caring spouse, our daughter Ms. P. Sphoorthi is a budding lawyer, the spark of our lives. My family also consists of my father, mother (departed from this world three years), brother-in-law, sister-in-law, and two nephews.

TS: How do you think you’re keeping it real as a mom?

Spending quality time, rather than focusing on the quantity of time I spend with my daughter. What is really important is, the fact that she knows I am there for her, when she really needs me.

TS: What are three struggles you face as a parent that you aren’t ashamed to admit?

  1. I can’t always be there, given work and travels
  2. Not good at cooking what she wants
  3. Not knowing, and fumbling on, when to be tough, and when to be flexible, in her teenage years

TS: Do you think there’s a lot of pressure on women to be perfect? How can moms help create a healthy role model?

Yes, there is indeed a huge amount of societal pressure on women to be Supermom, Superwife, Superdaughter, etc. In other words, women are expected to be super at everything—perfect at what they do. Moms of today can help create a balanced image of what is humanly possible, a dose of reality, and establish the right role model for future generations to come.

TS: If your child could put you in time-out, what would it be for?

For my no-nstop chiding, on a given topic, of what could have gone wrong. 🙂

TS: What are three annoying habits of your child?

  1. Sleeping late into the morning
  2. Doing things at the last minute
  3. Not answering my phone calls, when she’s going to be late returning home from a party with friends, or making her friends answer the call

TS: If mom and dad disagree on a parenting decision who wins?

My child and her annoying habits 🙂

TS:  What or who was the biggest influence on your parenting style and in what way?

My parents, and maternal grandfather. My parents are role models in raising a family, given that both of them are the eldest among their siblings, and they raised us – my brother and me – with the values of sharing, caring, a focus on education, and the importance of bonding with family. My maternal grandfather taught me how to learn from the epics, and enrich life with values.

TS: Admit it, you’ve bribed your kid. Tell us about the biggest bribe your child has managed to elicit from you.

Flying to New York for celebrating the New Year’s Eve on a holiday.

TS: If there’s one thing you could say to every mom in the world, what would it be?

Love your child, you will. But, in the name of love, do not lose yourself so completely that you lose your head. Balance the head and heart; live your life as well, because you deserve it.

 

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Many thanks to everyone who nominated and participated in the #CoolestMoms campaign!

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Written By The Swaddle Team

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