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Being a mommy isn’t an easy job – not for our moms and grandmoms, not for us, not for celeb moms always in the limelight. Sometimes, it seems to us that the rich and famous have it incredibly easy; raising babies is simpler when you have help and adulation from the rest of the world. However, deep inside the heart, every mother is just the same – all she wants is to protect her baby, to maintain a strong bond with her husband, and also, somewhere, to keep her own identity intact. Mira Rajput, who got married to Bollywood actor Shahid Kapur in 2015, became mother to daughter Misha last year.
In her journey so far, Mira has suffered a good amount of media glare and criticism. Whether it was about her remarks on stay-at-home-moms versus working moms, or about enjoying her role of a homemaker, she has tasted plenty of bashing online. Amidst all this, however, she too is just another mom and holds nothing dearer to her heart than her baby.
In a recent interview, Mira opened up about her experiences of motherhood, and made some honest confessions about raising baby Misha.
1. “I Did Not Read Any Parenting Books”
The moment you announce your pregnancy, you start getting book recommendations too – books on diet and health, books on caring for the baby in the womb, books on parenting. While there is no doubt that books can be very helpful in preparing one for motherhood, it is also true that they can be confusing and overwhelming – especially when the advice is contradictory.
Mira preferred not to read any parenting books and relied instead on her mother and sister for advice. For this young mommy, this seemed to be quite enough preparation – and indeed, nothing quite like getting it from real moms, no?
“I didn’t read any books. My family, my sisters, my mom, everyone gave me so much advice, and the best advice I actually got was ‘Don’t read any books. Listen to yourself, listen to your body’. My sisters are moms themselves, and they gave me very practical advice. I read nothing because I didn’t want an overload of information and I didn’t want to get stressed.”
2. “I Don’t Want to Give [Misha] Kale and Quinoa for Dinner”
Today, Indian moms have access to the complete global cuisine – we can pick from among organic foods, farm-fresh produce, and baby foods the world uses to feed their children. However, the best option for little ones is simple, homemade fare, and all of us moms know it. Mira too prefers to keep Misha’s diet simple.
“I think the diet should be something that’s easily doable especially when you’re a child. I think it’s better to keep it simple. (What if) I’m not able to take it forward if I’m travelling or if I’m at somebody else’s house? So you can give them dal and rice, or you can give them roti, dal and sabzi, but you can mix it up! You face challenges along the way, but you just have to manoeuver through them.”
3. “I Know Why Misha Loves Her Upma With Nimbu”
They say the cravings the mom-to-be has during her pregnancy decide what the baby will grow up to like. Science has also proved that a baby’s food preferences start getting shaped right from the womb. As per some recent studies, your baby can discern full-on flavours using their senses of smell and taste as early as 21 weeks! In Mira’s case, this sure seems to be coming true!
She says, “My craving was lots of Indian Chinese, spicy food, masala… that’s why [Misha] loves her upma with nimbu, and that chocolate that Shahid sneaks in every now and then. I see her having something and I ask him ‘What have you given her?’, and they both have a smirk on their faces. ”
Mira and Shahid have already started their daughter on a journey of cherishing food and relishing wholesome, simple fare. We think this is a wonderful habit to start early in life!
“I think food is something that one should have a happy association with. And that’s an association we want to build now. So it’s something she should look forward to, she should enjoy and it’s something she should really relish.”
4. “I’m The Strict One; He’s The One Spoiling Her”
Little babies are so adorable, how can anyone stop themselves from showering them with love and spoiling them to bits? But all parents know that balance is important in life, right from the beginning. And this is something parents can achieve together. In every household, there is the strict one, who ensures the child gets her food and naps on time and sticks to healthy eating. There is also the lenient one who loves to tamper with these schedules and sneak in little treats now and then!
Mira confesses that in her home, while she is usually the strict one, Shahid is the one who spoils his daughter no end. But at the end of the day, they have managed to create a wonderful balance.
“Shahid and I take turns. Most of the time I’m the strict one, and most of the time he’s the one spoiling her. He’s the one sneaking in the chocolate, or giving her a little sip of his morning drink. But both of us just like to have fun with her. We want to enjoy every experience with her.
Shahid as a dad is very hands-on, he wants to do as much as he can, at times I ask him to take it easy and relax. He is always so excited to spend time with Misha. He is a little paranoid when it comes to keeping things clean around Misha, and she is just like her dad, she loves looking at herself in the mirror!”
5. “Breastfeeding is an Extremely Fulfilling Experience”
Mira also shared her experience of breastfeeding her daughter, and said it was a very fulfilling, gratifying experience. We are sure this is a sentiment to which all of us mothers who have breastfed their babies can relate. Feeding your baby your own milk is one of nature’s best gifts. While not all of can nurse our babies, owing to medical problems or other personal reasons, doing it if possible is indeed a gratifying choice.
“I’d like to share from my personal experience, is if you can, and if it’s possible, breastfeed your child. I think it’s the biggest gift you can give your child, it’s the biggest blessing a mother receives, to pass on to her child, it’s an extremely fulfilling experience, it’s very gratifying. The bond that you have with your child is something that can’t be replaced. I made sure that I did it.”
6. “Becoming a Mom Has Made Me Value My Mother”
One sureshot thing that maternity does for everyone – it establishes just how a wonderful a person our mom is! In the daily chaos of life, we often take family members, especially our mother, for granted. But in giving birth and learning to care for a little baby, we realize the sacrifices and compromises our mothers have made for us. It makes us value her in a whole new light.
Mira says about becoming a mother, “It’s made me value a lot of things that I took for granted. It’s made me value my mother, made me value my parents, it’s made me value my husband so much more, and I think it’s made me a much happier persona. It’s made me a much more wholesome person.”
7. “Your Relationship with Your Child Should Be One of Friendship”
Mira is a young mom and had her daughter Misha when she was only 22 years old. Handling the stress of motherhood – both emotionally and physically – is a strenuous task for every woman, and this was the case with Mira too. She confesses that the mantra of being calm and trying to be friends with your little one has helped her manage many of the obstacles in her journey so far. Indeed, it is crucial to try and enjoy the experience of raising a baby, come what may; these days will never return.
“If you’re happy, your baby is going to be happy. When you’re feeding your child, if you’re calm and happy, that goes to your child. (So) Be calm, yes, but definitely have fun! Your relationship with your child should be one of friendship, and you should enjoy the experience.”
With little Misha’s first birthday around the corner in August, Mira is busy making birthday plans. She is not planning to throw a party, but instead organise a family picnic with her sister’s kids, her parents and Shahid’s parents. “I think birthday parties at such a young age, the child itself doesn’t know what’s happening and it gets very boring. I don’t want to put her through that and neither does Shahid and I think it’s a memory that all of us are going to enjoy. We want to celebrate her birth and keep it simple.”
Our best wishes to mommy Mira for her parenting journey ahead!