By Neha Suri
Mother’s Day 2019: As mothers, we are constantly stressed about whether we are doing enough to raise kind and compassionate children. I feel, instead of being stressed, we should just be people that bring about joy and happiness, and hope they will carry that positivity ahead. We are, in fact, raising the parents of tomorrow.
As a child, I saw my mother’s face light up just as much as when she prepared a meal for 25 people, as when she spoke about one of her students and what she had achieved with them as a teacher. The happiness of creating, sharing, and her kindness gave her joy, and that has been my biggest inspiration as a mom.
Seeing my mother happy was the biggest source of my happiness and something that has stuck with me. I want to create an environment where my kids can draw from my happiness and add it to theirs.
Being a happy mother means doing as much for your own growth and happiness as spending quality time with them. As we are working parents, our time together during the week consists of morning drives to school where we share our love for music and reading with our children. The weekend is where the real quality time happens, when we celebrate the mundane and make the most of our time with each other.
A lot of the conversations with my three- and six-year-olds are around gender stereotypes and physical stereotypes, topics which they may have picked up from people or friends around them. My daughter is a car lover, and my son plays a lot with her dolls; for me, it is important that she sees that there is no limit to her imagination in our house, and that she goes ahead and shares that opinion with her peer group.
We live in a world where a holistic education and exposure to all the arts is definitely important, and a given. I want to provide my daughter with opportunities and experiences that make her truly believe in her capabilities and support her cause in whatever she enjoys passionately. This confidence is what she will carry through life, through its ups and downs and her own journey of being a mother. What is important is to create an environment where she can feel safe but not live in a bubble. To give her the freedom to feel empowered enough to make the right decisions for herself. A space for us to trust her to do the right thing. A space where she grows up to love who she is versus who she should be.
As parents we try to steer clear from over-parenting. We all learn more from our mistakes than from our successes and I want her to learn that more than anything else. It is fine to fail, make mistakes and move on.
I am as driven as an entrepreneur as I am as a mother, and that is possible only because of the support structure I have around me. From my in-laws to my parents, my support system is immense. My husband and I share our work and parenting responsibilities equally with a lot of joy. It is this positivity in my relationships that I want her to experience and believe in as she grows up.
My drive at work comes from a place where I am doing something I am passionate about and fosters my creativity. It is also a place where we can help others grow and collaborate in an environment which helps them reach their creative potential.
We are creating the foundation for the future of human-kind, and as parents it is our responsibility to give them the independence to make their own decisions, foster their creativity, live with passion, and raise them to be kind by inculcating these values within ourselves.
(The writer is Co-Founder and Creative Director, Artfoto Studios & 1010 Creative.)