Even as she roots for her hubby to come out stronger as a contestant in the Bigg Boss house, both Teejay Sidhu and Karanvir Bohra belong to the millennial generation of parents who are normalising equal parenting.
By Zofeen Maqsood
It’s been more than seven weeks that actor Karanvir Bohra has been in the Bigg Boss House. While on reality TV, it’s a great achievement, back home in real life, his wife Teejay and two kids are excited but also miss him dearly.
So how does it feel to solo parent two young kids while your partner is away for work? Isn’t parenting alone—even if, for some time—a daunting, uninspiring prospect?
Actor and celebrated social media mummy, Teejay Sidhu however makes us believe otherwise. Sidhu talks to us about how solo parenting can be a powerful experience and why it is important sometimes for parents to be free and realise their dreams.
‘Teamwork becomes my work’
It’s safe to assume that Teejay Sidhu’s life is as hectic as it can get these days. When she is not busy filling up her two-year-old twin daughters’ calendars with activities so they don’t miss daddy too much, she is rooting for her hubby on social media to come out stronger as a reality TV contestant. Both Teejay Sidhu and Karanvir Bohra belong to the millennial generation of parents who are normalising equal parenting. If Teejay runs mega popular social media handles where she shares parenting experiences, personal anecdotes and toddler tips with millions of her Instagram followers; hubby Karanvir is often seen being a doting daddy. So, for a couple who really see parenting as teamwork, how does it feel for Teejay to be the boss of all the baby chores while hubby is locked away at the Bigg Boss house? “It gives me a new perspective,” says Teejay. Women or men should not feel shortchanged if they have to take up each others’ duties sometimes, she believes. “As partners, it is natural to sometimes feel agitated or overwhelmed with duties. One may also feel that one is doing more than the other. But when you have all the duties to yourself, you often realise how much your partner had been contributing.” She adds, “Karan has always been a very proactive dad, so yes, I do end up doing a lot more now. But letting your partner grow professionally and supporting them is teamwork parenting too. And yes, it should stand true for both partners.”
Being the mom and the dad
Teejay has a tip for all those moms who may have to spend some periods parenting alone as their partners may be away for work or on deputation. Surround yourself with more people, she advises. “While it’s powerful to take up the role of both parents, it’s also best to ask for help so you’re not burned out.” Talking about how she has been dealing with the change, she says, “When Karan went for the show, I moved to Canada for a couple of weeks where my parents and extended family live. It was important because the twins had to be busy with other family members so they don’t miss their regular routine. In fact, we are making the most of it while the kids are young. We are in Canada every three months. Some people do tell us that we unsettle the kids by travelling so much, but it actually works for them as they are exposed to both sets of grandparents equally. They have more opportunities to interact in different settings and are also getting used to different climates and conditions while young.” Her word of advice to all parents is to travel with the kids as much as possible and make them meet as many friends and relatives as kids are subconsciously forming connections and emotions even before we realise.
Will the kids feel left out?
Another parenting myth Teejay wants to bust is that many women in particular, let go of opportunities because they feel that kids will miss them. She says, “Sure, the kids will miss you. But you also have to realise that younger kids do not have the same understanding of time as adults. If you are away for seven hours they can’t really keep count, but if you spend two hours with them constructively, they will value it much more. My kids ask about Dad and I make them watch him on TV. I try and tell them that he is away for work and will be back soon. It is my way of involving them in our work lives.”
She adds, “My take on modern parenting is to inform and make kids understand the importance of both Mom and Dad’s work early on. We took our kids with us to TV and film sets even when they were a year old because we want to familiarise them with their parents’ profession. It is indeed a different take as back when I was a kid my parents would avoid talking about their work to kids as they believed we were too young to understand. But kids can be more perceptive if we involve them.”
Parents can have dreams too
Yes, parenting is a life-altering experience where your priorities change overnight, but Teejay remarks that the couple, despite being fiercely loving parents, have not let go of their dreams and aspirations. She says, “I wanted Karan to go to Bigg Boss because it was a great learning curve for him both professionally and personally.” She says, “Whatever gifts you are blessed with should be used to their potential. Just because you are a parent does not mean an end to your personal or professional journey. We slowed down on work when the babies arrived, but we believed that when needed, one of us could take charge and the other was free to pursue their dreams. I hope that we are always able to strike that balance for each other,” she smiles.
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