Have you ever felt alone in your parenting struggles? Do you ever feel like you're not doing enough or doing things that might be detrimental for your child? Here's a mom who is honest about what works for her. She thinks that everything is perfectly imperfect. She wants all mothers to embrace their parenting journey. She wants moms to be confident and secure in their style of parenting just as she is. Read on to find out about the early parenting struggles of Zeba Saith.
1. Do you have a parenting style?
My approach is a combination of lessons which I have learned from my own parents and from the principles of gentle parenting. I am mindful of the things that have affected me during my own childhood and make a conscious effort to prevent repeating those patterns with my own child.
2. What are the ways in which you bond with your child?
Now that Areeba is over 2 years, our bond is primarily strengthened through play. We engage in various activities such as pretend play, art activities, and reading books together. I also involve her in everyday tasks like accompanying me to the grocery store or the bank, which she thoroughly enjoys. She loves being a part of our conversations and engaging in witty chit-chat with me.
3. Our children are more than milestones and percentiles. But do you still worry about them?
Absolutely, without a doubt. I think it’s something inherent to being a mother. I worry about aspects like her overall health, her progress in potty training, or her dependence on screens for meals. However, I’m making a conscious effort to approach each day as it comes. I remind myself that I have a healthy, joyful, and affectionate child, and that I’m doing my best as a parent.
4. Do you feel that comparison is inevitable? How do you deal with it?
Yes, absolutely. While people may not openly compare, the presence of social media and the noise of various parenting groups can make you painfully aware of perceived shortcomings in your own parenting journey. I admit to having my low moments and experiencing anxiety attacks. I have felt like I was failing as a parent. Talking to my fellow mom friends, my parents, and my husband has provided me with the much needed strength and support. They have helped me overcome constant comparisons and reminded me that I’m doing the best.
5. Do you think that social media adds pressure to parenting these days?
Definitely, yes. The elaborate meals some moms serve, the activities they do with their kids, and the quick fitness transformations they achieve—all of it contributes to the pressure you feel. Additionally, they have also managed to monetise motherhood. However, it's important to note that there have also been some positive aspects. Social media has provided a wealth of information on current parenting methods, home remedies, sleep tips and more, which can be beneficial.
6. Do you receive unsolicited parenting advice? If yes, how do you handle it?
Certainly, there have been numerous instances where I’ve encountered negative remarks and judgments. While it can be challenging, I try my best to brush off those comments and surround myself with a supportive network. Sharing my feelings with my husband, parents, and mom-friends has been uplifting. Having someone lend a listening ear and reassure me that I’m doing a fantastic job makes a world of difference in boosting my confidence. It’s incredible how a little encouragement can go a long way in strengthening my resolve as a parent.
7. How do you react to negative remarks and judgements passed on your child? Has it ever happened?
I have encountered situations where complete strangers have made comments about my child, questioning if she is too thin or why her complexion differs from mine. When I was younger, these remarks used to bother me, but I have since realized that the opinions of people who are not significant in my life hold no weight. Fortunately, my close family and friends have always been supportive, and I haven't received such remarks from them.
8. Is mom guilt and mom shaming real? Have you experienced it?
Yes, mom guilt and mom shaming are very real, and I have personally experienced it. I have been made to feel guilty for indulging in sweets (while I was breast feeding), being told it affects my child’s weight . I have also faced criticism for not potty training my child at a certain time or for not stopping certain behaviours that are perceived as undesirable. There's this prevailing notion that being a mother means constant suffering and sacrifice, but I question why it has to be that way. I want to change that narrative. It’s important to prioritize a mother’s mental health as well. Each person is different, and striving to mold your child into an idealized version can be detrimental. Parenting should be about understanding and supporting individuality rather than adhering to unrealistic standards.
9. Tell us about yourself and your little one.
I am an engineer from BITS, I grew up in Mumbai and the UAE. I moved to Bangalore after marriage and worked for a few years in the e-commerce industry before I decided to take time off to have my daughter and be there for her.
Areeba is an explorer who loves being outdoors. She adores animals, especially cats and dogs. She is affectionate and also mischievous. Her smile is the cutest, and we can't believe how she is a perfect mix of both my husband and I.