1. Do you have a parenting style?
I would say I have a collaborative style of parenting. Alisha is a very independent person and has a mind of her own. I like to encourage that and work with her as a team as much as possible.
2. What are ways in which you bond with your child?
We love reading books, going to the park, singing and dancing, being silly, snuggling and talking about our day and retiring in the night by expressing our gratitude to everyone in our lives (this one is my absolute favorite seeing her remembering everyone and saying thank you)
3. Our children are more than milestones and percentiles. But do you still worry about them?
I learnt early on that every child is unique and follows their own path and I strongly live by that. Alisha, for instance, started talking later than her friends. I was okay with that because she was so expressive otherwise but the pressure from people did get to me at times. At times like these, it helped to reinforce the belief that she is an individual who is following her own path at her own pace.
4. Do you feel that comparison is inevitable? How do you deal with it?
Unfortunately it is, especially with a large part of the population not being very sensitive to these aspects.
I, thankfully, never felt the peer pressure growing up and I don't let that get to me at all when it comes to my child. And I hope she always understands her uniqueness and never feels that pressure for herself.
5. Do you think that social media adds pressure to parenting these days?
It definitely does to some extent. Parenting is anyway so hard, where you are always wondering if you are doing the right thing, if you are doing enough, etc. Seeing other parents do various things that you aren't able to as a parent, due to whichever reason, definitely makes it a little tougher. But we are increasingly discussing more and more about every kid being an individual and the same holds true for every parent. Having a mom tribe that resonates with you on these thoughts definitely helps.
6. Do you receive unsolicited parenting advice? If yes, how do you handle it?
All the time. And I don't always hate it. I understand people are mostly sharing with the right intent; to pass on their knowledge and help in some way or another.
I always hear them out and process the information and see if it works for me and my child and if I can use it constructively. If not, I let it pass.
7. How do you react to negative remarks and judgements passed on your child? Has it ever happened?
When she was younger, I did hear a few things about her which i did not appreciate and some things that used to stress me out. And it definitely got to me as a new parent still trying to figure it all out. But I feel I am so much more secure now (after a lot of self-work and a great support system) that I don't get perturbed with it now.
8. Is mom guilt and mom shaming real? Have you experienced it?
Mom guilt is very real, whether you are a stay-at-home mom or you are working outside your house. Whenever you are taking out any time for yourself, you feel the need to justify it to yourself in some way.
Mom shaming is also there unfortunately. I have experienced it at times (maybe unintentional) but have also heard so many remarks about other moms from people. It's really sad how people are so quick to criticise and pass judgements instead of being understanding and supportive.
9. Tell us about yourself and your little one.
I am Swati, mother to Alisha who is now 2 years old.
Alisha has been going to a Montessori school since she was 15 months old and has grown so much along the way. She is a kind, caring, loving and super fun kid who is always ready to learn new things, help people when she can and has infinite love to give. Parenting has been the best journey of personal growth for me through all the ups and downs and made me experience unconditional love at its highest level for which I will be eternally grateful!