Women’s Day Interview with Celina Jaitly
Women’s Day Interview with Celina Jaitly
1. A significant part of being a woman is becoming a mother. What has been the biggest surprise about motherhood?
The biggest surprise has actually been my “Mom voice” … I never knew I had it… it’s so loud that even the neighbours brush their teeth and get dressed.
2. As a mother of three what was the hardest part in your motherhood journey?
The hardest part of being a mom is to accept the fact that the days are long and the years are fast. A mother’s job is to teach her children not to need her anymore, the hardest part of that job is accepting success.
3. You travel a lot between 3 cities. Is that challenging for you and the kids?
Business travel has been a predominantly male sphere, but things have changed a lot, as an actor and UN ambassador, I made my kids understand right from the beginning the travel consequences of my job, if you talk to kids like adults trust me they do understand
It is me actually, I sometimes do suffer a great deal of separation anxiety like all working mothers. It’s important as career moms we have to find ways to be efficient in both worlds—and that requires being able to come to terms with choices and focus on the priorities that are in the moment.
4. Being a strong woman how does it feel to be raising boys? What is the most important thing you would teach them about women?
My husband Peter and I were very firm in our resolutions : “model it in every detail” , how Peter n I interact with each other, Instilling a belief that people of both genders have the same value and our family values are based on the principle that “Roles and Responsibility has No Gender”. As parents of boys we are determined not to ever bring in any conversations in our family that encounters gender stereotypes in ways big and small and absolutely no gendered behavioural expectations made of the children. To begin with the first thing they learnt about women was the “menstrual cycle”. It’s wonderful to hear the twins discuss mummy’s tummy ache is because of her menstrual cycle. After the amount of sexual harassment i have faced in my entire career I realised i can’t change men I worked with but I have 3 sons and I can focus on influencing them to make them in to best men a woman can work next to.
5. How do you balance your work and motherhood? How do you deal with “Mom Guilt”?
Like most working moms I also experienced immense MOM GUILT returning to a career that I’d built for years.A realisation made me become guilt free. The trick is that if you do a job that makes you “feel valued” it could be the perfect cure for Mom Guilt as one becomes more confident as the acknowledgment that there are always going to be compromises we make as mothers striving to maintain our own identities while nurturing others is something that frees you mind and helps you effectively manage work and home.
6. Are there things you miss about life before kids?
I do love my kids with all heart and cannot imagine my life without them. They do drive me crazy at times and I find it humorous to envision life before and after. Here are some instances.
Before kids –
1) Celina: (Sitting in Milan) Peter my love smell my wrist… what do you think of my new perfume ?
After twins –
Celina: ( in a park) Baby can you smell Winston’s butt I think there is a disaster … Viraaj ‘s smells fine.
2) Having to go to the bathroom without an audience.
3) Sleeping in : When sleeping till 6 AM is considered ‘sleeping in’.
4) The days when you could watch your own film instead of watching Peppa Pig over and over
5) Being able to swear whenever you want
6) Being able to listen to your music in the car instead of nursery rhymes and Gangam Style on repeat.
7) Having make up in your handbag instead of wet wipes and poopsies.
8) Driving my two seater sports car instead of a people carrier.
9) Just sitting down to read a book during the day.
7. As women and mothers there’s a lot of judgement we have to deal with. Have you even been through this and what is your opinion on it ?
It’s inevitable that, as a mom, you are, at some stage going to be judged on how you are bringing your children up. Between social media, cultural influences and increased awareness about the guidelines pregnant women and new moms should follow the judgment women face as they enter motherhood has increased significantly. I remember how much flak I received for posting a picture in a bikini & bathtub when I was pregnant with my second set of twins 1 1/2 years ago. Some people were vicious enough to attribute our sons death as well as my fathers death to the same. Because women today have their own says and own individuality society at large feels all-too-comfortable passing judgment because the new found expression of freedom is something people around us find it difficult to deal with. What they don’t realise is the last thing an overworked, sleep deprived, overwhelmed, hormonal, healing new mother needs is to feel judged. What we all need is respect, and lots of support. Having said that i have stopped bothering and I as a principle don’t need other people to validate my parenting decisions during or after pregnancy. Anyone else can take their opinions elsewhere. I don’t let anyone make me feel like I’m inferior or that I am not contributing, because I know I am.
8. If you had to choose one parenting mantra for yourself, what would it be?
“In the end I am the only one who can give my children a happy mother who loves life. “
9. What is the one message you would like to share on this International Women’s Day?
If you want to change the world go home and love your family