Six superwomen and their take on motherhood Advertisement

Six superwomen and their take on motherhood

“I really believe that my daughter is raising me."

By Mamta Mody  March 11th, 2019

As wonderful and rewarding motherhood seems, there are tough moments that make it impossible to have it all. Six superwomen on the secret to keeping it together:

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Maria Goretti Warsi, chef and author & Zene Zoe Warsi, 11 years

“I always wanted to have kids, and I also knew that I wanted to be home for them. It probably came from the fact that I started working when I was 17, and I was looking forward to being at home. I’m glad I did that because nobody tells you how to be a mother—it’s terrifying. It’s a trial-and-error process and you can only hope you’re doing something right. During this course, I also developed a penchant for cooking; till then I didn’t know how to do much in the kitchen. I discovered cooking when I realised I had to feed my kids real food, not just baby food. I enjoyed the entire process, soon the kids got involved in it as well, and it has led to some very interesting experiences. It’s amazing how I’ve found my second calling through my kids.”

On Zene: Cotton top, denim pants; both H&M. Cotton slip-ons, Zene’s own. On Goretti Warsi: Organza dress, Ekà. Leather heels, Aldo. Diamond earrings and ring, Gehna Jewellers. Glasses, Goretti Warsi’s own

Gul Panag, actor and entrepreneur & Nihal Singh Panag Attari, 11 months

“We had a tough IVF pregnancy, and coupled with the stress of Nihal spending the first three weeks of his life in NICU, I wasn’t prepared for him. Maybe that’s the reason it felt so overwhelming in the beginning. We’re conditioned to believe that mothers will have an instant bond with their children, but that’s not always true. It’s okay to take your time and find your own way through this madness. Personally, I’ve realised that as each day goes by, Nihal and I learn more about each other and our relationship keeps getting stronger.”

On Panag: Denim jumpsuit, H&M. Diamond ring, Gehna Jewellers. On Nihal: All clothing and accessories, Nihal’s own

Sameera Reddy, actor & Hans Varde, 3 years

“Before my first pregnancy I had this vision of being a glamorous mother, who walks around wearing Bodice, but that didn’t last long. There were countless instances when people joked about my weight gain. The most scarring incident took place right after I had given birth; the C-section had caused a lot of weight gain and I had barely recovered to start working out again. A woman came up to me and said, “I can’t even recognise you. Why have you gained so much weight?”. I was too shocked to respond, I just rushed home in tears. It took me more than two years to get over this emotional upheaval. With this pregnancy, I’ve decided to be gentler on myself and my body. I can’t change people, but I have made myself stronger to face them.”

On Reddy: Cotton top and pants, canvas shoes; all Reddy’s own. Tencel jacket, Mohammed Mazhar. 18K white gold, diamond and pearl earrings, Rose. Diamond ring, Gehna Jewellers.On Hans: Cotton shirt, United Colors of Benetton. Cotton shorts, canvas shoes, Hans’s own

Mallika Tarkas Parekh, founder and director, Physique 57 Mumbai & Anya Parekh and Alayna Parekh, 1 year

“I was in the hospital, recovering from a C-section, learning how to breastfeed, and launching the Physique 57 studio in Mumbai in a matter of weeks. The girls have always been and will always be of utmost importance to me, but I also wanted to stick with this work commitment. I needed help to manage all of these different moving parts in my life. It isn’t exactly easy for a grown, independent woman to ask her parents or husband for help —you want to prove that you can wing it all yourself. It took me some time to realise that I don’t have to be embarrassed about it. Eight weeks later at my launch, I remember I had to go pump in the middle of the party. There was so much happening around me, and I could never have pulled it off without my support system.”


On Anya and Alayna: All clothing and accessories, their own. On Parekh: Cotton dress, Lovebirds at Ogaan, Mumbai. Semi-precious stone earrings, metal ring; both Parekh’s own


Shruti Seth, actor and presenter & Alina Seth Aslam, 4 years

“I really believe that my daughter is raising me. Her emotions are unadulterated, she feels everything with such intensity and honesty—it’s been my constant endeavour to be more like her. There’s something so refreshing about seeing life through her eyes, it takes me back to a simpler time. There’s never been a dull day since I’ve had Alina. It’s fascinating to watch a human grow and understand how we evolve and learn language—like a small science experiment unfolding right in front of me. While I can’t deny the heartbreak, insurmountable levels of guilt and hardships that come with being a mother, it does not compare to the joy of relearning life from your kid.”

On Seth: Cotton top, stylist’s own. Cotton jacket and pants, Chola. Leather heels, metal watch, Seth’s own. 18K white gold and diamond earrings, Rose. Diamond ring, Gehna Jewellers. On Alina: All clothing and accessories, Alina’s own

Shilarna Vaze, chef & founder, Gaia Gourmet & Zanskar Stella Perrin, 1 year

“Being a mother, today, is a lot more complicated than it was a decade ago, but it’s still lots of fun. I often struggle with my hippie versus urban-boss-lady avatars —some days I just want to cuddle in bed with my baby, and on other days I’m fighting to make time for work and career ambitions. I want Zanskar to have access to all the things I had as a kid, like family, yummy home-cooked meals, and a good education. But I also want to give her all the things that make us unique as a family, like travelling to the mountains, spending time at the beach or following an alternative lifestyle. I’d like to think that my husband and I have managed to give her the best of both worlds.”

On Vaze: Organza dress, Ekà. PUC heels, Charles & Keith. Diamond earrings, Gehna Jewellers. 18K white gold and diamond ring, Rose. On Zanskar: All clothing and accessories, Zanskar’s own

Decor: Hand-tufted, Cocoon Rugs