The Lazy Mom: Juhi Bansal
A working mother who calls herself a ‘lazy parent’, Juhi Bansal gives the stereotypical parenting styles a runaround. She’s a proud mom to her 4 year old daughter who, she says, has got her mother’s sass and her father’s flair! In a fun interview with Juhi, she lets us in on some crazy anecdotes, things she loves about her relationship with her daughter and at last, why she chooses to be a lazy parent?
Q. What is the most whimsical thing you did before you had your daughter?
It has to be hiking up the Machu Picchu and pub crawling in Rio De Janeiro.
Q. Who do you go to for advice on parenting if you ever need any?
I don’t seek out anyone else. I always go with my gut when it comes to that. I’ve come to realize that parenting is very personal and a subjective turf. Each child is different.
Q. What do you love most about your relationship with your daughter?
]I think the one thing I love the most is that we share a relationship like friends. I am not like a typical mother to her. I can’t just tell her to do this or don’t do that. I need to give her a reason for why am I asking her to avoid doing a certain thing. Like for something as simple as applying nail paint. If I’ve asked her to abstain from that but then I do it myself, I have some explaining to do! And she will not buy the usual “I am old and you’re not” excuse!
Q. Is there anything that you keep in mind from your own relationship with your parents when you’re dealing with your own child?
My mother was like a friend to me. Even during the times when I was a kid, I could talk to her about my school life, boys, and all of those things. My daughter is still too young to talk about all this but I believe we’re on the right path. My mother was strict but she never raised a hand or never scolded me out of line. I adopt the same thing with my daughter. Although I correct her when she’s made a mistake but I sit with her and tell her why she’s wrong. As I said, it’s largely like a friend-to-friend relationship. Also my mother always made sure that we, I and my sister, understood that us being women had nothing to do with success and failure. There are no glass ceilings in the real sense. I try to instill the same confidence in my daughter.
Q. What is the hardest and the best thing about being a mom?
Of course the best part is that I have a friend. She’s my reflection. Whatever she does, I see a bit of myself in that and that’s a nice feeling. The hardest part is that as much as she is my strength, she is also my weakness. If she gets in the slightest of trouble, if I see tears in her eyes, I am just not myself. I keep doubting myself as a mother if I am doing enough for her considering I have a full time job.
Q. You call yourself a ‘lazy parent’ and you seem to talk a lot about ‘lazy parenting’ which I am sure is not lazy at all. What is lazy parenting?
Before I had Iyra, my daughter, I saw parents raising their kids with different styles. I am not saying that any of those are wrong. There is ‘helicopter parenting’ where the parents want to be a part of their child’s life at all times. They want to know what they’re eating, what they’re doing. Then there is ‘tiger parenting’ where they want their kids to top in everything and want them to indulge and participate in every possible activity. I am on the other end of the spectrum. My daughter could take a bath herself at the age of 2 years. From the age of a year and a half, I have never had to hand-feed her. She’s four now and she’s been doing everything on her own, from waking up in the morning, getting ready to putting her plate back after she’s done eating. So she’s a relatively independent kid and it’s all because of me being lazy! Haha.
Q. Why did you choose to be a ‘lazy parent’? Was it because you wanted time to yourself?
Not entirely. Every parent has an aim for their child. For me, it is imperative that she be independent, largely because I am a working mother. I am not home for most of the day. So I don’t want her to be dependent on me for things like eating. Her being independent was of utmost importance and her excelling in other activities is secondary.
Also, my husband and I, we both are avid travelers. Iyra is only 4 years old and has already traveled to 20 countries. And I see parents who would plan vigorously about what their kid will be wearing, eating and all the other hundred things for a trip to a place as close as Bombay! For how much we travel, we cannot really bother about these things with her. She adjusts and enjoys with the varying environments and she loves it.
Juhi is wearing our ‘Good Times Dress’ from the collection ‘Garden Goddesses’. To shop more such dresses, head to vajor.com