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Dia Mirza on the different aspects of parenting

'I can’t imagine living a life without experiencing the whole range of emotions that motherhood allows, neither of which can be matched by anything else'

Saionee Chakraborty | Published 07.10.22, 04:24 AM

Actor and ‘eco investor’ Dia Mirza has recently come onboard as a strategic investor and brand ambassador at Greendigo Organic Clothing, a gender-neutral and sustainable brand, a brainchild of Meghna Kishore and Barkha Bhatnagar Das. The Telegraph chatted with the lovely Dia on investing in Greendigo and joys and challenges of motherhood.

What attracted you to invest in Greendigo?

The fact that the brand has an organic certification, is 100 per cent natural, and is safe for toddlers and babies, was the first thing that truly drew me to it. But meeting the founders, Barkha and Meghna, really cemented my conviction because I saw that they were genuinely dedicated to the cause and were prepared to go the extra mile. In light of the world we live in, it takes a very special kind of resilience to be able to conduct business in a clean, sustainable manner. As a result, I’m extremely proud of these girls and grateful for the chance to give them more voice and influence. I hope that together, we can progress.

We absolutely loved their gender-neutral concept. As someone who is so sensitive a personality, this must have resonated with you?

Tragically, even newborns must be classified as “male” or “female” before they are even aware of their gender because all baby clothes are rigidly divided into one of two gender-based categories. This is because gender stereotypes assign each gender with a specific set of traits and assume that these traits will affect how each gender will think, feel, act, and behave. Nevertheless, I consistently adhere to the gender-neutral parenting philosophy that Greendigo promotes. It places a strong emphasis on gender equality as a foundation and a #EqualForAll platform where children are exposed to aspects of genders and shared gender responsibilities as a way of life in an effort to close the gender gap that has been ‘stereotyped’ and to help them feel comfortable being who they are. And I believe it all starts at home.

Your son just turned one. What kind of surprises have motherhood sprung on you?

In the past year, I’ve come to the conclusion that motherhood is one of the most beautiful journeys a woman can embark on. Nevertheless, being a mother is not an easy responsibility, and even if no woman would want to substitute it with anything else in the world, a mother still needs balance in her life. Life can be stressful, whether it’s taking care of a newborn, meeting deadlines at work, or finishing household chores. As a result, it’s crucial to take time for self-care for both mental and physical health. You should also teach your children about their own experiences to help them grow up to be compassionate and empathetic global citizens.

Additionally, as you already know, Avyaan was born prematurely, so I had to be extra attentive about what was going on inside my baby’s body. I have also long advocated on behalf of the environment, but having a child has only strengthened my resolve to protect the environment and I am delighted to support Greendigo that shares my objective to protect Mother Earth. And also hey, you’re both learning together!

“We are overjoyed to have Dia on board in a broad range of roles, and our mission is unwaveringly centred on making sure that organic clothing for children becomes the rule rather than the exception. We are confident that our message will be heard widely with Dia as our ambassador because she is so relatable, trustworthy, and accomplished. The safety and health of our children are the most crucial aspects to us. Therefore, we spend a lot of time researching products that meet the criteria for sustainability, safety, and comfort while also understanding the specific challenges that new parents encounter. Through this partnership, Greendigo hopes to increase public awareness of the harmful effects of toxic chemicals found in common baby clothing. We also hope to encourage a conscious transition to organic clothing and nursery essentials that prioritise comfort, quality, safety, functionality, and aesthetics. To do this, we plan to leverage Dia Mirza’s broad audience across a number of channels”

Meghna Kishore and Barkha Bhatnagar Das

Being an environment crusader, what do you keep in mind while bringing your baby up?

Although I think I’m far more aware now than ever before, my views on sustainability were developed long before I became a mother. I now consume significantly less than I ever have, which is the first and most noticeable change. The second, of course, is that I now understand the impact of my child’s consumption and realise how crucial it is to raise him to be a nature defender from an early age because doing so will only protect his future.

Knowing what goes on your baby’s skin, what you compel them to wear, what products you use to bathe them in, and what you feed them in terms of nutrition and sustenance is crucial. In light of this, I believe it is crucial for new mothers to take the time to carefully read the fine print on every product they buy for their child. Always select the one that is closest to nature.

Do you think it is harder to bring up a child in the times we are living in?

Personally for me, my family and I had a great deal of mental, emotional, and physical stress both before and after the delivery of Avyaan due to his health issues as a result of being a premature baby. And I believe, after the pandemic, parenting has become more challenging in every way, requiring parents to manage challenging new tasks and nerve-wracking decisions while also responding to our children’s regular queries about things they encounter every day. Focusing on balancing priorities, juggling tasks, and swiftly switching between the demands of your children, other family members, and yourself is essential throughout the circus act of parenting.

As your child grows, the challenges they confront will likely vary, and your thinking may shift as well. You should establish an environment where your child will respect you, pay attention to you, have faith in you, and support you — all without coming across as an overbearing helicopter mom.

Tell us about the little joys of motherhood though.

Parenting is the most significant role a person will ever play in another person’s life, and there is nothing more gratifying than realising that my husband and I are inadvertently teaching our children important life lessons about love, sustainability, environmental advocacy, empowerment, compassion, and humanity by simply living intentional and authentic lives.

I can’t imagine living a life without experiencing the whole range of emotions that motherhood allows, neither of which can be matched by anything else. I believe being a mother is like having all of your nerve endings exposed and raw, and that feeling it all, good or bad, gives my life meaning. The measure of being alive that goes the furthest is this.

Is there something about motherhood that’s too demanding?

Being a mother is extremely, really difficult work, and mothers must understand that the reward comes in moments. When everything is quiet and serene, you can see your child or children enjoying themselves in the area you made for them. They could be sitting, standing, or staring out a window, and the scene could be in your house, car, or a store. Just a momentary snapshot: When you see that your child or children are healthy, happy, enlightened, intrigued, and loved, you will sense satisfaction and joy.

Are you the strict one?

It’s too early to be strict with the little one, but I ensure we are following a routine and are doing things that will inculcate gratitude. With our 13-year-old, the effort is to find the balance between firmness and flexibility!

What is me time now?

Me time now is being able to squeeze in a workout, reading time, and meditation in the windows I can create in the day between the kids, home and work life.

What is the secret to being as timeless as Dia Mirza?

Motherhood is experiencing joy even during the most difficult difficulties of life, and I have learnt to rise to any occasion and find myself lifted to new heights while straining myself above any and all limitations I had previously set for myself. I’ve had more adventures as a mother of my kid than I could have ever imagined, and parenthood offers me an excuse to remain young forever, kicking off my shoes and letting my hair down while experiencing love beyond measure.

Last updated on 07.10.22, 11:58 AM

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