Maternity wellness specialist Vidhi Beri’s debut book decodes motherhood in modern context
A health transformation coach and maternity wellness specialist, Vidhi Beri always felt that a lot of information got left out when she did individual sessions with clients because she could neither talk about other people’s stories nor about pregnancy norms.
That’s when Vidhi decided to use her decade-long professional experience to share her motherhood story through her book, Decoding Motherhood, released last month. “When mothers come to me, they usually ask for help with lactation or nutrition and hardly realise their need for help in other areas, including their sexuality and mental health, simply because nobody likes talking about that. In fact, most are clueless about the difficulties that come into play after the birth of a child. This book is a great way to holistically learn about aspects like these in a timeframe that suits the needs of most busy urban Indian women,” tells Vidhi.
We got the author talking about her book and more. Excerpts:
This is your first book that got launched amid the pandemic. Tell us the idea behind it.
The idea of the book first came about when I realised that the knowledge and experience that I amassed in the field of maternity wellness for over a decade have turned me into a valuable resource and allowed me to share that learning with others. I wanted to create an idea that was traditionally Indian in concept but had a balanced mix of Western sensibilities, which is a suitable and identifiable ideology in modern urban Indian households today.
How much of the book is a personal journey?
The book is completely personal. It is my maternal journey and an offering to all kinds of parents and partners to overcome challenges, not overtime, but to do things to the best of their capacity and to make it simple.
Do you feel millennial moms or parents face more challenges than perhaps our parents did?
The human mind can be an enabler or a self-destructive tool and the millennial parent proves that. The more aware we become the more we can find solutions or become anxiety-ridden. Each generation has its own set of challenges. But parenthood is a beautiful phase and it shouldn’t be treated as a challenge. You have welcomed a newborn in your life and you should raise the same with immense responsibility and love. Sharing responsibilities and asking for help whenever you need is extremely important and the best way to raise a child is to present yourself as a role model to your children because they learn through imitation.
Do you believe that parents can be friends?
A friendship is an evolving relationship and so is a parent-child relationship. However, the responsibility, duty and selfless love that come with being a parent may supersede the usual boundaries of a friendship — therefore a parent-child relationship can be a friendly one but not exactly that of friends.
Does single parenting affect a child?
Effects of single parenting on a child completely depend upon how an adult involved in the journey reacts to it. An adult has to be emotionally, mentally and physically strong enough to take care of a child alone. A single parent can either be a mother, father or even a grandparent. They not only have to cater to the needs of the child but also take care of themselves. Single parenting is a blessing and should be enjoyed at every moment.
How can a single parent manage work and parenting?
In India, we have the luxury of social connections and family relations. This is our wealth as a culture and the enablers in single-parent families. Single parenting requires a balance of mind and emitting that to the children by asking for help from close friends and relatives to aid in the journey. Self-discipline, boundaries, and schedules can work in some cases as parental guilt, often nudging the single parent to overcompensate. It’s important to keep a check on that.
Any ideal set of parents that you adore?
Shilpa Shetty has always been very crisp and holistic in her approach. A woman who is an example of empowerment and has not given up on her passion for self-care and fitness throughout her motherhood journey, she is raising her children in the same manner with utmost responsibility of self-care and has always been an epitome of fitness during and after pregnancy to new mothers across the globe.
Saif Ali Khan, who also wrote the foreword of my book, is an inspiration for parenting in a nonchalant charismatic way as an evolving, fun, relatable and responsible role model for many modern-day dads.
What are the tips that you would like to give to parents of adolescent kids?
Your child is a young adult and as a parent, you can no longer possess or protect but enable them in their journey and growth as adolescents. This is the age for self-exploration — if restrictions are imposed based on whim and without sound logic then a teenager will rebel and you are bound to push them away or crush their self-confidence.