A mother speaks! Prithi Ashwin on what motherhood means to her...
Prithi Narayanan is the wife of Indian international cricketer Ravichandran Ashwin.
Ashwin, a bowling all-rounder, made his debut in the year 2010 and is only the third Indian to win the ICC Cricketer of the Year award.
Prithi and Ashwin are childhood friends. They grew up together as their families are well known to each other.
She is a cricket lover and very supportive of her husband's cricketing career. They are parents to two adorable girls Akhira and Aadhya.
On the eve of Mother’s Day, we spoke to Prithi about how life has changed since motherhood.
Here are some excerpts.
How has your life changed after becoming a mom?
I just can’t seem to find the time! (laughs) But life on a whole has gotten a lot more exciting I’d say. It’s as fulfilling as it is challenging and draining.
Share some concerns you have as a mother about the world your children are growing up in?
Ashwin and I often discuss how much more challenging it is to be a parent in this day and age.
We joke that our parents had it much easier. (Smiles) We want our children to grow up very consciously and sensitively - pay more attention towards making lifestyle choices that are inclusive, think about the environment, about how choices affect those around you, be more caring towards animals, more intelligent about using precious resources.
How often do the children and you travel with Ashwin? Do you have any tips to make that easier?
We travel a lot.
I have always said this and still maintain- when it comes to travelling with kids, planning is key. Their favorite snack, important medication, comfort toys, security blanket, calming games.
I find children can get very clingy when they go to new places. So I carry things they are familiar with, to comfort them.
I also try to pick up new toys from places I travel to, this way the child can relate to the toy and the new place and is encouraged to explore all the new elements around her- be it the place or a toy or even local food.
What do you look for while selecting toys for your kids, especially as Ashwin is a world-class athlete?
First thing I look for is safety.
Since both my girls are very close in age, they enjoy the same kind of toys. I want safe materials, well-finished edges so no cutting/poking issues there.
I also find toys which make Akhira build stories in her head and get excited about it very appealing.
Kids have a fantastic imagination, so a toy that leads them back into their world of exploration and curiosity is perfect.
What do you think about the digital world we live in? How do you balance it with physical and outdoor play?
The digital world is here, and there is no escaping it. I give limited screen time for the girls. That also, only if they are unable to play outside or if we are on a long flight or if they are unwell.
I make sure that they go outdoors in the evenings - they either accompany their dad for his cricket practice and play in the ground, or spend time with our three dogs or even help me with a bit of gardening.
They watch me and Ashwin train, and we always talk about the importance of physical activity. Outdoor activity plays a big part in our house but obviously.
What is your wish for your children?
I want them to be happy. In this world where everything is a rat race, I’d like my children and yours to understand that being happy is key.
Be responsible towards nature, keep yourselves healthy and be passionate about the things and people you love.
Anything else you wish to say to other mothers...
Enjoy the ride!
We at Shumee wish every mother a fabulous Mother’s Day every day!