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Motherhood: An Ode to My Son

Growing up Indian, lots of expectations can be placed on you — as a daughter and as a mother. Divya Mehta didn't lose sight of these traditions, yet she does hold her values much, much closer when it comes to herself and raising her son.  Just in time for Mother's Day, we asked Divya a few questions about both her relationships and the journey she's taken from daughter to mother and then balancing the two. Learn how Divya's special relationship with her mother has helped her form her bond with her son, the traditions she now calls her own, and the one wish she has for her son.

Do you have a relationship with your mother? If so – how has it affected you individually?  Yes, I share an indescribable bond with my mom.  It has been the most honest relationship of my life. She is one person who has never given up on me or has never let me give up on anything.  Therefore I have seen her steer me and my brother through all the highs and lows or our lives unharmed.

How has it effected you when becoming a mother?  A Lot, she is who I look up for any questions, any experience. or any reassurance, or to tackle any fear. I had the best to learn from. And I'm sure she did too. As a mother, you question your parenting knowingly or unknowingly every day. It's good to take a perspective from one person who literally knows you inside out.

What are ways that you raise your son similarly as your mother?  I'm fortunate and grateful to God to have a son who is so kind-hearted that it melts my heart. I just wish everyday that I could live up to the expectation of being a mother he deserves. My mother always taught me to be respectful of this world and its beings, big or small. She always, even now, reminds me to thank God and everyone who has been kind to you. This is something I really want my son to inherit.

How do you raise your son differently? I don't impose my expectations of him, I let him choose and then share my perspective with him. This is something which I knew I wanted to do but was so hard to do initially. As we live in a society, where talking about achievements is supposedly an essential icebreaker or a measure of any prospective relationship. I want to protect him from anyone who challenges his gifts and innocence, as long as I can.

How important is tradition?  For me, it's more about values than traditions. Traditions are passed on by society and values are passed on by generations. I want him to know the traditions us as Hindus consider. But more importantly, I want home to understand the values us as a family would want to pass on to generations.

What traditions have you broken? I don't think I have any. But perhaps my mother has, which has paved a smoother way for me to be an individual and not just be a girl, daughter, wife or a mother.

What traditions have you come up with?  That I can proudly say.  Many.  Smile, Hug, live and let live, as life is too small for any regrets. I don't impose, and don't let anyone impose me into anything.

Describe your son.  He is my prized possession. He is a kind hearted soul, for him the world and everyone around him are important. I can't even kill a bug in front of him. Bugs are carefully caught and escorted outside our home. He is so kind and gets excited and happy on a stranger's behalf. We can't discuss pain or sickness in front of him, as he visibly gets disturbed. He loves nature. Given a chance, he would live on a farm full of animals and hike the hill with horses. I can go on and on about it.

What do you want your son will learn from you? To hug and forgive.

What do you want your son to learn from his father/your husband?  Everything, he is a perfect role model and an excellent parent. I would like Anay to be as patient, as aware and as loving his father is.

What do you want your son to learn from both of you as a couple?  To be understanding. Every relationship needs it, and no matter how common it may sound, it is the backbone of any relationship. I would also love for him to learn the power of understanding, even when no words are spoken.

What's your one wish for your son?  I want him to be himself and never compromise his values, because that is and will always be his legacy.

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