Its tough being a celebrity mom but this mom just seems like one of us and makes me believe that their challenges are just as much if not more. In her interview yesterday in Times Life with Purvaja Sawant she opened up on being away from the arc lights, the transition juggling motherhood and work, feeling guilty when she is not around her kids and why she is a strict mother? Here are the excerpts of the conversation.
Do you miss your life in the US, away from the arc lights?
I loved the time I got to spend in Denver. there was no public scrutiny. I was free to drive, shop without being noticed. Most importantly. So I had a great time.
Was the transition difficult for all of you?
Not for me but for my kids yes. But I am glad we moved at the right time. Fortunately, whenever I travelled to India, I would get them along, so this transition wasnâ€™t a cultural shock for them. Now they are adjusting well. They love the people here, love going to school in Mumbai. They love the fact that here they have friends just next door, with whom they can play whenever they want, unlike in the US, where I had to make appointments to make play dates!
Your plate is full right now. How do you manage your personal responsibilities?
Today, I am enjoying all the facets of life, whether itâ€™s my work or family. The key is to organise everything in such a way that I donâ€™t neglect anything. But having said that, my family is my priority. I work and manage my time around them. Itâ€™s essential to decide on your priority first and then plan your life around it. At least, thatâ€™s how I manage to do whatever I do. Of course, Iâ€™ve been lucky to get support from my family, especially my husband, Ram. He makes sure I get time to work and also dedicate enough time to the family.
Itâ€™s a notion that career-oriented women often neglect their families. But we should cut them some flak; these women are doing everything for the sake of family, so that it progresses. I believe when kids see their mothers working hard, they take up responsibilities at home and are far more well-turned out than other children.
Do you think husbands with successful wives get resentful?
I am lucky because I have an encouraging husband in Ram. We are so used to generalising… Indian husbands arenâ€™t supportive enough when it comes to their wivesâ€™ careers. But today, women are ambitious and I think men understand that and are pretty accepting about it. Times are changing and so are peopleâ€™s attitudes. Every woman must have her own identity.
Describe Madhuri the mother…
My son once wrote in his school essay that his mother is â€˜a little strict!â€™ There are somethings I am a stickler at; these are things that I want them to do, no matter what. For example, I am very particular about them brushing their teeth, and eating their veggies, just like any other mother. Discipline is very important in life. If you arenâ€™t programmed to do something from an early age, you just wonâ€™t do it. But there are other times when I take it easy. After all, they are kids and shouldnâ€™t be made to behave like grown-ups. When kids are young, you give them your values and try to mould them into people you want them to be eventually. But as they grow up, you have to learn to trust their judgment to make the right choices.
Are they aware of your star status?
My children are unaffected by me being an actress because thatâ€™s the way I like to keep it. I love the fact that they are so innocent about my star status. Sometimes, they come running to me and say, â€œMom, you are on TVâ€_x009d_. There were times, they would come home and ask me, â€œMom, are you really famous?’ Because my friend tells me you are really lucky Madhuri Dixit is your motherâ€_x009d_. Initially, they would get really excited but now they are quite cool about it.
Do you feel guilty when you are not around your kids because of work?
Of course, there are days like that. The one time I felt very guilty and missed my kids was when I had come to India to shoot my first season of Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa. I was here for four months. Though my kids came to visit me, I missed them terribly. It was the first time I was away for such a long time. But now, Iâ€™m here for them every evening, and even if I go outdoors for a shoot, itâ€™s not for more than 10 days. They are busy and either one of us take turns and ensure we are around for the kids
Recently, you were voted the most popular Bollywood actress of all time. How does it feel to be at the top of your game after three decades in the industry?
Itâ€™s flattering. I am in a profession which I love. Whether itâ€™s dancing or acting, I love every bit of it. And I do it to the best of my ability. I am lucky to have topped the poll because of the love and affection of the audiences, who want to see more of me, which is wonderful.
MADHURIâ€™S BEAUTY MANTRA: I got to admit this is so inspiring to know. As moms we just let go off ourselves things whose watching us or how does it matter but do what matters to you.
Looking beautiful isnâ€™t just about what you apply on your face. Itâ€™s the little things you do that matter. A combination of a good diet, exercise, healthy habits, discipline, dancing etc. is what my beauty routine consists of. Also, I have no bad habits; I donâ€™t drink or smoke. All these contribute to me being fit and looking good. When you are young, you have to see to it that you donâ€™t overdo anything, for example partying the night away. Itâ€™s better to start taking care of your body from an early age. Women, especially mothers nowadays, work. And many of them donâ€™t have the luxury of a house help, or a complete support system. But despite all this, they must give just an hour of their day to themselves, perhaps to work out or hit the gym. Because only if you are strong and healthy, can you look after your family. And looking good does wonders for the soul too!