Amma Mia! Esha Deol Takhtani opens up on her motherhood diaries

Debarati Palit Singh
Sunday, 22 March 2020

Actor Esha Deol Takhtani, who has authored a book on parenting titled Amma Mia!, says that it has come straight from the heart.

Motherhood is an interesting journey for a woman. From giving birth to feeding and taking care of the baby, she has plenty of experiences and tips to share with other women. 

Esha Deol Takhtani has penned down her experiences and adventures in the form of a book, Amma Mia! A mother of two daughters — Radhya and Miraya, Esha hopes that the book would help other mothers too. 

Amma Mia! is packed with advices, tips, stories and easy and delicious recipes for toddlers. “The thought,” says the dancer-actress, “is to help new mothers navigate the ups and downs of raising a healthy toddler and make their child fall in love with food.”

The book published by Penguin Random House India will be out on March 24. 

Excerpts: 
Why did you feel the need to write Amma Mia!?

I went through many beautiful, emotional moments during the first year with my first child. There were hectic days too but I felt that I was able to overcome them in a beautiful way by the grace of god. 
At the same time I felt that there must be so many other women and mothers who are going through this and are probably a little more helpless. Simultaneously, my daughter was moving from milk to liquids, soups, and then mashed food and later solids. So we gathered many lovely recipes, which were simple and easy to make. 
I felt I could share the recipes with my friends, and that’s how it started. The best way to share my first hand experiences, coupled with knowledge and insight, would be through a book. 
Writing this book was interesting because it was something that came straight from my heart. I took a year and a half to write it. Overall, it has been an extremely enjoyable experience. And since I had not written before, it was even more exciting. 

With two daughters around, how difficult was it to concentrate on the book? 
Most of my writing happened during my second pregnancy. I began writing when I was pregnant with Miraya, and I continued to write after she was born. It’s all a first-hand experience of what I was experiencing again as a mother. It was actually helpful. 
Both my daughters follow a good routine so when they would go to sleep, I would write. Most of my writing happened at night and during daytime, I would evaluate what I had written. It’s been a great journey and I would definitely like to thank Penguin, who immediately agreed to turn my idea into a book.  
    
How did your mother (actress Hema Malini) guide you, through both your pregnancies? 
My mother has been my guide, best friend and everything to me. Whether it was my pregnancies, or anything I did in life or continue to do, she is always there for me. She is the best person to give me advice and is my go-to person. 
My mother is a very non-interfering person and she has always let me be. She believes that as individuals, we make our choices, mistakes and learn from them. She was extremely supportive, caring and made the atmosphere at home really comfortable during my pregnancies. 

What are some of the important things that you have learnt about motherhood and children? 
Every day is a learning process. Every day, there is something new that pops up, we make mistakes, learn from them and that in itself is a huge phase in our life as new parents with beautiful daughters. 
I spend a lot of time with my daughters, observing them, trying to understand what they like or dislike. If I see my daughter fussing over a certain food item, I make sure it’s not repeated at least for sometime. I think observing our children is very important. They are too small to express themselves verbally so as parents we should be present.        

As parents, we deal with different challenges with each child. When it comes to your daughters, how different are the challenges and who is the naughtiest amongst the two?
Both my girls are very naughty and I love that about them. They are very restless, bubbly, similar, yet they have their own personality. Miraya is now nine-month-old but she is her own person and is very clear about her milk feed timings. If she is not fed at the right time, she gets annoyed and cries. 
Radhya is two and half years old and she is all over the place. She loves to play with different toys, painting and has her own little mock kitchen, in which she likes to cook. But she is also a very disciplined child and likes to clean up on her own after she plays. I hope it continues that way (touch wood!). She is a bit particular about the way her things are kept and that has come from me.       

You had recently opened up about postpartum depression. Has that experience changed you as a woman and mother?  
This is something that did not happen to me during my first pregnancy. After my second baby, I experienced it for a very small period, just for a month. I felt very lost without knowing why I felt that way, because generally, I am a tough nut to crack. It’s not easy to make me cry or bog me down but I was doing all those things without realising why, when there was no reason for me to feel that way. 
That’s when my mother asked me to get my blood test done to check my hormonal level. My hormones were totally warped and that’s the reason I was feeling so low. 
The right medications were administered and after a couple of weeks, I came back to my happy self. The whole experience has made me a more aware person. 

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