“There Is No Such Thing As An Experienced Mom. That’s A Myth” – Maria Goretti

“There Is No Such Thing As An Experienced Mom. That’s A Myth” – Maria Goretti

28 Jan 2022 | 6 min Read

Manisha Pradhan

Author | 74 Articles

As parents, whether for the first time or second, we are all constantly learning. There is no right or wrong when it comes to parenting and there are no handbooks to being a perfect parent! Likewise, there is no such thing as an experienced mom,” says VJ turned chef Maria Goretti.

In a fun, candid interview with BabyChakra, Maria talks about her journey from being a VJ to a mom, about dealing with kids during COVID-19 lockdowns, being a working mom, and much more.

 

Here’s an excerpt from our exclusive interview.

BBC: Now that your kids are in their teens, do you consider yourself an experienced mom?

Maria: There is no such thing as an experienced mom. That’s a myth. Every day we are learning so the caption of an experienced mom is nothing but a myth.

 

How it all began

BBC: From being one of the most popular VJs and TV hosts to being a mom and celebrity chef; How did it all happen?

Maria: My VJ journey started with MTV and went on for five and a half years. It was one of the most fun jobs, I have had the pleasure to be part of. I was part of the generation that changed the face of what a TV host, anchors are like.

I did the ITC champions trophy in Srilanka in 2002. Then Sony signed me for the world cup in 2003. where I toured the whole of South Africa with all the top cricketers from around the world. In 2003, I got pregnant with my son Zeke and once I delivered him in 2004 I knew I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. I enjoyed my time with him. I had my daughter Zene in 2007.

It was after I had Zeek and he was two and a half I got interested in food only because I had to feed him! I realized that I didn’t know much besides basic stuff. The more I tried to learn and google, I realized I was really interested in food.


Maria Goretti got interested in food and cooking after her son Zeke’s birth)

I got back to do a food show in 2010, called Do It Sweet, for NDTV with Vicky Ratnani. It was all about desserts. That’s when I really got interested in desserts, I never knew what a ganache was till then. I learnt the what, how, etc about pastry on that show. I went on to do another food-based game show called Pressure Cooker.

Chef Ritu Dalmia and chef Vicky Ratnani were the mentors, I was the host but was more interested in what was cooking and I learnt a lot about food on that show. Then in 2011, I went to culinary school in London. I signed up for an intensive course for three months because I had kids and couldn’t be away from them for that long.

I did french cuisine, mostly bakery. I came back but didn’t know what to do, started a blog, and did a show with Living Foods called I Want To Bake Free. In 2018, I went to Paris to do a diploma in Patistere because that was one area I didn’t quite understand. I did an intensive course. A three months course is put into six weeks.

 

On managing work, home, and kids

BBC: How did you manage it all with two young children at home?

Maria: There was no way I could have left and gone away for six to nine months. But when I got to know about the course, I just jumped into it as I thought it would only be a piped dream otherwise. My kids were in the mid of starting school. I got everything ready etc. and left for the course. When I am out, then Arshad is in town even though he is working and vice versa. Also having my parents around it was a huge help.

BBC: Many parents give up their careers after they have kids. What’s your take on that?

Maria: I think the best time to do things you’ve always wanted to, is when kids are younger. They become independent. It’s fantastic to be a working mother. My kids saw me work and when they see people appreciate your work, they initially couldn’t get it, but now they understand and they are very proud of me.


Maria says it’s fantastic to be a working mother and her kids are very proud of her

Raising a son vs raising a daughter

BBC: As a mother how different has it been raising a son and a daughter?

Maria: I would say not much of a difference. The only difference was that since my son is older and I was a first-time mother, I was more careful with him. My daughter has been very independent right from the start. As far as rules are concerned, they both have equal rules. If my son is allowed to go out with friends or for the sleepover, my daughter too is allowed. I never made them feel different. Kids today are more sensible than we probably were, that’s because we as parents are far more open with them.

Communicating with children & keeping them busy during lockdown

BBC: Talking about being open with kids; how important is it to have open conversations with kids?

Maria: We never had open conversations with our parents while we were growing up. But I feel it’s better when kids are allowed to express their opinions. I know it can get frustrating at times when they have their opinions but we raised them to have an opinion!

BBC: There’s fear of yet another lockdown. How did you deal with it earlier and keep your kids busy?

Maria: The lockdowns were difficult for all of us. Especially the kids. During the lockdown, we would try and do stuff together, like watching shows, cooking, baking, etc. They manage their online classes on their own since they are older now. Luckily, their schools have reopened and I am happy. Kids need to be out, be with friends, they need to live normal lives. Experience things and have human contact. You can’t make relations with people on screen. As long as we take all precautions and follow protocols I think it’s fine.

BBC: Are you the good cop or the bad cop when it comes to being a parent?

Maria: Arshad has always been the good cop, the fun cop. I am always a bad cop. I am not going to give in to all that they say, just because I want them to like me. Sometimes I have to put my foot down.

In your moments of doubt as a parent, remember you don’t always have to be a good cop!

#realmommystories

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