We spoke to Ms Supreet Bedi, a popular TV anchor, celebrity host and social media influencer on Mother’s Day and how she balances work, family and other commitments
The Optimist: In the digital era, when relationships are witnessing changes, how do you define motherhood in your life?
Supreet Bedi: The digital era has clearly taken over personal connect, but Motherhood is one remarkable phenomenon which extends beyond a Wi-Fi connection. Technology may elevate an experience, but it certainly can’t replace it. Nothing beats holding my two-year-old in my arms, although, when I’m away on a business trip, a quick video call does bring joy to my heart.
I capture memories, connect with other mothers online and Google worrying symptoms. So, the digital era does help me to be a hands-on mom. At the same time, hours spent on the phone by either the parent (business calls/online shopping/social media and so forth), or the child (cartoons, YouTube, games and so on) — ruin personal time. Motherhood is responsibility efficiently balanced between technology and emotional bonding.
The Optimist: Being a popular anchor and emcee, how has public relationship changed for you both online and offline?
Supreet Bedi: I’m definitely more aware of my presentation at all times. Whether online or offline, one is constantly and strategically selling oneself. In my field of work, you have to be a people’s person and social media brings a fantastic platform to showcase your abilities. So, I try and use it to the best of advantage.
The ‘image’ that you set online also has a ‘trickle effect’ on the offline version. If the online version is how people know you, you have to maintain a certain similarity offline, too. I can’t come across as chirpy in my posts, but dry at my meetings. This constant effort in representation ends up tweaking one’s personality — for the better in my case.
The Optimist: Is modern-day parenthood a refined form of ‘friendship’, or is there still a distance between the two?
Supreet Bedi: There should always be some distance between the two to respect the authority that parenthood brings. From earlier times to the new era, this distance has, of course, reduced and the tones of friendship have got more strident. But we must remember that parenthood is not just friendship; it’s also a strict responsibility, coated with shades of friendship.
These days, kids can communicate openly with parents. They’re linked on social media — there’s definitely more transparency, which is great! But they should always know that they can’t surpass the decisions taken by their parents and that parents will change stance when they have to. If this clear distinction isn’t present, kids will feel betrayed by their ‘friend’. A mother is first a parent and then a friend, but always a well-wisher.
The Optimist: Being a social media influencer, what’s your message to all those millennial out there about social media? How much time should one spend on it?
Supreet Bedi: Social media is an all-consuming territory that has to be tread rather carefully. What begins with innocent sharing quickly becomes a need for appreciation and acceptance. It’s got its pros and cons — it puts you on the map, you may even get endorsements, but as long as it’s an organic growth following its own pace, it’s good. But if you begin to lose sleep over comments, a lack of ‘like’s, or feel pressured to put a post/story, be smart enough to lay off — like water off a duck’s back.
It’s just a social engagement, not an obligatory presence. If you must play the game, have the right attitude. Post and move on! Spend time with your loved ones, make memories, read, have a hobby… I’d advise you not to spend more than 15 minutes on social media each day. Life is too beautiful to ignore.
The Optimist: What are the adjustments you think a modern mother needs to make to manage both work and bringing up kids?
Supreet Bedi: I’ve always said that ‘supermoms’ aren’t born. They’re strategically created. Delegation is my biggest tool when it comes to managing work and home duties. I encourage assistance — whether a nanny or family help. If you’re earning, give yourself that peace of mind and invest in outside help. At work, let go of the belief that no one does it better than you. Assign tasks to your subordinates, supervise and, most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Obviously, with the addition of your little one, certain things will have to be tweaked. The schedule goes haywire — from gym timing to client meetings — I have to weave it all around his sleep patterns, so that I can quietly sneak out! Now, when I travel abroad for work, I don’t add sightseeing to my schedule as I used to. There’s a hunger to return home asap for that loving hug.
The Optimist: As an educationist and mother, what is your mantra for every mother in this world?
Supreet Bedi: After such a heroic task of bringing life into this world, please don’t lose your identity. Your kid can be the focus, but you’re more than just a background. Follow your desires, make memories. It’s okay to be flawed. Don’t aim at perfection; aim at happiness instead.