Mamma Mia! - Shilpa Reddy talks with You & I

She is known as one of the most beautiful and stylish women in town, however, there is more to Shilpa than what meets the eye. A doting mother, Shilpa has channelled her passion for being a mother into a blog where she pens down her thoughts straight from the heart. You can read her weekly posts on www.shilpareddy.co.in. We caught up with the vivacious and gorgeous woman to know more about this new leaf in her book of life.

Everyone in Hyderabad associates you with style and fashion, but you are way more than just a stylish woman. Can you give our readers a glimpse into the other sides of Shilpa Reddy that one isn’t aware of?
Shilpa Reddy is greedy for life (smiles). I want to get the most out of the brief time we have on this planet. I like to be fluid; put my hands everywhere. I want to learn a new skill, write, ski, and cook. I want to push my comfort zone constantly. Hence, I do a lot of different things. At 35, I started skiing for the first time in my life, which was one of the most exhilarating things I’ve done. I do heavy weight training. I don’t like normalcy; I constantly like to push my boundaries. When people say I am a designer, I am like ‘hmm, sure, but it’s just a part of my life.’ I want to be the best mother and be able to give my son the best memories. And I want to learn a lot from my son in return (smiles).

You recently started a blog that focuses on your journey to and through motherhood. Can you tell us what inspired you to do this?
Of all the roles I play in my life, motherhood taught me the true meaning and essence of life. Hence, I keep it on a threshold. Going through the whole process of bringing up a child and looking at a human being so up close physically, emotionally, and mentally, it somehow transforms you in a very big way. And motherhood puts all the priorities in place. I knew what to value the most in life, what is frivolous and what makes you who you are. I got a massive reality check after having my son. I felt so secure with my own self; it got a kind of stability, balance, and calmness to my life. I no longer wanted or felt the need to prove anything to anybody. It’s magical! I thought if I could share my experience in an honest way from my heart, people somewhere can get inspired. Health, meditation, nutrition, fashion, and travel, I cover them all on my blog.

You’ve stated that you get surprised when people introduce you to others as a mother, almost as though it’s hard to believe a mother can look so good. What advice would you have for other moms or moms-to-be, on how to continue looking and feeling great through this milestone journey?
When I used to be introduced like this in the past, I used to be amused, because most women assume that if you’re a mother you can’t have your own private and social life. They think that you don’t deserve to look or feel good and you can’t spend time to present yourself in the best way possible. Women need to get rid of the ingrained idea that they only need to look good until they are married, and that they can let go post marriage and kids. This mindset needs to change. People think women can’t have it all, but my sincere attempt through the blog is to tell women that they CAN have it all. You need a certain balance in life, but it is possible.

How important are all the other support systems around a woman, in order to help her thrive as a mother?
Family support is definitely crucial, but sometimes family can give you too many instructions that can bog you down, especially during pregnancy. There’s no manual or rehearsal for pregnancy and motherhood. Family advice is great, but you need to know which lessons to learn by yourself and what advice to drop. Self-awareness is so important, so you’re not lost or influenced by people.  

How important is the relationship with one’s spouse during pregnancy and motherhood?
It’s crucial, but needs to be handled well. Women assume men know everything that goes on in our head (laughs), and then we blame them for things. In actual fact, men don’t know what’s happening in our minds. Sure, they have to be sensitive, but women should help them get to that point by expressing themselves with open communication, rather than throwing a tantrum, which gets no one anywhere. Communication is key (smiles).

What according to you is a sure shot way to make women feel beautiful?
My advice to women who want to feel beautiful is simple—-embrace your own femininity; this will make any woman feel beautiful.
My secret to feeling great is fitness. When you have a healthy body, the energy reverberates from within you. You jump off the bed to take on the day with complete vigour (smiles).   – as told to Suneela