#Momslens On Many Life Changes, Passion, and Motherhood
Many of us have often heard the phrase: “I want the best for you”. Over the years, this phrase has probably come from a friend, family member, hey - maybe boyfriend? But we know there is only one person who has relentlessly embodied it, for literally, your whole life. Moms see the endless possibilities for us, because of this, they often become our shielding protector against even the smallest particle that could prevent our reign! (If you think about it, who needs shining knight when you have mom!)
In this feature of #momslens we’re eager to share the story of Parm Johal . Check out her answers below.
Do you think being a mom has given you a different #lens? How?
Absolutely. I'm a different person. I've gone through many life changes before - from moving away to go to university, changing careers, to getting married, buying a condo, to travelling the world. But becoming a mom has been the most fundamental psychological, emotional, 'down to the core of my being' change I've gone through in my life. Overnight, I became a mama bear, fiercely protective of her baby. My daughter is the one who is teaching me about life - everyday she reminds me to slow down, connect, use my imagination, have more fun and to notice things around me - from chasing butterflies and looking at flowers on our walks together to splashing in the tub and pretending couches are airplanes whisking us away to Bangkok. Simple things make her happy.
Finally, being a mom I also understand in order to be a role model for my daughter, I need to live my best life and that includes pursuing my passions right now - a career in the arts, travel writing and globetrotting. Mom guilt exists and priorities have shifted that's for sure, but a mantra I've always said before I had a child and continue to say today - being a mom is one purpose in my life (and an important one!), but not my only purpose. Although I sometimes have a cluttered mom brain and time is always an issue, this mantra has helped keep my own individual identity intact - an important lesson for me to pass on to my daughter.
Being a mom to a daughter has also given me a different lens - I've become more aware of how gendered our society can be. It's mine and my husband's responsibility to be role models and to help raise her as a confident, strong, independent woman who has the opportunity to pursue whatever interests she may have. Right now she plays with her cars and toolbox just as much as her dolls and kitchen.
When did you know you wanted to be a mom?
For me the feelings of wanting to be a mom came in my mid-thirties when I would start feeling emotional seeing other moms with babies and kids. I never had that maternal feeling until then. After pursuing my education, career, travel, and after five years of being married, my husband and I finally felt ready for this next stage. It was a gradual process and never something you're completely ready for, but internally you know when it's the right time.
We noticed you traveled with your daughter! what was the best part of traveling with her? Tell us a story!
The best part of travelling with my daughter is her adaptability, natural curiosity and interest in exploring. We gazed at ancient temples day and night; we took in riverside views from rooftop bars while she sipped on her apple juice and tried to grab the moon from the sky; we ate fresh coconut ice cream while floating through a maze of canals; and fed bananas to elephants. Bangkok awarded us with vivid, colorful and experiential learning opportunities. With both parents working and our daughter in daycare, vacations become precious bonding time. Although we had our share of meltdowns and mishaps in Bangkok, the moments in between the chaos have become memories to be cherished for a lifetime. She may not remember the trip long term, but she sure remembers details right now and that's what matters.
Was there a special occasion for your Shoot My Travel Photoshoot in Bangkok?
There was no particular occasion for the shoot. More so, the photoshoot was an opportunity to capture memories of our trip together as a family, especially since my selfie game is not up to par. As a globetrotter, travel blogger and now mom, the only possessions or souvenirs I care to have are my photos, which are a reflection of my memories and experiences.
Bangkok has a special place in our heart as it was the starting point to our honeymoon 9 years ago. We always knew we wanted to go back - and this time we had our 22 month old in tow. Experiencing a destination a second time, during a different phase in our life, was both nostalgic yet different (and challenging at times!). Even on the hardest travel days though, it was worth the memories.
The photoshoot took place after we were stuck in nearly a two hour traffic jam with a cranky toddler. We were so thankful our Shoot My Travel photographer waited for us; he was so patient, understanding and professional. After the unexpected traffic jam, we were rewarded with the most magical experience – beautifully lit up Wat Pho at night - Temple of the Reclining Buddha - peaceful and calm with monks chanting prayers in the hall, just what we needed amongst the chaos of Bangkok. The photoshoot was fun and the experience reminded us again of why were half way across the world with our daughter.
The photoshoot was also an opportunity to connect with a local. Our photographer interacted with our daughter throughout the shoot and to this day, several months after our trip, she remembers his name when I show her photos – and she’s 2. As we take her on more trips and as she grows it will be important for her to see us interacting with different cultures around the world. If one day when she's in her twenties and says to me she's scared to travel somewhere, I'll have the photos to show her - "See! You went to Bangkok when you were 22 months old! Go on, hop on a plane and see the world."