Genelia Deshmukh has lived her life on her own terms whether it is choosing marriage when she was at her career’s best or becoming mother at an early age. The actress says that she is currently enjoying her time with her two sons and is glad to give them a mix of both urban and rural upbringing.
The 29-year-old, who is married to actor Riteish Deshmukh, says that she tries to keep her kids away from glamour through various methods and some of it are indulging herself in simple joys with her sons — Riaan and Rahyl.
“I am not one too keen for games, parties or play dates. But I do love playing football with Riaan, I think it is very important to do a lot of outdoor activities. I believe in giving him an insight into different things, even reading and singing.”
“Riteish has had a rural upbringing, and I am glad that my boys will have a rural childhood as well as an urban one,” she told.
Riteish and Genelia got married on February 3, 2012. The couple started dating on the sets of their Bollywood debut film “Tujhe Meri Kasam” in 2003. Genelia, who became mother for the first time in 2014, delivered her second child earlier this year.
She says motherhood has changed everything and is part of growing up.
“When I became an actor, things changed. And even when I got married, things changed. Which is why I wouldn’t call it a change, but a part of growing up. It is a part of life and it’s about adjusting to each new phase. As a person, motherhood has taught me a lot and it made me more aware. I have always considered myself as an aware person, but I think it has doubled or tripled after motherhood,” she said.
The “Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na” star added that “the most exciting moment of my life was when I had Riaan, but I was also filled with anxiety at that point. As much as I wanted to be confident.”
“I was not sure whether I was doing the right thing or not. By the time I had my second one — Rahyl, the excitement did not lessen at all. It’s the same joy that you experience. But now, I feel a lot more confident and I know that I am doing the best I can, and so are other mothers out there.”
The actress, who launched the Dove baby care products in India recently, feels her sons “will always be my little projects”.
“I’d love to see them doing their bit out there. My biggest joy will be if they are independent, affectionate, normal kids,” said the 29-year-old.
So is there any pressure to be a perfect mother?
“Yes, there are loads of anxieties and all of us get into this circle of being extremely anxious and question whether we are doing the right or wrong thing. As a new mom, you need a lot of assurance and I have seen the difference between my experiences as a first-time mother and the second time around.”
“I have seen how I have grown, and felt more comfortable the second time. With time, you realise there is no point in being anxious and that moms just have to trust their way,” she said.
Genelia, who was born in a Catholic Kerala family, also credits her mother Jeanette D’Souza and mother-in-law Vaishali Deshmukh for helping her out during her parenting time.
“My mother is a modern day grandmom and so is my mother-in-law. Both of them have given me the space to do what I think is right and they have followed what I believe is right, which I think should be an advice to most mothers and grandmoms because everyone is doing their best,” she said.