Photo shot and edited by: Lara Kaur
Introduce yourselves! What do you love most about your relationship?
DIVYA (MOM): Hi, I am Divya Hegde, currently residing with my family in San Francisco Bay Area and mom to two joyful teens Sahana (15) & Samarth (13). Close - very close is how I would describe my relationship with them. We laugh, hug and talk about everything. Thank you Blume for inviting us today to share our mom –daughter duo relationship and Sahana’s teen experiences.
SAHANA (DAUGHTER): Hi, my name is Sahana Hegde, a high school freshman and currently 15 years old. If you cannot tell by the picture (since apparently people tease us and say my mother and I look like identical twins), I am the daughter.
What do you love most about your relationship?
DIVYA: A strong communication and a relationship based on realistic expectations. Teen is a tender age, full of deep inquisitiveness and exciting opportunities! I am keen always to learn how Sahana’s day went? I wonder how she is doing, what she is thinking about, and how she is feeling. As she answers, I actively listen. Picking her up from school is my favorite part of the day! There are no external distractions to our conversations in the car and you can have each other’s undivided attention. Bedtime is another instance when we can bond. It's wonderful to just listen what's in her heart and whatever is bubbling before she seeks any advice. I want her to be able to comfortably talk about her friendships, any confusion in her mind or any other issues. At the same time as she enjoys the freedom to discuss what’s in her mind and in her heart there are some necessary boundaries we have set for her positive growth and safety. The transition from a mom to a friend has been organic & natural and I really value that.
SAHANA: She helps me grow, prosper and reach greater heights. While she may not be always available – but she is always still there for me. She puts herself in my shoes and is more like a friend than a mother! She also has a car to drive me places and a bank account. Just kidding!
What are some ways you like to practice self-care together?
DIVYA & SAHANA: Here are some Holistic self-care strategies and activities that work great for both of us.
- Family yoga and exercise class: every evening we connect together in our living room for our combined exercise routine. We hold each other accountable. In this case Sahana holds me accountable to doing my exercise especially those hard 150 stomach crunches every day!
- Nature walks: Spending time in nature and regular hikes on the trail together helps us feel energized. Love the wind on our face! Here it is my turn to push the kids and take them away from their electronic gadgets. This is my way of getting even for 150 crunches (evil mom alert ).
- Listening to music: We listen to a variety of music together and are special fans of Lady Gaga’s creativity. We love to listen to music when we cook together in the kitchen.
- Applying facemask together: Here is our favorite cleansing facemask recipe: Paste of chickpea flour, yogurt, turmeric and honey. And of course cucumber for our tired eyes. We also love rubbing lotion into our face, hands and feet every night before we sleep.
- Engage in our senses: – How blessed I am to have a teen who enjoys herbal tea together and not a jar of Nutella! Waking up in the morning to a tall glass of hot water with lemon juice. It’s a just great feeling holding a warm drink with both hands.
- Declutter our space regularly – We try to get rid of junk and donate clothes regularly.
- We aim towards maintaining a healthy diet, going to bed early and getting a full 7-8 hours of sleep every night. We try not to miss our annual Physicals and also reach out to each other for help as needed.
- We have fun together and schedule Mom-Daughter days. This may include nature walks/runs, lunches and even watching movies together.
- As a FAMILY we try to travel around the world to continue to meet new people and learn new things. It’s always an exciting yet a humbling experience.
- We give each other a warm hug before Sahana goes to school or I leave for work.
Sahana, what has your mother taught you about self-care/self-love?
SAHANA: When it comes to self-care my mother has taught me that it's not only about looking good, it is about feeling good as well. I learnt that hygiene is more important than most people think. My mom has taught me that healthiness does not depend on how you look on the outside. The person we should give the most love in the world is ourselves. You can't get respect unless you give it to yourself first. When you care for your body - feed it well, rest it well and treat it well then the body will do the same for you!
Divya, on the flipside, what has your daughter taught you about self-care/love?
DIVYA: My daughter has taught me what’s good for kids is also good for adults. She motivates me to stick to my exercise routine especially the long days when you feel the urge to skip it. She has made me realize that a happier, more patient mom is better for everyone. When I am hanging around with the kids I feel energy, joy and fun are very important parts to having a colorful life.
And how did you learn about periods, sex ed, and your body?
DIVYA: My mother, my grandmother and sex education in school. I had ton of bad advice from some friends (wink wink). I think now kids know too much info way early on, but I think it’s a generational change and probably necessity of the hour? There was a little more innocence to the info and how much was shared when I was growing up as a teen.
What do you wish was different?
DIVYA: Everyone deserves to have accurate information about their bodies so they can make healthy decisions, and if they aren’t getting it at home, school might be the only place they’re learning about periods/sex ed/ your body. But some people I realize who I have spoken to, this were taboo subjects when they grew up or didn’t have comprehensive sex education in their respective schools. Some things can be awkward and make you nervous, however I think it’s important to be honest and open.
Sahana, how has your mother made taboo topics like puberty and sex more approachable?
SAHANA: My mother made these topics very approachable to me by both of us having a close tight relationship. She has made a pact with me that if I am ever in trouble I need to reach out to her right away and no judgement will be made. However, knowing my mom I am sure she will have thousands of questions and cautionary advice that’ll follow!
And finally.. fill in the blank. I’m thankful for my mom because ___________.
SAHANA: I am thankful for my mom because our relationship has no filters! She understands and has taught me that everyone has their own journey and that we shouldn't be caught up in comparing ourselves to other people!