“Sulaiman (Merchant) is a fabulous dad. He travels incessantly but when he is in town he discusses financial markets, politics and the digital world with Amayra,” said Reshma Merchant

Strong-willed and independent, Reshma Merchant is disarmingly honest and genuinely amiable. The co-founder and designer at the sustainable luxury and design store, House of Milk, Reshma is a parent in progress, bringing up her nine-year-old, Amayra, with husband Sulaiman. Raised to be an independent woman by her mother, she emulates and ingrains the same value system in her daughter as she grows up. Excerpts from a conversation with Express Parenting:

What is your biggest challenge as a mom and how do you overcome it?

Grandma and cousins! I get ribbed often about following timetables and routines, which I find an outstanding tool to overcome most challenges. Honestly, my true support comes from the strong ‘tribe of women’ I belong to. This cluster includes my mother Renu, my sister Raunaq and her daughter Kyra. We truly belong to each other and definitely behave like we own each other – this may sound a bit mad but for sure brings in an unbeatable security that allows each one of us to sleep easy. Amayra would be half the person she is without mom, Raunaq and Kyra being hers

Share with us the environment you were brought up in.

My mother grew up in the diplomatic services environment, all around the world, and married an Army officer. Our parents taught us everything from style, family, respect, etiquette, accent, values, religion and tradition. I only teach Amayra what I have been taught but in a more digitised, contemporary way.

Are you a part of WhatsApp mommy groups, carpools…?

Of course. Other moms are my ‘tribe of women’ too! I simply could not keep up with everything without their support and information they share.

Who is Amayra more emotionally welded to: her dad Sulaiman, or to you?

That is a tough one as she holds Sulaiman next to God. But, as the constant (Sulaiman’s work takes him out of town aplenty), I get all the emotional stuff. This is the tough part. For instance, one day at a PTM, the teacher was very kind about Amayra and suddenly I had tears rolling down my cheeks. Seeing this Sulaiman too had tears while our daughter put her head down in complete embarrassment! Then a few days back she was selected as captain in her school, and before we left for the investiture ceremony, I was forewarned not to cry…of course, I did! I do get emotional when I hear good things about Sulaiman, Amayra, my father…but it is the exact opposite if I hear anything bad.

Shilpi Madan for Indian Express

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