EXCLUSIVE: Juhi Chawla on motherhood, raising kids, balancing work and personal life and donning multiple hats

In a candid chat, we asked Juhi Chawla what has been the most difficult role amongst all of these and her honest answer will tug you at your heartstrings. Read on.

Juhi Chawla has the brightest smile and a warm personality which is extremely alluring and difficult to miss. Juhi reigned on the big screen with her charisma and is continuing to stun us with her performances even today. Apart from an actress, Juhi is also an entrepreneur, a mother, a wife and has successfully embraced every role and challenge thrown her way. In a candid chat, we asked Juhi what has been the most difficult role amongst all of these and her honest answer will tug you at your heartstrings. Not just that, Juhi also opened up on embracing motherhood, not feeling guilty about balancing work with personal life and if it has been a conscious decision to keep kids away from the paps. Over to her:

You have donned multiple hats. Be it that of an actress, an entrepreneur, a mother, and many others. What has been the most difficult one?

Everything we do, we sometimes don”t realise that we are actually doing it for the first time. When I first became an actress, I did not know what it felt like to be on a set, what it felt like to be standing in front of actors like Rishi Kapoor ji and Amitabh Bachchan ji and try to say a dialogue. Every day was new, sometimes you do a happy scene, sometimes sad, dance, it is always new. Then when you get married, you don’t know how it is going to be like, no matter what everyone says. Then when you have children, it is a new experience. In fact, frankly, before I had kids, despite doing films like Hum Hai Rahi Pyaar Ke, I had no fondness for children. I would find them as a nuisance. (laughs) But I started looking at children differently once I turned into a mother.  It changed me.

You got married but continued working post that. Did you ever go through a phase where your children perhaps complaint that you are not around with them or not giving them enough time?

There is nothing like a perfect parent. I know my parents were also working and I hope my children also see it that way. I don’t see any problem with that. From my side, I always try my shooting schedule is in Mumbai, or if I am going outstation, someone is there at home, so that they are never left alone. Sometimes when I used to go, the mother-in-law or sister-in-law would take care. I would also make sure that the shooting schedule outdoors is not more than 10 days at a stretch so that I could visit my kids and see them. It is not like they wanted me to come but it was me. So, you always try to juggle and balance, and mostly, somebody helps you and things happen when you believe in it. It might not be perfect, it is never perfect but you do your best.

A lot of times actresses reveal that they feel this guilt as a mother while trying to balance work and personal life. Did you ever feel that?

No, I wouldn’t call it guilt. When I look back, I would call it a rollercoaster. It has happened that I was away and my kid got sick and I coordinated on phone. Luckily, my friend was staying over and she took care of him. Somehow, everything worked out, always. There is no perfect moment or life, and it is okay, it works out in the end.

You have always been about minimalistic social media presence and have managed to keep your kids away from the limelight too. Has this been a conscious decision?

I didn’t plan that, it is not like I stopped them. They have access to the internet and they can be on it if they wish but if they don’t wish, I don’t impose. Even when they would go out with me, they would get disturbed. When people would stop me and take photographs or talk to me, they would get annoyed with me and would not want to come out with me. My son tells me that ‘don’t mind, I don’t watch your films because it will be cringing to watch you with someone else.” (laughs)

Have your kids ever expressed any interest in joining the showbiz industry? Would you be okay if they do?

Of course, I will be very happy if they join the film industry but I will be happier if they do what makes them happy. I feel that at their age, they have got a lot of exposure, they are studying abroad, what they want is what I want.

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