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HomeHealth and LifestyleNaimal Khawar slams the unsolicited parenting advice no mum needs | The...

Naimal Khawar slams the unsolicited parenting advice no mum needs | The Express Tribune



SLOUGH, ENGLAND:

Mother’s Day has been and gone, seemingly meaning that the pressure to appreciate mothers is off. For many, it is now socially acceptable to return to our modus operandi and offer unsolicited advice to mothers in public with their children. 

Stellar artist and former actor Naimal Khawar found herself the unwitting recipient of parenting advice from a young childless individual, who appeared on hand with his parenting tips when Naimal’s son was mid-tantrum. 

“At an event, our little one decided to throw a tantrum fit,” wrote Naimal on her Instagram story. “Now this random guy, who’s 19 at most, is giving me chup karanay kay mashwaray (advice to soothe my baby) I’ve never heard of [followed by a crying with laughter emoji]. Brother, seriously?” 

Whilst Naimal may have not devoured the advice with the seriousness it was intended, she is by no means the only woman – or, indeed, the only woman celebrity – to have been unwittingly schooled in parenting. In 2019, former tennis star Sania Mirza got involved in a heated X (then Twitter) spat with actor Veena Malik after a video circulated online showing Sania, her then-husband cricketer Shoaib Malik, their young son – who was nine months old at the time – and the Pakistan cricket team at a party. The video, which had been shot in the midst of the cricket World Cup, had prompted actor Veena Malik to go online and take Sania to task for allowing her son in a “sheesha place”. 

“Sania, I am actually so worried for the kid,” Veena had written at the time. “You guys took him to a sheesha place, isn’t it hazardous?” Veena took it a step further and also queried why Sania had not prevented the entire team from visiting such a place, ravaged as it was with “junk food”, which “isn’t good for athletes/boys.” 

Irked at being judged over her parenting, Sania fired back a tweet in response. “I have not taken my kid to a sheesha place,” she wrote back. “Not that it’s your or any of the world’s business because I care about my son a lot more than anyone else does.” As for the accusation that she had not looked out for the team, Sania added, “I am not [the] Pakistan cricket team’s dietician nor am I their mother or principal or teacher.” 

Naturally, it is not just mothers in the public eye who are a bull’s-eye for expert parenting guidance.  Any woman who has birthed a child and is around another human being can expect to be told that what they are doing could not possibly be more wrong. Since my son was born nearly 15 years ago, I have been chastised for not shaping his head right as a baby and admonished for not dressing him in a woolly hat in Karachi in November – which I suppose in hindsight was my own fault for forgetting that Karachi is famed for its Arctic winters. 

I have also been informed that I am borderline cruel for handing my 12-year-old daughter an umbrella instead of picking her up in the rain as she walks home from school, and am neglecting my motherly duties by letting my nearly 10-year-old cut her own apple. With a knife. 

For as long as there have been mothers and children, there have been individuals convinced they know better, whether it is about their diet, their screen habits, their education, or absolutely anything under the sun. Veena and the nineteen-year-old at the wedding who gave Naimal tips are not the first to have hinted to mothers that they know better, and they won’t be the last. Mothers, therefore, have to be content with giving their shut-up calls far and wide, both on social media and in the real world. 

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