Parenting

Quotes About Motherhood From Padma Lakshmi

The "Top Chef" host has a daughter, Krishna.

Padma Lakshmi knows the highs and lows of parenthood.

The “Top Chef” host has a daughter, Krishna, born in 2010. Since becoming a mom, she’s opened up about her experience in interviews and on social media.

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 08:  Padma Lakshmi and Krishna Lakshmi-Dell attend Brooklyn Nets v New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden on December 8, 2018 in New York City.  (Photo by James Devaney/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 08: Padma Lakshmi and Krishna Lakshmi-Dell attend Brooklyn Nets v New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden on December 8, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/Getty Images)

In honor of Lakshmi’s 49th birthday on Sunday, here are 15 quotes about motherhood from her.

On Her Pregnancy

“I remember how innocent and hopeful I was about all the intricacies and ups and downs of being a parent. This was a gentler time when I was just waiting for the baby to drop. I don’t think I’ll ever be this serene again.”

On Becoming A Mom

“It’s a pleasure being with her rather than out doing all the things I was doing before, not because I should or because it’s my duty but because Krishna’s the funnest game in town.”

On Balance

“It’s hard [to balance everything]. But, you know, it’s worth it. Everything is really nice right now and I’m very lucky, so I can’t complain about anything.”

On The Joy Of Motherhood

″[What I love about motherhood is] how much fun it is and how I never thought I could be loved like this or love someone so much. And just the relationship. The relationship that you build and that you see grow as this person blossoms is quite humbling and really beautiful.”

On Raising A Good Eater

“My daughter is probably a rare case because she grew up on ‘Top Chef.’ So even when she was nursing, she had a lot of funky flavors through me, in her breast milk. But she has a really good appetite. At home, we make one meal for everybody. It’s a mild meal that doesn’t have a lot of chilies in it, which I add later to my food.”

On Cooking With Her Daughter

“Krishna loves to cook. In fact, she’s great at rolling out pie dough. I make the pie dough but I make her do the rolling out because she has little hands. She breaks the end of beans. We have a stool that we keep in the kitchen and she’s always dragging it everywhere because she wants to be tall enough to reach the counter.”

On Being More Mindful Of Body Talk

“Recently, I realized my daughter [when she was 7] has been listening to me talk about my weight. When we have taco night, I have taco salad with just a few crumpled chips. No tortillas, sour cream or cheese. When we order pizza, I get it for her, but I have leftovers of brown rice and lentils. When we make pasta, I have only Ragu with greens. While I’ve been working to lose weight, she has been going through a growth spurt. She still asks me to carry her, but now she’s 4 feet tall and weighs nearly 60 pounds. So, I’ve inadvertently been telling her, ‘You’re too heavy now to lift.’ She’s noticed, and suddenly she’s told me and others in our circle, ‘I don’t want to eat because I’m watching my figure,’ or, ‘I weigh too much.’ I wasn’t thinking anything of the sort when I was 7 or 10 or even 13. Her comments stopped me dead in my tracks. Her words scared me. Language matters. We send signals to our daughters every day. And I am her first touchstone of femininity.”

On Making New Foods Fun For Kids

“If you’re going to try Indian food, you can have plain rice and Tandoori chicken. Make it fun ― say it’s orange chicken! Tandoori chicken is really mild, it doesn’t even have the skin on it. If you’re going for Thai food, have plain rice and chicken satay. Krishna loves satay because it’s chicken on a stick! You need to look at the cuisine and find the most kid-friendly items within that cuisine.”

On Her Village

“In truth, I am a single mother. But I don’t feel alone at all in parenting my daughter. Krishna has a whole other side of her family who loves her, too. And so Krishna is parented by me, but also by her grandmother and aunts and cousins and uncles and friends ... The more who encompass her, the more different kinds of people who are in Krishna’s life, the better off she is.”

On Her Decision To Speak Out About Her Assault

“I wanted to open up the discussion because I didn’t want this to ever happen to my daughter, or to anybody’s daughter. Any colleague, any girlfriend … so many people who watch ‘Top Chef’ are tweens and teenagers and young people. I just thought, ‘Even if three fans of mine who see this, read this, and it helps them, it’s worth it.’”

On Body Image

“She’s not getting these messages only from me, she’s getting them from every billboard, from every magazine that’s casually lying on our coffee table. I can’t block my child from reality and the culture that we live in. But I have a responsibility to make sure that she has a healthy self-image and a normal childhood. I don’t want her to ever be ashamed of her body. I want her to cultivate her mind. I always say, ‘Beauty is skin-deep, but dumb and dull are to the bone.’ Every message I telegraph about food and our bodies is important. So, this year, I’ve decided my weight will not be my focus. If I need a bigger dress, so be it. That one day — or any day — on the red carpet isn’t nearly as important as making sure my daughter doesn’t measure her worth by her dress size.”

On Genetics

“It’s so funny to me when I look at Krishna because I always wanted green eyes and white skin when I was little, and now I have this baby who is like that but has my bone structure. I just expected her to come out brown. Then my family would joke, ‘Well, she might crisp up as she gets older!’”

On How Parenthood Affected Her Cooking

“Oh, it has changed dramatically. I’m the queen of the one-pot wonders now. My daughter pretty much eats what I eat, except without the chiles or the spiciness. She eats a lot of black-eyed peas and rice, lentils, brown rice and lots of veggies. We’re on a Tuscan kale kick right now because the farmer’s market in New York City’s Union Square has a lot of kale. And she had some kabocha squash yesterday. I just take her portion out and I add chiles to mine.”

On The Best Medicine

“I try to hug my daughter as often as I can. Because nothing gives me more pure joy on a visceral level.”

On Prioritizing Her Daughter

“In 10 years, I’m not going to look back and say, ‘Oh, look at all these beautiful projects I’ve done.’ I’m going to say, ‘Was I there for Krishna?’