Posted in m@dness

Small Little Life Changers

“Maturity is all about losing your innocence”

I have always maintained that children; be it Kalyani, the first child I spent a lot of time with; Lil, the special one; or 2 of my own, can actually teach you very valuable life lessons if  you really just listen to them. And I mean listen, not you talk and they must listen scenario or not the time they are forced to talk to you scenario. That time when they are in the mood for some harmless banter, they are better than the best life coaches! They are little philosophers with an uncomplicated life view and the truths they utter are often profound, refreshing and very applicable to our lives as adults. If you have your own children, then I am sure you’ll agree with what I am talking about. If not, then closely observe them, next time you are around them and you’ll see I’m right.

Related imageHere are some thoughts I have had after those little banters or rather, here is what my girls are teaching me…

Everyday is a fresh, new beginning!

Ami wakes up everyday with absolutely no baggage from yesterday! In terms of food, activities or even fights that I have with her, the girl doesn’t carry over anything from yesterday. One night I asked her if she wants Rava Idli as dinner and she said yuck! The next morning, assuming she would not eat them anyway, I was munching on one when she asked me why I didn’t give her one! When I reminded her what she said last night about it being yuck, she amazed me when she replied with a “but that was yesterday, amma!”. This is true for everything! Everyday is a new beginning. How many of can start afresh each morning, forgetting all the bad stuff of yesterday?

Show some courage

Say the word dance and my younger one who is turning 2, would get on the floor and shake every inch! Kids can sing out loud and dance when they feel like it without any inhibitions because they are not confined by fears of failure or humiliation. They march forward with hope and determination because they don’t know any better and even if they have been beaten down, they do not know to give up! They embrace life and all it has to offer with open arms. What an attitude to keep!

Laugh, silly

Kids, they don’t need a joke to laugh out loud. The girls have taught me to see laughter in the most silliest of things. I am slowly learning to find joy in the most negative of places and sunshine on the darkest days. It is a work in progress, but this one trait I will hold on tight and make sure they never shed when they grow up.

Be thy Hero

Have you noticed that when children narrate the events of the school every day, they tend to be the center around which the story will revolve? And also, the fact that they love saying their name a lot? Like, a lot! As children, they really do feel that they are the best and they are just not ready  be put down. As we mature, we don’t want to be conceited or egotistic, so we downplay our accomplishments and achievements. We don’t want to brag. But in doing so, we often slip to the side of self-deprecation. We put ourselves down to make others feel better or to be more social! Modesty becomes an admirable quality and we start to convince ourselves of our own mediocrity. Sad, but true.

Beauty is in everything

Tango, our 2 year old Labrador is a constant source of delight and is the joker of the family. He can make us happy just by lying down with all 4 legs up in the air. The sound of our shoes when we approach the door, after our day in the office, makes him happy. Ami loves it when we give her surprises and Cookie loves being tickled. Something simple that we take for granted brings them such immense joy and profound inspiration. When did we stop noticing the tiny miracles that surround us daily? How much more beautiful would life be if we could see these miracles again?

Above all, something everyone must also remember is that as an adult around a child,  it is a behemoth, immense and a terrifying responsibility—the fact that you are being watched and that everything you say does matter and makes a big difference. However, imagine what a lovely world it would be if we could just hold on to all that innocence a tad bit longer.

So, whether you have kids or don’t, whether you like them or don’t; whether you want to make a difference to a child’s life or don’t, remember this poem every time you spend time with a child;

Children Learn What They Live

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

-Dorothy Law Nolte

 

And each day, I feel terrible that the girls are growing up and slowly on a day not so far away, they will become one of us…adults.

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Posted in close to heart, RoMa Chronicles

As you begin school!

My little one, suddenly you aren’t so little anymore! Today is one of those days when I silently cried on my way to work. It is an overwhelming feeling to send your kid to school. Accomplishment and heartbreak, all at once. Both Ro and I can still picture the day we first held Ami in our hands. With her, it really was the first of many things! So many things. Image result for mom sending kids to school illustration

4 years later, as she is off to school; dressed in a uniform and swinging her bag, I can only pray that she gives it the best shot and realises that learning is a continuous process. In the next decade, as they progress from school to college and transform into independent, bold and strong beautiful women, I hope they learn;

To accept failure with grace, compete in a healthy manner and win without bragging.

To realise that disappointments are fleeting, just like triumphs. “This too shall pass” can get you out of just about anything. Nobody really keeps track of these things, although it may seem that everyone is interested in your life, it isn’t so. (Hoping that FB conks out by then!)

To never underestimate the power of “Thank You”, “Please” and “Sorry”. Whether it is the security, waiter or a maid, thank you is you way of acknowledging the effort they have made to make a moment of your life, simpler. When you say please, you are asking for help and people will remember you for your humility. Sorry is a way of telling people that you apologise for an act or behaviour and you want to be forgiven because you consider that relationship important.

To be kind to people. Young or old; rich or poor; tall or short; just be kind.

To accept that life is mostly unfair! Some people are born lucky, some have to work hard for everything they want. However, hardwork will pay off eventually and when it does, there will be nothing like that sense of achievement. Believe me dear, I have been there done that and proud of everything I have achieved, till date.

To know what you want in life, be it a toy, food or clothes. Have enough to keep you grounded and going , but not spoilt for choice.

To stick to a decision once it is taken. Be responsible for your thoughts, words and action. Once you have decided and made a choice, don’t waver.

To appreciate even the little, most insignificant things in life- be it a small, pretty flower; a fine tune; unexpected rain; hot tea or a good night’s sleep!

To be mildly curious about the world and to be wise enough to understand the thin line between being curious and being inquisitive!

To read. What a world that is!

To be courageous when sick, work towards being healthy every day and be grateful for the healthy life!

To treat all living beings with respect.

To spot superficiality and artifice from miles away and spend time with people and things are truly authentic and genuine.

After all this, I hope I have the sense to discern that their success is not my ego’s accessory, and I am not Super Mom. I will try my best to raise them the way I can, irrespective of what they will turn out to be, I hope that they will be remembered as good human beings!

First Day of School

I wonder what you’re doing right now
and if everyone is treating you kind.
I hope there is a special person,
a nice friend that you can find.

I wonder if the teacher know just
how special you are to me.
And if the brightness of your heart
is something she can see.

I wonder if you are thinking about
me and if you need a hug.
I already miss the sound of your voice
and how you give my leg a tug.

I wonder if you could possibly understand
how hard it is for me to let you grow.
On this day know that my heart breaks,
for this is the first step in letting my baby go.

-Wendy Silva

P.S– Ami did not cry or have any teary eyed puppy face when I dropped her at school. I was the one trying hard to show her that I was made of steel! She did squeeze my hand tightly when I let her go…..

Posted in m@dness

The Motherhood Awakening

To be yourself, in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

This Mother’s Day, I am celebrating the accomplishment and the title itself.  Today, I am thankful to my girls for helping me break stereotypes and allowing me to be just me. The tiny two, all of 4 years and 1 year has urged me to accept myself for everything I am. You see, sometimes you have to be told that you are nothing, made to feel insignificant and only then will you realise that you are complete, that you have had enough and that you are enough.

In the past 4 years, ever since I became a mother, I have constantly tortured myself over the fact that I have to do get everything right. Losing a parent at any age can be devastating. However, losing one before you truly become an adult makes it more challenging than anything. Being a motherless mother, I don’t really have anyone to model after. All the pretend plays when I was a kid didn’t really help. Sleepless nights during the initial months gave me enough time to worry about how to raise a child, more specifically a girl and then 2 girls! My girl friends, all of whom had mothers would just pick up the phone and ask queries and questions and I would smile. I have to admit, there were times when I’d pretend play and pick up the phone and talk to myself. I was driving myself crazy; watching every YouTube video on parenting, reading every article, studying every book on bringing up children and everything else that would equip me to raise my girls. I didnt know if I should raise my voice or actually worry about tiny things. I was not sure if I should discipline them already or wait till they are a bit older. Did I feed them enough? Did I have to monitor their play time? The Am-I-A-Good-Mother question nagged me constantly.

Until recently. Until my 4 year old came to my rescue.

Kids show us human nature, before all the social conditioning. They are a great inspiration for being yourself, staying in the moment and living life to the fullest and one powerful value that we need to teach children is that we are all learning. Every mistake is a learning. None of us have arrived, we all have enough room to grow and evolve into better versions of ourselves. My daughters have been my patient teachers all through my motherhood journey and I can never ever thank them enough.

This mother’s day I have three things to tell mother’s who are like me; mother’s who are motherless and looking for some tip or technique to raise their kids right.

  1. There is no such thing as a good mother. It is the way we are conditioned to believe that mothers must be good at everything. Nope, the very fact that we are willing to learn is enough. Teach your children to be curious about the world around. They should be open minded and ready to question that makes no sense to them and accept things that may make sense only to them.
  2. Small is big. Its really the small things that matter. Smile at people. Enjoy the rain. Smell flowers. Sing a song. Help people in trouble. Share food. Stay healthy and stay active. This, they taught me, my girls.
  3. Express Emotions. Look at children, they express emotions so well! Let it out. Be it joy, pain or fear, let it all out. It is perfectly fine and it is the best way to live. Express your thoughts and learn to say no to things that you don’t feel good about. Laughter and tears are self healing mechanisms to combat fear and anxiety. Embrace it.

Remember that children are born with only 2 fears; loud noise and falling. Everything else is learnt. They learn what they see. Being the best version of me is the one gift I can give them and I don’t really need a role model for that right?

Here is a quote that reflects exactly what I am now. No more self doubt and no more fears.
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Once again, Happy Mother’s Day to all you beautiful mothers out there.

Posted in close to heart, The Chronicles of A

Going from One to Two

One of my closest friends is pregnant with her third and another one I know is pregnant with her first. The former can’t remember what month she is on and the latter knows the week and date to the t. And me? Well, I am going from one to two and boy the difference is night and day. I know many articles and blogs have been written about the difference between first and second pregnancies and I will not talk about whats there. This one is for what it has been for me.

Before I start, Ami, my girl, you will always be special. It is not just because you are my first born but because you were my teacher, the reason for me having so many of my “first” and “aha” moments. For teaching me that unconditional love is the purest form of love.

There is something about the first time that is just sort of magical. With us, it was just Ami and me. When Ami was born, I didn’t shed a tear because I was happy to see my friend of nine months finally in my hands! I was filled with an anticipation that will likely remain unmatched for the rest of my life. At every step of those nine months, I knew what week I was at, what fruit size the baby was in my tummy, what were those measurements on the scan report, what to eat, what to avoid, what made the baby uncomfortable, when was the baby most active etc. I would write down the changes each month, make a number of checklists, list of baby names from month 2, had a hospital bag ready by 7th month, thought about what dresses to buy, what to wear and my the list can go on! To cut the long story short, I was too occupied and happy and excited to think about anything else but my baby.

This time, its different. I wouldnt say it is a bad thing but things are very different. From announcing my pregnancy to getting that hospital ready, everything has changed. I have become paranoid! No, I’m certainly not worried about what fruit size my baby is or what week I am on or what my baby is feeling or doing. I am on 33 weeks and I haven’t done any shopping. I haven’t decided a name, I havent thought about anything at all! Checklist you ask? The only checklist I have are all work related! At this pointI’d like to say to you Baby 2, that its not because I dont love you already, it is because I am too worried about your well being! Now, because I know what its like and have been there done that, I know the risks, I know the signs, I know its not a cakewalk. Remember though, that I am like this because I love you to bits already.

Last evening, I spoke with my mommy-of-2 friend because I had to speak to someone who had the experience. I wanted to ensure that I was normal! I have been thinking about what would happen to my family if something was to happen to me? What if something went wrong with me? What is the husband going to do with a 3 year old and a new born and a dog! I mean, he cannot even take care of himself for a day without goofing up! I had never really thought of dying and have never been afraid except for now. The thought had began to affect my sleep, my work and my whole life. I would on some days look at AMi playing and silently shed a tear. My friend said its okay. It happens and its perfectly fine!

This morning, as I woke up and made tea, I realised that even if I didn’t consider myself of any value, those few human beings certainly needed me around. I suddenly felt very wanted. My fears seem to slowly fade away. Today, I live.

So, my advice to the moms going from one to two, take it slow. One day at a time. To feel scared is normal. It just shows you care too much for those human beings that need you. To the first time moms, enjoy while it lasts! Savor every moment, cherish every kick and nibble. This one is special.

See you after I go from one to two 🙂

To my Two,

I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living my babies you’ll be.

Amma

 

Posted in The Chronicles of A

You are One!

The year 2014 was when we celebrated our 1st Anniversary and it was a real roller-coaster year. In the midst of all that chaos, we had you. You were our sunshine. The reason we held on to our sanity and the reason we had a smile. You see, your father and I celebrated you. Over and over again, we celebrated your arrival. We spent months planning, talking about the type of parents we wanted to be, the things we would do with you as you grew up, the things we wanted to teach you.
Becoming a mother has been life changing for me. The minute they pulled you out of me, a part of me started living outside of my body. You came into this world and you made me want to be better. So much of my attitude and quite a lot of my character has changed and I can’t think of anyone else in this entire world that has that sort of power over me. I have made mistakes and I know I am not the perfect mother. But you my dear has been the perfect little daughter. I have gathered my strength from you and you have given me the courage whenever I have felt that I am not doing a good job.
My dear Ami, I look at you sometimes and see how innocent you are. In such a short span you have managed to teach me some of life’s biggest lessons. You fall and get up a zillion times but manage to keep trying until you are up on your own. You smile at everyone and everything and force me to believe that there is goodness in the world after all. This world isn’t always a pretty place and I look at how you’re untouched by the negativity in the world and I wonder how or if this world will change you. I pray it doesn’t.  I pray you always know how beautiful you are inside and out, and how amazing you are. I pray that God keeps you safe always. There will be people that don’t believe in you, but I believe in you.  There will be people that say things about you that you may not like, things that hurt your feelings or make you feel a certain way, but I believe you’re strong enough to ignore them and continue down the path that is destined for you.  You’re destined for amazing things and I truly believe that whatever you set your heart and your mind to, you will succeed.  You are our daughter and we will make sure you are equipped with the things you need in this life to be a good person with a huge heart. I want you to be good to others. I hope you always lend a helping hand to someone in need. I hope someone will lend a helping hand to you when you’re in need.  I pray that no matter where this life takes you, you always know your mom and dad are here for you, and that you always have a place to call home. No matter what happens, we will stand by you. I want you to count your blessings everyday and say thank you for all that life has given you.
Its been a tough year Ami. The only nice thing that has happened, is you. However, I am grateful that your dad and I were around to see your first smile, to see your first set of tooth, hear you say “acha”, watch you roll over and stand up.
Oh Ami, I pray so hard for you to one day find someone to love you the way your dad and I love each other. I want you to know that unconditional love does exist. I want you to see that inspite of all the hardships, turmoils, fights and arguments that your father and I have, we love each other and stand by each other at all times.
I’m still so very uncertain of whatever I have done to deserve such a beautiful and amazing baby girl. You are the center of our universe and that will never change.We love you more than anything in the whole world.
Happy first birthday my dearest. We love you forever and a day. May you always smile and may you always be blessed.
Love always,
Acha and Amma
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Posted in The Chronicles of A

A Mother Speaks- Chapter 3

Soooo I am going on a much awaited, much deserved vacation. I am going home! Again, I’ll be off for awhile! Last evening, in the midst of a conversation between moms and moms to be, I realised how much life has changed for me, how much I have changed!The transition from being a carefree lazy woman to a new mom is a huge shock on so many levels. I had to warn the moms to be ;). I didnt mean to scare the girls but I had t warn them because I thought they were waay too young!As a new mom, I have found myself doing countless things I never would have expected to do — some that are laugh-worthy and others that will make you cringe.

I have never been around any kid while they grew up. The babbling and the crawling are all new to me. I mostly gather all my info from reading up. I swear by Dr Sears Baby Book. Its like my bible. I am not suggesting thats the way to raise a kid, but I really dont have a choice… So how did my life change…

I was never too fond of bathing. Yeah yeah judge me! Go ahead. I used to look at it as a chore. Something just to keep ourselves clean. Now, its on my to do list everyday! I look forward to the time I take a bath. I love bathing. Its the 15 minutes I get to myself. Nobody else can take that away from me. After a long day, some warm water n me. Bliss! There are days when I have even slept off there.Instead of European Tour, I daydream of long showers and baths. Hmmm. I am just gewtting started.

I am a singer. Not a self proclaimed one. Acquaintances,colleagues, friends and family know that I sing. I used to hum all the time. I still do. Its just that now I sing more of baby songs and lullabies. I try to sing songs but go back to baby tuning! I dont even know whats the latest AR Rahman tune is like! To think there was a time when friends used to come to me for the latest tracks 😦 I sing the same songs on repeat so much that my own voice is starting to drive me crazy, but it’s worth it, because that smile is everything to me! I am also known to talk a lot. I was the talkative child all the way through school n college. I would even talk to a log! Well, I still do. These days its more third person talk. I have somehow transported into a different dimension where I talk in the third person, as in, “Amma needs to sit down n take a break….for real”. Also, I find myself giving the play-by-play of every little action I am doing, even when no one else is in the room. Appaarently you have to keep speaking to babies so that they develop theor communication skills! Looks like I’ll need to attend spoken english classes before I can start speaking socially again.

No i wasnt exactly the stylish diva ever. I’d be seen mostly in tshirt n jeans. These days I cant even remember when was the last time I wore a clean pair of clothes!My clothes are mostly used as scotch brite wipes, wet tissues or jut\st tissues! In the beginning I used to change outfits more times in a day (due to various baby bodily fluids) than a teenager on the first day of school. Eventually I gave up changing clothes and accepted that I’ll be covered in something at all times during the day.The ponytail and nude face look has become my signature look, and by signature look, I mean my only look. I guess I should just go bald or sport the bob cut look!

Eating was a favourite! I was a foodie! I used to try every newly opened reataurant in town! Take time to enjoy a meal, savouring every bite. haaaaa what a life that was! Eating has now become a competition around finishing my plate in the shortest time possible, and I HAVE forgtten about savoring a bite. That hot cup of tea I made this morning to enjoy while getting ready for the day…..It’s 2 p.m. and I still haven’t gotten halfway through it and have reheated it four times. I enjoyed cooking. Ilove experimenting and spending time in the kitchen. Now I use my kitchen timer not to cook something delicious, but as a countdown to when Ro comes home and when I can hand over!!!

Sleep! Oh what a luxury it was, if only I had respected it and savoured it wjen I had the time, instead of wasting countless hours on the net!  10:00 p.m. has become my new bedtime, and even that seems late most nights. Moving even an inch while she is napping after nursing is a terrifying experience for fear of waking her. Sneezing while the baby naps is absolutely off the table, just hold it in and take it like an adult. Hold it, I say! I celebrate the fact that my baby is finally sleepng longer by spending my newly found free time obsessively checking on her.

Getting out was so easy! Pick  up bag n leave. Now, there’s a checklist on the door that has to be checked even if I am going down to the grocery shop. Diapers are a must. Maybe one in your pocket is also a good idea.  I have forgotten where I kept my handbag. Her bag is mine now. Or rather, I kind of ask for some space in her bag to just put my purse.

Hmmm as you can see, life does change!  A lot. I am just not the person I used to be. I have changed from being a carefree, lazy, laid back, selfish prick to being an over cautious, on the move, selfless mother. I no longer care of whther my hair is tied up or whether I have had food on time or that I havent got sleep for days together. What matters is that my princess is happy and comfortable. I see her smile and I know am doing it right.  Oh well, I know there will come a day when my girl will demand that I sport a ponytail and look chic. She will demand that I eat on time and get some rest and go back to the lady I used to be. Till then, I am at  her disposal.  Till then my time table is the one she sets n resets every single day…. Till the day she becomes the lady I dream she will be… till then……

  1. Like how parenthood totally doesn't change you at all.
Posted in RoMa Chronicles, The Chronicles of A

A Mother Speaks- Chapter 1

Hi. The other day, a friend and a family member asked me why I stopped writing? The answer I gave them was that I dont have the time. One of them then said that I stopped writing in February 2014 and the “no time” factor arrived only in October. I smiled. So here I am, a whole year later and a whole lot of changes later. When I say change,its a change that will last a lifetime. On 22nd October 2014 at 4:26 pm, I delivered a baby girl. I became a mother.

A lot of things  Everything changes. Life is just not what it used to be. It will never be. Priorities change. Attitude changes. The very definition of love changes.

I was never a born mommy. A born mommy is someone who has mother instincts at a very young age. These women like to dress up barbie dolls, play house house, spend play time putting on make up and dressing up dolls etc. The women act like a mom around their friends, protecting them, taking care of their needs, making sure they have food on time etc. I am not and was never that. Neither was I a career woman. The jet setting, always on the run, looking for better opportunities, higher paying salary kind of woman. I am that more of the undecided woman. Likes occasional playing with baby, cooking, a relaxed, happy to go to dream job kind of woman. I like that come and go as you please, carefree tv nights, long nights of uninterrupted sleep, watch movies when I please kind of life. Honestly, I was not ready to be responsible for another human being! Like Das always commented that I was just not grown up, yet!

In March last year when we found out that we were pregnant, I was amazed and stunned and clueless. Thats just three of the zillion emotions i went through at that time! I was nervous and curious and bewildered too. I spent hours on the net reading every bit of info I could find. As months passed, I realised the enormity of it all. The sacrifice and freedom that I’d be giving up. Freedom is never something that a person voluntarily gives up!

She is 5 months now. I have had conversations with a  lot of moms lately and somtimes I laugh at the way they feign motherhood! I have raised this girl of mine single handedly(Ro is there ofcourse, but he hardly has time, thanks to dxb traffic) for the past 5 months and will continue to do so. Its not out of choice, its more out of helplessness n no choice. I know for a fact that its really difficult and sometimes frustrating to take care of an infant alone. SO when I mention to these drama moms that I miss the freedom and how I wish someone would take care of our little girl for a while, they feign shock! They act like I am the cruel mom who has no compassion for her child! Oh poor kid are what their facial exprssions say! These are those moms who have full time help plus parents to look at all their needs plus money to buy every mothercare accessory there ever is. My primary identity is not “mother”. Is that my fault? I would spend the time I get wondering if I really was a bad mom.

Its easy to enjoy parenthood. That toothless grin when she wakes up. That constant babbling. The giggle when she is tickled. That smile she gives when I peep out from under the pillow. That feeling that somebody really needs you. All the time. And then before we realiase, the enjoyment begins to fade and you start feeling a bit depressed, scary that good or bad, the way she grows up to be will be your sole responsiblity. Before you know it, ever so slowly, you start waiting for the freedom to be just you  again.

After reading up tonnes of literature on being a good parent, I learnt it from a place I should have looked first. My dad’s life. The way he bought me up. The formula to being a great parent and a happy one was simple. The secret was to enjoy the whole things while it lasts. Everything my girl was upto was a passing phase. It would all be yesterdays story all too soon. All I had to do was to give her my unconditional love and time. The less I am enjoying her, the more frustrated I get with her, the less patient I am with her, the less energy I have for daily motherhood tasks, the more I start to resent her. That, she will understand. Motherhood will be frustrating, a constant battle between my selfishness and exhaustion. It will also be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be totally and unconditionally loved, needed, wanted, by somebody who is happy to sit for hours just staring at my face. My face! It was easy. Happy parents make happy children.

The more I begin to enjoy her, i realise, my baby needs me. Me. Just me. Not her dad, not her toys, not her grandparents. Me. And that for me is a privilege.