A letter to my daughter

 

Day 9 of the #9DaysofWomanhood blogathon and we wrap this series of 24 blogging mothers coming together this #Navratri with an amazing thought: ‘envisioning ourselves or some woman in our life as one of the goddesses’ and I thought, instead of comparing myself or the women I know to a goddess, I might as well envision a future for my daughter. So, here goes:

Dear Isha,

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Image courtesy: Soul Slings

Being born as a woman is a gift in itself and to be born in a land that worships and reveres so many versions of a super power that is the same as you and me. She goes by several names, but you can draw inspiration from them to lead a life that will take you along the right path at the right times.

Be like Saraswati: Know who you are and strive to better yourself. Respects the arts; learn as many skills as you can and be good at them. Educate yourself, for there is no stronger weapon than a well-informed mind.

Be like Lakshmi: Always have an aura around you. Shine bright and look presentable. Save enough and spend sensibly. Be a giver. Remember, the more you give, the more you get. Let not money dominate you, but have control over your finances.

Be like Parvati: Be the energy that makes you the better half. Remember that you are what bonds the whole family together. This could be your family, your work family or even your friends. Provide, nourish and shower love around.

Be like Shakti: Be the power that others respect and fear. Remember that Shakti is the center of the whole universe. You have the power to restore and take away balance. Thus, act sensibly. Even Pralayam happens only when there is too much unrest. Strive to use your power well. Use it to bring balance in lives; yours and others.

Be like Durga: Do not fear to unleash your anger when the need arises. Remember that your fierceness is your protection. Do not wait for a man to come to your rescue; be your own knight in shining armor. Durga rode on lions and tigers; you (like your mom & hers) will have your own Vaahan, which will take you around the world. Depend not!

Finally, be the Devi: Make others to gravitate around you. Exude positivity and charm; smile often and laugh your heart out. Dance when it rains and even when it doesn’t. Sing from your heart. Live your life with a purpose. Do good and be good. Of course, mess up once in a while or else you wouldn’t realize the beauty of the good.

Have fun, my love!  

**** I would also like to take this opportunity to introduce Dilpreet Kaur Dua who blogs at www.bhangrababies.com You can check out her blog to read her thoughts on this as well!  ****

My First Year with two under two

Isha turns one in a month and the whole ride so far has been blurry. Like the kinds where you are on a motorcycle on top speed and the wind is blowing in your face. Where it’s all hazy, but you accelerate nevertheless, waiting for the haze and the wind to pass. Such rides are adrenaline pumping; they give you a LOT of feel good feels, but the haziness, the parched feeling in your mouth and the bleary eyed moment can make you wish the wind settles down soon!

My year as a mother of two children has been exactly like this. There have been really sweet, special moments but for most part of it I feel like I am running a race with no idea of the finish line. I still maintain that managing one child, however active it may be, is very doable. But when you have a toddler, a newborn and postpartum blues sitting inside the mixer, the cocktail leaves you with more than just a hangover 😉
So, instead of talking much about ‘how it feels’ I am going to tell you what you can expect as a parent of two children under three.

Month 1: Newborn cuddles tiny cries and of course pangs of anxiety of the love being shared between your firstborn and the second born.

Month 2: Sleepless nights thanks to growth spurt nursing sessions. Toddler bonding with the baby, overly sometimes. Shuttling between baby and tot, engaging, satisfying and loving them both as much as they need.

Month 3: Pure unadulterated sibling love. The baby smiles at the brother, the brother helps in massaging the baby, they co-sleep without fuss. Total heart melt.

Month 4: Baby tries to move. Slowly, toddler gets confident with baby, hands over his toys, dirty shoes and more to attract the baby. Panic attacks of toddler trying to feed the baby gems.

Month 5: crawling baby tails the older brother around like a shadow. Another episode of rushing happy hormones watching the two bond.

Month 6: Toddler tantrums at the peak and baby tantrums to match the brother’s. You & your husband sit like zombies in the middle of the night, wondering where the mistake happened.

Month 7: The two start spending more meaningful time together and you can take a leak in peace. Yes, you get 2 minutes of uninterrupted bathroom time! YAY!

Month 8: baby wants brother’s food. Brother wants to feed the baby. More movement, more toys. LESS bed space!

Month 9: Sibling bonding stage 3 – hugging, cuddling, kissing, jumping together on the bed (at 11:30 in the night). Toddler becomes a bigger toddler, starts bonding emotionally with you. Even wipes your tears of fatigue and gives you a quick kiss.

Month 10: MONKEY ALERT! The siblings gang up finally and beat your husband and you! No escaping them. Blocks land mines, squeaky toys under the sofa, food inside water bottle and more. All possible, thanks to the tiny sidekick who keeps you occupied while the older brother makes master moves.

Month 11 & 12: Accept defeat. They have their tactics in place. First they will rile you up the wall, and then they will cuddle each other and melt you into a puddle. Ha ha ha!

Frankly, this one year has been MAJORLY taxing both mentally and physically, but what keeps me going is the love that I see them both share. It gives me the assurance that I have done something right. They survived this far, I am sure we will get better! 

 

**** I would also like to take this opportunity to introduce Dilpreet Kaur Dua who blogs at www.bhangrababies.com You can check out her blog to read her thoughts on this as well!  ****

 

Text as you pop! 😋

Who texts their friends from the delivery table, dilating well past 5cm? ME 😀 I was extremely lucky to have a bunch of beautiful friends who were super pampering and caring during my 2nd pregnancy. They were extremely excited about the delivery and even had bets running on the gender of the baby.

 

It brings me immense pleasure to share that I, along with 23 other bloggers are celebrating #9daysofwomanhood throughout Navratri. I thank Sanjivini for introducing me. I loved her blog on the prompt for today. You can read it here.

As for the rest of my story, read on!

14th November 2016: 9 days away from my given due date, I was wondering and hoping the baby would make a late appearance on its dad’s birthday (24th November). My mom was in town, we had all things (Lishaan’s) washed and ready for the baby when it comes. I had made a decently elaborate lunch and had just started working on a hat that was a puff stitch beret of sorts. It was very frustrating because I couldn’t get the start of the hat right. One coffee later, the hat was 3 rounds down already and I was in a flow.

So, closer to the last couple of months my husband made it a practice to come home for lunch so that I had a little extra time to cook. Every day, I would call him to tell him that lunch was ready and that he can start (his office was 10 minutes away). That day, I called him and told him the same thing ‘Lunch is ready. Come off soon’. Just like any other day, I took my toddler to set him down for a nap. I had just plonked him in the bed when something felt funny. I knew it then that the baby was on its way. So, I rang up my husband again and asked him to come as ‘it was time’. My mom sprung into a half panic – half alert mode and quickly gathered essentials in a ‘ready to go’ mode. By then 20 minutes had passed and my water had started leaking. FUN! Baby on the way. We waited for my husband to get home, woke up the toddler, told him baby was coming, fed him lunch and started for the hospital.

I remembered to take a GOOD shower (my dear friend told me that it was a very comforting and soothing way to get into the labor mode). So, off we went to the hospital.

Within minutes, I was taken to the labor ward for preliminary checkup and was asked to stay put. ‘Walk, do whatever, just be here’ they said. Mega moment: I was discussing with a mom about what carrier she should go for and what she should be trying before she made a purchase 😛 My mom literally threw a fit and asked me to hand over my phone!  Later, my mom and the toddler were comfortably settled into a room and the husband kept running up and down, checking on both parties. Meanwhile, my messenger kept buzzing with messages from this mom-friends-bunch and the usual Whatsapp groups, as usual. So I thought, why not surprise them all. From 2:30pm in the afternoon till about midnight, I played along and kept the whole deal a secret. I think I finally put my phone away when they moved me to the delivery table and my senior doctor said ‘what the hell are you doing with a phone right now?’ in a quizzical tone. So, no one knew about it and I remember after Isha came out, we went back to our room and in the middle of the night, I texted them ‘Girl or boy?’ and everyone started jumping! It was super exciting and definitely a very special welcome for my baby girl. My friends probably thought I was insane, but hey! An addition to any family should be a pleasant surprise, right? 😉

 

**** I would take the opportunity to introduce Dilpreet Kaur Dua who blogs at www.bhangrababies.com You can check out her blog to read her thoughts on this as well!  ****

 

What does pregnancy teach you? 😉

It brings me immense pleasure to share that I, along with 23 other bloggers are celebrating #9daysofwomanhood throughout Navratri. I thank Sanjivini for introducing me. I loved her blog on the prompt for today. You can read it here.

 

Pregnancy, a nine letter word that can bring about extremes of emotions in people!

My own pregnancies have been pretty non-adventurous, but definitely have taught me a lesson or two in parenting!

From an exasperated ‘when will you both plan for a child?’ to a shocked ‘why a second child so soon?’, the society has shown me that bearing and birthing a child should be the sole decision of the wife and the husband. No one else, except maybe your gynaec, should have an opinion in it.

We had been married for four years, when we decided to have a child. We had skirted the ‘good news’ for a good part of the four years, but the tension that can mount on a couple thanks to the pressure is inexplicable unless experienced! My husband and I even have a spot in Chennai where I blew my top (sitting inside our car) thanks to the whole baby deal!

When our second baby happened, we were in a completely different city, with a toddler in tow. The whole pregnancy was on us. Up till my 8th month, it was just me, husband and the toddler. My second child’s birth was as fast as watching a Karan Johar movie and both these deliveries have taught me a lot. So, instead of boring you with my epidural laced birth saga, check out what I have to say about ‘pregnancy’:

  • It is one way road. No looking back!
  • Pregnancies are easier than raising babies
  • You are the mom, husband is the dad. Remember to involve your partner equally. It’s his baby too!
  • If you treat your very pregnant self as ‘normal’, then you can lead a very healthy pregnancy and be VERY confident of your birthing option/choices/decisions
  • Please avoid the trap of being pampered. Many girls I know didn’t lift a spoon during their entire pregnancy thanks to their families. Family waiting on them translated to a non-active pregnancy. This leads to unnecessary complications.
  • Read up a LOT! I stuck to the one basic book and it definitely helped my husband and me in understanding what to expect.
  • DIY! Do everything yourself – right from deciding the clothes, langots, soaps, diaper bags. It brings in a lot of happy hormones and gets your SUPER involved.
  • Invest in the baby – Ha ha! Not money, but make something for the baby. I started knitting for Lishaan and Crocheting for Isha. I made tiny hats and socks that never fit beyond week 2 but it gave me a huge sense of warmth in knowing that I MADE something for the baby.
  • Do whatever it is that you usually did (within limits). Shop, watch movies, and go on holidays, whatever it is that keeps you moving, just do it.
  • Pregnancy isn’t an ailment; it is a process that brings about change. So, accept and experience it happily😊

Lastly, your pregnancy is your own. Enjoy it, remember it and be thankful for the safety cushions around you.

Do you have pointers that your pregnancy taught you as well? Drop a comment and share it with us all! 💖

**** I would take the opportunity to introduce Dilpreet Kaur Dua who blogs at www.bhangrababies.com You can check out her blog to read her thoughts on this as well! 💖 ****

Being a Woman in India in 2017

It brings me immense pleasure to share that I, along with 23 other bloggers are celebrating #9daysofwomanhood throughout Navratri. I thank Sanjivini for introducing me. I loved her blog on the prompt for today. You can read it here.

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My take on ‘Being a woman in India in 2017’? read on:

  • Open Opera
  • Type ‘Being a woman in India’
  • Google search

The results are far from happy. From mockery of how women get maternity leave and are decked in gold, to how hard it is for a female to survive in this country, the search results are clearly not a positive indication.

So, it is time to set some things right. Firstly, I haven’t lived in any other country but I can say that I probably wouldn’t be as happy as I am here and now, if I were born or raised elsewhere.

Mother is a very sentimental word; especially in our nation, where everything from rivers to animals are identified and revered in their feminine form. Bharat Mata, Mother India, Tamizh Thaai, Go-Mata and so on.

I am sure when I was born someone must have said ‘Lakshmi Devi has entered your home. Now, everything will flourish’. J This land gives women that special shimmer of being something above ordinary. And it is this spirit that I think makes me feel so good about being in India in these times.

Of course, there is a lot of unrest and a lot of talk on how unsafe life has become for women, but this nation provides a LOT of inspiration to draw from. I am going to tell about the kind that has changed and inspired me in many ways; my sisterhood of motherhood. Yes, I probably should make it a hashtag soon! These women constantly inspire.

The decisions I take, the choices I make and the myths I break are a big example of how in the Indian society a woman is FINALLY finding her place and space and this confidence is a result of a sisterhood and lifts, supports and backs me and hundreds of women like me. That today a woman can choose to do what she wills and not have to answer to the ‘society’, that ‘what will people say’ has become more of a positive nudge to prove that women can do what they set their heart on and that today, women can decide their lives themselves is a sign of changing times! Women have fought hard and constantly broken shackles of judgement, chauvinism and the likes over the years and when I say ‘today’, this year of 2017, I mean the years of resilience that has translated to this period being a force to reckon with for womankind all around.

I am here today being Anjana Dhanavanthan because of my constant will to swim against the tide. It has taken me 5 years, 10 maybe, to reach this mind frame. It will take you shorter or longer, but surely you will get there and let me tell you this! There is no better place than to be here in the now.

Being a woman in India in 2017 is all about the coming together of things towards a better future. Towards your family becoming your fall back cushion and not a panel of judges constantly judging your every thought and move. Towards knowing that marriage and children and ‘societal check boxes’ aren’t what make and break a woman’s world. Towards raising sons and daughters who will tomorrow build a better world for themselves and the generations after them. Towards lifting up the woman next to you, standing shoulder to shoulder and showing the world that we’ve got our ideals AND ideas in place and all we need, is for the world to witness the wonders we can do!

Navratri is about celebrating the Super-maa in all her glory and I sign off celebrating each type of Shakti in the women around me. Be a Saraswati, be a Parvati, be a Durga, be you!

 

 

I would take the opportunity to introduce Dilpreet Kaur Dua who blogs at www.bhangrababies.com You can check out her blog to read her thoughts on this as well! <3