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! ? ****

Do me a favor!

My husband usually doesn’t appreciate certain topics that I touch upon in my posts. He says ‘people might think you are weak’ or ‘they might think you are complaining about them’. But there are some things that I would like to share and talk about and no, it’s not a complaint. Actually, THIS is a humble request to the society at large.

By now, we all know (whether or not we are parents) that becoming a mother is probably easier than BEING a mother. A lot of effort goes into raising a child; maybe not so much in creating one inside. That’s just me!

This time last year, I was at a surprisingly high social presence rate. People (I am not exaggerating) used to gape as to how I managed to move my 8 month pregnant belly and 22 month old toddler from corner to corner of the city, being a social butterfly (social enthu-cutlet, more so). I was actually out and celebrating Diwali 10 days before my delivery. Yes, my folks were shocked and no, I had no issues whatsoever. Once my baby girl came into the world, things changed upside down. If you know me (from my posts and rants), you will know that it’s a nuclear set up in our home and I manage just about everything except sweeping, mopping and washing utensils. So, for me another baby in the mix was a lot of work. When it came to being my social self, that part of life took a back seat. I would say I sent it to the boot.

Nod your head if you agree that dating, marriage and children have changed the width and type of your social circle greatly. I have THREE friends who have put up with my nonsense and loved me through my pregnancy and both kids. They didn’t have babies at that time, but they never said no to me. Post children, I forged different kinds of friendships – virtual ones. Maybe it is the fact that, like me hundreds of mothers find ‘ME’ time in between feeds and at weird hours of the night that brought us together. Props to Facebook, importantly. So, there I was happily forming a safety net online while in real life, I REALLY didn’t have the stamina to get ready and step out.

Seriously, dragging two kids and myself out of the house (looking presentable and not pooped) was an exhausting deal. I decided that I preferred the company of my TV, couch and crochet to that of the outside world, because I just couldn’t head out without wanting to throw myself in front of that Ola cab. It was too much of a task. But I did try! Why I gave up was because it didn’t seem worth it to have two fussy kids in each arm and a puffing-panting me at the end of it all.

You see, the biggest issue that haunts mothers (new and old) is anxiety and depression. Even without being a parent, if you feel neglected for some reason, you tend to put yourself into a lot of stress by over thinking. Especially with new mothers, it takes a LOT of push to keep them positive and going. Believe me, looking at spit-up stained t-shirts and bird’s nest hair every day in the mirror can seriously affect your head.  What kept me floating through my anxiety attacks and phases of depression is what I call the ‘sisterhood of motherhood’. Nope, it’s not a cult or something but these are the few people who were and are available for me to fall back on. These are the people who have always pinged, called, dropped even and even called my husband to check on my wellbeing. So what if I wore the same pants three days in a row? So what if the house looked like a mini hurricane had just worked its way through? So what if the children were BAWLING all day? They didn’t leave me alone. They pulled me through most of the difficult times in the past year and they are the reason I am writing this.

Kindly do me a favor and read through below.

If you know a woman who has birthed a child, for the first time or the millionth (not possible, unless she is Kunti), please do this:

  1. Check on her. Even if you are sitting in a cinema, just ping her and say ‘hey! I am at this movie that’s totally crappy. I wish you had been here, we would have laughed our derrieres through this!’. She can’t make it for the movie, but she just wants to know that she isn’t forgotten.
  2. Offer to help. Even if she’s as ridiculous as me to be sinking up till the neck but still refuse help. Offer nevertheless.
  3. Visit her once a while. Yeah, most times will be nap times or boob-times, but you will know that she feels great after a visit. Perked up, actually.
  4. Involve her. Even if she isn’t coming tequila downing on Saturday night with you, she’d like to know. Hey, everyone likes to feel a bit important.
  5. Be grateful for the times she’s helped you and been by your side. Don’t let her down when she needs you. Friends happen once and remain through ebbs & flows of time. They aren’t momentary. If they are, then they are just acquaintances.

Really, this is more than just about me. This is about not letting a mom who is already exhausted, feel further like crap. She would be better off without wondering why there were plans being made without her or why none of the friends from before (not you, my 4th standard ‘bench buddy’. I still hate you :P) have checked on her. Every woman deserves better and the least you can do, is send in some good vibes, right?

Of course, the good vibes do mean that she will be super teary-eyed when you give her a hug and might bake breads and cakes at midnight just to show you how much it means to her. But if you don’t do it now, you will never be able to do it again. Not to her, at least.

Do it for your sisterhood of motherhood. Stick around, don’t let go.

~ The Lazy Parent

Fact of the Matter: Comparisons

Post # 2 in my Fact of the Matter series. (You will find the link to the first post in this series in this post itself) 😉

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I am particularly not fond of road travels by car. It gets painful and annoying very quickly for me. But what makes it bearable is the series of conversations that the husband and I share with two sleeping children to add tune to the talk. While hopping from one topic to another, it suddenly hit us that our baby girl turns a year old in just 3 months. Time has flown by really fast. Frankly, I remember tiny details of Isha’s birth and her first year more clearly than I do of her brother’s. Strange huh?

 

People have this whole thing around their first baby and its first tooth, first step etc. Well, Lishaan was born with teeth, so that simplifies one ‘first’ for me 😉 But coming to think of it, most of his milestones seem like a distant memory, considering he is only 3 years old come December.  Maybe Google photos can help me trace back and recollect some of them, but I had no answer when my husband said ‘What was Lishaan’s first word?’ I thought hard, really hard, but couldn’t for the life of me remember his first word. Somewhere I remember him saying ‘nanni’ for thanni (water in Tamil) but the rest seems to be a big guess-work. With Isha though, we remember a lot more details. Surprisingly, we seem to have paid more attention to smaller details about her growth. Also, there are a whole lot more photographs than we had with Lishaan. Ouch!

So, why am I telling you about my child’s first word? Because, even with the same mother, no two babies are alike. Each child is different in its own abilities and developments. One shouldn’t place two children to measure up against each other EVEN if they were born on the same day. It doesn’t work that way.

Most of the stories that I hear about parents with more than one child are about how the kids are chalk and cheese. Even in things like food habits, they are very different from each other. Like I had mentioned in my Baby food post, my children started off and reacted very differently to food. I am learning to unlearn this about them. They won’t do things the same way, though they might surprise me once in a while.

I think, as parents we should stop doing ‘mera beta this and meri beti that’. Going back to when I was 9 or 10, I remember how children were constantly asked to perform. Sing, dance, recite a poem, show them your drawings etc. and this became a huge tournament of sorts. But what has amplified this whole ‘is your son smarter than your Mr.Kumar’s son’ is Social Media. Nowadays, EVERYTHING gets onto the internet. My son’s first ‘drawing’ – IG It! My daughter’s first somersault – Facebook it! My child’s first ‘unassisted’ cooking experience – YOUTUBE IT DAMMIT!

That’s the problem. We have stopped to see that each child, each pregnancy, each delivery and each parenting style is unique in its own way. We may draw points of similarity, but they can’t be the same. When we understand this, we will stop over expecting from our children. We will stop comparing milestone charts (I am saying this because mentally, I keep doing ‘Lishaan rolled over when he was 5 months old. Isha did much better. Ha!’), 1-100 recitals, world map identifications and the works. Let children grow without invisible checklists and charts hanging above their teeny tiny heads!

PLUS, it eases the whole parenting routine for us too, right? 😉
~ The Lazy Parent

 

Who is Anna Baby?

As is the case with most 2nd babies I know, Isha ‘happened’. We didn’t plan for her. We weren’t sure either of us was ready 😀 But, life isn’t about going by plan A all the time,is it?

The first thing that came to the table after our 2nd pregnancy was confirmed was ‘How will Lishaan deal with it?’. He was about 14 months old when we conceived Isha and they would be exactly 2 years apart by the time she was born. Terrible twos, sibling jealousy, missing his mother, nursing, baby bump and so on. The list of things that could go wrong kept getting bigger and bigger.

I was sure about one thing though. The two being so close in terms of age, it would be fine in the long run. I could wear the little one and we could still achieve lots, peacefully. That was my plan. But the first part of it was to make Lishaan understand that there will be someone new in the house soon. Someone who will demand more attention than him and someone who was way smaller than him. How do we go about explaining this to a toddler? (this is a question I keep getting asked ever so often by friends who are pregnant again and who have the idea to make another baby with a toddler at home already). Here’s how:

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  1. I waited for visual cues – when my bump started to show, I started talking about my tummy growing bigger and that he’d have to be careful around it.
  2. I relied on live examples – Thanks to the various babywearing consult sessions at home, we got to meet a lot of tiny squishes. Lishaan would hang around during each session and he got to see these little beings. So, he got familiar with the idea of a baby.
  3. Talk to moms who have done this before – you get ideas 🙂 A well wisher friend of mine suggested books that explain to the toddler about the new one’s arrival in a light and simple way. We didn’t resort to books, because Lishaan doesn’t sit down to read always. But we took the hint and used little cues and hints (scan sessions) to tell him what was happening.
  4. Make the toddler responsible – From when we could, we started talking to him about taking care of the baby when it comes. About giving it his toys, whether he would be okay to share his Simba (his go to cuddle toy since he was 3 months old) and stuff like that. This ingrains a feeling of responsibility and ownership in the toddler’s mind. Helps a LOT to also make them aware that the little one will take stuff from him and to check if the toddler is okay with the idea or not.
  5. Give the baby an identity – I couldn’t always be saying the baby in Amma’s tummy, so we gave it a name – Anna Baby! 😀 yes, that’s how the name came into being. He was the Anna (older brother) and the baby was his. Bang on! ha ha!
  6. Relate to baby stuff when possible – I spent a lot of time showing him little babies on TV (in ads) or discussing how little babies will cry when hungry (and not ask like he used to verbally). We even discussed who gets to keep the baby. It was decided that Appa, paati, aachi and all were Lishaan’s and I get to keep the baby. Good thinking 😉
  7. Give him someone to fall back on – My mom was the biggest saviour when it came to this. We had her around a month or so before my delivery. He follows her all around the house as it is and the baby’s arrival didn’t affect him much because if Amma wasn’t available, Paati was. She kept him occupied and attended to. This is important so the child doesn’t feel neglected.
    -Note: They might not COMPLETELY understand everything to tell them, but if they feel involved and a bit informed, they tend to deal with it better.

I think these were the key things we did during the course of our pregnancy to make Lishaan comfortable about the baby’s arrival. So much so that my darling of a gynaec would ask Lishaan ‘will you take care of her/him well?’ and he would say a big yes! That involvement translated into a very beautiful bond between the two from the minute they met.

I was still in the recovery room when they took Isha to our room upstairs in the hospital. I remember Dhana (my husband) telling me that Lishaan was pretty composed when he saw her first. He even said ‘Appa! Anna baby has fallen out of amma’s tummy’ lol! Smart chap! He even got around to cuddling her, giving us some hope of calmer times ahead.

Of course, we went through a HUGE patch of resistance and fussiness from his side, but that was expected. It has taken us about 5 months to get adjusted to each other’s presence and space completely, but it has been worth it. So, if you have qualms about how your older child will adjust to a new baby in the house, worry not. They are so much better at adapting than we are (I was crying on the way to the hospital, not in labour pain but because my heart was breaking into pieces over the thought that he wouldn’t be the centre of my universe once the little one came. How wrong I was!).

Fact of the matter: Baby Food

I plan to write systematically, or at least add a structure to my posts. The other series about parenting wellness, you can read here.

This series called ‘Fact of the Matter’ is going to be about demystifying or breaking some myths about babies as I have experienced it. Read on!

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There isn’t ‘one way’ to parent. Parenting is all about being extempore, whether you like it or not. As much as I appreciate and love the support that the various support groups provide, I worry for parents who don’t find their footing thanks to all the ‘inspiration’ they see online.

I see a lot of discussion on how one should feed their child. There are two methods: the traditional method and the baby led method. I don’t want to call it weaning, because my older child refused to ‘wean’ off milk until he was 1.5 (only thanks to me being pregnant). These two methods are age old in nature, but then again one needs confidence to pursue either. Neither of these methods are easy to follow. With TW (traditional weaning) there is the need to puree your baby’s food, start with porridges, feed the baby and so on. Most of the work is on you, to ‘ready’ baby meals. In BLW (baby led weaning) you let your baby call the shots. You only feed family food (sans salt and spice) and you encourage self feeding from day one. There is a lot of mess involved in the self feeding method and one HAS to be patient to overcome that stage.

With my toddler, we went BLW all the way (read about it here). He never took to porridges (he still has a dislike for soups) and chomped on watermelons & mangoes with gusto. We never have made an effort to make a separate meal for him and the result of it a very confident child who knows what he wants to eat, how he wants to eat and when he wants to eat. It is but natural that I get my 2nd child to follow this route as well. Not yet! 😉

Going by the books, one starts introducing solids (phew, such a lovely way of putting it) at completion of 6 months. But it is not a mandatory. We were traveling around the time my girl turned 6 months old and for the need of ‘home comfort’ I waited until we got back to base, to start solids for her. This time though, I took the porridge way. Why? Let’s say I can afford to experiment 😛 I call Isha the ‘Experiment group’, the group where you add all your variables and see what the result is. The experiment was on the food intake pattern.

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Her first bowl of porridge, in a silver bowl (as per tradition)

For 3 weeks now, she’s been on porridges made from roasted powdered grains (Kanji in Tamil). While I worried about her rejecting it, she took me by surprise. She loves her porridge and looks forward to every spoonful. Of course, we still follow some basics from BLW :

  1. Sit unsupported in a specific place intended for food (her booster chair)
  2. No distractions of any sort (no toys, no spoon-plane-flying tricks)
  3. Stop when she says stop (Yes, she knows how to show me that she’s done)

 

So far, it has been good. Time to take things to the next level! Self feeding! We started with bananas (200% baby approved food world over). She liked the feel, the control and to some extent, the taste. But as expected, she gagged a bit, spat it all out and went back to play-eat! That’s a win in my book. From here, we will wean out porridges and amp up soft finger foods.

My biggest advantage is my toddler. She sees her Anna (elder brother) eat and loves to mimic him. We have tried minuscule quantities of dosas and mangoes already and they are Isha-approved 😛

Fact of the matter is: You don’t need to do just one thing. How your family and your baby functions is in your hands. Decide what works best for you. Do not go by inspirations online. I mean, take inspiration, but don’t go verbatim. No two babies are the same! 😉

I will come back with more tales and recipes that are toddler baby and parent approved! Stick around <3

Count 1-2-3 : How to be there for your child

In my Instagram post on the little one turning 6 months old, I had said:

If I do make it past another 6 months in ONE piece, I will write a book about this. I will reach out and help more mothers battle their inner conflicts. I will make a difference!

This post is the first in that series! Read on.

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It has been 7 months of parenting two kids and we have been on quite a roller coaster. The hardest is behind me, I would say. When the little one arrived, nothing much had changed. I could still spend a LOT of undivided time with the toddler and keep him calm. But the days that came after were an unexpected blow of sorts. I wasn’t ready for it. I wasn’t expecting it. My little one needed more of me and so did the toddler. Between them, I lost myself. It was a mess.

I recall a particular trip that broke it and made it for me. I had over expected stuff from my toddler (who was all of 2 that time). I had expected him to understand, to behave. I had expected him to adult up all of a sudden.

When someone remarked that I should be less aggressive with my child, based on seeing us for about 24 hours or lesser, I shattered. I am usually the kinds who moves away from the scene without as much dropping a reply, because I can’t word things easily. No one intentionally gets upset with their children. No one intentionally regrets parenting. It’s a push; a shove. A dire measure that makes us feel ugly from within.

I could go on explaining about the whole situation that caused the avalanche effect in my life, but I knew then that: Speak up

  1. I should care a flying rat’s ass about people who have no idea of my life as a parent
  2. I should approach my son differently
  3. I am doing what best I can and I would do better if situation permitted it.

What did I do? I decided to go tigress mode. I snarled at anyone who said anything about my children and I got protective. The change happens like so:

  1. When you are super upset with your child, walk away. Bite your teeth, clench your fists and walk away.
  2. Count to three. Slowly, count and close your eyes. Listen to the voice of your child. Eyes closed, you will feel the innocence of that being. A being who knows not about stress and things alike. I have found this to immediately calm me down in many occasions.
  3. Hug your child even before you begin asking why. My toddler used to have supreme meltdowns and instead of being the team against him, I became his team. I hugged him tight and rocked him for a few minutes. Invariably, the meltdown ebbed away and then came the reason. Whatever it was that was upsetting him. Hug your baby. Yes, baby! They will always be babies

Forget what anyone says. People complaining about your child or telling you how you should raise them must fit the bar. Have they raised children of their own in the past 5 years? Have they dealt with at least 60% of your situation? Do you care about them? 😛 The last criteria makes it so much easier to block out unnecessary folks.

Once you do weed out these people, you weed out doubts about your parenting. You make space for your child, yourself and lot more love. So, hug your baby and move on!

Oh, my golden rule : If someone advices you on parenting (without fulfilling the above said criteria) hand your kids over to them for a few hours and just leave the room. They will be much of empathetic of your situation after that! 😉

Words maketh the man

When I was a little girl, my grandfather used to spend a considerable amount of time with me emphasizing on good English. We used to go through the ‘Radiant Reader’ and ‘The Hindu’, with me reading out paragraphs aloud. That, for good grammatical sense. Even otherwise, people in my household never spoke a harsh word. I hardly ever heard a swear word from any of the elders. I remember once at home I said ‘Ma, give me 10 bucks!’. I didn’t say anything else, but was given a good hearing on how I should be using the right words and so on. Yep, it was rupees and not bucks! I don’t think I have gone back to that word ever since that incident!

Fast forward to a decade later, I learnt the words ‘suck it’ and ‘fuck it’. I can’t tell you the thrills it gave us (at school) to use these words against friends or teachers (under our breath). They seemed like the biggest weapons we had. How silly!

WordsWhy am I telling all these anecdotes from my past? Because I feel that the language train is going down the drain. I must tell you, that I used to spew foul language for a few years! I have been no saint. I have had co-workers look at me with the ‘how can she say those words without flinching one bit.’ NOTE: This is not a girl thing! It’s a thing of social decency. I didn’t care about it back then! But now I do. Maybe because I have realized that while a certain kind of language may sound cool, you come across looking crass. Yes! I am saying that!

I realize this even more now that I am parent. In my other post , I had written about Lishaan saying ‘Fuck’ with glee! It was then I realized that it’s not just curse words, but any odd word that you use. My son has amazingly picked up words I would NEVER dream of him repeating, but that’s happening and I am cringing under my skin! Lesson learnt.

I have begun reading my posts/comments twice before I share them , thanks to the international groups that I am a part of.  There are words that are sensitive, for which admins gently nudge you, encouraging to correct your usage. For example: Retard. I haven’t said that word in years. Why? Because I understand its impact and I know that it isn’t the same as calling someone a monkey. No! It hits hard.

The other day, one on of the many chatter groups that I am a part of, someone casually used ‘colloquial’ language. I almost shook my head in disbelief, because the group had about 30 odd people that that person wouldn’t know on first name basis and even worse, it was a support group. But it just happened and I wondered why would someone do that. It is easy to say ‘ass’, but on a social forum/platform it weighs down quite a bit. (no pun intended :P)

All of us have diluted the language (not just English, but any language) to our convenience. Tanglish kills the beauty of the Dravidian language. Hindi is a pot pourri of the Delh, Mumbaiyya, Bihari, Punjabi and ‘imported’ slangs. But, some languages maintain their essence. Recently, I heard my Bengali & Kannadiga friends talk amongst family. I didn’t hear a word of English. I am sure there are other such folk too and I know I am moving from ‘Language’ to language itself. But, it’s up to us to ensure we stick to format. It applies to language, to culture and a few more things. Just a handful, but important things. Manners being one of them.

That’s the bottom line of my post. I saw a trailer last night. A web series about falling/staying/falling out of love. One of the female protagonists in it casually tells her partner that she would squeeze his balls. *no comments*

Maybe we have forgotten what CAN be said in public and what CANNOT be. For those who are raising their ‘But I am a woman’ finger at me, this isn’t about women. This is about men and women. This is about knowing when to speak and what to say!

Nuff said!

 

Turning 30

Happy birthday to me, Yay! 😛 I am 30, on the ‘wild side’ of life and stuff, YO! lol!

Seriously, that’s exactly how I started off my ‘countdown to 30’. I thought of it as something transformational, like I would wake up with whiter teeth or brighter eyes or less darker circles around the eyes. But no, it was just another day, just another birthday.

Then, what’s the big thought? The fact that I got 30 days to think of what were the most transformational lessons in my life. You can read about them with this hashtag #TheLazyParentGoes30. That apart, it made me realize that having lived 3 decades on this planet is NOT your ticket to awesomeness. It’s what you have done in these years. yeah yeah, all philosophical stuff, but I am making sense 😉

So here’s to a year that will be full of things I will do to make a difference, of things that push my boundaries and of things that teach me patience 😉 [I fussed like a 2 year old the whole birthday morning because no one ‘looked excited’ and when my husband and kids gave me a mildly pleasant surprise in the evening, I was chuffed beyond words. I don’t have the patience to be surprised. I am good at planning surprises though 😛 I should just stick to my strengths.

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Stayin’ alive!

Weehee! The little one turned 6 months a few days back! SIX months! Time is flying faster than I had imagined. But, touch wood, we are keeping pace with it 😉

I had recently shared a pic on my Instagram handle that got a lot of buzz. Nope, I am not being signed by some brand (rofl). I had mentioned about my hardship (emotionally, physically) as a parent with two kids. I had used the word depression. A lot of friends pinged, texted and checked upon me. Thank you for that. But, I am fine. I just spelt out what probably every other mother goes through post delivery. It’s not about clinical issues, but issues that circle over our heads every single day. Most often, we tend to ignore them and brush them under the carpet. Let me tell you, that carpet is going to explode with dust one day, choking you in your own emotions.

I take venting out VERY seriously. If you don’t you will erupt one day. What is the need to bottle up emotions? I don’t. Rather, I can’t. For years now, my husband has been at the receiving end of these vent out explosions. 90% of them are super rapid texts one after the other. Sometimes 20 at one shot. That’s when he knows that the soda bottle has been shaken way too much and there’s a need to clear the pressure. Someone has to uncork the bottle and release the pressure.

Stayin' Alive

6 months with two kids and near zero help has been about many a soda bottle explosions. God bless the husband for having seen it all without as much as frowning an inch. He is patient and calm through the storm. I think everyone needs someone like that, so it’s easy to let out the steam. Your 4am friend, your mom, your husband, your partner, your yoga teacher, someone! It really helps find your way back to being ‘normal’ again. Venting is necessary. But I have also found ways to release steam that does not involve shouting/crying or leaning on someone. These help me on a daily basis. Here they are, so you may pick some lines and unwind too! (I hope it helps)

  1. Find a hobby that is not bound by deadlines. I crochet. I crochet after the kids nap, I crochet at midnight. It gives me meditative peace.
  2. Dress well. Moms tend to be PJ-people. Make that PJ interesting. Look smart, get the haircut that’s long due. Use a body wash that lifts your spirit. ruffle up your accessories, buy a lip gloss that’s got actual color.
  3. Cook. Experiment. Make stuff that you don’t make every day. I can’t remember when I last made sambar. It’s not about being stereotypical, but it’s about paying attention. When you cook something new, you don’t do it mechanically. You pay attention to detail. Do that! At least thrice a week.
  4. Take help. I suck at this, but now I am seeing the value of it. Give the baby to anyone who’s willing to entertain them and put your feet up. Spend 10 extra minutes in the loo, heck 15 maybe. The baby is all yours, but so is your time 😉
  5. Say no to additional obligatory stuff. Seriously! Give yourself a break. Do less. The ones who get offended can take a leap; the ones who don’t, deserve a hug!
  6. Ask yourself if it can wait. I see that line has changed the way I spend my day upside down. ‘I need to order grocery’. Can it wait till the kids are down for a nap? yes! Then let it wait. ‘I need to finish writing that IG post’. Dude, can it freaking wait till your son has cuddled you all he wants? Duh, yes!
  7. Close out stress. Don’t take calls you don’t want to. Don’t engage in negative or disheartening conversations. Don’t even meet people that don’t spark joy a.k.a. Konmari your life and the people in it!
  8. Pamper yourself. I know how people freak about getting back into shape a few months into delivery, but hey! you pushed a human out. Do you know how much your body has gone through? It needs rest and a LOT of pampering. Be easy on yourself. It’s okay to have love handles! It’s okay to have a paunch. You can hit the gym and kick some power yoga too but not now! Wait. Give your body a break. [psst.. stock up on enough ice cream tubs ;)]

These are just things I do to keep my head above the water! Because, unless you are making an attempt, there’s no one out there to cheer you on. So, make that attempt, stay alive, and emerge stronger. <3

 

 

He’s two young..

..to be doing all this.. That’s what someone told my husband this weekend. So, Lishaan is 27 months old and we thought ‘Hey, he should be attempting to ride a bicycle now’ (big LOL). So, we waited for the weekend and headed to Decathlon in our city. I had seen some lovely kids bikes there and wanted to buy L one of those. But we were in for a surprise. The kind of cycles they sell were too… well, let’s say ‘complicated’. It was like a sports cycle condensed to suit a 2 year old. Nope! We sure weren’t going to buy that.. So, a little bit of random walking around the store and we chanced upon the ‘Scooter’. You know that thing that you push with 1 leg and stand blah blah.. So yeah… We gave Lishaan a chance to try it out and it seemed much more easier than a cycle. After choosing a color (YELLOW, screamed the toddler) and getting it fitted, we walked out of the store. 

Right next to the parking lot was a skating rink. There were about 20 kids, skating and tripping on their own skates. Husband stood watching them for a minute and said ‘Why isn’t our boy doing all this?’. I watched the kids and realized that they were easily 3+ in age. I didn’t comment though, because I knew that husbandman had just thought out aloud and neither of us expected L to be doing anything he can’t do at his age.

So, we watched the other kids skate for a while and were about to leave when one of husband’s friends came over to say hello. A little talk and we got to know that his son was there inside the rink too, ‘warming up’ to join skating. He was 3.5 and still not ready for it. I have no clue where this ‘why isn’t my kid doing this’ creeps into heads from, but it does happen even to the best of parents. We just need to step back a bit and see what our kid is already doing well for his age. Its a matter of time before which he will be out there doing things that we wanted him to do. and more! So, best is to sit back and relax. Let the boy do his thing and equip him to explore. He’s 2 after all!

Did I tell you that I had tears in my eyes when Lishaan narrated his birth story back to me, actions et al. He improvised here and there, but to think that THIS was my tiny little 3kg baby who had grown up so much that he was sitting in front of me, telling ME how he was born 😛 Kids, they grow up really fast. Our job is not to push them further, but to let them slow down in this breakneck speed race to grow up. Right? 🙂