Whiff of you – the meet

Read about Gauri and Gauthum here to understand the story so far.

Gauri had reached Terminal 22 ten minutes earlier than the said time. She was nervous, but she was irritated at being called to a cafe to return the jacket. It felt like GS was testing her. As she tossed the jacket into her scooter’s boot, she was hit by the scent on the jacket. ‘Control,G!’ she told herself. She was standing by her scooter when GS reached. He had this playful look on his face, but she couldn’t say if it was a teasing look or just his charm. They had hardly taken ten minutes for the exchange, but she knew immediately that this man would be of a lot more importance in her life very soon.

He had a mischievous smile when she handed the jacket over to him. ‘Thank you, Gauri’ he said, adding a moment’s pause before her name. G’s heart was racing beyond control and hadn’t she left immediately, she knew she would have fallen for him sans control. For two weeks, they met outside the café every day, just for a few minutes with very less talk between them.

It had become a ritual. She would reach five minutes before him. They would park their vehicles at the same spot every evening. After a small awkward hello, they would get into small talk and he would simultaneously turn on a playlist. Music would fill the space and after about 3 songs, she would look at her watch as though signaling that time was up. Something was brewing between them, but before it could simmer to perfection, their world had changed. GS’ mom had caught a whiff of their romance and had nipped it at the bud, even before they could declare it to each other, saving her son’s ‘image’ in public eye and GS being the Mamma’s boy that he was, diligently followed.

He walked up to Gauri one day and said ‘Dude, G! No love and all, clear? I don’t want to mess up both of careers’ he said as though repeating a rehearsed line. No, she hadn’t been in love with him for sure. But there was a connect that she couldn’t shake off. His mere presence tugged her at the navel and tossed her 10 feet in the air. ‘Bah! No way, GS!’ she told him concealing any look of disappointment in her face.

It was Reshma’s idea that she look at moving on in life after what GS had said. With a heavy heart, G had said yes and the first alliance that came across had the same name as Gauthum’s’. She thought it was a sign and said okay to him. In all the rush, she had put the jacket inside an old box and completely shut out the entire episode for good.

But it was time to return it to its rightful owner.

I am writing as a part of the Write Tribe Problogger’s challenge.

Nostalgia is a b*tch!

Gauri was certain that the salesgirl dived across the desk, to catch hold of her. It had been embarrassing, even more for the salesgirl when a 40 something woman almost stumbled backward, sending bottles of perfume samples flying all around.

Somehow, Gauri managed to find a corner table at the Starbucks on the floor above the store. Still feeling flushed, she discreetly hit herself on the back of her head, thinking how silly it had been of her to react like THAT over a perfume sample.

You see, nostalgia is a bitch! It hits you when you least expect and it hits you where it hurts the most. ‘Ma’am, do you want to try out some of our perfumes? They are on a 50% discount’ was all it took for Gauri to go reeling into memories of a concert, in an open windy field. It’s funny how certain smells remain intact in our memory, even without having experienced them often. It’s almost like you are being teleported back into time when you first experienced that scent in its entirety.

I am writing as a part of the Write Tribe Problogger’s challenge. To read the rest of the story go here 

 

A whiff of you…

Gauri was certain that the salesgirl dived across the desk, to catch hold of her. It had been embarrassing, even more for the salesgirl when a 40 something woman almost stumbled backward, sending bottles of perfume samples flying all around.

Somehow, Gauri managed to find a corner table at the Starbucks across the store. Still feeling flushed, she discreetly hit herself on the back of her head, thinking how silly it had been of her to react like THAT over a perfume sample.

You see, nostalgia is a bitch! It hits you when you least expect and it hits you where it hurts the most. ‘Ma’am, do you want to try out some of our perfumes? They are on a 50% discount’ was all it took for Gauri to be sent reeling into memories of a concert, in an open windy field. It’s funny how certain smells remain intact in our memory, even without having experienced them often. It’s almost like you are teleported back into time when you first experienced that scent in its entirety.

 

2015

It had been a regular day for Gauri, wife of one of the leading chartered accountants in the city. Almost touching 40, she looked not a day older than 25. Dressed in a crisp Fab India Kurti and smart culottes, she was all set for a 12:30 lunch at the new mall with her best friend for since school, Reshma. Gauri had reached the mall early and to kill time (and her husband’s money, she thought), she decided to window shop. Her favorite store had opened up a lavish 3 floor set up and she just couldn’t ignore it beckoning her inside, with all its lights and mirror-like polished floors. She drifted from the men’s section (mentally marking shirts that she knew Gautam would love) to the ladies’ section. As she skimmed through the display, she found nothing that caught her fancy. ‘Almost time’ she thought to herself as she checked her watch and the hands slowly tick-tocked to 12:15. Gauri had this track record of being on time. It was something both husband and wife had maintained for years. Just as Gauri was about to leave the store, a young but nervous voice called out to her. ‘Ma’am, do you want to try out some of our perfumes? They are on a 50% discount’ was all it took for Gauri to be sent reeling into memories of a concert, in an open windy field. It’s funny how certain smells remain intact in our memory, even without having experienced them often. It’s almost like you are teleported back into time when you first experienced that scent in its entirety.

What happened next brought the entire store to a standstill. Gauri had taken the sample strip from the salesgirl and it had barely reached her nose that she stumbled back, as though hit by something, sending a whole rack of sample bottles flying. She felt ashamed the very next second. It was like the veil had suddenly dropped, revealing a parallel universe that she had hidden for 23 years. Apologizing and trying to help the already shocked salesgirl, Gauri literally clambered out of the store. Quickly tying her hair into a bun, she pulled out her sunglasses and dashed into Starbucks on the next floor. Tears stung her eyes, as she ordered two espressos. With shivering hands, she signed the slip and found a corner table.  Sitting her, Gauri felt silly for having reacted so much. Biting her lips to fight back her tears, she texted Reshma. ‘At Starbucks.Last table.’ She knew Resh would understand. As she quickly gulped the hot cup of espresso, Gauri’s mind found its way back to the night at that concert, when to protect her from the chilly night wind, a warm and musky smelling denim jacket landed on her shoulders.

 

1992

‘What the’ said a 16 year old G, as she turned to see what had fallen on her. At concerts like these, A LOT gets tossed around and she really didn’t want anything nasty spoiling her white sequin top. The band had taken a five minute break and some college bunch was up on stage, playing covers. G hadn’t realized that she was standing all by herself, swaying a bit and vigorously rubbing her arms to keep her warm. That’s when the jacket landed on her. She swung in reflex, only to blush instantly. The guy who stood in front of her was wearing a black t-shirt with the band’s name on it and was awkwardly mouthing ‘it’s okay’. The guy, came close to G’s ears and said ‘babe, you will freeze by the time they are back on stage. Keep it’ and gave her a quick pat on the back. He turned and walked away to his friends who were waiting to split a cigarette or two. G’s friends came back and literally no one noticed the jacket. After the concert, when she got back home, G’s head was full of that musky scent. She had no memory of what the 2nd half of the concert was like or why her throat was totally out of tune. She carefully placed the jacket on her chair, changed and got into bed. Absent mindedly, G turned to smell her hands, and the scent had stuck on. ‘The hell! Am I supposed to return it??’ she asked herself before falling asleep.

2015

‘Are you alright? The lift guy was talking about some woman who knocked down the entire perfume range at the store! That was you??’ barged in Resh looking shocked. She sat next to Gauri, catching hold of her breath and Gauri’s hands. They were icy cold, despite the espresso. ‘What happened?’ she asked and as Gauri narrated the incident (half ashamed); Resh bit her lips harder and harder. There was more expression on Reshma’s face than on Gauri’s, who looked pale white. ‘You silly girl! Where did all this come up from after all these years?’ Reshma asked Gauri on the way back home. She had offered to (more than politely) to drop Gauri home and ensure she was okay. They were stuck in peak traffic and Gauri was still getting out of the day’s events. Finally, when Reshma left at around 6pm, Gauri went to her room and sat eyes closed. She had a good 3 hours before Gautam came home and the kids were at her mom’s. She had enough time, she thought to herself as she brought down a small trunk from the shelf above.

It was time to return that Jacket.

(..To be continued).

Of breaking patterns and pushing boundaries

Did you know that most people have a subconscious routine while bathing? They by default start at one place and end at another EVERY SINGLE DAY without even knowing about it? Nope, I am not making it up.

Most of us have routines that have become a part of us. These routines have become such an integral part that we neither notice it nor can do without it. I have my routine – 3 glasses of coffee a day. When I don’t get that, I get restless and something feels off. Ask my friends (who have graciously let me indulge in my coffee obsession in their kitchen at odd hours). But, how hard is it to break this pattern? How hard is it to NOT do something that’s essentially you?

Had I asked myself this question on that night of September 2015, when my husband and I sat huddled looking at his phone, I wouldn’t have known the answer. It was a job offer that broke every pattern and routine that I had. Of course, it was an offer that was too exciting and meaty to say no to. I took a deep breath and told my husband ‘let’s do this’. Words that my aunt had once told me echoed in my head. She said “Keep moving, keep travelling. It gives you a certain kind of experience that nothing else can.”

23 items from Madras to Coimbatore. This was a very emotional moment for both of us.

So, we packed our bags in a matter of two weeks and moved from the city that was everything me to a place I knew nothing about. I am a true blue Madrasi. I spent 28 years of my life in Madras and it was me. The shops, the malls, the beaches, the hangouts, the heartbreaks, everything was etched like blood vein running like a map. I left it all in a jiffy and in these two years, I hardly regret the decision. It also meant leaving family and friends behind. THAT was something that I relied on like my 3 glasses of coffee. But we found the challenge of a new life more tempting than the comfort of the known one.

Surprisingly, 2 years after the move from Madras to Coimbatore, we are ready to pack our bags again. Another city and another extremely challenging role beckons us and I am sure in some corner of my heart, that I will make that home too!

The thing is, breaking patterns and routines can pump extreme amounts of adrenaline inside you. I know friends who have left the comforts of home and homeland, in search of a new and thrilling life. ‘Don’t be afraid to step out of the known’ is what I am telling myself yet another time, as I decide on new curtains, new cot and sofa layouts and ‘where do I buy groceries now’ with the better half! <3

This post is my first entry into the Write Tribe Problogger October Challenge. Let’s see how I fare 😀 #writebravely #writetribeproblogger

~The Lazy Parent

Psst! I am going to put down 30 instances (all through October) of my life in Coimbatore. There will be photographs, notes and more. Tag along for I am sure you will like it. 🙂

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,

Image may contain: 2 people

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

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