Let me be ME

People close to me are very well aware of my continuous ranting, 
“I don’t have time to complete what all I desire to perform.”
“even twenty-four hours seem less to me”, 
I need to work on my schedule better”, etc.
Time management is an invariable issue with me. Not that I am a terrible planner, in fact, I am described as a ruthless planner and also termed as a time table even a clock!
The other day a friend told me, “why are you organized? Just allow it to lose, detach yourself”
I nothing but looked at him, expressionless, although felt like gripping his shoulders, shake him hard and screamI-AM-A-WORK-FROM-HOME-MOM-MOTHER-OF-TWO-BOYS-AND-A-DOG-I-HAVE-TO-LOOK-AT-EVERY-MINUTE-DETAIL-IF-I-MISS-ANY-THEN-WILL-YOU-COME-AND-TAKE-OVER?
Nevertheless, while I was juggling with all these thoughts this morning while on my training run, I made up my mind to give a considerable thought on my time management.
I primarily don’t get the luxury to sip my tea and glance at the newspaper but today I did. After turning a few pages I came across an article and my eyes popped out, it read- Mother, Runner, Champ”.
(check this link;https://mumbaimirror.indiatimes.com/opinion/columnists/supriya-nair/mother-runner-champ/articleshow/67761882.cms)
No brownie points for guessing why? 🙂
read through the whole article and sat stunned and dismayed.
35 year old, Jasmin Paris won the Spine race of 432 km ultra running challenge. What makes it special is that she, in addition, is a mother of a 14-month-old baby. In her three days of running challenge, she slept for five hours and stopped barely to eat and express milk. Less was written about her routine but it did mention that she is a professional runner and gets up at 5 am to train hard before she gets on her professional and personal duties.
Stunned?
I was, and I am still tremendously inspired. My current expression is –Wow!!
I next looked at myself and thought what I am complaining of?
I have help at home, and my children are big enough to manage stuffI am not a breastfeeding mother, I enjoy the liberty to manage my work and travel hours and daysmy entire ecosystem is in place, yet I am complaining that I can’t manage my time?
Utter shame on me.
Well, after giving birth to children our routine changes dramatically. 
For me, my days are always arduous. Right from the morning, each activity has to be timed. I have to schedule my training in such a way that I don’t miss out on the planuse of the productive hours until the boys are in the school, finish major calls and work until then, once they are back the dynamics of the house changes. Fight, argue, discuss, shout, school work, classes, meals, stroll for Tango, cooking instructions, menu decision and the list is endless. It does get exhausting but then there is no way out.
Each one of us receives twenty-four hours in a day but how we manage and plan generates the difference.
I am in total awe of this mother who did not give up on her training even while she is breastfeeding.
Our prioritieslifestyle, the way of living, thought process, body strength changes drastically after having children, it is therefore easy to produce excuses and not follow a routine because it is doesn’t take much to be lazy. It takes an effort and a whole lot of will to stand up, plan and execute. We as a mother also get into the guilt zone very quickly, at times on our own and sometimes forced by society and family. I give constant reminders to myself that, I am trying to do my best, I do commit mistakes but under any given conditionI am not deterring from my parental duty.
I follow some strategies to generate  the maximum from a day
* Plan the day in advance
* Write down meals menu of the week and lunch boxes every Sunday eve(I fret over this.)
*Write down every single thing to be done the night before
*Swap the training routines if need be but ensure you don’t miss out any (refers to who are into endurance sports)
*Prioritise the to-do list
*Gracefully quit the social circle that doesn’t add value to your life
*Instruct children to arrange bags etc. the night before
*Get children into the habit of setting the alarm and getting up on their own
*Set children‘s routine as well
*Get some time for yourself before you retire for the day
*Finish major tasks like shopping, grocery during the week so that you have enough family time during the weekend
*If you miss out on some tasks then just take a deep breath and relax(this is for me.)
We all have situations to tackle and our own set of worries too but if this mother of a toddler can do then we all can do it too.
Grit, disciplineconsistency; that’s all we require to move any mountain!
Right now, I want to scream the loudest.
How’s the Josh,?
Very high!!

That’s all is needed!

Relationships,
isn’t this is the “only” connect which is making the human race survive? Or I should say letting everything and everyone survive?
Humans need bond so does the universe and anything which is into existence.
We all live, work hard, strive, struggle to be in relation either with a partner or self.
We hug, cuddle and express love to our children, at times they respond in a very affectionate way and sometimes they don’t and at times they just don’t like to be touched (like my teenage boy) but do we stop our expression and leave them on their own?
No!
Why?
Because we can’t stay without them, they are our breath, our energy, part of us (you read  the exaggerated versions at FB )
But, do we follow the same for our second family too?
My day one of this new year started with my trip to Kolkata to my in-law’s place. I wanted to visit my father-in-law as he wasn’t keeping well for a while and with boys having their winter break on, it turned out to be family trip.
My father-in-law also had his 74th birthday during our stay period and I wanted to celebrate his day (I just need a reason to celebrate anyhow). So, I invited both my father-in-law’s and mother-in-law side of the family. It’s a nice big clang (which I miss at my side). It was a wonderful gathering. We ordered cake, food, decorated the house with balloons. With everyone around the house was filled with lots of chatter and laughter.

3aaaac03-8dfc-49dd-aebd-917b692cfbcd

Baba’s 74th birthday

I loved every bit of this gathering where all of us were together.
It was amazing to see my father-in-law’s expression. He was elated by the celebration and said, “I never had such a wonderful birthday ever”. I felt equally wonderful.
The very distinguishing feature of my visit to Kolkata is, there are times when I am unable to speak their language fluently and they are unable to speak mine. I can’t eat their choice of food and they don’t eat mine but that doesn’t deter us from having a good time together.

b5d4a081-f036-40ae-adec-c5f3b846fc55

Baba and yours truly

A beautiful bond is much ahead than all this.
At times I wonder how did I pull through all this? Getting married into a totally different culture where we could not even communicate properly was not an easy journey.
Language, food preferences, culture, habits, way of living, thought process, expectations were totally opposite to my upbringing.
But I decided on two things;
First, stay the way I am and,
Second, don’t give up

I believe I observed relationships very closely right from my childhood. How?
I come from a very basic family. My father retired as a government servant and mother was always a housewife. I haven’t seen big money ever, never experienced it as well. But what I saw was my mother ’s sincerity in taking care of my grandparents (although I was very young then and have a very faded memory of this). I have also seen my mother’s selfless dedication towards the family. I have seen my father’s anger, discipline, meticulous working, love, and care towards his family, OUR family.
As a child, I never understood the relationship between my mother and her in-laws but now I can understand and feel for her. I never heard her complaining about anything but what I saw was her effort to take utmost care and give them respect. It wasn’t easy for her at all. I now know it so well.
Today, when I see my equation with my second family, I thank my mother for it.
I am an atheist so religion, temple, idol worshiping doesn’t attract me but I am very emotional and sensitive when it comes to relationships. Relations are my religion.
After fifteen years of my association with my second family I am glad that my mother-in-law waits for my call, the first phone ring on their special occasions and they know it’s me, they also listen to my complaints towards their son (ok, sometimes but they do), they understand my point of view as well, they understand my love and respect towards them. We still have the difference of opinions but we don’t take it to the heart.
Why?
Because I didn’t give up and I never will.
“Relationships happen and shape up well, only and only if you are willing to make them happen. “

The Big Bangla family

The Big Bangla family

 

Dear son,

You are now into the most difficult phase of your life where you are neither a lad nor a kid. Your voice is cracking, you have hair here and there everywhere, your taste buds have changed, you have no control over your voice tone, you show mood fluctuations, you are easily stressed and have very short-temper, your liking towards one thinIMG_1300g is not constant, one day you’ll be home from school with all smiles and the other day you won’t even like to look at me ,you can live in one tee and shorts for days, you refuse to obey anything, you don’t even allow me to hug, cuddle or kiss you anymore, your body smell has changed too. I know sweetheart it is a very difficult phase.
But, do you know your mom is facing all these issues since her puberty? Even more after two childbirths where hormones go berserk. Anyhow, you know this happening every month when I am loud enough to say, “just bear with me for a few days, I have my periods!!”
I miss my mom, right here!!!
I truly understand your condition my dear boy and your dilemma in managing this situation. But, you know what darling? It isn’t easy for me too to accept this change.
I am also a human being after all!
I have a level of patience in dealing with all the tantrums.
I have my share of tolerance to bear your high voice pitch and aggression.
I have my threshold to just take all these changes with gritted teeth.
I swear, I am showing my best behavior right now but the hidden emotion is – seethe!
I am also trying and will keep on trying my dear boy to help you pass through this phase but if at some point you find your mother out of place please understand that I am shutting down for a while to regain all the energy, after all, I am now a mother and I don’t have my mom with me to throw all tantrums.
As the saying goes, ” you can’t choose your family” but here I say, THIS IS ALL WE HAVE AND WE HAVE TO FIGHT IT OUT TOGETHER. I had no control in choosing a well-behaved, soft-spoken, very good at studies, medal dangling around the neck, high achiever son(Phew! Glad you are not this type) similarly you had no control in choosing a hyper, over-systematic, time-table-type, organized, disciplined,at-times-short-tempered, over-sensitive mom.
d01cd5d7-01de-430d-94b9-8e8db5ad661dI am trying to be a parent every single day and I know I am doing my level best. I have never put in so much hard work in reading, understanding, and learning during my academic years which I am doing now towards my new subject-phycology!
All this is new for you and it’s new for me too, let’s figure it out together my boy.
And if at any point you think that you can outsmart me then darling let me tell you- I am one hell of a mom who is consciously letting you spread your wings with one flight at a time, I am holding the rope tied to your now-not-so-tiny toes very firmly and letting you flutter to feel around and once you are ready I’ll be ready to cut that rope and let you soar high.
This new year let both of us grow together. Now that you’ve crossed my height, wear my shoes and tees. I promise to stand by you as your strongest pillar without even letting you know, whatta badass mom I am (evil laugh).
Your mood will sway like a pendulum and so will mine(tit-for-tat… yay!!)
I will say just one thing, I love you my sunny boy and I promise to make a man out of you!!!

While I was engrossed in my work my younger son comes to me with a sad as well as confused expression and announces, “mamma, I don’t want to grow up to be a man.”
Confused, I asked him, “why?”
He replies, “mamma, in all the books, advertisements, songs, movies and even the people talk so much about mother. Like, she is the best, she sacrifices, she loves more, she cares more and all that. I cannot be a mother, and no one will love me. I don’t want to be a man. I am good as a child, at least I am cute!”
I just heard him with open mouth, utterly shocked, speechless and tried to understand what he said.
My nine year old can feel and understand the gender bias in the society how come we adults miss it?
I then thought on how are we creating gender bias right from the day a child is born. We express our happiness of having a girl or a boy. If a boy then “Ghar Ka Chirag” if a girl then “maa baap ka dhyan rakhegi budape mein,” making her sit on an elevated platform.
I remember a few conversations just some days back.
I was at the bus stop to drop my boys to school, and we mothers were discussing our routine, school, maid, etc. Work from home moms had a different set of grievances, and we were talking about time management. I told them that now my elder son goes for his cricket and swimming coaching on his own. I also give him a list for grocery, and he gets it from the supermart. The following question was, “you don’t have a driver then how does he go?” I replied, “for smaller distances, he takes his cycle, and for others, he goes by auto” There was a silence for few minutes, and I wondered if I have said anything wrong. Then came a single reply, “ladka hai na you can, we have a daughter, can never think of sending her alone.”
I didn’t comment anything.
Another conversation was with a father who is worried about the safety of his daughters because they stay in Delhi.
I had nothing to comment there too.
As per my observation, whenever there is a girl in the family, we love seeing them grow into an elegant young woman.IMG_2286

A lady, who sits well rather than rough, talks with all manners than the way she feels; we are happy when she can prepare tea than playing a rough football match, dresses well than shabby, shows small gestures of taking care of you than not understand your mood(which is a boy’s trait)
Then promptly comes the comment, “ladki hone ke apne sukh hain”
I still wonder how many are raising their daughters without using “we are blessed to have a girl” in their conversation?
How many have career goals for their girls? Why is it only a boy’s job to be a breadwinner?
How many worry about their girl’s future financial security?
I am not talking about the money you’ve accumulated or properties created, and I am talking about do you worry what will happen if my daughter is not earning well in the future? How will she run her household? Will she have her own house before she decides to settle down? Why are these things the only responsibility of boys?
Wealthy people might have a reason not to worry for such things as they have enough to support their daughters even if she is not capable enough, but aren’t you turning them into a vegetable?
Why are we over-protective for girls like not sending them to local shops, market, public transport while for boys it’s okay?
We unknowingly make our girls grow into precious darlings, and when they grow up, we seek equal rights as boys.
Here the life comes in full circle

9f43238a-eb5b-4d9f-9a38-10ae8a5e7cd1I have no idea if I am bringing up my boys correctly or not, but I am very sure that they are seeing a woman who has the tenacity of rock and who does everything and even more than what any male can do. I am assuming that they will see girls as equal partners and not just a decorative piece.
I am so glad that my son at this age is sensitive and feels that the society is biased towards the female gender and both should be treated at par.
Upbringing, mentality and thought process is changing, but there is still much to do knowingly to create a just and even society.

PTM: handle it well!

Yesterday was my younger son’s PTM (Parent Teacher Meeting). I had to plan my swim session accordingly to be on time at the school and, voila I made it before time!

funny-parenting-comics-3Attending his PTM are always a cake walk. I get to hear all good things like a very obedient child, very soft-spoken, very well mannered, very disciplined and many more. In one academic session I was also complimented on my luck to have a child like him (as if I offered some special prayer to have him)

Last week I had my elder son’s PTM, and it is me who has to be at the war-front. I scurried through his diary and was surprised not to find a single remark. Wondering what happened as in all the previous academic sessions our diary was full by mid-term and then it was phone calls that demanded me to be in the school at any working day. This was one of the primary reason to leave full-time work. I could not manage half day leave every alternate day.

0a2da93cea5419889cf1bb3ce1228e44--changing-tables-drawing-cartoonsI got up much before time on the D day with a significant churning in the tummy. Took a shower, dressed well, prayed a little, armoured myself to accept whatever comes, took a deep breath, practised fake smile and nod, and I was ready to be at the front. I was not scared of bomb shelling. I was ready, entirely.

As I waited in the classroom for my turn, I was breathing heavily, twitching my fingers and trying not to make any eye contact with any other parent.

Then came my turn.

“he is a lovely child.”

“studies are also good.”

“very good at sports.”

“high on energy.”

“a delightful child.”

Oh my! What did I hear? I couldn’t believe what I heard. I was looking at the teacher with eyes and mouth wide open. I kept looking at her. All of a sudden there were violin tunes around me, the Bollywood lover in me awakened, and I was already running in the mustard fields. Like a melodramatic actress I was on the verge of crying, but instantly as the teacher broke my Simran feeling, I realized I am a mother who is listening to these compliments for the first time in the entire academic history. I couldn’t thank her enough and moved out of the class triumphantly. Mostly in the earlier PTMs I never dare to meet any other subject teacher. But this time, I held my head high as I have faced all bomb shelling, and I am the bravest soldier. I have nothing to fear. I visited a few other subject teachers only to hear those sugar-coated words yet again and again. I felt I am standing at the gold podium of Olympics and the entire world is looking at me. I felt like waving my hand fervently and claim what I have just heard.IMG_8608

I then headed to my favourite Theobroma and got our favourite chocolate cake.

As soon as I reached home, I threw away the mark-sheet but hugged Sid instead, we then cut the cake and shared the happy stories told by the teacher.

After I was done with my violins and mustard fields, to the Olympic podium to waving to the crowd, I kept wondering what happened. How come such a change? He is a teenager now and is way too bugging, nagging and difficult to handle at times. We often get into unwanted arguments, unreasonable demands and what not but how did this change happen.

I think it was more of self-realization than taking the credit of good parenting.

But I was very clear on one thing right from the day one when I used to get complaints about him that I will never argue, reason or defend him in front of the teacher. I always listened to the teacher like a lamb and never took him along for the PTM or in-between-the-week-any-day-complaint-hearing.

Sharing my views as I see in this transformation, see if you can relate to a few:

  1. Never bombard on the child after you hear any complaint from the school (believe me, I have heard so many times)
  2. Let the child speak as well and give a proper argument towards the complaint
  3. No one knows your child better than you do and you’ll be able to judge the authenticity of the claim and if your child is at fault or not.
  4. Ask your child to say sorry to the teacher or the child who has been troubled by his/her behaviour. Ensure the etiquette of saying sorry
  5. Give constant encouragement and positive strokes to your child
  6. If you are an influential person entirely avoid taking your child along for the PTM. Do not visit the principal, because the child observes the influence of power over education. You have already made your child eligible to behave in whichever way he /she wants as the child now knows that even the head of the school stands up before his/her parents.
  7. Never make fun or disrespect the teacher in front of the child
  8. Narrate your school stories. I have many from my convent and how scared we were of our principal.
  9. Make the child feel responsible for his/her behaviour. Don’t just let them get away from whatever they’ve done.
  10. If it is a punishment then it should be followed strictly. For, eg, there is a complaint from the school on a weekday, I punish the child refraining from the screen time, but as the weekend approaches I forget about the complaint, and I am already having pizza, roaming in malls and having a gala time. The child takes it as “I can get away with any complaint after a little hiccup.”
  11. Never let the child get excused under the pretext of “baccha hai” “children do make mistakes” understand the gravity and then react.
  12. Never fail to show your concern towards your child and keep telling him/her that mistakIMG_8677es or complaints don’t make who you are. Always give a big tight hug.

Parenting is a very tough task especially in today’s scenario we are continually learning as well. But we can balance our reaction and let the children bloom in their conducive environment then we will be able to raise loving, compassionate, responsible and well-mannered human beings.

Good luck to all!

via Chin up ,Ladies !

Breed of Robots

Past few months have been a whirlwind. Traveling, work, new projects, children, household chores, exams, assignments, new decisions, maid change (count this as significant) and what not. At one point when I was about to reach my final destination, I stood for a while before I moved out of the craft to sensibly understand where I have landed. Dazed.
But, as I travel and meet people from all over the world, being a parent, I tend to look at the parenting pattern very carefully.
I understand that none of us were born with the parenting skills, it’s a gradual learning process and we also fail at times miserably.
All said and done we Indians are way too much overwhelmed by parenting and proving ourselves to be the most doting, careful, cautious, over the top, set-an-example, my-child-the-best kind of parents.
It’s suffocating at times to see how much overboard parents can go.
We are creating a breed of robots. Let me explain how,
How much time does a child need to devote for studies? – The mother decides(we are the villains always)
Which hobby class a child should go? Mother decides
Vacation destination- Father, decides
Vacation budget/ class/ luxury – Father decides
Which color clothes suit the child better – Mother decides
Food quantity in the plate or appetite – Cook/ maid/ mother decides
Even to go to a shortest distance – driver, right on the doorstep
Assignments/ projects – Father or mother depending upon the creativity skills
How much free time ?- Mother decides
Which food to eat or not? Mother decides with the help of google search

Phew! Where is the child using his or her brain?

Every small decision is verified, cross-checked and then finally passed by the higher authority.

Where have you given your child a chance to make a mistake?

First, we as parents show them and indulge them in all the luxuries of life and then we expect them to learn the value of money, understand hardships and learn about life. Who is at fault?
Someone recently told me about an affluent female having all the necessities, luxuries at the tip of her fingertip, the husband involved in business did not bother about giving the real life (to make his life more comfortable). Their children also grew the same way. These wonderfully traveled, globetrotters, internationally exposed family don’t even know how to get petty things done like filling forms for school etc, doing basic banking stuff, buying groceries and many more to say(excuse being- what is the need?)
Sadly, they have turned into vegetables. What a waste of human life.
Who is at fault?
Well, everyone has a different outlook towards parenting and bringing up children, but I genuinely believe that each child should be brought up like a human being and not as an over-protective girl or a carefree boy.
Children need to learn the basics of life.
They must understand discipline and hard work
They must value time.
They should have an opinion of their own.
They must learn to wait for gifts, things or goodness in life.
Keep it only in your mind that children are the centre of your universe, if you put this in action, they grow up in a fairy tale world and disaster happen when they face the real world.

We must aim to raise spiritually awakened children than materialistic followers.
I read somewhere, and I have adopted this majorly whenever I deal with my boys:

“A father(read parent) is a true father only when he has raised his children to survive without him.”

IMG_7540