An Attitude for Gratitude #GratitudeCircle

An Attitude for Gratitude #GratitudeCircle

Technically April is the exam month but actually it’s March that’s the toughest one because anticipation is always worse/better than the real thing. Right? 

All of March we’re making timetables, failing to stick with them (because daily school assignments are still coming in), constantly remaking, readjusting and generally struggling to get through the portion.

However once exams kick off things fall into place.

Contrary to what the children believe, I’d much rather let them play all day than get them to study, I’d much rather they be outdoors than cooped up inside grumpy and grouchy, I’d much rather curl up with a book myself than drive them to theirs.

Not that they’d ever believe it but March really isn’t the easiest of months for any of us.

Couple that with plans of changing houses this year and you’ll know why things have been rather stormy. Like I’ve said before I’m not a great multitasker so managing the children’s exams as well as the nitty-gritties of getting the new house ready, proved a bit much.

So what’s there to be grateful for you might wonder. Lots actually, when one thinks about it.

The new house

It hasn’t been smooth sailing all month – what house can be made without a few upsets? Yet, almost always, rather miraculously, things have set themselves right by the end of each day. There was just one day that I lost sleep and that because I was reading a rather disturbing book, nothing at all to do with either the exams or the house. That’s some thing to be grateful for.

New found independence

I used to have these horrifying visions of sifting through college-level portions of unfamiliar subjects teaching twenty-something H and N. Mercifully that nightmare may just not come true. Thanks to my pre-occupation with the house I have had to leave them to manage their studies on their own and they didn’t disappoint entirely. Each year I see them become just a little bit more independent and that gives me heart.

And camaraderie

In another, rather significant development, they’ve also helped each other out, though those experiments haven’t always been successful. The other day I asked H to help N with something. To his credit the poor boy tried but she kept giggling and refusing to pay attention. I realised it was a bad move when I heard him threatening her with, ‘Tell me or I’ll punch you’ and ‘Tell me or I’ll cut off your hair’ with such vehemence that I had to abandon whatever I was doing and take right over.


Exams might be a bit of a trial but I have to admit the one thing I like is that the we’re together more than we are otherwise. You see the contradiction? I want to curl up with my book and not bother about them and yet I love it when we spend time together even though a lot of it involves being driven up the wall.

The thing is exams are a break from the normal school-homework-play-sleep cycle. They’re home more often. We go for walks in the night after we wrap up for the day and we talk.. a lot, about everything under the sun. And I love that.


I’ve sort of made peace with the way they study. I understand that they aren’t anything like my sister and I used to be. I understand that they won’t be glued to their books like we used to be. I’ve come to be grateful for the fact that they aren’t stressed out of their minds. I am also learning to make peace with the idea that perhaps that will affect their scores, but I have to be okay with it.

It’s not an ideal situation but that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

I’m just grateful the children have been happy and healthy, the rest, I hope, shall follow.

Linking up with Vidya’s Gratitude Circle.

27 Replies to “An Attitude for Gratitude #GratitudeCircle”

  1. It’s wonderful how so many times things turn out much better than we anticipate. It must be so heartening (and a little scary too!) to see the children getting more and more independent. Glad you’re settled in your new place. Have a good April, Tulika.

    1. Oh yes. It is while it is heartening to see the children grow independent I am constantly questioning myself as I tread the line between letting them go and holding on to them. Oh we haven’t shifted yet. We will though, sometimes next week.

  2. 1984 was a very depressing read for me and I hoped I would never ever have to read something like that again – totally understand your dilemma at the moment via it!!

    You sound like such an amazing mom- so patient and understanding; your kids are super lucky to have you!! I remember getting loose motions before exams and my parents would not be very understanding about it. I guess it was the pressure to perform that was loaded down on me that made me stressful and anxious about exams.

    Have a wonderful April and all the best with the move!!! XOXO

    1. Yup 1984 is quite a read. What’s worse someone sent one of those basolutely regressive kind of forwards right then on whatsapp and that put me off even more! Sigh! I hate the way things are currently in our country.
      And no I’m not half as patient as I want to be.
      It must have been terrible to have to deal with that much anxiety. I used to be anxious too though mercifully there were no physical manifestations. Somedays I’m just glad my exam days are all over.
      You have a wonderful April too.

    1. Oh it’s hard letting them be, though I’m getting there. The Indian education system is too demanding. The worth of a person, even that of a child, is decided based upon academics that freaks me out.
      As for H and N fooling around – yeah we do have our moments :-).

  3. I haven’t read 1984 yet but did read Animal Farm last year and that was bad enough re how the world is currently going. Good to see so much to be grateful for. Honestly, I don’t think the Indian school system ever set us up for life – exams are not worth it. I don’t know about you but I do not remember a single thing I learnt at school – everything was promptly forgotten post-exams. That’s not learning. But things I studied in my Masters here with essays and assignments, I remember a lot more. Plus now, when I learn as part of professional development, I remember even more because I am applying it. I don’t get the point of exams – it’s more a test of memory and how fast you can write. All it does is stress you out {yes, I was one of those who vomitted on the mornings of some of my 10th and 12th exams}. As long as the twins are healthy and happy and willing to give things a go, they’ll be fine adults! And it saves you a whole lot of stress too 😉

    I hope you have a fantastic April!

    1. It must have been hard being that stressed. I know of many children who get cramps, even fever, due to stress. So that’s something I’ve learnt to be grateful for.
      The trouble is that here we’re all so focussed on exams that they don’t pay any attention to the projects they have. When in fact the projects are a fab chance to learn.
      You must find time to read 1984. It’s depressing for sure but it is an ridiculously accurate mirror of today’s India what with the sold out media and people blinded by manufactured hate.

  4. I love your attitude. You are not an obsessive mom but someone who seems sensible and understanding and gives her kids all the space they need. Believe you me, everything works out in the end and there is no point in tearing your hair over the things that didn’t happen the way you wanted them to. I’m sure your kids bring home grades that make you proud of them…Hope the exams go off well and you enjoy the May holidays

    1. Oh thank you Unishta. I worry all the time whether I am getting this parenting thing right. I should have linked up to my exam posts of the last few years and you’d have known how I’ve progressed. There was a time I was driven crazy with anxiety to see the children so stress-free and not bothered. So it’s with much effort that Ive reached this space and I’m glad I’m here. I’m trying not to let the grades worry me. It’s an effort though, coming from a very academic family.

  5. “There was just one day that I lost sleep and that because I was reading a rather disturbing book” !!! Seriously? What book was that yaar?

    I have lost sleep over only 2 books in my entire life. One was HP5, ‘coz I couldn’t put it down even to sleep. And 2nd was a Wilbur Smith. From his Egyptian series. You remember that Delhi Nirbhaya case? This book had something exactly like that! I read it just a few weeks before Nirbhaya, so went into complete shock at the inhumanity of what I’d just read. Couldn’t sleep that night. And then Nirbhaya happened.

    Anyway, it’s good to read how you are dealing with the kids growing up. I sometimes feel we adults worry too much, about the people we love. Don’t we?

    Oh and I have always loved those lines by Khalil Gibran… “Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.” So beautiful!
    Kaddu recently put up this amazing post…Microwave Eggless Chocolate Cake Recipe With Chocolate Glaze Icing | How To Make Eggless Chocolate Cake in Microwave? #FoodieFriday #AtoZChallengeMy Profile

    1. Yup Harry Potter has kept me awake too on many nights. The Wilbur Smith books sounds worth a read except not now. The one that I was reading is George Orwell’s 1984. Actually I’m re-reading it. The situation described in the book was so similar to what is happening around us that I got completely freaked. Some of it might have had to do with the election hype and my overactive imagination too. I get that in the light of day :-).

  6. Loved reading this post which gives interesting and profound insights. I liked this bit about acceptance of our kids capabilities. I fretted and fumed for a while but now have accepted AG’s style of studying. It wasnt easy but this acceptance has helped both of us. All the very best to H and N for their exams and to you for the move to the new house!!
    Shilpa Garg recently put up this amazing post…4 Reasons Why You Should Never Go on a Diet #AtoZChallengeMy Profile

    1. Thanks for the good wishes Shilpa. I remember you talking about Aryan and you were part of the process that helped me be okay with whatever grades H and N were getting. So thank you. Moms must keep sharing experiences. It really helps.

    1. A to Z is one crazy fun festival. Glad the post helped you lighten up. I’m enjoying your series on admission adventures. Good luck for the rest of the month.

  7. Absolutely! There is much to be thankful if we care to see 🙂
    I was smiling throughout the read OM. A gratitude attitude does make all the difference.

    1. Isn’t it? I started taking gratitude posts seriously only since last year and I enjoy doing the gratitude roundup each month. I’ve been planning on doing it on a weekly basis in a diary of some sort but I still have to get there. How are things with you? How are the kids? Exams over and done with?

  8. Perfect combination, an attitude of gratitude and an attitude of acceptance.

    I have realised the more we allow of children to evolve and grow independently, the more hands on they become and so do we. We cannot force our children our thoughts, we can allow them to have their own and respect them for what and who they are.
    I think more often than not in the process of parenting we forget to respect those boundaries. But our children know better.
    Unlike us, our children were born with a mind of their own, and that’s why I feel the Khalil Gibran lines always give one a lot of courage and hope.

    “Your children are not your children.
    They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
    They come through you but not from you,
    And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

    You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
    For they have their own thoughts.
    You may house their bodies but not their souls,
    For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
    You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
    For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
    You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
    The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
    Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
    For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.”

    Have a fantastic April!
    Natasha recently put up this amazing post…How To Love Yourself in 2019: #GuestPost By Kiana MasonMy Profile

    1. That’s a beautiful beautiful quote. Every word is a lesson to parents. In our enthusiasm to ‘help’ them we end up squashing their spirit and foisting our own thoughts on them. I realise that the best gift I can give my children is to train them to think for themselves even if it means endless arguments. It’s hard but I’m trying to get there. Thank you Natasha for that wonderful comment and for sharing those words of Khalil Gibran.

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