Category: life after kids

Slowing down

Slowing down

This past week has been one of the busiest, not just for me but for the children as well. After the rather lazy Diwali vacations we were all struggling to come to terms with our schedules. The weekend promised to be even busier what with the children’s hobby classes, a PTM to go to (which takes up all morning with some 10 to 12 teachers to be met) and two birthday parties.

My head was reeling as I tried to schedule pickup and drop timings for both the children while also trying to make a few hours to help them with their studies and also adjust the maid-timings!

My SIL called up to chat and raved about a must go-to exhibition that she’d spent three hours browsing through. She offered to accompany me if I could make time over the weekend. I am rather reluctant for such a plan on a busy weekend but this time I was sorely tempted. A quick mental check and I figured I could squeeze it in.

A little later, however, on an impulse, I cancelled the trip. Yeah I flip-flop a lot.

Sure enough, as I picked up H from his guitar class, the exhibition had lost all its charm even though barely half the day was through.

Instead of running home to let the maid in, I called and instructed her to get the keys from the neighbour and took H off for a coffee/drink at a close by cafe. I was done with the driving around. I ordered a huge Latte while he got himself a tall glass of Iced Tea. There was still an hour before N had to be picked up and so we settled down for some one on one conversation.

We talked about our tentative move to a new house next year. He said he’d miss his classmate who lived close by and we planned future play dates. We discussed his teacher’s comments at the PTM that he needed to mix with other children apart from his two closest buddies. He told me about his much-hated football coach who had been nasty yet again to another friend of his.

We got back relaxed and in good time to pick up N. Not going to that exhibition proved to be one of the best decisions I made.

There was a time I would load up my day with a list of things to do and would go through it systematically. At the end of the day the ticks on that list brought a huge sense achievement.

However, I can no longer do that.

I find I cannot go through a list of back-to-back tasks as easily as I used to. Click To Tweet

The physical effort might not be too much but the mental effort of not just planning but also of getting the children ready, the constant calling out to them, of sorting their hundred tiny disagreements and listening to and solving their myriad problems is exhausting. And so I’ve learnt to take things easy, to slow down.

As we drove back home the image that remained with me was of H carrying the tray with our drinks, his tongue stuck out as he concentrated on not letting them spill. Nothing I’d have found at the exhibition would have been as precious.

 

 

Linking up with Mackenzie at Reflections from Me #mg

Am I doing it right?

Am I doing it right?

This post is a Tangy Tuesday Pick at Blogadda

Once upon a time I used to be this easy person, happy to drift along whichever way life took me with the Husband for company of course. I was passionate about my work and had plenty of work-friends. We went out, frequented food festivals, attended plays, watched films, and browsed exhibitions. A lot of it was part of my job and things couldn’t have been better.

We never bothered with a master-plan for life. And it didn’t really matter.

Once we decided to have children, that changed. We had to have a plan, we had to make decisions, not just for ourselves but also for two other people and I found myself stumbling around in the dark, unsure, unprepared.

It was terrifying. It is terrifying.

Parenting is like handing over a company to a trainee with no experience and no option of quitting. Click To Tweet

Two companies in my case! And so very diverse ones at that :-).

There I was, expected to excel at the most important job of my life with only my instinct to guide me and the whole world judging me. Is that crazy or what?

Not to worry, I told myself, and got on with the task, with bits of advice from doctors and counsellors, family and friends. Soon, the bits grew into a deluge that threatened to drown me. It’s like the story of the man, the boy and the donkey. There really was no one right way.

The first few years I thought it was the physical demands of motherhood that were the toughest – the unending feeding, cleaning, boiling bottles and the long sleepless nights. I was wrong, for that was only temporary.

What didn’t change, hasn’t change even now, is the constant doubt, the indecision and the big question – am I really up to this task of turning babies into decent adults? That, is the hardest part of parenting.

The hardest thing about parenting is never being sure if one is doing it right. Click To Tweet

It begins with: Is the baby waking up too frequently because I use cloth nappies for him? And conversely: Did he get that rash because I chose diapers instead of cloth nappies?
Then : Will my baby grow up to become clingy because I opted for co-sleeping? Or Will he feel deserted because I let him sleep in the crib?
Is she refusing to eat solids because I introduced them too late? Or did she take a dislike to them because it was too early and she wasn’t ready for them?
Am I destroying his spirit because I am too strict or will he grow up spoilt because I’m too lenient?
Am I pushing her too much or am I not pushing her enough? Should I lend a hand or should I let him figure it out himself?
Will I distance my teen if I am too strict? But then how do I ensure he is safe?Should I be a parent to my child or should I be a friend?

And then there are the big ones:
Am I doing enough?
Could I have done more?
Am I doing it right?
Should I have done it differently?

Even after a decade of being a mom somedays, specially on the bad days, I am badgered by these fruitless ‘What iffs’ and there really are no answers.

The thing to do then is to tell myself the one thing I am absolutely hundred percent, sure of – No one loves my children more than I do. And that is the beginning of convincing myself that I am doing the very best I can.

How can I not?

***************

Linking up with Deepa and  Amrita for #MondayMommyMoments.
Kreativemommy.com
O is for the Ordinary

O is for the Ordinary

I love Ordinary. The plain old, simple unexciting Ordinary. Once upon a time I used to be the Ordinary kind of person – the one who prefers the extraordinary. However, along came the twins and turned the whole equation upside down. Suddenly the Ordinary became extraordinary while extraordinary turned Ordinary. Do I have you all confused?

Well sample this:

The world is full of children, right? Google tells me 4 new ones are added every second. So it should be a pretty Ordinary thing that I got some too, right? Wrong. It’s a completely Extraordinary feeling to have them.

.. and this

Think of simple every day stuff – smiling, walking, talking, dancing, singing – all kids learn to do it. But when the twins did all of that, yeah, just then it became extraordinary.
There’s more to it. 

The twins magically transform Ordinary things into extraordinary. Take a look..

Getting to read the morning news – Extraordinary

A five minute bath without having to answer fifty questions – Extraordinary
An uninterrupted telephone call – Extraordinary.
A good night’s sleep  – Extraordinary
A walk from one room to the other without tripping on toys/clothes/crayons/shoes/glasses/food – Extraordinary.

And some extraordinary stuff turned magically Ordinary:

Scraped knees and bleeding elbows – Ordinary
Sleeping with a head stuck at my waist and a pair of toes up my nose – Ordinary.
Poop talk in public – Ordinary. (though we’re working on keeping it down as the kids enter their sensitive tweens).

Bottles of perfumes and deodorants magically emptying out within days – Ordinary
Lipsticks breaking themselves – Ordinary
Half eaten bread hidden away in sofa folds and under beds – Ordinary
Finding your favourite shirt cut up and made into doll clothes – Ordinary

Life sure has changed. Not that I’d have it any other way but I will say this – an ‘Ordinary’ day sure becomes ‘Extraordinary’ after you become a mum.

Linking to ABC Wednesday for the letter O. Thanks to Mrs Nesbitt who brought us all together with this wonderful meme.

Sunday Breakfast

Sunday Breakfast

Sunday morning I woke up craving Upma – a savoury dish made from semolina with peanuts and loads of veggies. I set out chopping carrots and defreezing peas. 

As I started roasting the semolina in walked N. 
‘What are you making mama?’ she asked, ‘Halwa?’ 
Halwa is a sweet preparation also made from roasted Semolina, a huge favourite with both the kids. H followed soon, sniffing, ‘Ummm I haven’t even smelt halwa for soooo long.’ He’s such a sniffer, this one. He goes around smelling flour and dough and sugar and raw vegetables. 

The halwa used to be a breakfast staple till The Husband turned diabetic. I, in any case, am a perpetual weight watcher. Besides, I’ve been in consultation with a dietitian for the past few months and am allowed a ‘what-I-want’ breakfast only on Sundays.

Anyway, even as the kids hung around the kitchen, before I knew it, just like that, I was pouring ghee (clarified butter) in the pan, then the roasted semolina and the sugar and making halwa.


Instead of this..

Doesn’t the upma look great with all those colourful vegetables?
Photo courtesy: Dreamstime.com

I ended up with this.

That’s halwa – Sweet and nutty and delicious.
Photo courtesy: Dreamstime.com

That’s what kids do – saunter into your lives without as much as a ‘May-I’ and change your plans completely. What’s stranger, you don’t realise it for a long long time and when you do, you don’t really mind it. They do bring along lots of sweetness, right? 
That kind of makes it all worth it.
However, what they do not do, is stave off Upma cravings. And so after I was done, up went another pan and I set out roasting a fresh batch of semolina and made the Upma too. No point stifling your cravings.
The Sunday breakfast table was one happy place yesterday.

Linking to # Microblog Mondays hosted by Mel at Stirrup Queens.

A date

A date

A date after ages! I was
excited. We’d hardly gone out since the kids came along – my husband and I! The kids
were tucked in bed and the neighbour was babysitting.
I glanced at the clock, then brushed my hair hurriedly one last time. 
Just when I was leaving..
Ma.. Potty! Called out my little
one!
This post is part of a week of 55ers with Marathon Bloggers. Today’s prompt is ‘Just when I was leaving’.

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