Category: OM

A milestone and a celebration

A milestone and a celebration

One thing the youngest child of every family learns to do perfectly is to await her turn. And so it is in the OM household. My third and youngest baby has been waiting patiently for her birthday celebrations.

Obsessivemom turned TEN this month!!

Imagine that!! One whole decade of blogging.

The celebrations are late by a week or so, but with the craziness at home I am just happy I got the month right.
People generally celebrate blogversaries by talking about how the blog has progressed over the years, how the number of followers has grown, the views skyrocketed, the Alexa numbers improved. But I have none of those. I’m not being humble, though I am a humble person, generally. What I am not, is a numbers person – numbers don’t register with me much.
However, what the blog has given me is quite priceless and I’ll say this gladly – it is way beyond numbers.
Over the years I have found I can say things here that I cannot otherwise. And I can say it with a fair amount of clarity and conviction (I still maintain I am a humble person). As I write and read back and edit and write again I find my head clearing up. Why I find it easier to talk to relative strangers while clamming up sometimes even at one-on-ones with friends, I have no idea. Perhaps it is the anonymity that frees me from the fear of being judged. It’s another matter that, over the years, much of the anonymity has vanished and many of you have turned dear friends. For that I can only be grateful.
It has been my conscious decision to keep things as positive as possible here on the blog. People close to me will know that life is way more chaotic than what it seems here, that I am not quite as patient and level headed as I might appear here. The things I laugh at in my posts have often driven me to distraction or even made me break down when I am in the middle of them. And yet the fact that I can laugh at them, that I can make light of my often over-the-top reactions, even if it is later, is what makes life good.
And when you guys drop by here and say ‘it happened to me too’ or ‘my kid did that too’ or  ‘O My God you survived that!’ it does wonders for me.
Then there are days when despite my resolve, the worries spill out here and then when I hear you say ‘it shall be alright’ or ‘you’re doing fine’ or ‘the kids will be okay’ it helps. It helps because I begin to believe it a little bit. And that is where I begin to win – because believing is half the battle won, right?
So thank you from the bottom of my heart for being here. I hope you guys are still there when I’m old and foggy and all I write about is the decadent ways of the new generation,  the cataract bugging my eyes and my most amazing grandchildren.
Linking up Mackenzie at Reflections from Me. She’s decoding true happiness in this post and says true happiness comes from loving yourself. Do drop by and take a read.

And also with Mel at  Microblog Mondays where she talks of goodbyes.
                                               
When I look in the mirror, I see..

When I look in the mirror, I see..

When I look in the mirror, I see….. N’s
small face peeking from behind me, a smile lighting it up like sunshine, “May I
please leave my hair open today?” she asks. I turn back and look at her, “If
you’re going to play, you make a pony, you know that.” “Okay,” she agrees
reluctantly taking over the mirror.
I move away to see H dashing down with his shirt half tucked in, hair askew,
collar standing. I make a grab for him, “You can’t go down like that. Take two
minutes to stand before the mirror and look at yourself.” “Excuse me,” he says
to N, with mock sweetness, squeezing in beside her, trying to smooth down his
hair with one hand while stuffing his shirt into his jeans with the other then
dodges me and runs away, collar still standing. N takes over the mirror. I
watch her tying a neat little pony, meticulously tucking her hair in before skipping off.
A sigh and a smile and I get on with my day.
When I look in the mirror, I see… a
cushion flying right at me. I duck and it crashes into its reflection. H tries to
look contrite while N chortles, “Bad aim!!” And I turn pretending to be angry
only to pick up the offending cushion and join in the fight. I see the look of
surprise on the twins’ faces turn to delight as I thump each of them in turn. I
win hands down till they decided to team up and have me down in a moment.
Finally we all dissolve into laughter and collapse onto the bed in a happy heap.
I’m really too busy for that mirror.
When I look in the mirror, I see …. 
Deep laugh lines, crows feet by the eyes.
A head of brown hair with some silver surprise.
A few frown lines up there on the forehead
For worries are part of a life well lead.
What I really see is a contented me
a contented me smiling right back at me.
But she has a complaint, or is it a plea?
She’d like to perhaps, see a little more of me.
Yes, I assure her, just a few years more
I’m fine, I add but I’m busy you see
Please let me be, for a few years let go,
I can’t stop now lest I miss the kids grow.
Once they’ve grown and have learnt to fly
That’s when we’ll talk, we’ll talk – you and I
But until that happens I have little time for you
a glimpse or two will just have to do.
***********
Linking up with Finish the Sentence Friday hosted this week by FindingNinee and AprilNoelle.
The prompt this week is “When I look in the mirror, I see..”
Why holidays without kids are essential for moms

Why holidays without kids are essential for moms

I wasn’t born an Obsessivemom. Truly I wasn’t. Like I said before
I wasn’t even a kid-friendly person till the twins came along. And then I was transformed into a mum – all of me. And I’m not complaining. Well most of the time I’m not. Oh okay… I don’t really mean it even if I do.

Every mum needs a break

But mums need a break, even obsessive moms. Not just from the kids but also from home and the entire shebang that comes with it – Is there bread for tomorrow, Did I put the curd for setting, The printer’s down again, Did the kids finish their homework? What shall I make for lunch, Ah the maid isn’t coming in again — A break from the mental preoccupation that comes with the territory.
Last week, after much debating (with myself) and plenty of prodding (from friends and family) we planned a break without the kids – three of my pals and I. I won’t write about what we did there. No, we didn’t paint the town red, we didn’t booze till the sun came up, we didn’t break into a song and dance in the market place – yet it was a holiday we’re not likely to forget in a hurry.

It was a holiday where the usual everyday stuff was special in its simplicity, only because we were four relaxed women shorn of our everyday responsibilities and worries. We had no agenda, no places to visit, no shopping to do, no hurry to get anywhere.

I recommend it strongly for every mum – in fact the more you are into your kids the more you need to do this.


Here’s why:

It puts you in touch with
your before-the-kids-came-along self 

– often the more fun carefree you. With the kids you become a different person – you need to be a different
person – responsible and grown up and more than a little anxious.
While on holiday we broke our own rules. We had snacks for lunch, roamed the markets till late at night, stopped at whatever took our fancy, stayed up talking books past midnight then lazed in bed next morning and lingered over breakfast.
An outing like this puts you in touch with the fun-relaxed you, reminding you of the joy of letting go once in a while. When you come back with that reminder you become a more fun-relaxed mum – and that’s good for the kids.

It’s gives you
a reality check..

…bringing home the fact that the kids can survive without you and
happily so. Which, for a sane mum, is the most liberating of thoughts. It makes
you less clingy, (If you thought only kids were clingy, think again)
encouraging you to give the kids more freedom, equipping them to handle
more responsibility which is good for them, right?

It shows you a new side to
your kids

My SIL, who was with the twins while I was away, said she grew sick of listening to
them saying, ‘Mama said… , ‘Mama said…’, ‘Mama said…’. This was amazing
because it meant they had actually been listening while I was talking and
were doing what I asked them to in my absence. Woohoo a miracle! With this new found perspective I can perhaps begin
to perceive them as somewhat responsible tweens rather than the babies I
think them to be…. and that’s good for them.

Oh and it’s rejuvenating

..which means you can get back to the task of mothering with ever
more happiness and enthusiasm and the belief that you are on the right track.
Which means you can be a better mum — and that again – yes you got it – is good
for the kids.
So for your kids’ sake – take that break. 

Disclaimer: Let me clarify – this is just a way of selling the idea to mums who think they’ll be deserting the kids if they go on vacation. You should do this more for yourself than for the kids or the husband. You should do it even if life for them isn’t quite perfect when you’re away. You should do it even if they protest. They’ll learn to value you more when you’re around. 

You owe it to yourself.

The end-of-year post

The end-of-year post

I am glad 2015 is ending. It was a tough year. And I have a hypothesis why – a trifle hare-brained but a hypothesis nonetheless.

Let me first state that I’m not superstitious. That said, I did read somewhere that the number 8 is ruled by Saturn and that people who are a number 8 (who’s date of birth adds up to  8) are often faced with obstacles. Extending the same logic to the year (Don’t ask my why, don’t even bother to think if it makes sense) I figured since it was a no 8 (2+0+1+5) it had to be a tough one.

Go ahead laugh away but you had been warned.

The Husband was away (and unhappy) for most of the year and the kids and I got onto each other’s nerves. They faked unending illnesses and drove me crazy and if they’d be blogging they probably write how I’d driven them up the wall with my impatient ways and my continuous yelling. Sigh! Nope, none of us has been easy to live with.

Later in the year a very good friend, a kind of 3am buddy, moved away to a different country. Even though we weren’t together all the while we did make time for much needed coffee dates and I could talk to her about pretty much anything. That is rather rare because although I talk a lot (to almost anyone) I don’t share much of the real stuff easily.

Then our Zumba instructor quit and my exercise schedule crashed. Only if you are an exercise regular will you realise how dreadful that can be. It plays havoc with your fitness  and what’s worse, it makes you unhappy and crabby and totally unfit for any kind of company.

However as the year ends things are seeming to fall into place and I have a good feeling about 2016 – it’s a nice number 9 :-). I’m not a resolution person – one year is really too long a time to stick to even one of them. However I can hope and make a wish. And while I’m at it why make just one? So here’s what I wish for me in the new year.

With the Husband readying for a new assignment and the kids entrenched firmly in their tweens change is set to be the new constant of my life. I like routine and work best to a plan so change is my undoing. The plan for this year is to be ready with a constantly changing plan. That’s my first wish:

Welcome change.

Next on the list is trust. Trust in myself. When it comes to decisions that concern me or the kids I know best, and I need to remember that. Nobody is in my shoes, no one – not my neighbour, not my best friend not even my sister or my mom. And if I make mistakes, well they’re mine to own and I shall live with them. This, I need to remember: 

Trust ‘me’.

This year I met up with a friend who swears by The Secret. I tried reading the book but didn’t quite take to it. However I do believe in the power of positive thinking. Here’s the mantra she gave me, ‘Focus on what you want, don’t obsess about the ‘how’ or about the obstacles that will stall you – things have a way of falling in place. I like the sound of that. And so that’s the third wish:

Believe first, then make it happen.

I’m a master procastinator. Being on my own means there’s no one to push me to do things and so the status quo just goes on and on till it can no longer wait and then I have this avalanche of work to deal with and I end up feeling completely overwhelmed. That’s my next mantra:

Put off procrastination. 

Fitness is always on my mind however what I need is consistency. Here goes my next wish for myself: One form of exercise everyday baring Sundays – Walk/Zumba/Weights whatever but:

An hour of exercise. 

And lastly for obvious reasons I wish for me, 

Patience.

…lots and lots of it.

What is it that you wish for yourself in the new year? Hope you get it all and that 2016 is as perfect as it can get.

Of ‘well-meaning’ advice

Of ‘well-meaning’ advice

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Dear well-wisher friend,

This letter comes after much thought and heartache. I’m sure you remember yesterday’s incident. The kids were playing together on the slide. Of course they are too old to slide the conventional way so they were inventing a host of games climbing up, sliding down, crashing into each other, creating a ‘jam’. There was some amount of roughhousing but they were having fun.

After a while we heard a commotion and by the time we got there N was in tears while H stood looking guilty. Apparently as he pulled her down the slide he twisted her ankle. Worse, her dress climbed up embarrassing her and bringing out the tears.

Yes I felt her embarrassment every bit as acutely as she did herself. After all she gets it from me – this feeling of wanting to disappear from the face pf the earth at the slightest unfavourable attention. Given that some of it was witnessed by a bunch of boys and girls, must have felt terrible. I know the feeling. I’ve been there – many times over.

I took H aside, gave him a talking to and sent him home.

However, I seemed to have failed you in your expectation. According to you I should have meted out a harsher punishment. No, it wasn’t enough that I speak to him later at home. I was too soft on him, you felt. He deserved a dressing down right there before his friends. He should have been embarrassed just as he had embarrassed N so that he would remember it the next time, you said.

I wholeheartedly agree H needs to be sensitive in the playground. I know he gets carried away in a crazy sort of way. I agree he needs to be punished. However I do not think shaming him in public is the way to do it. You may not agree of course, and that’s your prerogative entirely.

While you remain my friend and have known the twins for some time I’d like to remind you that I do know them a little better than you. I know what H did wasn’t done with the intention of embarrassing N while should I have done the same to him it would have been very much intentional, that, when I’m decades older than him and hopefully more sensible.

Also, you were not there to see that by the time we got home H had done both our beds, warmed the food, set the table and served us all dinner – his way of saying ‘sorry’. I also know that he may err again. I know it might take him time to turn into the perfect gentleman that I hope he will become one day. I am prepared to wait.

Meanwhile I’m happy to inform you that the incident has done no permanent damage to N going by the way she was wrestling with H this morning.

Your comments hurt me terribly, even though I am convinced I did the right thing. Perhaps that is because, of late, I’ve been on extremely rocky parenting ground constantly analysing each step I take till somedays I feel I feel I’ll go completely crazy. I’d truly appreciate if you keep your suggestions, however well-meaning, as I’m sure they are, to yourself.

Also, if you do have some serious advice, I’d love for you to say it to me directly, rather than saying it came from one of the kids because then I am more likely to take it seriously.

Thank you again for your concern.

OM