Category: Parenting

Five ways to trounce the anger demon

Five ways to trounce the anger demon

If you follow me on Facebook you would have seen this update on my timeline a few days back.

 

And that was just a five-minute snippet of my entire day. Children can certainly drive you to the brink. Sometimes I think they are part of God’s master plan to teach us patience.

I yell at the twins. Multiple times a day. What follows is worse – they grow sullen and I am left with the feeling that I messed up, that I could have done better, that it really wasn’t worth it. Also, as they grow, I find yelling losing its effectiveness. If you have a tween at home you’ll know the eye-rolls and the arguing and the doors being shut. Oh! the door banging – how it provokes me!

And then it goes completely downhill.

I’ve blogged about this before . And I still remember the look on my daughter’s face after the incident I spoke about in that post. She was barely able to talk, back then.

Never had I experienced such extreme emotional outbursts as I have since the children came along. Click To Tweet

It is only a few years ago that I became aware of the necessity of keeping my cool.

Anger vitiates the home atmosphere and we say things we wish we never should have. Click To Tweet

Also, I wonder what example I’m setting for the children (yeah always, always the weight of being a role model). Besides, it is such a dreadful time waster.

So here are five ways in which I am trying to get past my anger.

Being aware of specific triggers

This has been tremendously helpful. I have learnt to recognise my triggers. There are specific times during the day when I’m most likely to lose my temper – Mornings would be the worst, then come study-time and bedtime. In fact whenever there’s a deadline to meet I know a yell is round the corner. So those are the times I plan for and remind myself to keep my cool.

Removing yourself from the scene

I’d almost forgotten this one till a friend reminded me of it on that Facebook thread. It works better for older children. For instance after I give them their breakfast in the morning, I tell them to watch the clock and get busy with other morning chores. I would have done myself a world of good had I not sat watching H wear that sock that day.

What’s the worse that can happen?

That’s a question I ask myself as I feel my patience slipping. So they’re slow in the morning, they’ll miss part of their breakfast. Or they’ll miss the bus. At night they’ll go to bed half an hour late. Is that worth yelling? Often it isn’t. Would it delay us further? In most cases it does. Oh and if they have flouted one of the unbreakable rules they have a yell coming and I do it without a twinge of guilt because I know they well deserve it.

Take a break, make yourself happy

This one is important because if I’m stressed or unhappy my patience runs dry way faster. I make time for myself. So I have a quiet cup of tea before I wake them in the morning. Or I try to meet up with friends in the evening – that’s absolutely therapeutic.

Partner up with your children

Long back when the children were really small we had the concept of an Angel Day when everyone would try to be good. That still works sometimes. Also, when I’m expecting a stressful day, if I have a work deadline or we’re having visitors for instance, I warn them off. It helps immensely that they’re older and understand me more. On good days not only do they tone down their squabbling, they also lend a hand with the chores.

That said, there still are days, many more of them than what I’d like, when I forget and give way to impatience. But I’m trying and getting better at it most certainly.

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Linking up with  Kreative Mommy for her #MondayMommyMoments. Do drop by to check out suggestions from other moms.
Kreativemommy.com

 

The trouble with being a good girl

The trouble with being a good girl

Dear daughter,

These last few years I have watched you grow into a wonderful young girl. A good girl – I’ve heard people call you that and I’ve seen how you glow with happiness each time someone says it. You deserve it too. However, there’s a danger hidden away in the midst of all the compliments and I write to you today, to tell you about it.

Many times over you will hear people (including me, sometimes) praising you for, or pushing you to be – a good girl.
In the middle of a fight you’ll hear – “Let him have the toy N, you’re a good girl, no?”
Or at school – “Be a good girl and sit quietly.”
Or at home – “Good girl, run and get my phone, please.”

Interestingly enough, you will hear it much more than your brother. And that is rather ironic because I see you trying harder than he ever does. He really doesn’t seem to care much for what people think of him. But you do. Which is why the danger is greater for you.

The thing is, the more people praise you, the harder you try to fit into their image of a good girl. As you grow you make that image your own. It becomes your yardstick for measuring your worth. And that’s a little crazy for many reasons.

To begin with, being ‘good’ is a rather vague idea. So when you set out to be a ‘good girl’ you set up unclear, unrealistic expectations for yourself. Obviously, you cannot meet all of them, and then you end up feeling guilty or incompetent or not-good-enough your whole life.

If you are always striving to be a ‘good girl’ you set yourself up for failure and unhappiness. Click To Tweet

Sounds weird coming from me? Yes I know. And no that does not mean you have the license to be rude or irresponsible, inconsiderate or unkind. What that does mean is that you do not always need to do what you think is expected of you.

Being a good girl is important but being real is even more important. Click To Tweet

Get that? Being the real ‘you’ is important for there will come a day when you will realise that fulfilling every one’s expectations isn’t really making you happy from the inside. Then you will try to figure out what you truly want. And that will be difficult because you’ve been so busy listening to everyone else you’ve never listened to your own heart. You’ve lost touch with yourself. And if you don’t know what truly makes you happy how can you ever hope to be happy at all?

Besides, being a good girl 24X7 is exhausting. You can never relax because you’re always on guard lest the real you slip out of the mask that you wear all the time.

Worse still, you never make real friends – the pukka kinds who know you inside out, share your deepest darkest secrets and still love you. Because you’re always scared the real you isn’t good enough, that they won’t love you enough if they know the real you. But then it isn’t necessary to be liked by everyone, to fit in all the time. It is worth losing a hundred superficial friends for a handful of real ones.

It takes courage, of course and a lot of practice. That is weird, isn’t it? Being yourself should be the easiest thing on earth. Unfortunately, putting only our best versions out for others, comes way more naturally to us. Being real needs practice. But do it. Do it even if you find it hard. Do it because in the end it is the most liberating feeling ever.

It is important to be yourself because there’s only one of you in this whole world :-). Click To Tweet

So look inwards. Get to know yourself independent from people and happenings around you. Speak your mind – be kind, be polite but be honest too. People will love you and respect you for that.

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Linking up with #Chatty Blogs from Shanaya Tales

10 top gifts for new moms

10 top gifts for new moms

 Kreative Mommy Deepa asked us to list out ten gifts for new moms. Make it ‘fun and useful’ she said. So here it is, my list. A word of caution – these products have still to make their way from the realms of my brain to the inventors’ tables, so don’t go looking for them at stores just yet.

Crydecoder
Baby’s cry. They just cry. They cry for being fed and cry to be put to sleep. They cry to be held and they cry to be left alone (I had one of each kind and by the time I figured out which one wanted what I was a nervous wreck). The Crydecoder selects one of the 101 options on its dial and tells the mum exactly why the baby is crying.

Poopiesniffer

What’s the big deal with this one, you wonder? We have our noses, right? The thing is by the time the message gets to your nose it also permeates the room and gets to everyone in it. Imagine when that happens in the middle of dinner with guests. Well this gadget is equipped with odour detectors a million times more sensitive than your doggie’s nose and beeps out long before the message escapes the diaper. Trust me, the new mum needs this one.

Peepredictor

While on unsavoury topics I’ll get over with this one too. Without going into detail let me just say this gadget is designed for mums of boys. It will help a new mum predict which way the waters flow, so to say. And if you’re not fond of a sour warm spray on your face (Do NOT ask how I know that) I’d say you need this.

Time turner

We’ll borrow this one from Hermione. A new mum definitely needs more than 24 hours in her day. Gift her this and she’ll thank you forever.

Mumclone
Sometimes the time turner it just isn’t enough. Babies don’t grow up in a day and how long can mums do this back and forth? They’re only human. And so we have a – a Mumclone. It clones the mum to a baby-plus-one – One baby two mums, two babies three mums and so on. Get this and watch mum load lighten instantly.

Blinkamera
It’s not all bad you know, this being a new mum. There are compensations, lots of them. Your little one will give you plenty of heart stoppingly beautiful moments. That moment when he stares at you unblinkingly with a pensive expression on his face, the time he clasps your finger in his fist and refuse to let go, the time his tiny plump hands reaches out for you and oh when he decides to bare his gums in a toothless smile – that’s the time you’ll need the Blinkamera. This is a device that’ll click a picture with the blink of your eye and store that memory forever. The new mum doesn’t need to break the moment to rush for that physical camera – blink and click. Useful, isn’t it?

Breastmilk regulator
Now it flows now it doesn’t. Get this one and with the twist of a knob baby food is ready to be served or stored away.

Burpinducer
The twins’ Ped freaked me out with tales of babies who had choked because they hadn’t been burped properly. I spent entire nights roaming around with a fast asleep well-fed baby at my shoulder patting it on the back waiting for that burp. Yeah I’d have liked a burp inducer.

Tummytucker
So the baby is out in the world and you can’t wait to get back to your old self. Yet no matter how hard you exercise or how many crunches you put yourself through that tiny tummy bump refuses to go away. That’s where every new mum needs a tummy  tucker. Rub it on your tummy and watch it disappear. Nope you won’t find this one in the lingerie department. And No, don’t try it all over your body, it won’t work, just the baby bump.

Mumreassurer
She’s a new mum. She has tons of advice and just her gut instinct to guide her. So basically this Mumreassurer will tell her, as many times a day as she wants, that she’s doing the right thing. It comes with multiple settings. The first few days one can opt for hourly settings and then graduate to just one reassuring message a day. A must try.

Note: ‘Mum’ here denotes ‘primary care-giver’. Most products work just as well with dads or aunts. I said ‘most’.

So much for fanciful thoughts!
If you want to look up some real products for new mums do head over to  Kreative Mommy for her #MondayMommyMoments where fabulous mothers share useful practical ideas.
Kreativemommy.com
Supermom!

Supermom!

When that genetically mutated spider bit Peter Parker his (Parker’s obviously) life changed forever. Something similar happened to me when I had the twins.

At first they were rather inconspicuous, these special powers that came to me.

Before the twins I was pretty much a Kumbhakaran – that gentle giant blessed with a sleeping curse. I couldn’t function without my 8-9 hours everyday. With the arrival of the children I began waking up many times a night – on my own – sometimes to change nappies, to feed and burp and sometimes simply to run a finger under the twins’ noses reassuring myself that they were real living people. Just like that, I was rid of my addiction.

That was the beginning.

As they grew my powers only increased. Like Parker I discovered in myself super strength and agility.

If he had superhuman reflexes that let him scale walls and fly over traffic to save people, I could sprint, do a back flip and dive right in just as one of the twins fell off the sofa.

If he was strong enough to stop a running train, I could stop a running cycle….  make that two running cycles, before they hurtled into simultaneous twin accidents.

If he could spin a web fine as silk and strong as steel, I could spin tales so intricate so elaborate, as to keep two hyper active minds quiet for hours on end.

As the teens approach my superpowers seem to be growing.

My memory might have gone on leave but my senses, By God, they’re in an overdrive. Just like Parker, I find my eyesight sharper, my hearing more acute and my sense of smell can rival that of a sniffer bomb squad dog.

Is that a scream of laughter or distress – I can tell without going into the room. Was the food found under our apartment window dumped by the twins or was it the old man on the floor below our’s – I’d know. (It was the old man, in case you were wondering). Is it an upset tummy or experiments with my makeup kit that was keeping them for hours in the washroom – I can always tell.

I can look through closed doors, listen to merest whispers and smell out secrets.
I successfully busted hair-trimming sessions before the twins had shorn each other off.
I put an end to ice-cream smuggling no matter how soundlessly the freezer door was opened.
I smell burning cookies and douse the flames before they take the house down.
One time I even staved off floods when the twins turned on the taps and blocked the drains to make a swimming pool in the washroom.

As I sit here with a self-satisfied smile writing this self-congratulatory piece I find my mom-senses tingling already. Got to go folks, time to spin another web and reel them in.

Linking up with

Mackenzie at Reflections from Me

Also joining Deepa at  Kreative Mommy for #MondayMommyMoments.
Kreativemommy.com
Letting them be

Letting them be

‘Gooood Morning. Wake up. Wake up. It’s mooorning!’

‘What time is it?’

‘6.30’.

‘6.30? Why are you waking me up so early? It’s vacation time. Let me be.’

‘No please. Wake up, pretty please.’

‘Go away.’

‘But you promised you’d take us swimming.’

‘Ow! Okay five more minutes?’

Alllriggght! Five minutes. That’s 300 seconds 1..2…3…4…5…

At that point I just push off the covers and decide to give up on my sleep, whatever’s left of it that is, after all that conversation. Some role-reversal, this!

The other day I woke up to the sound of the doorbell. Darned milkman, thought I. Despite telling him over and over again not to ring the doorbell every morning, somedays he insists on doing just that, deriving some kind of perverse pleasure in disturbing my sleep. I opened the door to see N standing there, dressed in tracks and running shoes, her face bright pink, her grin stretching from ear to ear. I stared at her slightly disoriented wondering what she was doing on the wrong side of the door. ‘I went jogging,’ she explains, ‘You were asleep so I didn’t disturb you.’

 That’s how my days have been starting since the holidays began. The kids, who insisted on sleeping well beyond 8 or 9 each morning, during their entire study leave, have been up by 6.30 am almost everyday, bursting with energy and ready with their lists of things to do. They sleep late, wake up early and want to spend every waking moment either in the pool or at their tabs.

 I can be found reading a book while they splash around happily, or ferrying them around fulfilling their very varied wish lists or carting home tubs of ice cream. I am quite revelling in their freedom, taking a break from being mean mum. It is a relief and a pleasure to simply let them be, at least for the first few days.

 The vacations are here!