What I have learnt from my Son

The 14th of November is a day of celebration in India , across various schools in India there are programs conducted to make the children feel special and loved . The occasion being ” Children’s Day” with the very essence of childhood being celebrated . We have specific days dedicated to Mother’s, Father’s , Grandparents, Daughters, Sons but the beauty of children’s day is that not only is it a day of celebration for children but  also a great way to celebrate the child in each one of us.

There is so much we can learn from children. They teach us such valuable lessons. Everyday I learn so much from Eli my son it is just so amazing. Sometimes he does these things that just touch my very soul. Eli you are very small to read this post now but some day son when you are all grown up and are able to read this post,I want you to know how much I love you and how much I have learnt from you my little toddler.

1) Smile : According to research kids smile as often as 400 times a day and I can just bet that elie smiles 500 times a day. I just have to look at him 🙂 and he has a smile ready. I wish I could be less serious and smile as often as you my baby.I tend to be so caught up with chores and lists that I forget to smile.

2) Get Over Stuff : Elie my darling I am just so amazed at how fast you get over your tears , one minute your crying so bad and the next minute you are giving me that beautiful smile, how I wish I could get over my anger and temper and not ruin my whole day. Boy ! there is so much for me to learn.

3) Forgiving : Elie, sweetheart there are times when you are really mad at me but within minutes you come running back in to my arms completing forgiving me. I wish I was as forgiving as you. Mommy has a hard time forgiving people who hurt her but I promise you that I will work on this.

4) Curiosity : Darling Eli , you can be such daring brat at times, Daddy and I are so surprised everytime we see you doing something new. Your curiosity is so refreshing, and how you love to learn new things, touching, opening, feeling everything. I am so comfortable in my old ways that change scares me. I hope to be more open to change, to new stuff.

5) Dance: This is the best thing about you, you just have to hear the music and be it anywhere you dont hesitate to loosen up and dance. I love to see your little legs jump up and move to the music. You are not bothered about what others think, you are just having fun. I wish I could loosen up like you son and not hesitate to have fun.

Mommy and Daddy adore you Eli .

And to all the kids , I take this opportunity to wish you a very Happy Children’s Day , God Bless You all, you just bring so much joy to all of us.

We love You , Yes we Do !!!!!

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5 Things Every Stay At Home Mom should do for herself !

Ever since my baby boy was born I decided to stay at home full time and take care of him. Well, apart from taking care of him these are my official duties for the day

1) Prepare and serve Breakfast , Lunch , Dinner

2) Vaccum the house

3) Do the Laundry

4) Throw the trash out

5) Do the dishes

6) Apart from preparing meals , also prepare snacks for the family

7) Bathe, feed and Clean the baby

8) Entertain the baby ( since its winter now and we cant go out much and are stuck at home, I am eli’s official clown ) etc etc etc

I realized I hardly had any time for myself. Everytime I sat to relax either eli would either poop or would be bored and would end up crying. I was constantly doing things around the house and would hardly ever find time for myself and the end result was though I was so needed and busy I was often left lonely. I hardly had any exciting things to share with my husband at the end of the day . With Winter around I could not even go out much with my toddler. And since we are in a totally different country with family and friends in India there was no body whom I could call and talk to also.

And so I was beginning to get really depressed . I had to find some way to breathe , some way to let go of my negative thoughts and over time through trial and error I have found out ways that helped me come out of my shell.

1) Prayer and Meditation : With my baby around and his erratic schedules I hardly found 5 minutes of peace time for myself. I couldn’t even get up early and pray because of the disturbed sleep I would have with my son. He would get up around 2-3 times crying out aloud till we would console him in the night. However through past experience I found out that prayer and meditation was a big stress buster for me . So, I decided that since early morning was the only time I had for myself, I would get up early around 6.30 -7.00 and spend some time in Prayer, surrounding my entire day , my family and my baby to my God. This did wonders for me. It somehow helped reduce the lethargy and made me more cheerful.

2) Dress up : Now that I am at home, I didnt feel the need to dress up and rush to my workplace. And since there is no one judging my appearance I would roam around the whole day in my pajamas and get the housework done. Besides who dresses up to get housework done. But then at some point I realized that every time I dressed up, combed my hair or put on a lipstick a very nice feeling would seep inside me. It gives me the feeling that yes I am getting ready to achieve something. And so though I am at home, the simple act of combing my hair, putting on simple jewellery, perfuming myself up and putting on some mascara would make me feel great and ready for the day ahead with my toddler and housework.

3) Don’t Be Guilty : Since I was at home and my husband was working, I would feel guilty every time I would ask him to do some of the housework. (My husband is a real gem he never refuses me ) but the guilt would kill me. Morever, it is Indian mentality that housework is for women and not for men. But then if one actually see’s as a Stay at Home mom, there is hardly any rest time, it’s bham like work one after the other. And there is hardly any rest . Atleast when one works , one gets to take a break from the chaos from home, breathe and jump back again in the non stop hustle. And so I stopped feeling guilty and when needed not hesitate  and ask for help , rather than doing everything by myself. This was a big reliever and bought me more close to my husband.Most of the time we Indian women hesitate to ask our husbands to do any work, it is considered “inappropriate” but times have changed now and so should we ladies.

4) A little Zumba, Walking and Swimming : Now that I stopped nursing my baby, I have started gyming and wow what a great feeling it is. At the end of day I feel really drained and want to back out from exercising but then a few moments of willpower and I am in the gym and after a 30 minute workout I feel so charged and good. Also a good work out is equal to weight loss which is another great feeling. Small things but they make so much difference.

5) Talking to a loved One : The moment I open my eyes in the morning, my brain starts planning the various tasks ahead me and I am in rush to get things done: Feed my son, prepare lunch, vacuum the house etc etc etc When I was working I hardly had time to talk to anyone but now that I am at home I realized why not take the advantage and even though its for a few minutes I take some time to talk to my mum or friend or relative just everyday and hmmmm that’s such a breather.

6) Do something New : When my toddler takes a nap and when I am done with the housework and have nothing to do, I take some time to watch TV but then I realized I wanted to do something more, something more productive and so yes I started blogging and I am just loving every bit of it . This is something new for me and I look forward to doing this so much 🙂 it makes my day worthwhile.

As I said before”Small things but they make so much difference in one’s life” . Life is short let us make the most of everyday 🙂 ladies, because if the lady of the house is happy , the whole house is in great shape.

How long should I wait before having a baby ?

This is a question every couple need to decide before they start their life together. Some choose to wait for 4-5 years , whereas some choose to wait for 2-3 years whereas some just don’t have the choice ,they end up getting pregnant the very next month of their marriage. I knew of a couple who wanted to wait for a good three years before having their baby but it so turned out that she got pregnant the very next month of her marriage and that came as a total surprise for her.

This is indeed a tricky question and it greatly depends on the couples priority. My husband and I chose to wait for 6 months before having a baby. This was something we decided before our wedding and we were very clear on this.

I was having a discussion with some ladies at a party today and they were all talking about how their lives had changed after a baby and how long they waited before having a kid. That left me thinking as to how long should one exactly wait to have a baby ? what is the ideal time? I guess as I said before it all depends on the couples priority.

Some may want to establish their careers, some may want to travel to new places , some might want to get to know their spouse better, some might want to earn more money and so in all the above cases they may want to wait for a few years, some cant wait to start a family immediately , some may want children immediately because of their age or health.

There is no right or wrong answer for this question. What is most important is that  you and your spouse be willing to share to raise the baby together.  It is important that both be willing to share the responsibility. Putting off the responsibility on one person can lead to a lot of stress. This is a life changing decision and involves a lot of sacrifice, it teaches us to value our parents even more, we learn to respect free time, we learn to love more, and in a sense brings the couple closer even more. After my son was born my husband and I initially hardly got a chance to spend time together. Now we take time to be with each other and that’s exciting. All the little things he does to make my life easy makes me love and respect him more.

Mom , Maaam, Mammy Marmie :)

My son is 16 months old now and the first words he uttered was “Daddy“. I could see my husband swell and feel the pride everytime my son called him “Daddy” But yes I was a little dissapointed that my son didnt say “Mommy” first. He started to talk when he was around a year old and ever since I tried to teach him the word “Mommy” . He would call me his mom “Daddy” too, which was really funny.

But now all of a sudden I hear him saying “Mammie” and I am just so thrilled. I just feel like dancing everytime he calls me “Mammie”. There have been times when I am busy doing something in another room and he comes searching for me screaming “Mom, Maaam, Mammy, Marmie ” non stop till I answer him 🙂

I am just loving him call out to me . This is such a glorious feeling its hard to describe. I feel my heart will just burst out with joy.Everytime he calls out, I dont know its like a reflex action I just feel like dropping everything I am doing to be close to him 🙂 🙂

What I Do When My Son Does Not Eat On His Highchair !!!!!!!!!!

Benefit1%20High%20Chair

Does that statement sound familiar ? Well, all of us mum’s go through this phase at some point or the other. Sitting on the highchair and eating is considered good manners for young children, this is also a statement that I often come across, both in books and by some baby whisperers.Well somedays I am lucky( eli ( my toddler )acts like a real angel and finishes his entire meal sitting on the highchair ) some days I just feel like pulling all my hair out ( no matter what i do, he just ends up spitting out all the food ).

There are days when I am really exhausted and tired and just so drained and those are the days when my son acts up, its like he is got this sixth sense and decides to do things to get me more frustrated on my drained out days( Who said kids cant be cruel , hmmm 🙂 ) Initially I would get all angry and flustered and yell and scream at eli and afterwards would be filled up with guilt when I would see my son crying.

And so I started to mold myself according to my son’s moods instead of forcing him to do what I wanted. These are somethings that I have been doing

1) Everytime I would be eating a meal I would notice my son coming running to me and notice what I am eating . He would be so curious and would want to eat from my plate and taste and see what I am eating. So what I did was I tried to use this curiosity I filled up my plate with his food and when he would come running over to me I would  feed him his food . This technique worked and he would eat all his food.

2) Sometimes, Eli is just not in a mood to sit in his highchair, at these times I just tie a bib around his neck and let him run . He is too playful to calm down to sit and eat. So instead of forcing him to stop, I just sit closeby with his food .He plays for some time then comes running to me eats a mouthful and runs off to play, and once he is done eating he comes running again eats another mouthful and this goes on and on till he finishes.

3) When we are in a hurry to go out and need my son to finish his meal faster I just switch on the TV and let him watch his favorite cartoon or sometimes I just switch on the ipad and put on some nursery rhymes and boy oh boy his meal gets done real quick.  Some of you may really frown at me for letting my son watch tv while eating ,it may not be considered good manners  but I guess once in a while this is okay especially when we are in a real hurry to go out.

4) Sometimes I just pick him out from his highchair, let him play, and try feeding him after half hour, this method also works . He finishes off his meal the second time without fussing.

Every child is different and what works with some may not work with the other but whats most important is that the child eats stomach full . A hungry child = Miserable mom and a A full child = Happy mom. Meal times can be frustrating sometimes both for the mom and child, so instead off stressing yourself out, find a way that works for both you and your baby. Be flexible and don’t stick to a hard and fast rule with your baby.

What do you do when your child does not sit on the highchair ? I would love to hear your suggestion.

Travelling and Vacationing with a Toddler- Tips for Moms

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Ever since my son was born, I had confined myself to my home . I was breastfeeding him exclusively and apart from just trips to the store or church, I did not go very far from home. So, once he turned One and transitioned to cow’s milk my husband and I decided to go for a vacation to Minnesota . I needed this break and was really excited . Moments later I was overcome with anxiety . My son was just 13 months old and now apart from milk he was also having solids. I made all his food at home ( mostly Indian food) , my son (Eli) never liked Cerelac or any Gerber food , he however liked the food I prepared thankfully.

One side of me really wanted to go for this vacation and another side of me wanted to stay back home . I was just too scared to venture out with my baby. I was comfortable having him at home. And besides that the very thought of packing all the baby essentials wanted me to give up ( I am sure u mom’s know what I am talking about )

Thankfully , the practical and sane side of me won and as decided we were going for a vacation. Minnesota was a good 6 hour journey from Wisconsin- the place I stay. Before , I state across the solutions to my problems let me share the problems that were bombarding my head.

1) My son cannot stay still in his car seat for long journey’s . The max he can handle is a 1 hour journey. How in the world am I going to handle him for 6 hours ?

2) How am I going to cook food for Eli, if we are going to stay in a motel , hotel?

3) How am I going to manage being outdoors the whole day with Eli ?

4) My son is very very active , does not stay still for a second ?  How will I handle his energy outside my home ?

The more I thought the more I panicked and before I could change my mind about the vacation I resorted to google to see if the internet had any solutions for me . Luckily, I came across this amazing wonderful site of Joanna Goddard where she gives us, new mom’s such amazing tips .Through her site I got to know some really valuable information and yes I did go for that vacation and this is how I coped and survived through my problems:

1) Stay : I came across this amazing site in Joanna Goddard’s article, its called homeaway , this site allows one to rent a whole house for any amount of time and the best part is that the house is fully furnished with a kitchen ( you have to buy your own grocery though ), backyard, wonderful bedrooms etc. I was just so grateful for this site. My husband and I could rent a nice big house in Minnesota through this site for a very reasonable price . I had my kitchen wherein I would cook food for Eli for the whole day and be out of the house without any guilt. Morever, we could put Eli to sleep in the bedroom and come watch some TV in the hall and relax. This would not have been possible in a Hotel 🙂 unless we put the volume on mute.

2) Travel Essentials : When traveling with a toddler apart from all the necessary essentials ( like diapers, wipes, extra pairs of clothes, bibs, socks , shoes, sippy cups, towels, napkins, toys, medicines (most imp ), stroller, car seat etc) please do not forget to carry a flask or thermos , we get nice small and decent size flasks at walmart. A Toddler needs at least 16-18 ounces a milk per day, and so on a journey you can just warm up some milk , put it in your flask and you are ready to go. When in Minnesota for our vacation we would leave home early in the morn and come back late at night only. Having the flask around was a big help, as I had my son’s milk ready for him with each meal. Apart from the thermos its important to carry along a small cooler bag, now this is something I didnt realize and just carried my son’s milk in a flask, this led to the milk getting spoilt. Please put the flask of milk in your cooler( with some ice packs around it ) so that the milk remains fresh.  However, you can learn from my mistake and not commit the same. I know, its just too much luggage but these are some important essentials which make life easier when you are out the whole day.

            

3) Car Journey : My husband and I left home early in the morning and luckily my son fell asleep for the first two hours of the journey. We also had my husbands cousins traveling with us and they were a big help. I carried some toys for my son so that he can play with them during the journey and stay in his car seat. My husbands cousins switched places to sit beside my son so that they could entertain him and keep him engaged. My son loves the gummy bear songs, so my husband downloaded these videos and kept it on his phone and everytime eli got fussy we showed him the video. We would also take some breaks and stop over and let him run around and stretch his legs  Another thing that I resorted to was music, Eli loves music, so we would play him some songs and that would calm him down and let him stay seated in his seat. All in all I somehow managed to contain him for 6 to 7 hours .

4) Food : We were on vacation for 3 days and so I had to prepare food for Eli for 3 days. I prefer giving him homemade food rather than buying outside , so these are some stuff that I carried along with me for the journey and since this was a car  I could manage to carry all of it. I tried to keep it as simple as possible. (The stuff written below may be incomprehensible for readers who are non Indians , please excuse me for this ). It was necessary for me to carry all these ingredients because its difficult to find all this stuff in regular supermarkets and we didnt want to waste time searching for indian grocery stores in Minnesota.

  • Little Salt
  • Some sooji rava
  • Maggi
  • Lots of fruits
  • Some ghee(you can also carry some butter )
  • Sugar
  • One can of milk

Sooji halwa, upma and maggi were easy recipes to make for my son and stayed fresh  the whole day. Now when I think about it I realize these are also some easy indian food that I can carry for my toddler in the future

index Moong-Dal-Khichdi maggie-noodles DSC02131metromasti_photos

1) Dosa batter ( in the cooler ) ( my toddler likes dosa and sugar ) .

2) Moong dal kichdi (However, I have to carry my small pressure cooker for this , which is ok )

3) Semolina ( Sweet and salty semolina are also easy recipes to make and toddlers like them )

4) Chapathi dough ( you can just carry your belan  here, in the U.S. we got some nice flat countertops so rolling the chapathi would not be a problem ).

It was necessary for me to prepare these solids for my son because if he didnt eat well , he wouldnt sleep very well at night. Once his tummy is full we both can sleep well.

I would also love to hear from you about what food you carry for your baby when you are staying out for long. I know some mom’s who when on a vacation prepare the following for their kids:

  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Bread Sandwiches
  • Mac and Cheesse
  • Cheese
  • Chicken nuggets
  • Soup etc

5) Eli’s energy : We Indians are not very used to having baby sitters, its a cultural norm for the baby to be with the mother or a close relative . Well, this may seem a bit novice again for non-Indians but yes this is the way I was  brought up and this is ingrained in me. Luckily for me I had my husband’s cousins with us for the journey and they would handle Eli everytime I needed a break.

Before leaving for the vacation I was so worried as to how the trip would go. Am sure many mothers go through this feeling, I guess that’s quite normal. I wanted to be prepared for any kind of situation ( some of you may be wondering why I am freaking out so much but when you have a kid a lot of things change , we parents tend to become extra careful about the things we do ) and so I did a lot of research and though I found a lot of stuff I did not find anything in particular for Indian moms and so this is why I decided to come up with this post. I hope you find this information useful. Let me know what you do when you travel with your baby. I would love to hear from you. Your suggestion may be helpful to me so please do share.

Yes I am a ” Stay at Home mom” !

mom

There was a time when working mom’s were frowned upon but times have changed “greatly” now. Introducing yourself as a housewife and a stay at home mom leads to frowned expressions with thoughts running like this.

  1. She probably is not educated enough.
  2. She is lazy.
  3. She is not ambitious
  4. She does not want to contribute to the family.
  5. She probably can’t stay at a job too long

Well , yes this what we Stay at Home mom’s have to face not just by friends but sometimes our own family too. I remember a  close relative pitying me when I introduced myself as a stay at home mom,  leaving me just so shocked and angry. So, you see it’s not just you working mom’s who tend to face criticism. We “S.A.M’s” also get to hear our share.

I guess regardless of whether we women are S.A.M’s or working mom’s, once we become “Mothers” we just become easy targets for criticism and a lot of unwanted advice.

I studied Psychology during my graduation and we had an amazing lecturer, among the many things that I learnt from her the one that stuck to me was the importance of staying close to our babies when they were young. According to her “Mothers have a profound positive effect on their babies personality. Babies brains are like sponges and absorb a whole deal of information especially during the ages 0-3. Babies who had their mothers around during this time frame ,according to research tended to be more confident, grasped things faster, and dared to learn new things. It is my dream to be a well-known Psychologist and I decided that come what may ,I would want to be with my baby during his/her first few years and raise a positive and confident child. ( these are purely my beliefs and I am not saying women who work will have less confident kids )And boy oh boy what a journey this has been.

Now that my son is 16 months old ,I can say that I have thoroughly enjoyed every bit of my son’s babyhood. I was there when he rolled over the first time, I heard his first laugh. I saw him taking his first steps. I get to see him dance every time his favorite tune comes up on TV.  We watch his favorite cartoons together (sometimes I wonder if I am the one who is more hooked onto his favorite cartoon than him ) . I love it when he comes running to me the first thing he wakes up in the morning. I love it that I can take my time and give him a nice hot bath, singing songs , splashing water around without worrying to run somewhere or finish a task.I love taking him out for walks in the middle of the day. I love putting him to sleep, hear him babbling and showing a new skill. It is just so amazing to see him grow as a person. I feel so thrilled when he grasps a new skill and cant wait to show him off to his dad. Now that he is a toddler I so badly miss his “baby” days and wonder how he grew up so fast.  Being at home I tend to get a lot of housework done and sometimes get to watch TV which is a great luxury.

I also do admit it is not an easy journey, I do have my ups and downs . There are times when I want to just run away from the endless housework and cooking. There are days wherein I seriously miss my work. I miss sitting at my desk and focusing my attention on a single task. With a baby around we are doing 10 different things at the same time.  Surfing Google for 5 minutes is a god sent boon. Yes of course I do miss earning an income . But, then at these times I try to pull myself up and remember why I chose to stay with my baby and then I begin to feel better. I feel blessed I have this choice to be with my baby and enjoy every phase of his growth.

Every woman has her own priority and she shouldn’t feel guilty about what she wants. Some women prefer to work , some prefer to be at home. Some don’t have the choice . It’s always best to make the most of what you have. Whether you are working or are at home , make sure you enjoy every phase with your child, because time flies and we never know what the future holds in store.