What Marriage and Motherhood Taught Me!!

I married pretty young, it was a choice I made and I was and I am very comfortable with it. For a long time my whole life revolved around my husband and my family. I was always a very independent girl both in my thoughts and my actions and getting married did not change that and I did not want this aspect to change. You know how the initial years of marriage are, the merriment, the joy, the wandering, the carefree attitude. I was having a ball, all through this, I was so busy that my personal life ceased to exist or my personal life only existed around my husband and his friends as they became my new world. As fate would have it, we had a baby after a few years and life only became more busier (Let’s say “more” is an understatement). I was being drawn to this vicious cycle of nappy changing, feeding, managing home and work.

And one day, Boom, I got exhausted, I got tired of the mundane routine, of knowing that I had lost a part of myself in the whole process. My husband got busy with work, of course I did not expect him to be the same boy I had fallen for, he was a man now, but life suddenly was moving at an unfathomable speed which somehow I was unable to pace up with. And the moment I sat down to ponder I realized what was amiss. Marriage and motherhood was never meant to snatch my aspirations, steal my identity and frankly they did not. It was me who got drifted so swiftly that I forgot to anchor myself. I kept myself very low in the family pyramid and now I was pushing myself much farther down. I saw that my husband had maintained his friendships while I over the years had lost touch with many as I had not made the effort, because work and home became my priority. Is it wrong? No it is not, but what forgetting yourself is wrong.

There would be many who would differ from me, probably my temperament is different. But I see a lot of women around me doing this, somehow it is taken for granted that it is our responsibility to manage all. And the strange part is not many speak about it too, because we feel the same way. We panic when food is not on table on time, when the child is late for school, or we miss some assignments. In the pursuit of being the perfect wife and mother, somehow we stop living our lives and start living for others and trust me I have learnt that we raise their expectations much higher than our capabilities. We need to learn to speak up, to be able to set a threshold for ourselves.

And so I decided to revisit my earlier self, to start enjoying things I used to cherish earlier. I decided to make new friends, go out alone or with my friends, just start life afresh. This is no way means that I ignore my family but only means that I take out time for myself. It is difficult in the beginning and probably even the family gets a shock, but it would be alright eventually. It is important to value the ‘I’ that we are, loving yourself first is not being selfish it is just being fair to yourself. Let us make this non-negotiable, both marriage and motherhood should be an evolvement to be a better happy person and not a heap of responsibilities that weighs us down. In loving yourself, trust me you are helping those around you, because you will be happier and in turn they would too. Reclaim your lost identity, be brave to nurture yourself, it is alright to put yourself first, OK to say no, OK to set limits, simply OK to be just you.

And trust me your family would be supportive, they are what they are because you set your standards, after an initial jolt everything would fall into place. Be kind to yourself, it is important.

Second Innings (Child); Let Me Decide!!

I wake up to a blaring beeping alarm clock, with closed eyes and despondency I extend my hand to the alarm clock and unwillingly get out of my bed. What follows is a monotonous routine of getting my little munchkin ready for school amid other household things before leaving for work. The day ends with the same routine of hushing and rushing until my munchkin goes to sleep. But things have changed a lot from where they started, I mean my daughter is a bit grown up now which allows me time to do things I want to do. I have settled and accepted this new routine and yes my munchkin is adapting well to my lifestyle. So I am in a happy space right now!! I enjoy being with her, showing her the world as I see it, understanding the way she sees the world. Finally I have nights of sleep without hindrance, I can read a book, can plan outings and do many other things, I have fitted back into the dresses I wanted to wear, which I thought I probably would never be able to do.

Alas this happy content family bubble bursts every once in a while when we attend family functions or when my MIL meets her friends. All this is always followed by sulky looks on my MILs face and repeated rounds of discussions at home. If I count a slice of blueberry cheese cake every time someone asks me ‘when’ I am having a second child, ‘IF’ I am having a second child, ‘WHY’ am I not having a second child,  TRUST me I would be able to open a factory of cheese cake, (That would be good thoughJ). From aunties at weddings, relatives at home, and even at times random friends of my MIL inquiring about the day of arrival of my second child. I am stupefied by the kind of concern they have in their voice when they are lecturing me about having the second child. I must say that some of the unsolicited advice are sane but sometimes the conversation gets way ahead from declaring me unfit for pregnancy, recommending treatments, even doctors who might be able help me out in the situation they think is disturbing me. They imagine in their own fantasy world that having another child is the main sole purpose of my life now and that I am thinking about it night and day!

And if in between the conversation you quip to these aunties that you are not planning a second child you are happy with one, congratulations you have been able to give them a heart attack (which I am sure their daughter in law will thank you for!!). Time suddenly stops, the earth shakes and you wish the earth had opened up to gulp you in before you spoke out what you were thinking, ALOUD. This response does not go well with them and then you have glaring relatives who have taken it up to them to make sure that you get pregnant (pun intended!!). They cannot imagine that their theory of you being infertile is incorrect that you have chosen not to have a second child. . Suddenly the whole universe is judging you on the decision of not having a sibling for your only child. It astounds me that all this interrogation is confined only to me, nobody ever asks my husband if we are planning the other one. His stand remains unchallenged, and even if someone asks him about the arrival of the second baby he conveniently puts the ‘Baby Venture’ on me. I feel like thrashing him there and then. Whatever happened to the ‘We are not having a second baby decision’.

Their audacity to ask and question me is unnerving at times, my husband and I have decided that a second child is not on our cards right now, both financially and emotionally. But the questioning and explaining has always put me into a dilemma, it is tough to stick to your guns which you are sure is right with suggestions pouring in from all directions. I have realized that the idea of a perfect family for me and others can be different, my aspirations and needs from my life are different. Having one child works for my little family, I have now known after the first baby that for me my space is very important, to let go of all the freedom, career, aspirations, and ambitions again is tough. Because whatever said and done it is the life of a woman that changes dramatically after having a child. Let us just say extending the family is not a simple decision, everyone has their own set of problems. I don’t think I am ready for another baby it is not me at the moment, later in life maybe. All said and done either don’t ask me the question or be ready for my response and accept it. Just that having a second child is a very personal thing.

 

When Child Becomes the Parent !!

A young branch takes on all the bends that one gives it: Author Unknown

Motherhood has had plenty of pleasant changes in me over time. From being more tolerant, to being more organized, being less self-centered, being more mature (if I may say so), to saving more and wasting less. There are tons of changes that motherhood has brought in me. And I feel proud, of myself in some little way. When my little munchkin was born, I was not very sure of how I would raise her up. I had this plan in my mind of a perfect life for her but the nomadic lifestyle that I was used to, I was not sure if I would be able to accomplish that. But things changed, I would not say I have been able to achieve all that I wanted to, but So far So good and I am happy with my progress.

I have enumerated many times how life changes after having a baby, but gradually as the infant phase goes away and the toddler stage sets in I have realized that all is well. It does take time and perseverance, but in the end all is good. And one of the things that my daughter has been able to do is to metamorphose us for better. My daughter has been successful in bringing out the flaws in us so that we can realize them and change. She brings out the flaws in us by either emulating them so we comprehend that she picked up this unpleasant habit from us or many times very bluntly telling us to our face that she is not very fond of this habit of ours. And surprisingly enough, we change. It impacts us in an improbable way.

From simple habits of not picking up things from the floor, being lazy and not cleaning the spilled water on floor, to not switching off the television before dozing off to not stacking the shoes in the shoe rack, to not putting out the towel to dry in the sun (Most of these habits are of my husband’s). My girl makes sure that the house is spotless all through the day. The simple fact that she is looking up to us to learn and live has made us responsible for our actions. It’s good to have this house mother in form of my daughter always around to change in us things we were most reluctant to change.

So over the three years that we have had our daughter we have become cleaner, methodical, accountable, we love more, respect more, care more, and listen more. So in the process of teaching all the good traits, we are imbibing the best from her.

Big Hug and Thank You to my little Munchkin!!

Perfect Timing

A few good men is one of my favorite movies, I like it for its courtroom drama, for the whole dramatic background music, for Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson, for Demi Moore, and for all the memories I have of watching this movie with my brother. I have realized over time that it is the memories associated with movies that make them special. I have seen absurd movies with my cousins or friends and I can remember having my best time at those movies.

Anyhow, last night this movie was coming on television and I decided to watch it. I finished all my errands and couched on the bed to watch. My daughter was busy with her toys or her grandparents, she realized that her mumma was busy and like my sweet little angel that she is, she let me be. And the movie progressed, the drama unfolding, Code red, Fendrick, Jessep, Downey, Dawson, Kaffe, everyone trying to prove their point. I was totally engrossed in the movie. And the climax came, as Kaffe called in for Col. Jessep to the courtroom, call it a co-incidence my daughter opened the door to my room and entered. I looked at her for a second, and got back to my movie. As Jessep approached his seat, my daughter approached me. That’s when Captain Ross called for Jessep’s rights, and my daughter made me aware of her rights. “Mummy, I Pooped”, she said. I looked at her disbelievingly. And that’s when Kaffe said “Is it funny, Sir”. And I thought this could not be happening, not now, not to me. I urged her to finish the pooping errand and I would clean her up. She insisted that she has already finished and needed to be cleaned.

I tried to convince her to wait for two more minutes, I mean what harm could come out of it. I could not concentrate on the movie a bit, my daughter started shouting on top of her lungs, and there Kaffe was shouting, “Could they ignore your order”. Here my own daughter was ignoring my order. And the stench from the poop spread in the room. There was no more I could wait. And that’s when Jessep said “Ever put your life in another man’s hands and asked him to put his life in yours?” I nodded and thought, I just did. I rushed her to the washroom in an attempt to wash her quickly so I could still catch the end of the movie. I could hear Kaffe and Jessep shouting in the washroom as I cleaned my daughter put her on the changing board to change her clothes.

By the time I got free and carried my daughter back to the bedroom, Jessep was being arrested for ordering a code red. I wanted to order a code red to the toddler in my arms but alas, I smiled at her as she said “Mummy, cat poem’. I took her to my bed, switched off the television as Dawson and Downey discussed their future, hummed the cat poem to my daughter and slept.

So last night I made some new memories with the movie, earlier when we were younger my brother used to be Jessep and me Kaffe, and all along the movie we would mute it and say the dialogues. I remembered those days, recounted what happened today and just smiled. Life does change after being a mother.

The Bewilderment That is Life

The alarm creaks in the morning; she wakes up startled and drags herself out of the bed. The sun has still not come, and the whole family is still sleeping. She looks at her husband snoring away, she checks her clock to see if she can afford another five minutes of sleep. But the clock glares at her telling her, “Another minute and you will be late”. She laboriously walks to the washroom, then to her toddler’s room to check on her and finally to the kitchen, as the whole family sleeps. Her maids come in and she busies herself to prepare the breakfast and dinner. By the time all is done, she has only 15 minutes to take a shower and get ready for work. She is glad that her toddler is still sleeping. She hurriedly takes a shower, gets dressed, puts on little make up and rushes back to the kitchen. Her husband is leaving for office, if she does not remind him, he would forget his lunch or breakfast, or almonds, or his glass of milk. She grabs the keys to her car and rushes to office.

As she spends her day in the banal activities of the office, she realizes she has forgotten to have her cup of coffee today. She orders one and sips it. The hot coffee instantly relaxes the muscles of her body. She longs to lie down, and just sleep. But just then a call for a meeting comes in. She gulps in the rest of the coffee and moves to the conference room. The day ends uneventfully as she rushes home. Something in her longs to see her toddler. As she reaches home, voices from the regular television soaps blare out of her in-laws room. She finds her toddler sleeping in her room. She resigns to her bedroom to get some rest. The maid comes in telling her that she is leaving for the day. She grabs a book to read, the one which she has been trying to finish for a good two months now. She reads two lines and can see her toddler rubbing her eyes and entering her room. She places a bookmark; the bookmark has been on the same page for two weeks now. She hugs her toddler who insists to sleep in her arms. She sleeps as she tries to adjust her body according to her toddler’s liking.

She places the baby in her crib and goes to make preparations for dinner. Her husband comes back before dinner, busies himself on his phone and laptop. In between she initiates conversations with him, but gives up when he does not seem to have time to look up from his phone. She serves dinner and goes back to the mundane routine of making her child sleep. As she readies herself to sleep, she tells her husband that she feels tired. Her husband suggests keeping another maid as there is no point stressing and to let go of the toddler a bit. She ponders over it while lying on her bed. But she feels helpless; she finds it difficult to give control. It’s her obligation to take care of her family, her child, her house. She cannot fathom to be like her husband, not bothered, carefree, he has the luxury as he gets everything ready. She cannot possibly do this, no matter how much she wants to just lay back and relax. She goes to sleep.

Her husband informs her the next evening that there is this family wedding that they need to attend next Wednesday, she says it would be difficult for her to take leave from office. But her in-laws need to go too, he says. The family decides that all would go and would take her toddler too along. There is no pressure on her to attend the wedding, her husband understands. She spends sleepless nights in anticipation of the days that she will spend without her daughter. She frets about her food, her hygiene, her nap times, her clothes. She knows that her mother in law is better than her in raising her kid but nevertheless she frets.

And the day comes; all is packed as the family readies themselves to leave the city for three days for the wedding. Her toddler is sleeping when they are about to leave. She is glad, she would have cried a lot if she was awake. She stands in the balcony watching them go. As she bids goodbye, tears fill her eyes. Her husband assures that they will be back soon, and that she should take care of herself. She nods and hugs him.
As she sees the car leave, there is something in her wanting to explode, she cannot figure out what it is, it is too subtle and elusive to name. She does not understand what it is but she gasps and mutters “Free, Free”. She sees the three days ahead which belong only to her. She is suddenly drinking in a very elixir of life through the breeze that blows in the balcony. She realizes that in her subconscious she needed this, she needed a break.

And just like that, she calls her office to inform them of her three day sick leave.

The Last Five Kilos!!

The Last Five Kilos!!!

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I ate like a horse when I was pregnant; it was like I had never seen food before. I was a very conscious eater before conceiving, but after being pregnant I decided to let go, enjoy and obviously that meant gobbling away all food. Even after having the baby, I tried having healthy foods for a month, but realized that habits die hard specially the bad ones, and I had added into my routine some very evil and obscene eating habits which were difficult to let go. I decided to go back to my cardio regimen but after joining office and a cranky baby at night with no sleep even the exercises went down the drain. But since summers have arrived and my baby has turned from an infant to a toddler, I decided that now the time is ripe to shed all the kilos I had gained eating to glory.

I have shed around 11 kilos of my pregnancy and post pregnancy weight after approximately one and a half year of giving birth to my little munchkin. And I am happy with my development. I still have a good 5 kilos to lose to get back to my ideal weight, and GOD this is tough. Getting rid of those last five kilos is a nightmare. Though I have not been very active lately with my exercise regimen and I must admit that it has been tough letting go of all the nasty, weight increasing, yummy food that I had so fondly eaten through my pregnancy and after. I have not been very strict with my diet; I have been gulping in Colas and Junk like crazy.

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I am working from 9 to 5 and manage my home, and also have a toddler who is like on skates these days; I can’t sit because I have to run after her all the time. So Yes I get lazy when I get back home, and Yeah I can’t get up early in the morning to do my cardio and yoga that I so want to do, because I love sleeping. So you see life is tough. Yeah, Yeah I know, these are lame excuses but trust me for a working mother of a toddler these are justified excuses. And still manage to lose weight, trust me it’s commendable ;).

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And these last kilos is like a sword hanging on my head, every morning I get up with the fierce determination to start afresh and Loose, Loose, Loose, that irritating weight, it breaks my heart to see that weighing machine needle crossing the 50+ kilos sign, but SIGH I Fail. That tummy, those large size bras I want to get rid of them and be the fit sexy momma. And it will happen I know. I envy stars that lose weight in a jiffy after delivering. Money can do wonders I know!! Aha enough of these excuses I will get back and post my new fitter look very soon.

P.S.: The prime reason I get lazy to lose the kilos is the fact that my husband likes my new fuller body than the earlier skimpy one. So he is to blame ;).