Do you struggle to CHANGE DIAPERS when you are in CROWDED OUTDOORS without your car and no visible restroom in vicinity? Well, let me tell you what helped us in a crowded Mumbai area.
So as we know, there are not many clean public restrooms here in Mumbai where a woman can comfortably pee, let alone change her kid’s diapers!
We went to Mumbai’s Byculla Zoo (Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan And Zoo) yesterday and decided to take public transport🚇🚍 instead of our car. All was fine until the super humidity in afternoon (it finally rained last evening) and sweating resulted in excessive water intake. Well, we had to change her sweat soaked clothes and diaper (before it was too late).
For those who are being judgemental and wondering why my 3.5 years old daughter is out in diapers, please visit the washrooms / public toilets in Mumbai and tell me how can you make your child sit there.
The wet and stinky floors of the zoo washrooms were definitely not an option. There was no time to head to a mall (the obvious choice for a little cleaner restroom). And that’s when this mom’s brain came to action. We found a small but clean restaurant nearby that had a little family area kinda partition. Don’t judge me, a mom needs to do what she needs to do! Since it was non-peak hour, it didn’t have customers. We ordered some tea and all and requested the manager if we could change her clothes and diaper in the area behind the partition. He obliged and I felt we met an angel! Thankfully, my kid is a little older now so the change could be managed with her standing. We had a disposal bag handy, we remember to always leave with that though I now realize I should always carry a dupatta or large scarf so that I can use it to create a covered area when we go in little crowded outdoors. I still have no idea what I would have done if she had done the bigger business!
So if you are stuck in a crowded area and must change the baby’s diaper in privacy, try this: 1. Carry all the necessary changing things including a few disposal bags and wipes. 2. Carry a large dupatta / sheet so that if need be you can just make a covered area to change in privacy. 3. Restaurant is definitely not a good choice for diaper change but whatever works in emergency. 4. If you can wait, just take a cab and head to the nearest mall. 5. Hope / pray that the authorities will soon create child-friendly public restrooms 🚻 If you are someone who can bring about this change or are a celebrity, please help make our city a comfortable place for kids. Moms and dads in this situation, don’t panic, you’ll always find a solution!
Please share to help other parents in similar situation.
Before I proceed with the story, I would like to thank Aparna Nayak for helping me weave the gluten part in the story. This point onwards, the story has some parenting / motherhood angles so will also cater to the main theme of this blog – Mom and Ideas. I hope you enjoy reading.
“Go to sleep now Grace, we can finish the painting tomorrow,” Beth told her four-year-old daughter again.
Gone were the days of being insanely adventurous, going on a solo trips, trying some super powers… all Beth needed now was a peaceful nap.
Grace’s gluten intolerance was not making things any easier and Beth spent any free time researching about it so that Grace could enjoy food like all other kids.
Gluten, a protein found in grains like wheat, barley and rye, finds its way in the junk food that kids love – pizzas, breads, cakes, etc. wherein extra gluten is added in form of powder to increase the strength, rise, shelf life, and texture of the baked goods, which are not good for their health.
Google would tell her everything except where she could find a treasure of gluten-free foods for kids.
Getting your little ones to eat is like climbing the Everest, but when Gluten sensitivity comes into picture, it’s a whole new challenge!
Grace finally fell asleep as Beth added some gluten-free items to her online shopping cart and decided to check her mail before calling it a day.
Gmail showed her 20 notifications of which three emails were from Daphne – someone who had disappeared when Beth needed her the most.
Getting no replies from her and The Voice despite several desperate attempts had left Beth disturbed for many months after the flight incident six years ago.
Gradually, she had stopped thinking about it and a year later she fell in love with Rohit, an Indian entrepreneur, married him and moved to India.
Grace was born a year later and the couple separated after her second birthday; there was no drama, they realised that they were just not compatible and decided to raise their daughter together in Mumbai.
Going forward, her focus would just be her daughter, Beth had decided unaware that six years after the incident the ghosts of her past would come knocking at her door.
God knows why she is contacting me after so many years, should I read the mails or just delete them, Beth was confused.
———- Thanking Aparna for the inputs on gluten! She is also participating in the A to Z challenge with wonderful posts that you can read here.
This story continues tomorrow in the next post. Did you notice that I managed to start each sentence of this part of the story with G, the letter of the day (I have managed to do the same from B to F posts)! This is my sixth post for this year’s A to Z Challenge (#atozchallenge). Head to my previous posts to read the entire story.
I’ll be posting daily except Sundays all through the month. Stay tuned. Read all my posts for the challenge in the A to Z links below: A ➡ B ➡ C ➡ D ➡ E ➡ F ➡ G ➡ H ➡ I ➡ J ➡ K ➡ L ➡ M ➡ N ➡ O ➡ P ➡ Q ➡ R ➡ S ➡ T ➡ U ➡ V ➡ W ➡ X ➡ Y ➡ Z
“Darling, maybe you are just overthinking. Jean might be busy. He will call you back, don’t worry,” Cassie tried to convince Beth over the phone.
“Do you think that I should visit him and explain that I didn’t overreact, that I really felt the worst sting ever? Cassie, trust me it was something else, my entire body felt like it was on fire and at the same time on an ice slab. It was the strangest sting, most painful… ever! I am telling you, something doesn’t seem right. Maybe I am becoming a spider-woman or something!” Beth had not lost her sense of humour though she was extremely stressed and scared.
Days passed, Beth never saw or heard from Jean again but she did complete her solo Europe trip while ensuring that she didn’t develop a liking for anyone.
Did she enjoy her trip? She sure did as she soaked in the romantic aura of France, the beauty of the Swiss Alps and the scenic Eurail journeys to Milan and Venice.
During her stay in all those lovely cities, she never felt that weird pain again, until the very last day when she was at the security check of the airport.
“Damn, damn, damn… it’s killing me… help, help me” she screamed holding her right arm and cried in pain just as she collected her handbag after the security screening; poor choice of words at the airport.
Daphne, the security manager, rushed to Beth but something made her tell the staff that everything was fine.
“Dear, that was just a cramp, right? My cousin gets it all the time with the heavy luggage and all. Let me help you reach the boarding gate,” Daphne said holding Beth’s arm and whispered to her to agree and move ahead.
“Don’t worry, I have seen this happen before, with others as well. I saw you at Chef Jean’s restaurant the other day. It was you, wasn’t it?,” Daphne said as she got Beth seated at a cafe near the boarding gate.
Dealing with that torturous pain was one thing, it disappeared in a couple of minutes, but what this seemingly kind stranger told Beth scared her.
Discovering that someone acknowledged her weird pain, however, did put Beth at ease and she wondered if she could get some answers.
Dressed in the security uniform, brown-eyed Daphne did appear trustworthy and Beth decided to use the thirty minutes before boarding to understand what was happening to her.
Daphne laid a condition that she would share what she knew only if Beth agreed to give her hair sample for a DNA analysis; the clock was ticking and Beth had to decide immediately.
Discover the secret or live with the suspense? Beth chose the obvious.
———- The story continues tomorrow in the next post. This is my fourth post for this year’s A to Z Challenge (#atozchallenge). Head to my previous posts that start with the letters A & B (B is when this story begins) and C.
I’ll be posting daily except Sundays all through the month. Stay tuned. Read all my posts for the challenge in the A to Z links below:
A ➡ B ➡ C ➡ D ➡ E ➡ F ➡ G ➡ H ➡ I ➡ J ➡ K ➡ L ➡ M ➡ N ➡ O ➡ P ➡ Q ➡ R ➡ S ➡ T ➡ U ➡ V ➡ W ➡ X ➡ Y ➡ Z
The judgement by those who are not on social media, or active out here, can be frustrating. Often, the people who comment, “Oh you are always on Instagram / Facebook,” are the ones with active social life, lots of loved ones in their life, lots of people to talk to and vice versa, absolutely busy people mostly with full time jobs, people with a huge family, people who are simply not interested in social media and then some more.
For me, social media is a community I connect with. It gets really lonely when you can count on one hand the number of people who you can always talk to. This was not always the case with me. As much as I can remember, I had the most number of friends in college and when I used to work full-time. Both my weekdays and weekends used to be busy. I was a chatterbox, a fun-loving person, healthy and very active with loads of energy. Until around 15 years ago, there were some Sundays when I would watch two movies in a theatre with different set of friends. I would dine out with friends from school, college or work at least twice a week. I would travel by train to work daily, work until late, even workout, meet so many people and what not. There was a decade in my life when I didn’t feel sick or lonely. Birthdays were days when my phone would not stop ringing. The next day would be spent returning calls I couldn’t answer (this year, I received 4 birthday phone calls other than my immediate family)! Ah, those were the days!
In 2009-10, everything changed. I got sick and my life changed in a span of one year. Fibromyalgia and depression hit me bad, real bad. Recently, I was also diagnosed with anxiety disorder which was not actually surprising for me. I was (still am) in excruciating pain all the time. By all the time, I mean 24×7. And around 10+ other symptoms that you can check on my Fibromyalgia Awareness blog. Gradually, I couldn’t travel to work much or work full-time. It even affected my finances terribly. I started working part-time and it was tough as my successful career really took a back seat. I couldn’t travel to meet people like before and gradually started losing touch. Friends, family, colleagues… everyone eventually gets busy.
When you are suffering with a chronic and invisible medical condition, it is but natural to talk about it. It slowly starts consuming you however you avoid, in the beginning at least. Especially, if your illness is not (sad to say this) a ‘popular’ one and when people do not believe that you are really sick. This is 2021 and it is so unfortunate that depression and fibromyalgia are not taken seriously. So you end up either not talking about it at all or talk about you being in pain and unable to do so many things, at least once, when you talk to people. Later, you realise that people do not like to hear about your sorrow or suffering. They liked the older you – the one who could make them laugh all the time, the one who could rush to them whenever they needed you. I used to be a very funny, active, energetic and dependable person. Then I became someone else consumed by never-ending pain and depression. I felt utterly lonely, still do, at most times.
People started misunderstanding me, a lot. And started distancing themselves from me. I also learnt some hard facts about life. The moment I stopped being useful to some people, I was not of any importance to them. Yeah, you get used to it eventually and so I did. But I am a people person, I need to be around people, have friends, have someone to talk to. And yes, when I meet people now, I do not talk about my illness at all. If asked casually, my answer is consiously limited to 3-4 words… I have trained myself to do so. It might not appear by this long post though, but then the reason of my being on social media is around that part of my life.
I joined Instagram pretty late and became active months after becoming a mom. I am glad to connect with so many moms and amazing women, who may or may not know that they have kind of become my support system. These are people from across the world and such amazing ones. So now I don’t care when people judge me for being online. These are the ones who are and will never be there for me.
Facebook and other places are more about people mostly sharing how successful they are, their achievements, and of course some fun and serious stuff. But I find Instagram a little more better. People share about their life, often unfiltered and real life. It’s relatable, believable and you come across more people you don’t know already.
10 reasons why I spend time on Instagram: 1. I meet amazing people from across the world 2. It is nice to talk to moms with kids of the same age group as yours 3. Once you meet a few people here, you continue believing that kindness and goodness still exist 4. I get to learn and share so many things – activity ideas for kids, recipes, photography, painting… 5. Since this is a image based media, I end up clicking lots of pics with my daughter 6. I reconnected with a few old acquaintances and it feels so good 7. I started writing regularly again 8. I get inspired so much 9. I started reading books when I saw so many people promoting their work 10. I don’t feel lonely or depressed as long as I am here
Are you active on social media? What are your reasons? How do you deal with judgements?
Follow momandideas on Instagram for my motherhood journey (mostly no Fibromyalgia and depression talk there!)