Tag Archives: Mom life

G for Ghosts of the past

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 ➡ FG ➡ H ➡ I ➡ J ➡ K ➡ L ➡ M ➡ N ➡ O ➡ P ➡ Q ➡ R ➡ S ➡ T ➡ U ➡ V ➡ W ➡ X ➡ Y ➡ Z

A for Answer my question please, or maybe just be naughty

Mom: Would you like to have your food now?
Kid: (no response)
Mom: Please reply if you would like to have food now or after 10 minutes.
Kid: (no response, continues doing whatever the kid was doing)
Mom: I am asking you something.
Kid: (no response, looks elsewhere)
Mom: Will you please tell me if you are hungry now?
Kid: (no response, big time ignore)
Mom: WOW, look at this chocolate!
Kid: (instant response) Chocolate, where? I want it!

I recently came across the term – threenager. Have you heard this term? Well, my daughter is three years old and I might be using this word a lot I guess 😉 When you Google it, you will find various definitions. So I am not going to bore you with all those versions. Basically, it’s like a teenager phase but the much younger version!

My kid is not very naughty, in fact, she falls under the category where moms tell me that you are lucky that she’s not naughty. She recently started going to daycare for two hours and going out to play, and has discovered the power of certain terms and actions. I am actually glad that she is finally being like a child as she has only been around us grown-ups for really long. See, due to the pandemic, she was mostly indoors for two years (such a terrible thing for all kids that age, right?).

Kids this age in 2022 are actually in a very different phase than those who reached this milestone in the pre-Covid era. These kids have mostly been at home without any exposure to playgroups, preschools, parks, birthday parties and more importantly spending lots of time with kids their age. I am writing from India, so maybe the situation is different in other places, but we went through huge number of Covid cases and never-ending lockdowns. So these kids are suddenly coming out of their home cocoon and I feel really bad that they missed the gradual transition i.e. exposure to the real outdoor world in a way we had.

I, a first-time-mom, am learning new things every single day. More importantly, I am learning how to deal with 3-year-old stuff-that-needs-dealing-with in a very nice-momly way. It is obvious that, just like them, even the parents are not prepared for the sudden change. My daughter has just discovered the power of NO and the power of IGNORING 🙂 As much as I know that we have been lucky in this area as she was indoors for a weirdly long period, and as much as I am glad that she’s now enjoying her childhood the way she should, I do get irritated if I do not get answer to the same question when asked in 10 different ways. Come on, I am a human too and new to this behaviour 😉 It’s really fun when I look back at these incidents and talk or write about it, but it is sometimes really very difficult in that moment.

So, just like kids are now getting used to the normal times, we too need to be quick in adapting. It is like a jumpstart after a two-year gap. A one-year-old child would ideally start gradually mingling with the outside world and discover new things, one day at a time, while you would gradually grow up to parenting and teaching the rights and wrongs accordingly. But due to the coronavirus related delays, these kids are getting all that exposure suddenly and we are often left overwhelmed. So, while I too don’t have it all together at all times, I would like to say to think about the following when you are getting exhausted / irritated with the sudden behavioral changes:
1. Remember, it’s a sudden transition for them and they are exploring what happens when they behave in a certain manner.
2. You might have told the kid that certain things / words / behaviour are not right for kids, but they just found that the other kids do that. So they might be confused.
3. They are all too excited / not very comfortable to come across so many new people / kids suddenly, give them the time.
4. Kids are kids. They will be naughty, throw tantrums at times, not respond how you expect them to, say NO more often than you can imagine, etc. It’s okay. Try not to lose it in their presence.
5. C’mon, they were deprived of the normal childhood complete with all fun, naughtiness, falls from slides, playgroups, parks, zoos, etc. for a really long time. You have actually been lucky to spend so much time with them, right?

Anyway, here’s hoping that covid disappears soon and we stay sane and our kids stay a little naughty and very happy forever!

Taking this moment to pray for the kids in Ukraine and their parents. I can’t even imagine what they must be going through, their daily struggles, fears and challenges. We all know that the news cannot show the real picture and we can’t even watch what they are living through. May there be peace and love and normal times soon.

This is my first post for the letter A as part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge 2022. 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

When a mom falls sick

All moms can relate to this, right? The younger your child, the tougher it is if you fall ill. Especially, if you aren’t the wealthy types with nannies and house-helps to handle everything while you get the required rest to recover. Lucky you, if you stay in a joint family where everyone supports and helps each other out or better still, if you have a partner who knows all the basic life skills, including cooking, cleaning and CARING!

The current Covid scenario hasn’t made it any easier with the fear of the virus every single time we moms are down with fever, cold, cough or any symptom remotely pointing towards it. We need to isolate ourselves from our kids until we are certain that we are in the clear.

How many of you have dealt with these questions/worries in your head when sick:

  1. What if my child contracts fever or cold (any other contagious illness) from me?
  2. Who will cook for my kid now?
  3. What and how do I cook for myself and the family now?
  4. It can’t be Covid, can it be?
  5. Oh damn, more screen time now!
  6. What about school/activities/playtime at home with me?
  7. How do I manage all the chores?
  8. The baby naps only with me but I can’t touch him/her yet!
  9. I MISS HUGGING AND KISSING MY BABY!

The list is endless (add yours in the comments and I’ll update it).

What really irritates me is when someone asks me, “Oh you are sick now, so who will cook? The grownups can order from a restaurant but what about the kid’s food?” This question often supersedes the questions that can actually make a mother feel better – “How are you feeling now?” Or “How can I help you?”

C’mon, it’s 2022 and moms are humans too, you know, the species that when sick can heal with love, care, rest and medicines. Strangely (or maybe not so strangely), in many Indian households when the husband/kid or any other family member is sick, a wife/daughter-in-law is supposed to cook all healthy meals, soups, cut fruits and what not (which she does willingly, even when not asked for). She cares for them, worries about them and checks on them regularly. Unfortunately, when she is sick, she’s often all by herself and people only want her to get well soon because who will do the chores??? She still does as much as she could, because she just cant sit idle, she’s tuned that way.

So I have a few things to tell each and every person reading this so that the next generation has a better life:

  1. Cooking, laundry and cleaning are life skills. These are not tasks for women alone. If you have a son or a daughter, teach them the same. You should learn every task you need to be done if you stay all by yourself at any point in your life. Dependency isn’t good. Oh how frustrating it was to see men posting videos of cleaning house or cooking when coronavirus and lockdowns just started!
  2. For parents of small kids – Please let both boys and girls indulge in pretend play. Kitchen set, dolls and dollhouses, the washing machine toys, cradle toys are for both gender. Every single time you buy these toys for only girls while opting for cars and tool sets for only boys, you are making a contribution towards gender stereotyping.
  3. Please teach compassion towards all to kids right from a very young age.
  4. Practice gender equality at home. If a kid sees mom doing certain tasks and dad doing certain different tasks, the kid feels that’s the way it is meant to be.

And more importantly, if you have a sick mom/woman in your family, please care for her, check on her once in a while, tell her that she can relax and not worry about the chores, take care of her. If your friend/colleague is sick, please message and check on them because maybe they are feeling lonely in a house full of people where probably no one cares.

If you are a mom who is unwell, please ask for help, even if you need to ask several times. Please listen to your body and say NO when you must rest. Also, your child is observing you and you don’t want the child to grow up thinking that when a woman is sick, she still needs to do everything.

Stay well. Take care.

Hugs and love,
momandideas.com

15 Tips on how to relax as a tired mom

Are you a tired and overworked mom? Welcome to the club! The desperation to feel relaxed, even temporarily, makes us spend whatever little time we get to research advice everywhere possible. You can Google all the possible solutions shared by many mothers and parenting experts online. Some of those ideas really work. But, let’s be real. Not all of us have that liberty to follow all those tips (I will share a few later in this post) to relax as a mom. Some of us are single moms, some are without family support, some are juggling jobs and home, some have more than one kid, some have elders to take care of, some have chronic illnesses and relatively lower energy levels and some are really really very tired regardless of whatever our Instagram pictures show the world.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

It’s been 31 months since I became a mother. As some of you following my blog know, I suffer from fibromyalgia and all the symptoms that come with the syndrome. And a few more medical conditions that make even some of the simple motherly tasks extremely difficult for me. I did not give in to my medical condition and have been pushing myself every single day of excruciating endless pain and now severe sleep deprivation. Needless to say I have researched all the tips to relax over the last two and a half years. But frankly speaking, I haven’t been able to implement anything. I could not even manage to do those kegel exercises after a normal delivery (with forcep assistance at the last minute) and well, my bladder has started to really bother me now. That’s a story for a different day.

Last night, I finally hit the bed at 2 am thinking I would be able to sleep then. I co-sleep with my toddler. She was fast asleep and I switched on the night light to have some water. That’s when I gazed at her lovely face. She was sleeping like, well, a baby! It was a magical moment that took me to the time when she was born and what followed was almost meditative. I reminisced those initial weeks of the super hectic new mom life. Remember that time? When you are just learning everything from how to help a baby sleep, feed her non-stop, burp her, change nappies endlessly… you know that phase! But at the end of that super long and tiring day, however drained out we all new moms were, remember that one thing that made us smile late in the nights? Yes, looking at our baby for so long, watching that tiny (often smiling) face, those tiny fingers and toes, and feeling the miracle of motherhood. I remember just watching her for long while she was asleep and somehow that made me feel so happy and relaxed even when I knew she might wake up in two hours for another feed!

So, last night I realised that over the months, I did less of that… watch her sleep at the end of the day and reliving the memory of the day I held her in my arms for the first time. The daily chores and running around make us forget the most beautiful day of our life. That moment has so much power to make us feel happy and relaxed. Trust me, last night felt so special and different as I just watched my toddler sleep, the way I did when she was a newborn. So the next time you are feeling tired and helpless, just look at your sleeping baby and know that you are doing a wonderful job as a mom.

Also, try these tips to relax when you can, if you can (I am keeping Covid lockdown in mind):

  1. Get some me-time, even if it is for 15 minutes in the privacy of your bathroom :). Read a book, browse the internet for non-parenting stuff, watch some show, chat with a friend… something you don’t get to do very often now.
  2. Exercise, meditate or do some yoga. Else play it on the TV and do it with your toddler.
  3. Play some music which is not nursery rhymes 🙂 Dance, even if you have two left feet! Sing, even if you think you are bad at it.
  4. Indulge in some self care if you have been avoiding it since you became a mom
  5. When you spend time with your kid, sometimes do a fun activity that you both can enjoy. Play a game from your childhood, like hopscotch.
  6. Go for a walk.
  7. Talk to a friend or a cousin or a nice relative or neighbour you haven’t spoken to in a while.
  8. Play a game on your phone / gaming console / whatever, but nothing stressful.
  9. Indulge in good food to be in a good mood.
  10. If you can’t step out, just look out of the window and observe whatever you see, sky or streets or people or birds. Try not to think about what all work you need to finish today!
  11. Start writing a diary.
  12. If someone offers help, just take it. Don’t feel guilty about lying down for sometime when someone watches your child.
  13. Schedule your day. It works for some parents but if this stresses you out, don’t do it.
  14. Post covid, well get out and meet people, eat out, watch movies and visit malls and parks and everywhere outdoors!
  15. At the end of the day, don’t forget to watch your sleeping kid for a few minutes and think about all the good memories with your baby!

Most importantly, do not compare yourself with other moms who you think are able to multitask more. And, never get affected if someone judges you. They are not in your shoes and only you know that you are doing your best for your kid.

Hope some of this helps you. Do share what helps you relax as a mom. And remember, you are awesome!

Happy parenting!

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio 

Colour Sorting and Counting Activity for Toddlers

Our toddler activity of the week is the perfect idea for fun learning while focusing on: Fine motor skills + colour sorting + counting (maths) + balancing!

Toddlers get bored of playing with the same toys and doing the same activities. So the other day, I tried this idea and 26-month old Mishika enjoyed the activity a lot. It was a boon that the pipes of our construction toy almost perfectly fit on the Lego base plate! So I gave her a demo with two colours and she continued with the columns with much excitement.

The process involved colour sorting, counting, balancing the lego plate and arranging the pipes at the interval of two green points / pegs / dots each. The pipes are a bit loose on the base plate so they did fell at times and she managed to place them again. The best part was that she carefully lifted and balanced the entire creation ❤️

Give it a try and see if any of your other toys or blocks fit the lego base plate and this could create a lot of interesting game ideas! Pls let me know how did you like this innovation by us.

Late teething: Should you be worried?

My daughter is 18 months old at the time of posting this article. Until two weeks ago, she had only four teeth and though one more tooth bud was visible for many weeks, no tooth appeared. She started teething pretty late. And every tooth took over a month or two to appear. It felt like a really slow motion thing. Needless to say, I was very worried as a mom.

Photo by Hu1ed3ng Xuu00e2n Viu00ean on Pexels.com

I ended up reading up articles after articles, researching every nook and corner of the internet. Though everything I read said that we should not be worried and that some babies start teething late, being an over-read mom, I was not completely satisfied.

There were more reasons to my worries though (yeah, I am justifying this :))

Firstly, my baby wasn’t able to eat a lot of things because she didn’t have more than four teeth, or so I thought was the reason. This worry was put to rest later by her pediatrician who said the gums of babies at this age are enough to help them chew all that they should be eating. Secondly, I have a chronic illness and few other medical conditions. I really needed to wean my baby off breast milk since a few months so that I could start taking my meds and care much better for her. But until she started eating well, I didn’t want to stop feeding her (at the time of this post, I am still feeding her). Also, she completely refused everything from cow/buffalo milk to formula. Hence, I was worried about her calcium intake. All these factors combined, her delayed teething was a concern for me until a week ago. That’s when she has started eating a little better. And even taking sips of cow’s milk (a little colder with a dash of some flavour like cashew powder, jaggery or very little powdered sugar). Her fifth teeth is a bit visible now.

The point being, I really wasted days worrying unnecessarily. So, if you are in my shoes, seriously do not worry unless absolutely no teeth appear at this stage of your child’s growth. That’s when you have a word with the pediatrician, and trust me things will get better. Every single thing I read mentioned this, but I still kept worrying. Every baby is different, so give it time and enjoy the beautiful stages of your child’s development. A friend’s daughter had no teeth until her first birthday and after a few months several teeth started appearing one after the other. Some kids I know had eight teeth by their one and a half birthday, some only two. So, when everyone says don’t compare kids, it is sane advice.

Late teething
Photo by Jonathan Borba on Pexels.com

Teeth will appear, sooner or later. Kids will start eating well, sooner or later. Some kids eat more, some less. My baby hardly eats anything for a day or two barring a few fruit or roti bites during the day, and halwa, her favourite, along with a lot of breastmilk. And then, on some days, she eats really well all through the day.

So, it’s okay. Don’t worry too much about teething. If you are still concerned and crazy-worried-when-not-necessary mom like me, please have a word with the baby’s doctor and trust me, you’ll feel much better. Before you know, the day will come when you’ll be telling your kid about tooth fairies 🙂

Happy parenting.

Toothy smile 🙂

Starting a mom blog

Listen to the Podcast
Photo by Andrew Neel on Pexels.com

I have been blogging since 2004. That’s around the time blogging became a trend with writers, copywriters and all those who felt they should write but never knew where to start.

My career in advertising and online communication further made me all the more interested and active in blogging. There was a time when I was running around a dozen blogs, and that too I was active on all. What can I say, I had too much to say 🙂 I joined blogging communities and groups, won some awards/prizes for my posts and all too! That was all until I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. A truly debilitating and invisible illness. Life changed, slowly and a lot. Typing became tough, sitting became tough. At this very point in my post, with such little number of words, my fingers, elbows, shoulders and neck are already hurting. That’s how things changed. I reduced writing blogs, started working part time and then started freelancing.

Finally, after 10 years of marriage and giving up all the strong meds to plan a baby, I became a mom on 20th November 2018. My little angel is 18 months now and as she takes a decent nap in afternoon. So, I can get some me time.

However, with the covid19 pandemic, anything and everything we read and watch these days are obviously about it. I have been reading the news all the time (the break time, of course!) since over two months of lockdown and I realised I should reduce it. I am literally just sleeping 2-3 hours every 24 hours these days (will talk about it in another post). To use a break from the daily chores and have a me-time, I decided to do what I loved most – writing. Since my life these days is all about being a mother, I guess it’s time to start a mom blog to share my experiences and ideas as my little one enters her toddler years. And honestly, I love the sound of being a mom blogger, don’t you?

Hope I am able to share many useful insights, information and ideas with MOM & IDEAS. I am open to suggestions, please leave a comment and join me in this new journey.

Happy parenting!