My decision to be a Mother was right!

As a mother, you would agree, we never really know what its like to be a mother before you actually deliver a child. It seems like a rosy picture perfect life with a cute bundle of joy, lots of cuddling, turning up perfectly dressed at birthday parties and play dates….of course then reality hits you!!

No one warns you about the difficulty of breast feeding, the sleepless nights, living in pyjamas, loose t shirts, living like a zombie – definitely for the first 3-4 months at least…

But, the perks outweigh all the troubles we undertake – the sweet baby smell, the cuddling and kissing, the delightful massaging and bathing ritual, watching the munchkins attain their milestones – turning, crawling, walking, baby talk….there are such endless moments which are the essential joys of motherhood 🙂

Motherhood is definitely tough – times are different from those we grew up in, challenges are extremely difficult and quite unforeseen at times; as a first time mother, there is always a doubt on your own decisions which somehow I have not managed to outgrow yet, I believe I will keep learning always (there is no end to it)..

These challenges seem miniscule due to the physical affection bestowed on me by my son- multiple hugs and kisses (even when I am disciplining him) which is a constant affirmation for me – I definitely made the right decision to become a MOM!!

Signing off now, as my son calls me for our “hugging and kissing” sleep ritual …:):)

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My Child’s tryst for Independence

My 5 year old son started going to play group since he was 1.5 years old…my intention behind the same was to ensure that he sees and realizes that here are other human beings other than his mamma and daddy :)..that worked well..his social skills improved, his speech improved and he has learnt a lot which probably I might not have been able to teach him at home.

Being independent myself, I always wanted my son to be independent as well…so it gave me immense happiness to see him doing his work on his own – putting his clothes in the wishing machine, opening his socks and shoes and putting them at their respective places, putting his plate and spoon to wash after eating..and the list goes on. But now his independence has gone to another level…he wants to walk independently on the road, wants to decide his own routine, says ‘NO’ vehemently if he doesn’t want something…also goes to the extent of throwing tantrums to achieve the same.

On one hand, I love the fact that he says NO and wishes to be ‘the man of his world’…but the other actions are indications of him wanting to branch and try and face the world on his own without our help…. I trust him to do a great job at that..but what do I do about the mother within me who is so skeptical of the world around her child which is unpredictable, untrustworthy??

Given today’s scenario, I really feel the need to be the 21st century’s Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot…to ensure no harm befalls my child….there are mistakes that he definitely needs to make to learn some critical lessons in life …but I would like to safeguard him from the other bigger errors which might be led by the environment and not my child… Don’t fear my child….your mummy and daddy are hear to fear for you and protect you…you enjoy life to the fullest and branch out in any way that you wish !!!!!!

Forced Feeding vs Pleasurable Feeding

Iam sure all mothers have gone through this conflicting feeling within themselves….should I be a “good mother” and ensure my child eats 4 square meals or should I be the “easy going mother” who feeds her child when he/she is hungry??

I have faced this conflict within myself since the day my son started eating semi solids….I have never forced him to eat at regular intervals…I do give him food during mealtimes and if he is hungry he does ask for food. He is fussy but enjoys what he eats …I dont even feed him (he likes to eat on his own since he started eating solids) 🙂

This is completely contradictory to how I was raised as a child….I was required to eat at all mealtimes irrespective of whether I was hungry or not and my disliked foods were forced on me for the “goodness” that they bore…but all that it led to was complete hatred towards food…

I started discovering the pleasures of food and eating only post marriage where food wasnt forced on me and I started relishing what I ate..luckily this progressed into my pregnancy which has been my “healthiest eating” phase where I ate all the vegetables and fruits out of sheer happiness and liking…..that seems to have passed on to my son….

He is not a big eater but he enjoys what he eats…even though his mealtimes are irregular (which Iam sure will stabilize with age)…

I have been under constant pressure from elders for letting him be and not being the “good mother” who feeds her child for 1 hour each mealtime irrespective whether her child is hungry or otherwise….

Iam willing to be this “bad mother” as I find my son loving food which I dont find in many children nowadays….or should I be the “good mother”???

To each her own I say 🙂

Confidence vs Self Doubt

As a parent, Iam always self doubting my job as a mother…Am I doing enough? Am I exposing my child to all elements that he should be exposed to at this age? Hope I am doing the right thing for him to progress in life without any hindrances…and so on

Iam sure as a parent all of us go through these feelings which get further enhanced when we interact with other parents and hear about all that they are doing. A couple of things that I have learnt over the last 3.5 years of being a mum is that no parent is perfect. What is important is your intention behind what you do for your child.

You need not have to show off or get fancy things for your kids to prove yourself as a good parent. Even daily interactions with your child teach them a lot of things with respect to behavior, attitude, self respect which will serve to be life learning lessons for them. Doses of cuddles, hugs and kisses regularly lead to a happy and content child….

Isnt that what we want finally? To raise a child who is happy, confident and loving :).

Lets unleash ourselves away from the societal norms and identifiers of being a good parent and follow our hearts and be confident of ourselves as parents :):)

Happy New Year!! – Puttandu and Vishu

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Tomorrow being the Tamil (Puttandu) and Malayali (Vishu) New Year, this post seemed most apt!!

And both are equally important for me as I am a Tam married to a Malayali 🙂 – so double celebrations. The day will start by viewing the Vishukani which is a display of fruits, raw vegetables, gold, currency – all those things which you wish for in the next year. Its believed that viewing these items first thing in the morning will ensure prosperity and abundance throughout the year. This Vishukani is set the night before by the eldest family member and is the first thing to be viewed by all family members. Also Vishu is the time for the younger members to receive blessings in the form of cash and kind from elders. So a great time to populate the piggy bank as well! 🙂

The dishes cooked on this day for both Vishu and Puttandu are a mix of all tastes – sweet, salty, umami, bitter and sour. This is indicative of the mixed flavours  that life offers and helps us appreciate and prepare for the same.

So in the festive spirit, sharing the recipe of the raw mango chutney we prepare for Puttandu!

Ingredients:

  • Raw mango – 1 or 2 big mangoes
  • Jaggery – can adjust as per the sweetness desired
  • Ghee – 1 tbsp for tempering
  • Mustard seeds – half tsp
  • Dry red chilli – 2-3
  • Fresh neem flowers
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  • Peel and shred the raw mango and keep aside
  • In a kadai, take the raw mango, add just about enough water to submerge it (not too much) and little salt. Cook on medium flame
  • Once the raw mango dissociates and reduces, add the jaggery and cook. The jaggery will melt making the whole mixture slightly runny. This consistency will get adjusted as you cook.
  • Once desired consistency is achieved (like chutney), switch off the gas.
  • In a small pan, heat ghee, mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds splutter, add neem flowers and red chillies. Once the neem flowers are brownish in color, add this tempering to the chutney.

Hope you try this and like this as well…

Looking forward to hearing from you!!

Puttandu Nalvazhtukal!!

Vishu Ashamsakal!!

Summer Coolers ….Urgent Requirement….Phew!!!

Summertime calls for the need to whip up coolers everyday….and of course with kids, taste is important.

My favorite coolers are more traditional and revolve around yoghurt and lemon.

–  Buttermilk/lassi – sweet or salted – its the ultimate cooler.

– The addition of pudina, coriander leaves, cucumber and asafoetida (hing powder) while blending adds a whole new dimension to the buttermilk, in addition to the natural cooling it provides. You can choose to add chillies and curry leaves as well to make it zingier.
Down South, we also add some tempering of mustard seeds in oil

–  The addition of some rose water or fruit pulp like mango, strawberry, chikoo enhances the flavor of the yoghurt and makes it interesting for children as well.

– Lemon – my favorite addition to the regular lemonade is grinding slices of ginger with the lemonade. It makes the regular lemonade more interesting and also provides health benefits.
Being a South Indian, curd rice is almost staple in the summers. To make it delicious and interesting, I add finely chopped cucumber, raw mango and a tempering of mustard seeds, chana dal, curry leaves, chillies, cashews and raisins…try it…its really yummy!!!

Wishing you a cooooool summer!!! :):)

Kids – let them choose their own life path!

Whenever I meet parents, grandparents, they of course talk highly about their kids and grandkids but also seem to have similar selfish expectations – “Woh bada hoke hamara khayal rakhega”, “Woh hamare khandaan ka waris hai”.

Whenever I hear this, a wave of sadness and anger overpowers me. Why do we treat our kids like some Fixed deposit or a Money back policy?

Didn’t we have kids because we wanted to create a bundle of joy with the person we love? A beautiful child to relive our childhood with? Correct me if I am wrong.

If that is the reason why we brought our kids into the world, why do we have such expectations from them, making them feel that they owe us anything? They don’t. It was our decision to bring them into this world and not theirs.

Can’t we treat them as individuals who can look forward to their life and build it in the manner they want without any tensions of our selfish expectations?

Can’t we be pillars of support and strength for them without any selfish expectations except of a great future for them!!

Let’s be selfless parents as we are meant to be!!

 

A loving and doting mom like all the moms out there! 🙂