Engaged Kids = Happy and Free Moms!!

summer

 

As the summer holidays approach, all mothers start scouting for summer camps and a plethora of classes to keep their kids engaged. This is of course to keep their hyperactivity in check. But more so I sometimes wonder if it is not to relieve ourselves of the time required to be spent with them. Do we ever ask ourselves – is this what our kids want?

Summer holidays are the time for kids to have fun, without any specific routine, visit grandparents (if not in the same city), enjoy a lot of free play which they otherwise are unable to do.

Above all, this is also the time you get to have those conversations and spend quality time with your kids which is impossible on regular working days. And it really isn’t as cumbersome as it seems :). You can have as much fun as your kid.

Some ideas which I am putting to use this summer vacation are (in addition to the annual holiday):

  1. Regular playdates with  friends (at the park or someone’s house)- this keeps the kids engaged with their friends and also helps us mommies catch up. So its a win-win situation for all.
  2. Visit places of interest – museums, parks in different parts of the city. These places are generally out of bounds on school days owing to the schedules of the child. This will broaden their horizons and yours too!
  3. Picnic at the beach – Nothing better in summers than to reach the beach early morning with a picnic basket and spend 2-3 hours before the sun is at its peak. It provides a lot of opportunities for free play. If other kids and parents can join- nothing like it! The more the merrier!! And its rejuvenating for us as well!!
  4. Farm visit – Today’s children hardly understand the concept of a farm. So some of us mothers have arranged a farm visit during a weekend. Its a learning+fun opportunity fir kids and an awesome way for us parents to have fun as well!!
  5. Visit grandparents  – My parents live in Kolkata. So in the summers around 10-15 days are spent there. Its great for the kids to interact with their grandparents and learn new things from them and we too get some time to relax as a payoff 🙂
  6. At home – worksheets are not as boring as they sound! Include cut-paste activities, reading and writing, painting (allow them to get messy) – these pique their interest. Also games are a lovely way to interact with your kids while having fun and also improve their attention span :). Else, just relax with their favorite movie enjoyed with a big box of popcorn 🙂

There are learnings embedded in all these activities which are more important life skills and cannot be taught in any classroom. These also help you spend quality time with kids which is a dire need currently.

Even for working women, some of the above can be put into action if not all!

Let children be children and enjoy their summer holidays as we did without the pressure of summer camps, mid brain activation classes etc. Lets rediscover our childhood through them

Do let me know how you are planning to spend your child’s summer vacation 🙂

 

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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 :):)

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! 🙂

The upgraded Fathers! – v2.0

The changing role of Fathers and the gusto with which it has been accepted by men is very heartening. Having experienced the earlier generation of Fathers, such roles seemed to be impossible to be adopted by Dads in the future. Nowadays dads are doing it all – changing diapers, attending to sleepless babies at night, accompanying the kids to the doctor for their shots or when ill, cooking when required, doing the household chores…and the list is endless

Given the increase in nuclear families and the need for the couple to work, the contribution of each parent becomes crucial while raising a child. Also, just like the Mother, the Father has a critical role which cannot be substituted. Having said that, it still needs the Father to be proactive and don the role of the Father, Husband, Son. Kudos to all the men who have done that and those getting there.

They are not only providers anymore..they are also responsible in building the image of all men in the child’s perception. And I must say, most fathers today are doing that beautifully – being a good, supportive husband, caring father and son which impacts the child positively and are life lessons for them.

Men are not naturally known to be multi-taskers, but the fact that they are moving towards it and honing their skills, makes me believe Version 3.0 is not far away..

So cheers to all the lovely dads out there – give yourselves a pat on the back and enjoy the compliments you receive on Father’s Day (record them if you wish for posterity sake. You might not get to hear these on other days :))!!

Looking forward to seeing v3.0 soon :):)

Evolution Of A Full Time Working Mom To A Freelance Mom!!

After working for 12 years, through my pregnancy and beyond, I never thought I would want to take a break..but I was getting signs to slow down ..after a lot of mulling around, I took the step (which many people around me told was drastic, what would I do after that…etc etc..you know the routine!!) …..even I did give a thought to what my future plans would be….I didn’t want to not work forever….

Surprisingly, as soon as I took the step, there was a feeling of liberation….(not that I hated my job…I actually loved it!!)…the feeling of being in control of myself…all my time at my own disposal to do whatever I pleased…..spent the first couple of days just enjoying not working and luckily post that I started getting freelance work…

I am able to do so much more now – take lessons, participate and be selected as a Safe Food Ambassador (SFA) for Tetra Pak, take part in a dance performance at my son’s annual day function, take off and watch an impromptu movie with him and his friends, an impromptu trip out of Mumbai…and planning so much more…

I am so glad to have taken the decision when I did….there is so much more to life than just work…and definitely this decision wouldn’t have been easy without the unconditional support from my husband (who by the way said that I would get bored a week into my break….not sure if that was true…didn’t get the chance to validate that hypothesis ;))

Its so much fun to be able to follow your passion and do what you wish to do….its not always about the money!! This new journey as an SFA has been enriching – meeting new, like minded people, learning from each other, motivating each other and being able to do much more than what we normally do….enjoying it completely!!

Wake up….enjoy this time before it runs out!!

Cheers to life!!!

Crossroads: Should our children trust others or not?

Life was relatively easier when we were kids..people trusted each other..we mixed around freely with people without any inhibitions or fear. But given today’s social conditions and shocking incidents all around us, esp around sexual assaults on kids, as a parent I am at a dilemma of what to teach my child.

I want him to be friendly with people but yet am unable to ward off my own apprehensions and lack of trust on people (which has got aggravated since I became a mother :)) What do I do? I hit the panic button as soon as strangers start getting friendly with him, reiterate good touch and bad touch at regular intervals lest he forget the same….that’s not how our children should have to live…they should be confident and perceive the world as a happy and safe place to grow and live in.

The only thing I hope is that we can take progressive steps and are able to leave behind a safe world for our children to live in without any fear which they are entitled to 🙂 An anxious yet hopeful mother

Raising kids- without kid gloves!

I really envy our parents. They had a much easier time raising us with lesser distraction for kids, hardly any peer pressure, more time dedicated to playing with friends in the playground, hardly any branding to impact their decision making and mostly more family members to interact with the child thereby giving the parents some free time.

We don’t have it that easy…not only do we have to raise our kids well but also fight the demons (branded toys, peer pressure, wanting large scaled birthday parties like others, junk food always and you can list many more of course) on the path literally like knights in shining armor to protect our prince and princesses. The demons manifest in so many forms, we end up always multitasking to protect our kids from its effects.

And with nuclear families on the rise, it’s difficult to make time for ourselves especially if you are like me who doesn’t trust their kids with any outsider (a.k.a maid, babysitter etc.)

 

Given this scenario, our parenting style has to be adaptive to the situation. We can’t always molly coddle our kids. They need to understand the bitter truths of life at an early age to be in touch with reality. For example, they have to share, what others do might not be best for them, it’s okay to not have latest branded toys, clothes etc.

To raise a grounded child, it is essential to let them grow in reality by exposing them to it and also leading a similar life. Let them experience love, sorrow, pain, fear. That is the only way they will appreciate happiness and relief and realize that no emotion is permanent.  This will help our kids appreciate what they have and what they really need. It will also help them differentiate between important and unimportant aspects of life. And in the long run it helps build patience which this generation completely lacks.

So, let’s remove our kid gloves, let our kids experience the reality of life thereby giving them the best gift ever – COURAGE TO LIVE LIFE COMPLETELY AND FACE WHAT IT THROWS AT THEM