Beingmommy, Children, Mindfulness l, Parenting

Mantra for mammas!

Mommies, time out for yourself to stop and smell the roses!! A direction which would translate into beautiful blossoms where the kids are concerned. The mantra which we all know works for SURE!! It’s our confidence in this truth which needs to be reinforced time and again.

A good degree of self – neglect on our part has an affect not just on our own well -being but this sure comes in the way of raising children, specifically when the onus is , for most parts, on an individual called mommy. The routine is by and large a great leveller for getting past the dailies. In this, what I have experienced gets forgotten is to pause in the midst of the daily chores and take some time out. Here, merely taking time out in spending time outside the house only does the trick partly. Much rather , at times, it seems all too contrived! It’s a temporary feeling of well being, at least for me. Also, leafing through the daily papers/ current read or engaging in wholesome entertainment provided by the media giants is again time involvement. For the mind to generally reflect on one’s behaviour and to make timely necessary changes ,what has really rejuvenated is pondering amidst the chaos, self – checks on repeated patterns and constantly working ways in the mind to plug the gaps. Kids are high demand material and they are capable of sapping a good bit of our physical as well as mental energies. What balances the equation is self reflection with a generous dose of self kindness. Somehow, if this becomes a way of life, as routine as unconscious breathing, we truly can feel good about life. Difficult but possible.

Much has been written about this in the Zen Buddhism, Sufi teachings, daily gratitude tips, kind words/ thoughts first thing in the mornings etc. etc. If reflected upon them with a thoughtful mind, these sure add flavour to our days and hence our childrens’. I am trying to teach my two the path to this in my own ways . Sometimes it pays, more often I hear rants like ” I will wreck so and so ” dating back to a grimace of yesterday, day before yesterday, day day before yesterday and more such back dated issues. Moving and marching on with self -reflection is sure not a cake- walk but a gentle one, it sure can be!!

Children, General, Mindfulness l, Parenting

Verdict- guilty!

Guilt pangs is all but natural in this exciting journey of raising kids. It manifests itself in many ways, both for us parents as well as our kids. Whilst guilt can be a part in the repertoire of my many feelings , something which has to be stuck with and fully endorsed is not losing my faith in motherhood. That’s certainly not nice!

The rules are all well known, implementation and that too timely is what the challenge is. It’s well documented not to raise your voice in front of their peers, not to spank them in public, not to yell our lungs out for personal inability to cope with situations and the many other not to’s. I have failed in all and more of these mentioned, not once, but several times and have slept with that very painfully nagging feeling. My counts are surely going south and this is where my faith stands strong!

The other day, my son very enthusiastically palmed of a currency bill in my hand. Without my questioning, I was told that this is the money he accidentally took from my wallet. I sense a good bit of guilt from him on this one but am also pleased at his self realisation. We really haven’t got deep in this ( the mother -son owe one another some notes here and there) and my benefit of doubt has kicked in this first time. It shall be duly addressed should I see a repeated pattern but as of now happy to note that the guilt has registered in a positive manner. Then again, when sibling rivalry kicks in my abode, I hear guilty pleas from either- or after the matter has been quelled. This sure doesn’t come instantly but hindsight thinking brings it out and that too endorses my faith.

We all mere mortals experience this guilt feeling in our daily existence right from binging on that extra slice of pizza or, in my case sneakily stealing the rightful owners’ chocolate. One way to look at this is feel guilty and do nothing about it, yet another one is to realise this and try and plug the pattern. The only feeling that pushes us to move on is the one of self realisation and as long as this value is in our kids, we are home!

Beingmommy, Children, Parenting

The many questions and answers!

Now I actually see it coming !! Can sense it and feel it with my older one..a natural progression from a little boy to a little grown up boy! And here is when all the questioning begins!

Schools are doing their bit in sensitising them to the imminent changes; what is really interesting, is to see how this is lapped up by them and how it is verbally transmitted. For the start, when these obvious changes were brought to their understanding, it was , I would say, the ease of expressing the terminology that caught me in a bit of a ” oh really!? ” kind of situation. It’s not that I was not expecting it, but when when the spoken sounds rather outspoken, it jolts you for a bit. The ease with the flow of many medical terms at dinner table conversations had to be explained explicitly for appropriate usage , both in time and context. My 8 year old was lapping all the information prematurely and the so called healthy exchange of crucial information quite turned out to be a tad bit too outspoken! I had to intervene, not to curb their curiosity, but to highlight the timely and measured usage of certain anatomies. It’s quite a queer feeling to hear, Are my testicles hurting or is my penis behaving???!!!

We grew up in times where this transition was understood in each ones’ own personal capacity. In that, half baked and piecemeal bits were gathered from here and there. As the advice from experts in this field today strongly suggests addressing the child’s curiosity as and when it’s aroused , the right and probably the only way to address this is with complete preciseness.  Most of us are in sync with this and also act in accordance with this norm, which in my mind should be the ideal case scenario.The openness today sure gets one to hear things more and, at times, its actually quite hilarious to hear the once little mouths speaking as a matter of fact! My two got into an exchange of choicest words amidst general banter and my role as a moderator ( as always!) kicked in sooner than otherwise!

The many hats one needs to wear to raise kids! Also, changing with changing times is the only option to get past one phase from the other. On and all, growing times for us folks too, and now the challenge for us is not just keep pace with them but exercise our minds more and faster to keep up with the demands of growing up!

Howgrowingupmatters as a name sure seems befitting for all of us there!

Beingmommy, Children, Parenting

One or two at a time

The rush for teaching all and more to the kids while they are small is all so very etched in possibly every parents’ grain. Demand overshoots supply for the lot out there who have made a brilliant business model out of kids ! The newer and ” first time ever” ideas in the name of empowering children is almost the norm for the so called hobby centres. In some cases, there sure is novelty in the concepts, but largely it is all designed to keep the kids busy and away from home.

I have consciously missed the bus rush where my children are concerned. My ride has been very slow! In my humble opinion, a good start is to channelise your kid into something he or she enjoys and this has to be largely gauged by folks at home. A moot question here is if the waters have not been tested , how does one know this? A chicken and egg story is but evident, at the same time, small doses of the spread available can be administered to them. It’s natural for them not to like all that is offered but over a few trials, somewhere the gut comes into force for all of us to steer our own buses! It’s only fair to keep it going but not overdoing the part in “too much too soon“!The journey has to be made more exciting than the final destination. Almost each time, the formula for success is slow but hopefully will come through eventually.

My formula, rather the mix for my two , has been a combination of a sport and a culture dose introduced in tandem. They have been consistent in their endeavours so far. I can also label this as lazy bodies slow to try out all that is out there , but I prefer this route over rushed and busy schedules. It’s nice to let them go at their pace. My only steady and rather constant feed are encouraging words! So far the journey has been good and we will explore new domains with age and time.

Beingmommy, Children, Mindfulness l, Parenting

Mum, not NOW! LATER please!

Hear these words ever so often!!

The thought to push away things for tomorrow is such a tempting option. I do this many a times in various contexts. To expect kids to act promptly and on time is a struggling battle, definitely to be won some day, some time, though there is this hidden wish that the sooner the better! At this stage, I feel I still have some more travel left on this particular journey !!

There is this strong urge to resist work, be it of the household nature or even the small expectation from their revered teachers at school. The last minute jerk is what is liked, like it or not! Disciplining them with the benefits of NOW to get to a better tomorrow is my best bet. I know and we all know that. Work at school assigned with a longer shelf life is almost  consumed on the last day before expiry! All days prior to that resonates with , not now, later! Small tasks like putting away the scattered mess is deferred very politely and conveniently. My experiments with certain foods also gets similar response! Here, it’s slightly different in the sense that mom’ s efforts in the kitchen and refusal to sample is handled a bit more gently ! ( at least the guilt bit is learnt by now!). Sometimes, my two speak and justify the later bit so convincingly, I almost feel wrapped deep inside multi layers of sweet talk!!

Till such time we take the uncalled for mommy stress upon us for them doing their work on time, this fight and long tirades with them would continue. Having said that, the control we exercise today slipping away sooner than we think is also not a happy thought! Therefore, the continuos fight! In most cases, eventually the work , be it school assignments, cupboard clearing, sorting papers and the likes does get through, the wish of them acting when we have commanded is what the strive is all about!

The NOW teaching has to be now! else as years are added, complexities also multiply and the reasonings for deference will only go up. Small but meaningful learnings at pre – teen stage will hopefully go a long way. Very soon, I see myself developing an all- together different approach to get my point across. They too are plotting plans similarly so it will be fun to see who wins or much rather am  hoping for a win- win situation for all, lest the losers ego takes a hit, something deeply avoidable!!

Children, General, Just for laughs

IDOL worship and musically yours!

Teens, pre/almost teens and their idols!

I do know that repeated doings are common to kids but when I hear my almost pre teen collating his play list and my under-10 daughter adding her two pennies worth to it, I am reminded of my days how when I developed a liking for a certain artist, the tracks would be a part of my wake up routine. I would go all out with the music till the lyrics were learnt by heart and my pride in this almost swelled! The music would resonate in everyone ‘s ears much to their angst.

Now, when it’s time for our kids to engage in similar doings, the constant noise of popular tracks today almost deafens me! More so the loop playing! The peers too contribute to all and more and the spread deepens and broadens with every new track added to the playlists. Of course,silently it does feel nice that one is clued in to the new and trendy , but…! Here, the one happy positive is that the mutual relationship between the young ones and me surging northwards when we are in sync! It’s actually fun, at times, to be with the joneses and hum the tunes with them!!

Another seemingly topical craze amongst kids is to have their IDOLS!The hero worship is absolutely amazing! We’ve all had our walls adorned with WHAMS and Springsteens so now it’s their turn to be seeing their Ronaldos and Messis first thing as their eyes open up to a new day. Today, it’s crazy how this is supplemented by so much and chokingly more feed on these names, some ugly truths and some secrets which ought to be in closets! My two almost see stars and moons in their current idols – football stars and ponies ( my little pony series of toys) respectively. The holiday haircuts boast of this craze and it’s actually quite a task to keep up with their spirits and many a time, I know and they know it too , when this spirit veneers towards a fake and pretentious adherence to their soaring craze!

This age of innocence will soon give way to teenage angst and more challenging experiences.Till such time, am happy to visit HAVANA ( it’s actually the next destination in my mind) and listen to the new – age bands while watching RONALDO gulping his power drink in the huge blow up adorning my son’s cupboard!

Children, Parenting

And when friends leave…

It’s hard for anyone to say goodbyes..harder still, when one’s daily pals relocate, move schools or leave the city..with them goes a piece of you and memories are what remain.

The past 2 months have seen about 4 such instances for my kids! The days prior to leaving seem to be their most precious moments. Every waking hour is spent either thinking about your pal or making efforts to maximise on the physical time spent with them. Inching closer to the dates gets them to make those oh so lovely picture cut outs, cards, small baubles and everything else which the friend likes. The cut, copy and paste activities are in full swing. It’s heart rendering to see their love come out in so many forms..my emotional taps almost start leaking when I see those creatives which tomorrow will adorn the walls and cupboards of their friends new setup.

Here, technology has really come to their rescue! While there is no replacement to the physical being, the periodic activities are always mapped by way of whatsapp, Skype and the other interactive media. It does quell their minds but somewhere I keep hearing the silent if- only’s, what- if’s , buts etc.! No matter how easy the connections have become, it doesn’t and cannot come a close parallel to actually actually a personal exchange of thoughts, words and emotions.

In all of this, I am certain of their resilience and adaptability!!

Very soon and probably sooner than I wish, they will charter new domains, establish new friendships and move on. It’s us adults who find it tough to build new connections because of the heavy minds and loads we carry thereof, but with kids, I only see hope and more hope in all their doings!

I am too missing the everyday familiarity but here it’s my job to ensure their smooth transition from one to the other and try and make their memories with their pals even more memorable! I just snail mailed a rather big piece of paper card with all sorts of endearing names, scrawls, colours , pastings etc. and I hope to continue doing this as and when the request comes along!! It’s the least I can do!