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!!

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!!

Beingmommy, Children, General

Easy fixes and mixes

The struggle or should I say the fight to finish the plateful of food has to be a regular , interesting and easy but sustainable exercise.

The importance of a balanced meal is all but known to us, to incorporate it some times gets sticky. A few choices that have worked for me are-

Breakfast options

A mug full of milk, ( plain or with cereal) ,a few almonds and an egg for that good dose of protein is ideal. A little carb thrown in by way of the crumbly sawdust called a toast completes this meal. A pancake made with almost all of the above is an easier option to not have the child say, I’m done ! halfway through the egg, toast or milk! Basically, at a school going age , when sleep triumphs over crunch munch first thing in the morning, an all rolled in one breakfast option is a good choice , from my experience. A French toast would do a similar palate approval from mommy dear! A banana thrown in or a few slices of some fruit almost makes you the greatest provider ever, where nutrition is concerned. In Indian households, where vegetarian options have to be exercised, if one can manage to get past that plate of poha, upma or even that humble sandwich, one is home!

Lunch/ dinner options

Nothing comes close to a square basic meal of protein, carb, veggies and yoghurt for me. It usually takes care of most food groups needed by a growing kid .The choice and the ways to include these food groups are specific to households but by and large, this provides a wholesome palate.

In betweens/ snack time

Now, when it comes to this which is the most sought after for kids, again, I have a few options which are quite easily doable.An easy to make cheese/veg/jam sandwich, a frankie made out of whole wheat flour with the fillings one has at home- could be plain egg, leftover veggies, sausages etc., some noodles/pasta again with the choice of meats/veggies, idlis and dosas ( these are batter driven dishes so this has to be prior planned) , any kind of toasty snacks with interesting toppings/ quick assembled dips or of course the good old cookies and the many kinds of biscuits come to ones rescue when time and mood is the crunch! Fruit works well too! Whatever it might be, as long as largely we are satisfied in providing some filling and interesting options, we should all give ourselves a good pat on our backs!

Will write my experience on foods that have worked for me on a holiday with kids soon!! Just back from a break so trying to get my kitchen organised!

Beingmommy, General

Short and sweet!

A departure from my otherwise written posts on behaviour/attitude/observations /experiences etc.around kids.

Here is my forever happy time list with the kids-

  • A nice bake or a yummy shake!( if drizzled with the sprinkles and the silver balls, even better!)
  • An unexpected small bauble randomly given to them ! If this qualifies as current fad collectibles, would be even more loved!!( moms agony of more junk in the house,but never mind!)
  • An unannounced trip to meet their favourite buddy.(out of turn, out of time!)
  • A complete binge day for gadgets and devices! ( this one will give mommy as many brownie points as she wants!)
  • A kitchen drawer full of their favourite savouries and candies ! ( from one lollipop to the other chip!)
  • A day for no NO’s!!! ( mother, are you serious???!)

 

Very doable , the only person who comes in the way is me ! So, on some days and I would say more on a regular basis, would be nice to incorporate a thing or two from the above ( and maybe some more!) and break all self created rules! Seriously. Am certain of priceless reactions and not to miss those even warmer hugs!

Beingmommy, General, Parenting

Handy lists with kids around

Many a times, when our child is sick 😷/ unwell 🤒  and ends up showing the same / somewhat similar symptoms as the previous time, one somehow has a memory lapse on the magic ” last time it worked ” medicines to be given, and this is rather annoying! Why does my memory not jog faster, so I start to think! Here , I am referring to ailments like a sudden nasty cold, cold with cough/headache, fever with chills, harsh sore throat, stomach pains with spasms, frequency of loo trips and the many other dealable ones. Not for anything else, one just gets so caught up in dealing with the ailing kid that the mind goes numb ! In this, a ready list can be referred to before calling the medical help. Most cases and most times, the list will pop out the relevant medication along with the dosage and the doctor intervention is avoided. Its just that this list should be handy , somewhere on the fridge or pasted inside their cupboards or wherever one feels appropriate! I have found this to be really helpful and useful!

Another list where medicals are concerned is the listing of all future time bound vaccinations to be administered ! We come back from one and since the next one is like 6 months away, it promptly goes out of mind!! I have been in this situation way many times which is what prompted me to list them down and put it in their medical files. It’s another thing of how does one remind oneself in looking at those files!! Well, this can be marked on the general household kitchen calendar which is used for other such similar listings..it has worked for me..

Yet another interesting  listing has been very handy in case of last minute ” mom, I need to dress up/ enact  a hunter/ monkey for school tomorrow ” type of times. This list essentially has the ready information about those hallowe’en masks, those pirate patches, the master chef aprons, the clown noses, the hunter hats, those odd coloured yarns, the many different animal masks amongst many others similar stuff. If one is lucky or if the discretion to be the character for the talent show or the school performance is in your hands, then, VOILA ! you are more than done!

Good idea to put down ” kids’ list to be made” in our everyday to-do lists if it isn’t already there!