Beingmommy, Children, Mindfulness l

And they grow up faster than you think!

Nostalgia..aah! It’s that word that takes us all the way back to memories, those experiences, those aah moments and the fleeting flashes of days gone by. As the children somehow are fast tracking in their growth in almost all aspects, even more relevant to enjoy their childlike presence and shenanigans before time runs out!

With those memories of mine in the form of browsable material, I find myself going through them in a then and now kind of situation! It feels like eons have passed since they were in the toddler stage, touching and feeling all that comes in their way. Whilst it also feels rather relieving to now being done with all mash and pulp, it’s a gentle reminder to savour all their current ride-ons. Very soon these too shall pass as I see children of many acquaintances/ friends sailing on their current grown -up boats. With more than one child, it’s always a pleasure to see the second one growing on an auto mode BUT somehow I have felt more aware of the happenings! With our first borns, in dealing with them real time, the perspective is very different. It’s one of those am in a new kind of role and very often am in a fix kind of situation!With the second one, you actually actually observe the growing patterns. All of this will be rolled very soon into mode nostalgia so i am beginning to see the absolute necessity of being here and now, no matter how time consuming it may seem.

Nostalgia is all good and bad, in the way it is looked at. To be given a quick pass when it comes to going through our good old days, right from school to college to work life to current ( by giving it a pass I mean seeing them in the light of then and leaving it there). Where kids are concerned, it brings forth many joyous thoughts and a sense of heightened achievement in a very responsible role. To also laugh at all those many blunders but all at a good cost in hindsight, to improve our feeling of self worth in having gone through those years. The kids are still quite kids  I would say, so it gives me the positive push to look and only look ahead with my brightest eyes.

While I may be living, breathing and believing in the now, nostalgia wrt kids is all so very lovely!!

Children, Mindfulness l, Parenting

Measured entertainment and self discipline

Netflix and other such entertainment giants have so become a part of our daily lifestyle.The addiction beats all and the joy of uninterrupted supply of content is all so satisfying (experts have been given this vast area to research on and they are loving it!). The kids are not left behind in this media galore and their cup of joy is overflowing! Their eyes and ears are all over whenever a discussion on this comes up. Here, my point is in exercising major self discipline first on our parts before expecting anything otherwise from the kids. This measured entertainment and self discipline has to be taken forward  in all other areas pertaining to kids.

Dining out/in is so very easy that seeing the easy – breezy – cheesy access to all the favoured food places is slowly becoming more than I expect it to! Here , a lot of self restraining qualities have to come to good use, else I see myself giving in to all and sundry demands. ” Can we have waffles or butter chicken , like NOW !?” kind of requests have to be politely yet firmly quelled with a straight face if they seem to be spiralling. It’s all so very tempting to give in! Yet again a case of disciplining self comes in.

A very common request from our little ones is a quick hop to a friends place. Starting out at a relatively young age with the premise of making friends, today, this play date has taken the shape of a ” what do I do ” kind of situation on free days and free time and free available friends. It’s an engagement of sorts for them but again here , it’s nice to exercise restraint! Good for the child definitely but absolutely wondrous for the mother ferrying them up and down! Measured time with friends gives them more time for self and hence more self exploring possibilities.

Easier to keep up with promises to self on this rather important aspect of discipline but ought to be done! Tuning our own minds to like and enjoy the big spread that life has to offer may only add to our very own experiential learning rather than deriving them from unlimited views from the outside world. This learning and experience can then be very easily transferred on to our young ones. As they say, mind control is all we need to exercise! This might be the essence of self discipline.

Children, General, Mindfulness l, Parenting

Independent wirings for better connections

We really are taken back to our own childhood when we see our little ones sharing and exchanging information with us! Nothing has changed, nothing will change, nothing is expected to change and THAT is the good part. The only change we see is the way things are expressed. We too had stuff for mum and stuff for dad and liked the privacy in each case. Shared stuff was meant for sharing but the sanctity of individual relationships was equally, rather more important.

For kids, this weighty issue of “who reigns in my household ” is different at different stages of their growing up! Firstly there is no direct reign but prominence of one over the other still remains. Currently, in my set up , the quotients are handled jointly depending on the simplicity or complexity as the case may be. Being around most times, I have very conveniently taken the emotional hinging part along with the other procedurals. Not to say this is entirely my domain though and would prefer it that way!

The sensitivity required to manage kids when they are saturated with current favourites and can’t seem to figure out what next is very challenging! It’s a very helpless situation that the child gets into and it requires more than once talking to in trying to get them out from the cesspool of their own thoughts! Mom here comes to the rescue in handling some part, dad is also been spoken to separately.

My elder one is presenting into “I have my own pocket money, now where do I spend it”? The mother in me thrashes most of the ideas their brains generate for spending the monies..it all seems too wasteful, too extravagant and too not needed( typical mom and I am no different !) but to drill this into their minds requires yet again deftness of words and choicest of carefully put sentences .Here mostly dads come to the rescue of handling the matter more practically. Sometimes I really wish I had the dad temperament! It so settles most matters with absolutely authority and minimal intervention. It also settles fast, faster than fastest. The yes and the no is so crystal clear in their case; I, at times, question my own abilities and my confidence in them! (I still like the negotiations with me sometimes though, more so when they swerve and sway for interesting takes! I step out the minute the matter starts spiralling for a dose of quiet and step right back in to do my bit.)

On and all , I can say that the different personalities bring out the different elements of questioning, reasoning and solutions and this cements the bonds more. The idea is to bring out the best in our kids and actually it’s nice in ways that the mom – dad twain doesn’t meet!! Familiarity does breed contempt but here familiarity also brings proximity. Moms and dads don such different roles!!

Children, Parenting

Oh! Those siblings!

Having a sibling is wonderful for most parts, and this bit is well researched in many ways by the experts in the field. My two, as of now, can’t do without one another but the flash second where this beautiful bonding turns ugly is rather unpredictable! A function of many’s is what my current experience suggests.

Since I handle only two, my understanding is limited to this number.Much has been written about the combination, boy -boy, boy- girl, age difference, the older of the two etc etc. The moms age has also to be taken into context cause I feel that too is critical in sibling handling! Not to forget the environment which plays a big part and the stage of life we folks are in.

In my case, while it is established that the interests vary significantly, it all gets forgotten and diluted for want of a play pal. Here is when the sparks start and culminates into an almost burning down situation! The older one doesn’t hesitate or flinch for a second before berating the younger one, all for non adherence to the big sibling ego! The other day, completely non chalant were the two of them about each other’s respective days and the energies expended thereof. The common time engagement activity got out of control as the fatigue took over. The tiredness almost never registers in their minds and the disagreement clause kicked in. I quickly had to salvage the situation by cooking up an independent game play for both of them. The balls were changed quickly and the game of table tennis was quickly converted to a game of squash challenging them independently. My younger one was whisked with the lure of “who finishes first” kind of play.

Siblings will be the way they are! Revelries are a great part of this special bond! A mini joint committee also mutually solves most issues. It’s nice to see the different energies emanating and on and all, it’s a delight to see the inter dependencies! The wars are also historical so that too adds to the growing up years. It’s quite an experience in handling more than one child at any given point in time. Here the more than one clause kicks in, it really may not matter on the number but the equation changes completely when it is a 1 plus clause! Even more so when they are on the cusp of teenage/ pre teen.They are growing fast and we have to grow faster!

Children, General, Mindfulness l, Parenting

Thrust on TRUST

“I am letting you take my lovely back pack only because you insist, but if you ruin it, you watch out!”. Of course, said in a mild jestful tone, but somewhere after saying this, I started doubting my own trust in my kid! At most, my child ruining/ losing/ misplacing my bag is what it could be, but not trusting him enough surely is not getting anywhere either! I have sometimes felt the the lack of this word is not so much in their minds as much as it’s in us grown – ups!

Trust developed early on sure has its benefits! Their minds are a blank slate when they enter schools . As far as the school system is concerned, their first words/ instructions given to them have to be trusted else very soon dependency kicks in. All but is not known about situations panning out, systems working the way we wish to, behaviours we expect and more of these; what really keeps it going is our trust in all of this! Our sixth sense is rather strong on many things, the rest can be safely tucked away in a neat packet called TRUST. If it’s otherwise, it’s only really causing us displeasure.

When my kids embarked on their little hobby journeys, I started off by trusting their instincts and taking it further to the hands who were involved with them, namely their teachers. Not every story is a happy one but by and large, it does pay off in the larger scheme. When trust was entrusted on them, their confidence too showed an upward trend. As tomorrow is not known ,moving on with the utmost confidence and trust in the way things are, of course exercising caution when need be ( trust in God but lock your car!) is the way I make peace with myself.

I may be foolhardy in trusting them with careful handling of precious bric-a-bracs and letting them play around with objects like balls, racquets etc. in the house but then so far, it has been rather ok I guess . Sometime , someday, I may get ugly on this! It’s rather important to let them know about you trusting them! Giving them the responsibility with many first- time experiences, complete faith in their understanding of situations in their own limited ways, letting them resolve their own issues etc. can be a good trustworthy way forward for them to face the world.

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!