Motherhood is the most Creative Job

For you MamaMotherhood, Innovation and Creativity could very well be synonyms. I honestly think mothers are the most creative humans. They have to be creative as they are entrusted with the responsibility of getting other, not so rational, humans not only to stay alive, but grow and bloom. My husband often remarks how his mother used to insist he should eat ladyfinger, cause eating ladyfinger helps to master Maths. On similar lines, I make sure my son finishes his Egg, by pretending to measure his muscles after every bite of egg. Bigger the bite, more the increase in muscle. My sister home schools her two sons and it is a pleasure to see how many science activities, projects and games she can create at home using simple household tools.

For some reason, I have always felt parenting and child welfare was the primary responsibility of parents and secondary responsibility of schools. Beyond parents and schools, there are not many who are really worried about the well being of our next generation. I was proved wrong recently as I came across an extremely innovative campaign by a FMCG brand to promote healthy hand wash habits in children (watch the campaign here).

The essence behind this campaign is to mix soap in the chalks that children use at school. Even if children forget to use soap while washing hands, the chalk dust will act as a soap. I couldn’t help but smile when a friend showed me this innovative product aimed at safeguarding the health of our children. It reminded me of the many tricks I use at home – getting Spiderman toothbrushes to get my son to brush his teeth, mixing citronella oil in moisturizers to serve as natural insect repellents, hiding almonds inside chocolates, making wheat pancakes instead of white flour, and so on. Our children will remember eating and enjoying the pancakes, but they will never know that Mom tricked them by making the pancakes healthy at the same time.

In a world where most brands are pushing processed junk food and tech gadgets/games in the naive minds of our children, it is surely nice to see that there are other brands who take their responsibility seriously and are working as innovatively as mothers, to make our children happy and healthy. Thank you Savlon for keeping the hopes of a better world alive in the minds of us Mothers.

 

#SavlonSwasthIndia

I had to leave your hand

catching finger

You nurtured me to grow

You were my back bone till I couldn’t keep my head held high

As I take the final push to stand on my own

I have little choice but to push you away at the same time

That is the law of nature

It is painful to be independent but it is more painful to pull you down with me

Back to Basics

Birds Nest

Being a mother is serious responsibility; one that most mothers (including me) often take a little too seriously. Mothers like me define the primary goal of Motherhood as, “Bringing up healthy and successful individuals”. Given this goal, it is pretty much impossible to measure the success rate of Motherhood. This is because there are many definitions for “Healthy” and even more definitions for “Successful”.  At the start of Motherhood, when our children our barely able to hold their head by themselves, our goals for Motherhood are sky rocketing. I remember, I started with a goal of “Class Topper” when my daughter joined Nursery. Even though she did not top the class, she did do me proud that year. Over the years, as reality started to sink in, my goal of success dropped to, “Straight A’s in all subjects”. As my daughter entered Primary school from Pre-primary  school, I had little choice but to transform the goal to, “A’s in Maths and Science. B will do for Languages.”

Sigh! My daughter turned eleven last summer. I am ashamed to say that I still define goals for her success. This year we defined the goal as, “Passing all subjects”, along with excelling in Dance, Taekwondo and Skating. I worked hard, day and nigh,t pushing my daughter towards this goal.  Given the syllabus and the frequency of exams, it meant that we work on the goal each day. Loosing even a day in the regime could make the difference between success or failure. And then it happened! My daughter fell sick with a severe Viral fever. She missed school for a straight one week. While I worried about her health, I will admit, I was more worried about the school exams starting next week. Thankfully, she recovered that bout of Viral and managed to scrape through the exams. However, the loss of one week at school meant that we were behind schedule in our Study Plan. So I decided, we would have to just work a little harder to catch up.

Today, as I look back, I can see how stupid this approach was. But then in the midst of school session and goals, I was blind. I think, it was then, that God decided to teach me a lesson the hard way. One month after recovering from Viral fever, my daughter was diagnosed with Dengue. As her fever rose and her platelets dropped, for the first time perhaps in my life, I stopped worrying about school grades and started worrying about her health. I held her hand and bathed her frequently with cold cloth. She shivered and cried aloud. I cried silently at her bed side.

I am happy to say that unlike me, my daughter is a fighter. She fought the Viral and the Dengue and overcame the fever. Over the following weeks she recovered slowly, but till now has not recovered her complete strength. In this whole process, as she slowly lost most of her physical strength, I slowly lost the spirit to push and pull her to meet the academic goals.

Each morning now, when we wake up for the school routine, I am happy knowing that she is healthy enough to get ready and go to school. Who cares, how she fares in school today!?! As long as she is alive, there will always be another day, another month, another year and another school session. If we don’t do well this year, maybe we will do better the next. Maybe we will never do well at school. Maybe that will be our reality! But then, maybe we will do well in Design, Arts, Singing, Dancing, Cooking, Sewing, Skating, Taekwondo, Badminton, ….. Life is full of possibilities. Even if we don’t do well at any of the above, I am sure we did a fantastic job at being a Mother and a Daughter to each other. For me, that is a good enough goal for this lifetime.

Life has taught me a simple lesson. The basics of life is good health and positive energy. Focus on these and life will take care of the rest itself.

P.S. – Like all my other blogs, this blog is based on True Facts. I am not ashamed of having being stupid in bringing up my children. I just hope that others reading this blog, learn from my stupidity and do not tempt God the way I did.

Topic of Debate – Peeing in Public Spaces should be allowed

Flower Power

I am not sure if it is just me or the complete air around us which feels extremely heavy. The Delhi smog seems lighter in comparison to the weight bogging our planet, thanks to the new elected President of USA.

Given this context, the last thing I wanted to do was write another blog about Trump. I thought it might be a refreshing change to start a debate, which was completely unrelated to American Politics.

So here goes, “Peeing in Public Spaces should be allowed, says the mother of three year old boy.”

The story behind my stand on the topic.

We have a big school in the adjacent lane of our house. It is a popular school but lacks a large enough parking space. By default, in the afternoon, we have a line of Auto rickshaws, vans and cars lining up our street, waiting to pick up the children.  Come 2:30 PM, school children dressed in grey, white and sometimes yellow uniform flood the street. There is a distinctive pattern between the younger and the older kids. The older ones have the freedom to loiter around street corners catching up on stories of the day. However the younger kids are pushed around by van drivers to huddle inside the waiting, humming machines. From the confines of one gate to another, they have not earned their freedom yet.

The older kids rarely cause trouble on the road, but the younger ones, tend to leave their marks by relieving themselves on the walls of our neighborhood. During the last society meeting of our colony, the colony elders debated the need to stop the pick up vans from using our street. It was not fair for our neighborhood. It was a safety and health hazard for the residents.

Alas, my family consisting of three year old Yog, disagreed. As much as we dislike the fact of someone relieving themselves in the corners of our house, we have come to learn, the hard way, that young children, under the age of five, have limited control. We either have a choice to let them pee in their pants, or guide them to subtly relieve themselves in a little corner on the road. We prefer the road.

I welcome anyone who would like to debate on this topic with me.

Mr. Trump, “Do you have an opinion on this topic?”

My Relationship with God

We Miss You

I do believe in God. I believe in the God who resides inside all of us. I am not really sure if It also resides in Temples, Churches or Gurudawaras. I honestly have never tried to find God in  such designated prayer zones. I feel people running these prayer zones use God as an excuse to make money, accumulate power and kill people. I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to say that that most evil in todays world, actually happens in the name of God.

In this context, I am averse to anything that people do in the name of God – like festivals, rituals, sacrifices. I like celebrations, but when those celebrations get tied to pleasing an external entity (like Goddess Lakshmi), it turns me off. Having said that, I do participate in rituals and functions as a token of respect for the elders in the family. I am pretty sure there is no one inside the Ganesh Idol, but if offering new clothes to it, brings a smile on the face of those I love, there is no harm in going along with the sentiments.

I have lived through hundreds of festivals like this. But yesterdays Diwali made me realize I had changed. After years of staying aloof from the preparations, somehow, this Diwali, I was looking forward to them. I woke up early, prepared sweets, lighted the diya in the temple, offered a prayer, decorated the house, dressed the children and generally celebrated Diwali the way it should be done.

All along, I kept wondering, what was wrong with me? Why did I suddenly start believing in Festivals? I was still pretty sure that Goddess Lakshmi would visit us, but that would be because of all the efforts put in by our team. My poorly cooked sweets would, if anything, make Goddess Lakshmi abandon me for good.  But then, I did continue the rituals in the house as my mother in law would have. If she was there at home, she would have cleaned the house, spread the best linen, created elaborate meals and lighted the whole house with smile and cheer. So that is what I did. By evening, I realized that it was not my belief about God that had changed, but it was my love for my mother-in- law that had changed this Diwali. Not having her at home for this festival, made me realize how much I loved her and missed not having her around us.

Relationship between a mother in law and daughter in law is complex. It cannot be compared to that of a mother and daughter but then in many ways it is far beyond that. In a joint family, it is the mother-in-law in conjunction with the daughter-in-law who defines the life that each member in the family leads. We are the partners working behind the scenes making sure that the engines are run efficiently at home. This Diwali, I missed my partner. I missed her warm smile, her food, her jokes. I missed her bustling in the kitchen and asking me to run small errands.

Each day, as she fights a stubborn infection in the hospital, I fight with the maids at home. I keep telling them that Amma is going to come home tomorrow, so you better clean the house properly today. But then, that tomorrow has stretched on for 2 weeks now. I am sure the maids see through it now. But I still believe that it can be as soon as tomorrow that she is back at home.

It is times like this, when I tend to look at God somewhere outside of me. Involuntarily, I look up at the sky and ask Him if He is there? Of course he doesn’t answer me directly, but when I see the eyes of our parents, I think I see Him there.

So yes, when God chose to be present inside my mother-in-law each day, I should not have any reason to worry about her. God will take care of her. But I still miss her a ton at home! It just doesn’t feel the same without her. So dear God, please send her home soon.