Category Archives: My Voice

A letter to a Mom from her Toddler

Dear Mom,

It seems like I gave you a very hard time today like I do on most days perhaps, as I can sense by your exhausted and flustered state. I am sorry but I did not mean to do so. I know there are times when you are at your wits end because you are unable to figure out the reason for my tantrum or outburst. But trust me Mom, that during such times, even I have no clue about the cause of my tears or feeling of distress. I am still learning about a lot of things. I have just begun to acknowledge my feelings. I have just started understanding the ways of the world. There is still so much that I cannot comprehend.

I know that you get tired of my howling at times. “Why do you have to cry or scream for everything!” you say. I am sorry mom but I am slowly learning to express myself and don’t know how to handle my emotions yet. I can communicate but I have a long way to go before I can talk to you clearly about what is going on in my mind. When you refuse to let me do stuff which I am keen to do, I feel unhappy. I want to explore everything in this world which I have only recently begun to perceive with my own senses. But, according to you I cannot do certain things and I wonder why. You explain to me about danger on some occasions but I don’t really recognize the safety risks you speak about and even if I do, I am not yet capable of retaining it all in my memory.

D For “Do Not Judge A Child With Your Own Yardstick”

//This article has been sponsored by Dettol and was first published on mycity4kids. Below is the link to it:

http://www.mycity4kids.com/parenting/my-voice/article/d-for-do-not-judge-a-child-with-your-own-yardstick

It was a lazy, summer afternoon and the clock seemed to be ticking away at a sluggish pace. I was racking my brain to figure out the next activity to keep my toddler occupied as she wasn’t ready to shut her eyes for a quick nap. I am amazed by the stamina of these tiny tots who can tussle with sleep and stay hyper-active even when their body is signalling otherwise. The buzzing of my mobile handset jostled me out of my thoughts and I was pleasantly surprised to be greeted by my friend who lives in the same locality. She had been keen to visit us since a while and apprised me that she would be arriving in a few minutes. I was eagerly looking forward to meet her and her infant, and rushed to churn curd to prepare a beverage for them. They were home soon and I was introduced by my friend to her mother-in-law who was accompanying her as they had arrived directly from a mall. After the typical exchange of pleasantries, I offered some homemade snacks along with iced buttermilk for them to relish. As we spent a while indulging in some general chit-chat, the topic of discussion steered towards parenting which was bound to happen with two children around. My 2 year old daughter was clinging to me, hence Aunty tried to garner her attention by engaging her in a conversation. After a few unsuccessful attempts, finally my daughter started responding but lost interest when Aunty began to ask her about what the various English alphabets stand for.

“Sweetheart, you didn’t tell me what does ‘D’ stand for? ‘D’ for…??”

Mommy’s First Day Of Preschool

If you are a parent to an infant or a toddler, in all likelihood, you must have experienced more than one “I wish I could get a few hours of peace” moment. And then, that day arrives at last with a boom. The first day of your child at preschool/school! All that you love to do but never got a chance to indulge in due to parental responsibilities, you save for this big moment. “I will write more once my child starts going to school”. “I will watch movies when my child starts going to school”. “I will catch up on my lost sleep when my child starts going to school”. “I will visit the parlour at peace and pamper myself once my child starts going to school.” “I will this.” “I will that.” Isn’t the list endless? But, all you do once the child is away is sit aimlessly and cast a vacant, faraway stare into infinity.

So, yesterday was my daughter’s first day at preschool. No, let me correct that – it was my first day! Because I definitely seemed to be the more anxious, besieged and lost one. She is almost 2.5 years old and I was amazed at her confidence in handling this transformation sportingly and with zeal and alacrity. I had decided to wait outside the premises of the school on the first day but was advised by her teacher to leave once she settled down. When I reached home, I could sense restlessness creeping inside me and then, without a warning I could feel hot tears trickling down. Damn, I was weeping! I sincerely don’t know why but I was. Maybe because I was terribly missing the presence of my daughter and could feel the void; maybe because the peace I was desperately waiting for seemed like a sinister stranger whose noise was more deafening than the tumult created by my daughter’s antics; maybe because I was feeling guilty about having been a bit harsh on my daughter over the last few days due to extreme toddler meltdowns, whereas she made things trouble-free for me at such a crucial juncture of our lives; maybe because I was fretting over her well-being as she faces this big bad world outside; maybe because of the fact that she is growing at rocket speed and time is just slipping through my fingers like sand; maybe because I was genuinely glad and keyed up about her entering this new and vital phase of  her life; or maybe because it dawned upon me that finally I have to take that first step towards cutting the umbilical cord.

‘Mommy Guilt’- No More!

//This article has been sponsored by Dettol and was first published on mycity4kids. Below is the link to it:

http://www.mycity4kids.com/parenting/my-voice/article/mommy-guilt-no-more

The nascent years of parenting are full of indelible “firsts” – your baby’s first smile, the first step, the first word and the list goes on interminably. While these special milestones make for pleasant lifelong memories, there are also the other “firsts” which can be agonizing. Like the memory of the first fall! I still distinctly remember the first time my daughter had a nasty fall from the bed. Ouch! She had just begun to commando crawl and was playing on the bed, while I was arranging our clothes in the closet in the same room. I had an eye on her throughout and then just in a split second when I turned around, there was a thud. I couldn’t fathom how she reached the corner of the bed so quickly but she did and it was excruciating to see her howl. I panicked and kept checking for any untoward signs. I breastfed her to pacify her and finally, she calmed down and fell asleep on my lap. That day I felt immensely guilty and shed copious tears, blaming myself for the incident and wondering what if some serious injury had occurred. In spite of my mother and other veteran parents reassuring me that every child experiences such falls at some point or the other, it took me a few days to get over the remorse. My mother also narrated some related amusing incidents involving my brother which proved to be some solace.

Mommy’s Day Out – J&J Bloggers Meet

“You are behaving as if it’s your first day at a new workplace.”, remarked my husband with a chuckle when he witnessed my wardrobe which was in shambles as I tried to dig out that perfect outfit for the occasion.

Well, after I resigned from my plush IT job in 2013, I never really attended any major event or meet related to work. So, my excitement for the J&J Bloggers Meet organized by mycity4kids.com was almost the same as it would have been for my “first day at work”. One of the things that I absolutely love about being a blogger is the opportunity it gives me to connect with some brilliant and creative minds. I was eagerly looking forward to meet my fellow bloggers whose work I immensely admire. I was also keen to meet the energetic and talented team of mycity4kids.com. To be honest, I had refrained from using J&J products for my baby because I had my own reservations about them after reading a particular news article which was widely circulated on social media. Hence, I was certainly looking at getting my queries answered by the J&J team during the bloggers meet.

Summer Fun At Grandparents’ Abode

//This article has been sponsored by Dettol and was first published on mycity4kids. Below is the link to it:

http://www.mycity4kids.com/parenting/my-voice/article/summer-fun-at-grandparents-abode

“The reason grandparents and grandchildren get along so well is that they have a common enemy.” – Sam Levenson

My daughter is now almost 28 months old, out of which she has spent about 10 months in all at my parents’ home at Visakhapatnam because of my husband’s business trips post her birth. Due to this reason, my daughter is extremely comfortable with my parents and I can very well notice that their presence is always a great stimulation for her. She is very attached to me and the only person I can confidently leave her with for a few hours is my mother. Knowing that she would care for my child just like I do gives me a sense of security and they have great fun together.

To the Mother who was not revered

//This article is the winning entry for the Momspiration contest conducted by mycity4kids. It is also available at the below link:

https://www.mycity4kids.com/parenting/my-voice/article/to-the-mother-who-was-not-revered-momspiration

Mother – the very mention of this word invokes deep emotions in our hearts. A mother is associated with veneration, strength, unconditional love and warmth. Our society places a mother on a pedestal, but does this same society demonstrate adulation and admiration for every mother who deserves it? 

During my stint as a volunteer with an NGO, I was fortunate to have had the privilege of meeting some extremely wonderful and inspirational individuals. Each interaction that I had with them has been a life lesson and has been instrumental in making me the person that I am today. That was the time when my friendship with Reshma, an employee of the NGO, happened. I believe that just like there are soul mates, there are also soul friends. These are the friends with whom we feel an instant connection; these are the friends who become an integral and indispensable part of our lives even before we get to know them enough. Reshma is my soul friend who is an inspiration in every sense of the word and she is someone who stands by me like a rock come what may. I thank my stars that I got an opportunity to bond with someone like her.

Sexual Abuse Survivors – The Ugly Reality

// This article was first published on the prestigious platform “Incredible Women of India”. Below is the link to the article:

Sexual Abuse Survivors – The Ugly Reality

“Oh, poor thing has been scarred for life.”

“She has become a big blot on the family’s reputation.”

“That is really sad… but she should have been more careful.”

“Why were you out so late in the night?”

“She has lost everything along with her dignity.”

“How will we face the society now? We are ruined!”

“Better go home and forget about the incident, a case will only subject you to more humiliation.”

These are just some of the awful things we say, and in doing so, continue to victimize the victims of sexual abuse. They face this everywhere – in their homes, at the police station, at the hospital, at their workplaces, in their neighbourhood. Through our insensitive words and actions, we only add insult to their injury.

A pimple reminded me of a simple lesson in parenting

//This article has been published by Women’s Web and is also available at the below link:

http://www.womensweb.in/2017/05/teaching-kids-to-be-accepting-lesson-in-parenting/

For parents, their children are the most beautiful living creatures in the whole wide world. But after becoming a Mother, I realized that the reverse holds true as well. Can you imagine someone calling my “Aadhar card” picture beautiful? Well, yes that someone is none other than my 28 months old daughter. Because of the obvious shift in priorities, I have barely bothered about the way I have looked since the time parenthood happened. But, she never fails to shower me with accolades, more so on the most unexpected occasions.

So, a nasty pimple popped up on my forehead yesterday, and my little one was enamoured by this irritating bump on my face. She exclaimed with exhilaration – “Mummy ka pimple sundar lag raha hai” (Translated to “Mummy is looking pretty with the pimple”). Only a child can find a pimple on the mother’s face beautiful! I was evidently amused by her compliment and laughed uproariously. But she seemed a bit vexed with my laughter because she was expecting a heartfelt “Thank You” from me for her admiration, as that is how I usually respond to her praises. I was about to reason with her by saying – “How can this pimple be pretty darling?”, and then refrained from doing so as soon as realization dawned – the realization that I was unnecessarily feeding in the ridiculous notion in her head that a pimple is ugly; the realization that however much we want to believe that our soul is what truly makes us beautiful, certain perceptions are too deeply etched in our minds and subconsciously we pass them on to our children.

Yes, I Am Still Breastfeeding My Toddler. No, It’s Not A Bad Habit.

// This article was written as a part of “Stop Judging” campaign carried out by www.mycity4kids.com and is also available at below link:

https://www.mycity4kids.com/parenting/my-voice/article/yes-i-am-still-breastfeeding-my-toddler-no-its-not-a-bad-habit-stopjudging

If you are a breastfeeding mother, then you must have heard the following questions or advices umpteen times.

“Are you still breastfeeding your toddler? Stop doing it and wean him/her quickly. It’s a bad habit which they need to get rid of soon”. 

“Your milk is not sufficient and the child needs top milk for nutrition and strength. “

“Breast milk is just water after a year.” 

“You still nurse to sleep? Don’t be lazy to put your child to sleep by other means.”

“Isn’t is embarrassing when your child tugs at you for a feed at a public place?”

And so on and so forth. Phew!

Well, my daughter is almost 26 months old and we are still having a strong breastfeeding relationship. I nurse her to sleep most of the time and though the frequency of the feeds has reduced, I have no intention to wean her off my milk anytime soon.  While there is so much noise and judgement surrounding formula milk and formula feeding mothers, the ones like me aren’t spared either. I met someone a couple of days back who casually inquired about my daughter’s diet. The conversation steered towards the brand of milk I use and I informed the lady that I still primarily rely on breast milk for my daughter along with the usual solid foods, of course. To say that the lady was aghast would be an understatement. She chided me on being a careless mother by depriving my daughter of good nutrition. She also didn’t hesitate to cross the line and stated that I am responsible for developing the bad habit of breastfeeding and nursing to sleep in my daughter even at this age, by giving in to her demands. Honestly, I was in no mood to debate so I just cut short the conversation and moved on.

Personally, I don’t get affected by people judging me for my choices as I take complete responsibility for what I do and I do it because I feel it is right. I also do my own research when it comes to parenting, hence I take such comments with a pinch of salt. But, I know there are many mothers out there who are constantly judged for everything they do as a parent and this takes a toll on them. There are many who don’t have the luxury of a sea of information at their disposal on one click. Such mothers, who are unfortunately not so well-informed, start losing confidence in their parenting skills after being the target of unnecessary and harsh judgements. Why do we need to do this?