Category Archives: My Voice

Dotty, You do not need to fulfil my dreams

//This article was first published on the popular parenting platform ZenParent and is available at below link:

https://zenparent.in/zencorner/i-dont-expect-my-child-to-fulfill-my-dreams/

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

http://www.womensweb.in/2017/05/let-our-children-live-their-dream-not-ours/

A fun part of parenting is sharing your little one’s antics with your close friends and family members. It is a great way to make the people who adore your child a part of the child’s growth journey. Recently, I shared an entertaining dance video of my daughter wherein she is grooving to the tunes of one of the latest hits of Bollywood. I cherish the moments when my daughter and I dance together and it is lovely to bond with her over something that I am passionate about. It also helps keep her occupied for a good amount of time because once she puts on her dancing shoes, there is no stopping her.

Now let me come back to my point before I start digressing.  When I shared this video, everybody enjoyed watching it and I received the customary heartfelt reactions. While everyone had some nice things to say for her, it was the comment of one of my friends which got me thinking.”

Wow, she is good Anu. Looks like she will fulfill your dream of becoming a famous choreographer.”

Well, why do I need my daughter to fulfill my unfulfilled dreams? I can do it myself and am already doing it as best as I can. Yes, I will be ecstatic if she becomes a renowned choreographer, but I will be equally elated with whatever else she chooses to do, as long as she is blissfully traversing her chosen path and is taking responsibility of her actions.

I know the comment was well-intended or probably said in jest, but it is quite common in our culture to expect children to accomplish the dreams of their parents. Whether it is fulfilling our own unfilled dreams or the new ones we start weaving for our children once we become parents, it ultimately boils down to making us proud or gratifying us. But, it is not about US, it is about THEM!

The Blues of the Flu!

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

https://www.mycity4kids.com/parenting/my-voice/article/the-blues-of-the-flu

As I caressed and cuddled her in my arms before placing her on the bed, I hoped that this time she would sleep peacefully for a longer duration. I had been awake for almost 40 hours at a stretch, barring short power naps in between, and I just didn’t have the energy and vigour left in me to be up even for a minute. I wanted to shut my eyes and stretch my legs. I wanted to give my back the rest it craved for. I wanted to get over the exhaustion that had seeped into every inch of my body. And more than anything, I wanted my daughter’s discomfort to end soon.

Aah, the blues of the flu! This is the scenario every time my toddler is down with it. The last time this happened was during the monsoons and needless to say, it was a gruelling time for both of us. Apart from the physical uneasiness and sickness associated with the seasonal flu, there is a lot more that comes along with it in a package deal. Kids become clingy and cranky, their appetite goes for a toss and they find it difficult to sleep due to the congestion. Also, there is a high chance of the infection getting passed on to the other family members. In our case, all 3 of us invariably fall sick when one catches the flu. And then begins the series of strenuous days and sleepless nights till everyone recovers from it.

It has been a relief that we survived the winters without getting affected majorly by infections, but it is not yet over. The spring season is here with beautiful weather and pleasant vibes in the surroundings. However, the weather change is also a seedbed for all kinds of infection due to the pollen in the air. This is the classic flu season and I am doing all that I can to keep my child protected.

Balanced and wholesome diet – You are what you eat! Undoubtedly, the most important contributor to overall health and well-being is a balanced and nutritious diet. It’s essential to offer variety of foods from all the food groups to not only the kids but also to adults. I include different fruits and vegetables in our diet to ensure adequate intake of vitamins and minerals. Since deficiency of vitamin C is known to affect body’s immune system, I try to include food items rich in vitamin C and iron in our menu. Vitamin C aids in the absorption of Iron in our body, hence it makes sense to group them together in a meal as much as possible.

The “wonder” herb Tulsi – While there are numerous home remedies to improve immunity and fight infections, I personally can vouch on the goodness of Tulsi. It is a powerful herb with medicinal properties and I have found it to be effective in battling against viral infections. Tulsi is known to contain hundreds of valuable compounds which possess strong antiseptic, antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral and immunity enhancing properties. Tulsi can also help in purifying the atmosphere. For centuries, it has been used in Ayurveda due to its diverse therapeutic properties. We either directly chew washed Tulsi leaves or drink Tulsi decoction obtained by boiling Tulsi leaves and then draining the water. Inhaling the vapours of tulsi leaves works well for clearing congestion.

Welcome to Toddlerhood

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

http://www.womensweb.in/2017/05/terrible-twos-8-tips-manage-toddler-tantrums/

Do you often oscillate between “Aww my child is such an angel” and “Did I really have to procreate”? Do you have a heart-melting moment with your child at one instant and a meltdown due to an irrational tantrum the very next minute? Is wrong color of cutlery for food one of the biggest catastrophes you take care of avoiding at your home? Is your child upset because he/she does not want to go out, but the fact of the matter is that you are actually not going out? Is your child annoyed because his/her pair of socks will not fit you and you cannot wear them? Welcome to toddler-hood! That phase when your child throws tantrums for the most bizarre reasons and at times you feel you are on the verge of losing your sanity; that phase when your little one surprises you and expresses love in the most endearing ways everyday and you cannot stop feeling blessed for this beautiful experience of life.

My daughter has recently turned 2 and I now realize why the term “Terrible Twos” has been coined. Toddler tantrums can make your hackles rise and can be really exasperating. There are times when I want to scream my lungs out or even spank my kid when a tantrum becomes unmanageable. There are also times when I feel like leaving everything and running away to the Himalayas. But, the only thing that helps me be a gentle parent is the constant reminder to myself that however much the tantrum seems irrelevant to me, it means a big deal for her. This is the age when kids go through myriad of changes developmentally and they start exercising their independence. If it is hard for us, it is also hard for them.  In my experience, being firm yet gentle is much more effective in handling tantrums than yelling though the natural temptation is to react with the latter approach. I am not an expert but I would love to share few tips with fellow parents based on my experience which may be helpful during this roller coaster called toddler-hood.

That one question was a life altering one

My article titled “That one question was a life altering one” was written for SheThePeople.TV on the occasion of International Women’s Day. The theme was “The power of One”.

Below is the link to the article:

http://shethepeople.tv/to-a-woman-who-taught-me-lifes-biggest-lesson/

 

 

 

Can we please stop advising couples to have a baby to solve their marital woes?

//This article has been published on popular platforms like Women’s Web and Youth Ki Awaaz and is also available on the below links:

http://www.womensweb.in/2017/03/having-a-baby-no-solution-for-marital-problems/

https://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2017/03/can-we-please-stop-advising-couples-to-have-a-kid-to-solve-their-marital-woes/

 

“Mom, are you free now? As I had told you, I need to discuss something very important with you.” 

The nervousness and sense of urgency in Kavita’s voice was evident now. Aradhana Aunty was at the bank when Kavita had called her earlier in the day.

“Yes beta, go on. Am back home now. All OK?”, Aunty asked worried.

“Mom, nothing is OK. I don’t know where to start.”, Kavita paused and then continued.

“My marriage isn’t working out. Vishal and I just don’t get along. I don’t think we are meant to be. “

There was a stoic silence. Kavita started fumbling for words but took a deep breath and gathered her thoughts.

Return Gift ideas for your child’s Birthday

//This article has been published by ZenParent and is also available on the below link:

10 great return gift ideas for your child’s birthday

It looks like you are preparing for your daughter’s wedding. You are so busy.“, my mom had joked once, just a day before my daughter’s first birthday. We both had guffawed at her comment, but she was right. We had planned a grand celebration with all our loved ones, family and friends, to raise a toast to this special milestone of our lives. There were so many aspects of the party to be taken care of and we were doing all that we could to make it a memorable day for us as well as the guests. The only thing that made me a tad bit anxious was “Return Gifts” for all the children, which has become one of the highlights of any birthday celebration today, be it a large scale one or a small gathering. For kids, return gifts have become the prime attraction of a birthday party and they wait with much eagerness and zest to know what goodies they will be taking home. When we were children, I remember how elated we would be even on receiving a Natraj pencil. Back then, return gift concept was not that prevalent so being presented with anything was a huge deal. Sometimes, I wonder how did such a transformation take place. But then, that was a different era altogether. A lot has changed, and so has the importance of return gifts in project “Birthday Party”!

Through this article, I intend to share some ideas which I believe make for great return gifts and also a few pointers to where you can buy them from. Some common and popular items like tiffin boxes, water bottles, stationery items, coloring books, color sets and cutlery are wonderful gifts. But if you have already presented them in the past and are looking for more ideas, this list might help you.

I don’t think I can do it

// This article has been sponsored by Dettol and has been first published at the following link:

https://www.mycity4kids.com/parenting/my-voice/article/i-dont-think-i-can-do-it

I still clearly recall that moment. I remember all the questions that sprinted through my mind in a split second. “What have I done to myself?” “Will I ever be my usual self again?” “Will this pain ever subside?” “How will I take care of my little one”? And then I looked at my mom and my doula, who were both giving me an assuring glance. It appeared as though they could read what was on my mind.

“Come on Anupama. You can do it. Just hold on to us and try to get up with our support”, encouraged my doula who was immensely supportive during my entire birthing process and post it too.

“No, I don’t think I can do it. Forget about getting up from the bed, I don’t think I can do anything a new mom is expected to do. I just want to get back to feeling normal”, my inner voice screamed. But, all I could mutter defeatedly was a “No”.

Love makes the ride worthwhile

// This article has been published by Women’s Web on the occasion of Valentine’s Day and is available at below link:

http://www.womensweb.in/2017/02/feeling-about-love-shared/

It’s that time of the year! While a set of people are celebrating love with all heart and mush, some are enjoying the memes and harmless jokes about something they don’t believe in. And then there are some like me who are neutral – the ones who can laugh on the jokes and can also go “aww” at the lovey-dovey social media posts; the ones who are happy to celebrate the day of “Love” and are also cool about letting it pass as just another day. Whichever category you belong to, you cannot escape love in your life. It is beside you, within you and contrary to the conventional quotes and beliefs, it is not just a matter of heart but also of the mind. Sometimes, when we witness a couple showering each other with gifts or celebrating an occasion like Valentine’s Day with much hoo-ha, we remark “Oh such a romantic couple” or “They are the perfect couple”. Well, when no two people are the same, then how can the relationship dynamics of any two couples be the same? So, if you never gift each other anything or if you do not prefer to show your affection through celebrations, you are still a “perfectly romantic” couple with your own chemistry and synergy.

Falling DOWN is a part of growing UP

// This article has been sponsored by Dettol and has been first published at mycity4kids. It is available at below link:

http://www.mycity4kids.com/parenting/my-voice/article/falling-down-is-a-part-of-growing-up

“Terrible Twos”- the famous dreaded phase of parenthood! This is when children begin to look at themselves as individuals and become assertive. This is when they want to exercise their independence and start learning to express themselves, at times resulting in huge meltdowns. This is when they can be really cute one moment and can drive us up the wall the very next second. While it is surely a challenging stage of parenting, I believe it is also loads of fun as am currently experiencing with my child.

A Few Realizations as my Daughter turns 2

Whoosh! That’s how these 2 years went by. Someone has rightly said that when you are a parent, the days are long but the years are short. When I look back in time, a collage of memories flashes through my mind and it amazes me how far I have come as a person. Motherhood has been instrumental in making me much more responsible, righteous, sensitive and strong. I have experienced the highest level of euphoria as well as moments when I have been pushed to the brink. This roller-coaster called parenting has been full of learning and realizations. Some of the key things I have come to realize are probably quite obvious for the seasoned parents, but it took me 2 years to truly become cognizant of them.