Thursday, September 4, 2014

Food economics

In my last blog....I know it’s been a long break…but there is a lot happening at my end! I hope to be more regular now! Ok my last blog! I had mentioned about healthy food habits and mentioned about the goodie bowl consisting mostly of dry fruits. Well to a certain extent most of the dried fruits are costly and in most families, it might not even feature on regular grocery lists, except when celebrations or festivities are round the corner. Having lived across geographies with baby A I realized that world over, the seemingly costly food, is actually not so. Am putting across my points, which have worked well for me. Hope all of you find it useful too!

1.       Organic fruits and vegetables: Organic comes at a higher price, any organic tag seems fancy! But is it really so? Consider buying fruits and vegetables from a regular grocery store, without labels about their GMO status, it’s like buying poison for your family in small quantities! Am not being dramatic, well it’s in a way true, its stuff designed to grow bigger, brighter and last longer. Well, our bodies are not designed to consume such stuff, am not even ready to call it real vegetables and fruits, because they are not! Buy organic and be sure that it’s the right fuel designed for your beautiful bodies.
2.       Dry fruits: If you keep a 6 month log of how much you spend on snacks and junk food and then compare the prices with dry fruits, you will realize that these nutrient dense dry fruits are so much more economical than your empty calorie snacks. Also be experimental about your dry fruits, they can be sun dried tomatoes, Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds! All nutrient dense goodies, which your munchkins will happily eat, no need for vitamin chews, these are great natural alternatives to them!
3.       Full fat milk, ghee, and yogurt: Well all you weight watchers don’t panic! For children the good fat comes from these sources! The good fats are always good! Than sneaking in unknown oily foods, feed the belly with the real stuff and notice that you are not growing fat but fit! Never inculcate the fear of foods in children, if they grow up with reasonable preferences, respect them but never label foods unhealthy without researching them! The first three years of a child, means continuous nourishment from good fats for the myelin sheath of the brain. Also ghee aids digestion and regular bowel movement. You can also try ghee in milk as a mild laxative for children with irregular bowel movement.
4.       Greens everywhere: Green leafy vegetables can be fun, try growing your own leafy veggies on the kitchen counter, small garden patch or visit a farm nearby! Once the children discover fun in the whole process, they will be eager to explore and eat these vegetables! Running around on green grass, rolling down the small hillock all is fun! You can join them in the fun too! Welcome greens in your life and see how your kids and you remain in the pink of health! (Yikes! Word play gone too far! :P) but still a valid point!
5.       Creative sprouts: If city life offers you no green patches, well you can always have some fun sprouting around the house! All pulses are such fun to soak and watch them sprout! The mung beans, moth beans or horse gram! Those tiny sprouts will make your kids all excited am sure if you involve them in the whole process! All those living in the colder climes, worry not! Just soak the pulses longer and then transfer them to a glass bowl, cover them n place them overnight in the oven with just its lights on! That heat is enough for our lil buddies to sprout forth their delicious goodness!
6.       Organic sweetness: well move over muffins and pastries! We have the raw organic honey here! Some organic maple syrup on those waffles or crepes! Sweet potato chips, pumpkin porridge? Well just get more creative and seek sweetness from nature! Its way healthier than your regular sugar! Try molasses sugar, jaggery as replacement for sugar in your recipes and notice your guilt just slide away!

Well these are some fundamental changes for your grocery lists mommies and daddies! But what if the dainty organic stuff burns a hole in your pockets! No it won’t! This is how it works! Once you are replacing the unhealthy foods with healthier choices, you are nourishing your body for a better lifestyle. That means less visits to the doctor, lesser allergies and greater immunity. That means savings! Yeah have you ever considered the doctor visits and medication as grocery expenses! I mean just think of it from this point of view and realize that we end up eating medication instead of nourishing food! Every time our babies look little worn or weak, we insist that the doctor prescribe us dietary supplements and tonics instead of inculcating healthy eating habits in our children!
We have to look not at their current height, weight and sicknesses but way beyond into the future, where they have to lead hectic adult lives, if they inherit a healthy body, correct and balanced food nourishment base, am sure they will learn to make healthier food choices through their entire lives. That means all the effort spent in searching and buying local, organic food will become a lifelong investment in health and wellness for your family. Now can you put a price to that joy?
And finally I would suggest, don’t throw out all your grocery suspecting it to be bad, just use it up and selectively replace it with better choices, slowly the transition will be complete. After all we all are earning and working towards having a healthier and better life, so make some positive changes today!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Encouraging healthy food habits in children

‘‘My Sweetu eats only burgers and pizzas and keeps sipping cola! Such first world choices!’’
“My Princess eats everything like French fries, aloo subji and also aloo palak! Imagine! Such healthy choices no!”
“My Sonny boy eats green beans but only after having his share of chocolate cereal and juice! Am very particular about his diet you see!”
I can really go on! These are not concoctions from my imagination, but actual quotes by parents I know! I shudder each time I hear such phrases, all full of praise for the child! I had cousins who ate only potatoes for lunch dinner each day just because that is the only ‘subji’ they liked!
After having baby A I realized what important responsibility has been entrusted up on us new parents, of bringing up a child! Nurturing and nourishing their brains, bodies and souls!

Am sharing a couple of delightful yet effective measures for ensuring that your child eats the right stuff and the healthiest stuff!
1.       Read all labels: In today’s hectic times, convenience foods are really dominating all grocery lists, world over. It’s very tempting for young mothers to grab ready to eat food packets and feed their families in a jiffy. What we need to be aware of is the quality of ingredients that go in to making these food products. A simple rule of the thumb is if you begin reading the ingredient list and it exceeds more than 5 chemical sounding names of items you do not know, well shun it! There is a chemical storm brewing in it! Beware especially of the healthy sounding choices like fully natural, fat free, for fit and healthy etc More often than not these are misguiding appendages used to attract customers. A good example would be fruit juices. If a pomegranate juice packet’s ingredient list begins with apple juice, filtered water, corn syrup, sugar…well you know well for yourself that ITS NOT what you seek! Simple!
2.       Buy smart to eat smart: We often hear parents complaining that the child eats only a particular brand of junk food, or particular type of unhealthy food, pray! May I ask who fed this to the child for the first time! I know parents who routinely feed their kids with junk food and then rue the fact that they cannot get them to eat home cooked meals! Make grocery lists beforehand, now a days the grocery apps make life so simple! Add a variety of vegetables and fruits to the list, cut down on processed foods and make healthier choices as a family.
Once you have cleared your own home of all tempting junk, the children are obviously less tempted to make unhealthy choices.
3.       Homemade treats: Internet is such a boon for all time pressed parents, with a little planning and creativity, homemade treats can be prepared and stored in advance. Be it whole wheat cookies, chocolates, fruit yogurts, preserves! Even homemade ice cream tubs and kale chips will ensure smart and healthy snacking options for your family. If pressed for time, chop a few cucumbers and carrots and boil a few corn cobs, voila snack is ready!
4.       Kiddie chefs: Involve the children, even toddlers in the whole process of cooking, be it just playing with some dough, to actually peeling veggies, to cutting out cookies, once children witness the fun in cooking, they will look forward to eating their own creation! Also across genders it is such a wonderful life-skill that children learn, to feed themselves and make healthier choices.
5.       Goodie bowl: In all rush, how to ensure complete nourishment for the children each and every day? A simple idea is to fill out bowls for each child at home, even adults can have their own bowls. Small bowls filled with 2 almonds, 2 cashew nuts, few raisins, jaggery, dried fig and a walnut. You can soak all the dried fruits overnight and keep the lump of jaggery in another plate separately. Throughout the day, the children can keep munching on these goodies as and when they wish to! The only rule is to finish the goodie bowl before dinner. You can create variations by adding dates, pecans or even dried apricots. The seemingly costly food is actually cost effective, more on this in the next blog!
6.       First mover’s advantage: As parents, we have to be proactively offering healthier choices to our babies from their birth, be it breast milk, full fat ghee, lesser grains, more protein rich food, more leafy vegetables, fruits and real food! After all we are what we eat, so offer real food to your child, and nurture a real human being!
There are various diets and health trends which we adults tend to ape at various times in our lives. But if we create a healthy frame-work of food and exercise for our family, especially young ones, we are helping them immensely for their entire life. Avoid over processed foods, high sugar content and complex chemical laden products. We may leave a huge inheritance for the child, but bestowing a child with positive body image, healthy food choices and balanced body n mind, will indeed be the greatest gift ever! Happy parenting!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Making a choice

After a long hiatus I have returned to the blogosphere for good! J It feels nice to be back to that happy space, it feels home!
I have been away trying to recreate a level playing field for myself, shall continue to do so, n now back to what we all do best, talking about childcare.
Soon, very soon, Baby A turns 2! And boy am I excited?? Sure as hell! I am! Beyond the mythical ‘’terrible twos’’ I am eagerly looking forward to see my baby grow!
After baby A turned 18 months old, I noticed a few significant changes in her! Her personality was slowly emerging. Each trait was showing eager signs of growing much like young saplings. I realized I have to nurture a few habits and traits and weed out a few unpleasant ones and that pretty much is like gardening. Most young parents face this time, when children become increasingly independent yet at the same time, increasing clingy to their parents. When such a time arrives, along come whining, crankiness, bouts of temper tantrums and absolute stubborn behavior! Grocery aisles become nightmares, social occasions and long flights are some terrible dream come true for most parents. The cute coy baby is now an independent person with extreme ambitions and severe limitations. Parents also take time to realize and realign themselves to this change.
When baby A showed signs of being independent, I was happy and was keen on playing along on these lines. I did a few things which am sharing here.
1.       Walk the talk baby! When your child takes her first few steps, each parent is thrilled beyond measure, always encouraging the child to walk, take a few more steps. Within a few months the child begins to walk and run, then suddenly the ever encouraging parent is tightly holding the child’s hand, least she runs away! This adult behavior is extremely confusing for children! What we need to do here is, set in a few fun rules, when you walk on black road or the road where cars run, hold momma’s hand. And in parks and gardens you can run by yourself. Same applies while teaching the child how to walk and also after the child walks independently. So there is some sensible continuation to your demands on the child. Do not worry about your child soiling her clothes, or falling down when running around in the gardens or safe areas. That is how she will learn to depend on herself, which is very vital, literally and figuratively as well.
2.       Making choices: Mothers often see smartly dressed kids and feel embarrassed about their child’s messy dress. Well, as much the baby was a cute doll to be dressed up as a child, once the child is about an age where she begins expressing her likes, dislikes and feelings, it will be very important to slowly encourage to child to decide. Yes! never underestimate a child, her decision making power and ability. It is the beginning of a lifelong task, of making choices. Tend to this sapling well, you want it to grow and blossom! Ask your toddler’s opinion about the dress she wants to wear, about the food she wants to eat and be supportive about her choices. Baby A recently wore snow boots over a full sleeved black shirt n jeans on a very warm day! Well my first reaction was protest, but I realized that she now needs to learn the consequences of the choices she makes. She must have been really hot and sweaty that day in school but now she chooses wisely and picks cute shorts and summer dresses. Now the trick here is to present the child with sensible choices. That is how easy you can make for your child, but do not dump your choices on the child after a certain age, n no its not 21! Same goes for food, if your child chooses to eat less or nothing at a particular meal time, its ok to go hungry than dissolve the meal in tears and unnecessary stress for the parent. And going hungry is not any imposed punishment for the child, it’s a choice she made. Then abide by her choice because she is learning and currently is at par with the parent in terms of knowledge about her own bodily requirements. If she senses hunger she might not express it so evidently but the parent has to be watchful about signs like crankiness, distraction etc. More about encouraging healthy food habits in future blog posts.
3.       Don’t kid the kid: Most parents have a terrible hangover from the baby years and continue to baby talk with a toddler. I personally as a qualified linguist would refrain from using baby talk even with babies, but yes by toddler-hood, I would be adamant about stopping it. The fundamental understanding is, clear and articulate language usage is the final destination we are leading our children to, then wh
y take them through the maze of inane, inappropriate sounding words which mean nothing in adult conversation? The sooner and clearer the instructions the child receives in any language, the easier it is for the child to emulate that speech and speak coherently and express her needs clearly. Always converse with a toddler as you would with an adult visitor visiting your house or office. Be courteous and extremely polite with your child, never let civilized language run aground with foul words or bad tones or diction. The child is a very powerful sponge absorbing each nuance and even each lip movement you make.

4.       All play and no work makes a dull child: Parents of young children are busy people themselves. And child rearing is an unending chore by itself. By toddler-hood, it would be only fair to create a smart lil assistant in your child. No it’s not child labor here, it’s merely involving the child, making her feel important and a part of the family. Each person has a work share in the household, so does your baby! You can let her do simple tasks like fetching a spoon for granny or helping you pick up clothes or tidy the bed. You are leading the task no doubt, most of the times you are risking a double task for yourself as well, but all that is worth it, have some patience. It sure shall be rewarded one day when those scattered Lego blocks are aimed and land in the toy box, when all dolls and cars find a home in the toy shelf. Make it sound more like a game for the child than a chore and it shall be done! This implants seeds of discipline and helpfulness along with empathy in the child. She knows if she scatters her toys all over the house that means she has more trips around the house picking them up as well. And it’s a good fun activity as well!
5.       Power of silence: Well we are not always capable of raising peaceful Zen monks in our children, but when we encourage them to talk, encourage them to shout and play, we have to encourage them to be silent and observant too! If they whine and pester you each morning, ask them to just go silent and listen to the birds singing or a car whizzing by. Teach them the power of silence. During the evening stroll, while returning home, show them the stars, the moon and point out that the birds have all fallen silent, maybe fallen asleep…These connections seem small, inconsequential, but they are far more impactful than we can imagine. The child learns to connect to her peaceful side and also appreciate subtle sounds and phenomenon.
6.       Who belongs to whom? The sense of identity grows stronger as the child grows up. If she insists that mom n dad belong to her, teach her that toys belong to her, hence she must put them in place. Also if her surroundings belong to her, she must not create a mess there. This the child may or may not follow fully but you have to sow seeds of these small habits so one day when you send out your child in the world, she will have strong, well rooted habits of self-dependence, cleanliness, helpfulness.

Aren’t my kids too small for all this? Well no, they are in fact eager recipients and jinns awaiting tasks. So my dear Alladins, erm…mommies n daddies, explore the power of choices, give some amazing choices to your child, she will soon learn to not only make a choice, but also accept and live with the consequences of her choice, do not protect your child from the consequences of the choice unless it is extremely harmful or dangerous to life or limb! Because we adults operate from the focal point of caution and fear whereas children always operate from the focal point of exploration, curiosity and innocence. Nurture them to always operate from their natural focal point, one of boundless creativity and amazing potential. Trust them and respect their choices today, so that when they grow up and make choices, you are always partner in their decision, rather than another obstacle they have to overcome! Small seeds of yesterday, saplings of today will be giant sequoias of tomorrow! Happy nurturing!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

How to create memories in the first year

Having kids is a joy and having kids to photograph is another type of joy! Well this is no proverb but something you learn when you become parents! All the  Anne Geddes cards and images just spring to mind and we begin thinking yes my kiddo is the cutest on the block and my am going to take such pictures n dress him/her like this etc etc! Then you realize you are pregnant and if not for morning sickness then swollen feet and puffy face sure make you realize okay am going to be out of this picture! :P Then the kid is born and the first look as memorable it might be its indeed miles apart from all the cute kids in pictures! Welcome to the unexpected! :)
Motherhood soon teaches us that the moments of capturing beautiful emotions and kids with smiling faces is such a small window of time that if you wish to actually do that, you better keep your camera ready at all times! N who is left with all that energy after a night long feeding n cooing session! But don't loose hearts new parents! Indeed pictures are just one way of creating memories of your precious bundle!
Here are a few more ideas to create memories!
Firstly let me tell you, that the idea is to capture this beautiful phase of life, and secondly its our gift to our older selves and to our grown up children! The pictures of their young lifetime!
Memories can often be captured in photographs, but are there any other ways? Lets explore them!
1. Photographs: Now a days the young one, within minutes of being born, feels the pain of a celebrity hounded by paparazzi! Just a frenzy to put the newest visitor of earth on social media! Hold on! No! Don't do that! This is the most intimate and private moment of the mother, the child and the father. Its a new life being born and a new family being born too! Let that magical moment be lived! Not merely relived through photos!Also avoid flash while photographing the child till the child has a steady eyesight, the flash can panic the child and be harmful to the child's eyes too!
What you can do as a new parent is, plan photography worthy moments, be it all the first festivals of the baby's first year of life or monthly birthdays or all Sundays in the first year of the new born! When the parents and the child is relaxed, in a comfortable atmosphere, let the mood of the baby decide what time will be good! Such long term projects often give us the flexibility and scope for innovation! But keep in mind the baby has to enjoy it as much as you do! Also such projects bring out the gradual changes happening in a baby in its first year! So than just clicking a random terabyte full of baby pictures, have a theme and work around it so you have some priceless captures to share when your baby grows up!
                                What you "wish" for....

                              What "might" just happen!! :P
2. Videos: An extension  of photography in a way! And so very different in many other ways! No these videos are not fodder for YouTube n likes but for your own memory! The first lullaby for the baby, the cooing or turning baby! The bath time routine! so many moments all waiting to be captured! Its indeed lovely to have a spontaneous collection of all these moments thanks to our new technological advancements!
3. Voice recording : This is very different from making Audiovisual snippets! If you have your mobile phone handy, young parents can always record the peculiar n repetitive sounds children tend to make! And as the months roll by there will be an audio dictionary of the child! All those first half made sounds to words to spontaneous songs and self made poems! Its a delight to listen to all of that and also make your child listen to it all! Try doing that!
4. Clay moulds : Baby fists all rolled up! holding their future n clasping on to mom's finger! Aren't they so adorable! There are DIY kits to make moulds of kids fists n tiny feet, invest in some such kit! that is such a visual treat for life! If you don't have access to ready made moulds, next best idea is making impressions in the salt dough! Tiny handprints n footprints all ready to be preserved for life! :)
5. Scrap book album: Make a lovely scrap book containing photographs and candid stories of the baby's childhood! when did the first tiny tooth erupt! when was the tummy turn n when was the first word uttered! a mix of dates, memories and smiling faces! Indeed a neat treat for all! Add a small denomination of money to be tucked behind every photograph, so when your baby is all grown up, some major milestone birthday it might be a gift! :)
6. Painting : If you or your friends are good at sketching or painting, you should get your baby's portrait or caricature done! It would be a cute memory indeed! Am still hoping to make a pencil shaded portrait of Baby A! Trust me its a good idea to outsource this task!
7. Keepsakes : The first pair of mittens, the first dress from mom n dad! Keep some firsts away, some shoes, toys n tiny bonnets! By the time your grandkids arrive, these turn treasures in themselves! :P Also a good lesson in culture and contemporary clothing! :P Recall those bonnets you wore as a baby n how you would never have your baby wear it! or something you wish you could get from your childhood closet for your baby! Also in Indian families we sure have valuable keepsakes in form of gold n silver jewelry too! All that is also such powerful memory makers!
8. Letters to the baby: Well in this age n day of emails and social media, who writes letters, well not really those in long hand! Though am all game for old fashioned letters! But yes maybe some jottings of memory or something you so wish to share with the baby but the baby sure won't make any sense of what you are saying! So you wish the baby was an adult to understand you, your fears or joys! well go on, write notes, or letters to this little kid here for the adult that is coming up soon in your life sometime in the future! :) No its not the Kuch Kuch hota hai blooper! 8 letters to the girl! Pray how she read the first 5 letters as a baby! :P
9. Traditional memory triggers: Okay don't freak out, these are not my endorsed ideas but i know people do keep many memory triggers, like the part of the umbilical cord, the first lock of the baby's cut hair etc. If you want to, you can! But yes its an interesting yet little odd seeming way of preserving memory!
10. Plant a sapling : If you love your child and wish a lovely green future for him/her, why not plant a tree in commemoration of his/her being in your life! Each birthday can mean more trees! And this can be a yearly activity which your child will enjoy and also understand the importance of nature as he/she grows up!
There sure will be more ways of preserving memories of your children! Go ahead add some more from your list and keep creating memories! Each day holds so many of them! Don't let routines, fatigue and boredom hold you back! there is a lot of preservation work to do! Pickle the cutest memory today! :) Savor it in the years to come!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Ten things your children teach you!

Being the super crazy n meticulous person that i am, i am always planning ahead, thinking ahead and always trying to be right! When it came to motherhood; my approach was no different! Even before baby A was born i had read up about toddler discipline etc! but then came Baby A and before i knew it every plan of mine was turned on its head! the planning flew out of the window and all my meticulousness just huffed and puffed n blew away!!
But in due course of motherhood, things returned to some normalcy and soon i was back to making lists, jotting down things and planning ahead!
So here is one more list i made! well its different! this is a cute little list of ten things Baby A taught me!
1.Never cease to wonder: Be it falling leaves, pitter patter of the raindrops or mom's hairbrush! Everything is so different, unique and amazing! It demands curious attention and wonderment! Don't Google the weather, just look out of the window n if it rains just get up, get drenched n smile! Each object, person or the tiniest bit or scrap around our homes suddenly are all wonderful objects awaiting eager exploration!
2. Never stop learning: Ever watched a child learning to turn on its tummy? or trying to grab something or learning to walk?As many false starts later they still try again with amazing enthusiasm and single minded focus! Now that is what we need to recall from our childhood n use it in adulthood too! Also each new word, each new sound and the numerous times the children ask about some things...why n how we forget this gift, each one of us has deep within us?
3. Its OK to cry n go back to laughing even before your tears dry out: Venting emotions or rather letting each emotion colour us in its unique colour! What a wonderful palette we have been endowed with! N its rich and vibrant and we must put it to use! So laugh a little louder and cry a little more! there is joy in it!
4.Things should not always be held and used only as intended: How do you use a cooking pan? of course to cook but what about the pan being a drum to play some music? How do you use a comb? Of course to comb your hair! but what if you were to use it as a mock mobile phone?Just observe kids and you will find so many such funny, innovative and interesting uses of things you thought were banal and boring! Go ahead and explore!
5.Mess n chaos-learn to embrace them! : Imagine a botched up presentation, juniors on leave and boss literally glaring down at you! Nah! too stressful! Now imagine a broken toy, guests arriving in five minutes and Mom glaring down at a kid! what will the kid do? Of course just smile and be himself/herself! All the guests are cuddling up your cute (not so cute with the broken toy) bundle of joy! n no one quite notices the toy! Well one cannot simply appear cute to the boss or clients but then we can all learn to embrace the chaos and mess, can we not?

6.Wearing pink over green or purple with big yellow dots makes you look cute (or so you should believe n behave): Remember when we spend hours fretting over the right shade of lipgloss or a slightly mismatched sock?Come on sometimes its ok to be a little crazy and just enjoy each living moment, cause tomorrow you might not recall what clothes you wore, just how much fun you had! So go ahead and believe you are the cutest kid on the block n smile your best smile!
7.Eat sleep exercise n start over again!: Children totally teach us a thing or two about the energy we possess for each day! They totally keep it moving, running around the house, climbing places and of course jumping to get rid of extra energy and then eating n sleeping to regain every bit of energy! Am sure we adults have something to learn in here! :)
8.Gravity is a friend n foe but never fail to get up after a fall!: Notice a child climbing some place and falling off the perch and then crying a bit but getting back to doing the same thing again?Earlier it used to vex me, why should a child venture the place where she got hurt? But now i realize it in fact has a lesson in store for me! We take gravity so much for granted! But hey try free falling to earth or on bed! its fun, its crazy and yes its Gravity! :) But always! ALWAYS get up again n continue your play!
9.Double chins, rotund bellies, disheveled hair n one smashing smile! Wear them all with joy! : Fretting over body shapes, sizes and what not!Relax! Notice how comfortable a child is in her skin?Totally not bothered about complexion, bruises, iris colour or bad hair days! People who love you will love you anyway! Then why bother! Isn't that so simple yet true!
10.You may get mad at some things in life but each day is a brand new adventure!: You put a dog's tail through a pipe but it remained all curled up once you removed the pipe! You tried getting as tall as daddy wearing mommy's heels n smashed your face! Arrghhh life! n not to mention soggy diapers!!! Well life isn't always kind to even kids! They get mad at life too! but hey! They all bounce back! with more enthusiasm, eagerness and earnest to explore each day! To live each moment as it arrives! Am sure that we need to keep this learning with us beyond toddler hood and well into adulthood too!
11. Smile at anyone who is yelling at you and give them a hug! : Okay this is no. 11 Take it as a bonus! Try yelling at a child, the child will pout, try looking at you and eventually decide that a smile n hug is what you need! Its so annoying when you are angry! but then its so adorable! and admirable! Next time a big fight breaks out between you n your better half, try it! am sure it will work! :)
Innocence is not a childhood trait, feeling joyous is not relegated to childhood and pretense of seriousness won't last us long! I think we all get children in our lives, when we have forgotten what it means to be alive, to be innocent, to live life to its fullest! So comes along a teacher, in form of our own teach us that life is indeed beautiful!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Classic woman!!

New mommies, girl pals and my mommy generation and beyond! A shout out to you all! A big round of applause for creating each other and defining each other and getting us girls here, where we are, with  girls and boys of our own too!! Ok this is getting slightly convoluted…but am wayyyy too excited to stop here and pause! Well no! it’s no Eureka moment for me! Well it is in a way! Gosh!! This is getting so exciting and revealing at the same time I really need to get to the point!
We women, we girls are way beyond amazing! Yes we are! No I mean we are not just amazing because we think we are, but because our bodies have been programmed to be amazing, we produce children, we procreate! Now in this age of feminist undertones and alpha male overtones and what not idealistic noise, as I prefer to call it, here is something so fundamental and so basic that even I am guilty of having overlooked it completely!
When motherhood dawned upon me I first realized that something is wrong, well when I had difficulty conceiving, I felt stupid, vulnerable and helpless. I did not know whom to blame when all our tests came out normal! It was a combination of so many pressures, the pressure to outperform a habit I picked up since school days, the pressure to get what I want, the ultra independent woman way, the pressure to answer/rebut the stupid questions following X years of marriage and so many other aspects. Most of all I felt completely whacked out of my whole life harmony till then! I had always meticulously planned, worked hard and got what I wanted. And here I was, thinking creating babies, well the beggar on the street gets them too, big deal a complete low IQ thing…just happens…well was I in for a surprise? Big time!
Turns out that creating children and rearing them is the most important and intelligent of all pursuits that we can ever have! We are creating a new generation which shall stay on long after we have completed our own pursuit of ego and achievement. As a Gen Y er I too never gave as much thought to “children and all that stuff”, always thinking I can adopt big deal! But it was never about giving birth vs adopting, it was way deeper than that. It was about my own body, my own wellness and my own life! Sadly no education in the world teaches children about this biggest and single most important aspect of life! Procreation and wellness! Don’t get me wrong, mere sex education is worthless here. We need more than that -empathy and understanding of our bodies, bodily functions, their emotional, physical and physiological implications. Something as fundamental as menstruation cycles, totally thought they just were created to stop me from practicing basketball! Hell no!

They were telling me and my body a lot lot more…only I realized it all well much later when the doctors told me about it all! And for the doctor it was scant information scattered here and there, but when I realized myself that PCOS, fibroids, type two diabetes,  dysfunctional thyroid are definitely not normal occurrences, why they are like sirens wailing out from your body telling you to stop abusing it! Even irregular periods, moodiness, boredom, weak sexual desire, excess or diminished appetite, plain forgetfulness are all indicators to bigger deep set problems, we just need to fine tune into our bodies, understand what is our body trying to tell us and act likewise. Today there is a lot of information, it is empowering and we must as literate, techno-savy women empower ourselves, inform ourselves train our minds to search for all answers. No longer is health a bastion of doctors, no, it’s your body and you better take care of it! Nature has set it out so beautifully and yet in such a complex fashion, it humbles us, boggles our mind and then finally helps us get in touch with our inner selves, our bodies, and eventually our own gut feel, instinct and soul. This lovely TEDx talk opens up new possibilities in which we can view ourselves and in the future help our daughters and sons view themselves and their partners.
Being mother by giving birth or adoption is a choice under varied circumstances, but being a woman is not a choice, it’s a reality and an empowering one at it! It’s a perpetual journey towards fine tuning ourselves towards that inner rhythm which is intrinsically humming a song of creation, of existence and nurturing…be it creating children, masterpieces or business empires, be it existing for family, for society or nations, be it nurturing relationships, environment or spirituality.
Enjoy the journey of womanhood!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Responsible parenting-the fun way to grow!

Ask any new parent; hey did you catch up on the latest blockbuster? The last failed dud movie? Come let’s sit n trash it apart! Laugh at the silliness and admire the costumes…well am sure you wouldn’t even get this far in your conversation, because of course new parents cannot go to movies! Well do you recall seeing such a notice at the movie hall? Nope there isn’t any, but hey who has the time!! Bringing up babies is serious stuff…Time passes by and you forget to catch up with your new parent buddies and after a few years  if you ask them, hey did you catch up on any new movies? Sure! And guess what, they were all children’s movies!! The baby now bosses over the parent’s choice…think again! Is it so? Do you take your children to children’s movies just because the children demand so? Well then think again, which have been your favorite movies growing up? Am sure each one of us has fond memories of cartoon films and animation films from childhood. It’s gloriously delightful to share each and every nuance and experience of your own with your child…and then why are you holding back your share of favorite movies from your child?

 Just don’t do that! Share all those lovely old movies which had different messages, morals and such innocent storylines…let your children discover that magic is not gender based, each amazing character doesn’t have to be a hero, each princess doesn’t have to be rescued! Each prince doesn’t need to go out alone, trust some animals over a princess for performing any heroic deed…you can sure read between lines and discover that the plots of children’s movies have slowly fed into the children the gender bias…am sure we don’t want to raise yet another generation biased about their differences, can they not learn to be a team? Can they not learn to co-exist? Such wet cement age influences need to be not only monitored but also changed, not all can produce new movies but we can certainly search through our memories and internet to find a treasure trove of movies where the team wins, where the girls lead and don’t wait for the prince to come and rescue them! Can we have new fairy tales which are fair to both the genders please?
If you like and agree with me, here’s a nice TEDx talk about this…