Enjoy..its pregnancy not a disease!

Becoming a mother is one of the most joyous and memorable event in any woman’s life.  The would-be-mom goes through mixed emotions of happiness, excitement, fear, anxiousness, etc., especially when she is expecting her first child.

Unless there are any medical conditions associated with pregnancy or before pregnancy or the doctor has advised bed-rest and other precautions, pregnancy needs to be enjoyed, taken normally and not treated as any disease.  I remember during both my pregnancies I was working till the last day, doing all the household chores, and enjoyed my pregnancies thoroughly.

Few tips for a smooth pregnancy and taking this phase as normally as one can:

  1.  First and foremost, pregnancy should not be taken as an illness.  Yes, the woman’s body goes through a lot of physical and hormonal changes but unless there are severe medical conditions where the gynecologist advises total bed-rest, take certain precautions and medicines, pregnancy should be taken normally.
  2. Some women have severe nausea and vomiting during the first trimester,  hyperemesis gravidarum.  She should consult the doctor and follow him/her.
  3. During pregnancy, the expecting mother should diligently follow the gynecologist.  There is no harm in following advice from the elderly or experienced mothers but only the doctor is the best person to understand about her condition.
  4. Eat nutritious food which includes all food groups but do not eat excessively.  Some people suggest that a mother should eat for two people, but the fact is whatever healthy diet the mother takes for herself is sufficient for the baby.  Also during this phase the mother shouldn’t diet or bar any food group like fats.  Like all other nutrients, fats are also required for the development of the baby.
  5. As per the doctor’s advise, folic acid and calcium should be taken regularly.  Never stop any supplement on your own.  Also in certain conditions like gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, preeclampsia doctor’s prescribe few medicines which should be continued.  They won’t harm the baby.
  6. Continue working in the office, in the house as before.  Just take care not to haste too much, not to bend as the tummy grows bigger.  Take rest in between.  Seek the help and support of colleagues, family and friends whenever required.  This is the best time to get pampered by everyone.
  7. Go for the scans and Doppler as and when indicated by the doctor.  This monitors the baby’s growth and development.
  8. Indulge in prenatal yoga, walk and light exercise after the gynecologist gives a go-ahead.  This helps the would-be-mom to keep fit and energetic.
  9. Never ignore the slightest of discomfort.  It might simply be gas or heartburn or later false alarms yet visit the doctor immediately if the mom feels any issue.
  10. Often women worry about the mode of delivery; whether it would be normal or cesarean.  I always say that one cannot predict anything till the last date.  Of course, every mom would want a normal delivery but when it comes to certain emergent conditions its best to get a C-section done.  After all, nothing is more important than the mother and baby’s life.  I myself had both my kids via C-section and I am perfectly fine and so are my kids who are grown up now!

Pregnancy is a phase that needs to be enjoyed and cherished.  Feel the kicks, hear the heartbeats via Doppler, see the little one moving in the scan..

Happy motherhood!

Be happy in any situation!

Yesterday I met a pretty, vivacious lady at a friend’s place who later revealed that she was suffering from juvenile diabetes since age 6. I really loved her positive approach towards life and found her inspiring.

I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, an autoimmune disorder, around 5 years back. Its a condition which affects the skin and the joints and since its autoimmune its incurable. I was pretty heartbroken initially as I felt I was too young to suffer from such a disease. But then I looked at my young kids’ face, my parents’ concern, my husband’s worry and at my own life and realized there is no point sulking or crying over it; rather I should be facing it positively. There are days when the pain is excruciating, which in turn drains the energy or vigor to do anything but what to do! I channelize all this in my writings, raising my kids, my work, going to events, meeting people, gathering inspiration from others. I know I have to live with this condition till the last day of my life, so why sulk and live! Of course, all this would not have been possible without my 3 pillars, my husband and kids.

There are many people out there battling other life-threatening conditions, depression, emotional issues, but you look at them and you won’t even realize that they are going through such conditions. So, lets motivate and help others, gather motivation from others, and try to be happy in any condition.

Take care this season..

Kids falling ill is the one of the biggest concerns for any mother.  This happens more with kids till the age of 5 and with season changes.  Cold and cough and fever not just makes the kid irritable, it also diminishes his appetite.  Mothers are at wits end managing the kids and are also worried about their immunity and overall health.

Sharing a few tips to take care of the little ones and build their immunity.  Of course, in some health conditions doctors are the best people to advice.   Also, these worked for my children; each mother knows the best for her child and so its totally each parent’s discretion.

  •  Don’t make the baby wear a lot of layers.  Don’t make him wear a woolen cap, mittens, socks, etc. all the time if the temperature is normal and not too cold.  You will see kids often sweating or getting irritated when made to wear to many layers.
  • Let the child crawl, walk, run, fall and grow up.  No, I am not heartless!  This helps in building up the kids’ immunity a lot.  The more the kid is in a natural environment the better his immunity will be.  So, every time he crawls or walks and falls don’t go and pick him up.  Of course, the floors need to be kept clean and free of germs and sharp objects.
  • Once the child starts having solids, introduce all the food groups at the earliest.  Give the child pulses, cereals, fruits, vegetables, chicken, paneer, etc. first in a mashed form and later as is.  I started giving my children everything we had, albeit not spicy, since the time they were 7-8 months old.  Giving salt and sugar is totally up to the parents.  This way the kids get all the nutrients, are eating all food groups, and become non-fussy eaters.
  • Never start giving medicines without the doctor’s advice.  Only a medicine for fever like Calpol can be given, that too age-specific dosage and not multiple times.  Not all fevers or cold and cough warrant antibiotics.  So, never introduce any antibiotic or other medicine without the doctor’s advice.  Not all conditions are the same.
  • Don’t panic if the child isn’t eating after recovering from fever or cold and cough.  Don’t try to force feed him.  Even as adults we lose appetite after an illness.  Similarly, the kids also lose appetite which eventually comes back once the child recuperates.  Forcing the child will result in vomiting and abhorrence towards food.
  • Immunity of a child develops in the first 5 years, so don’t worry if he is falling ill once a month or once in 2 months.  Of course, if the child is suffering from asthma or other issues the scenario is different.  Trying out home remedies, Ayurvedic or homeopathic treatment is totally each parents’ choice but for infants home remedies should be avoided as they are too young to be put at any risk.
  • Never stop the course of any medicine in between.  Often mothers stop the medicines once they feel the child is better but that should never be done.  The course of any treatment should always be completed.  This is for the child’s well being.
  • Don’t restrict the child from playing in the mud, getting wet in the rain, playing rough for the fear of falling and hurting.  All these make the child strong.  This is my personal experience.  Don’t worry about getting tanned or the elbows and knees getting dark!  This is applicable for both boys and girls.

The more we mollycoddle the children the lesser the strong they will be.  Let them grow naturally and normally.  Remember our own childhood?

A Letter To Her-Don’t Go Back..

#ALetterToHer

Dear Her,

Do you remember the time our class teacher had humiliated you in front of the whole class for not submitting your homework on time?  You had told me, your friend, that you will never give her another chance to insult you again and you never did!  Then what happened 20 years later my friend?

I remember when you were dating your boyfriend, now your husband, once you didn’t reach your meeting place on time and he abused you publicly by calling you a “filthy late bitch.”  You were shocked and cried on my lap.  I had told you to immediately break up with him.  But you were so madly in love with him that you forgave him the very next day when he said sorry.

You were so excited and participated in all your marriage festivities with fervor.  On your mehendi night, he called you up and cursed your family and you as he and his family felt you people didn’t match up to their standards of wedding preparations.  Even the marriage was a big drama with him and his parents insulting you and your parents at every step.  Every time you forgave him because you loved him.

On your first night, his mother had asked you to hand over all your ornaments to her and you refused.  I still can’t forget the black mark beneath your eye and your swollen bruised lips the next day when you came for “pag phera” at your parents’ place.  This became a daily routine for you.  His violent outbursts, abusive language, thrashings, rape, etc.  He wouldn’t allow you to speak with your parents, would never let your parents visit you.  The demands kept on increasing.

My pretty friend, you became pale and lifeless.  You wanted to come back but your parents feared “log kya kahenge” and asked you to adjust.  Amidst all these, you discovered that you were pregnant.  You felt your husband and in-laws would change now.  But you were so wrong.  They kept insisting that you bear a son; chromosomes be damned!

I still remember the day your beautiful little daughter was born.  Your husband slapped you in that delicate stage.  He didn’t take his own daughter in his arms; he didn’t even look at the angel.  Your in-laws didn’t come to visit you.

Now your daughter is 2 months old and you are contemplating going back.  Your parents are willing to “seek forgiveness” for a fault that you haven’t committed; the fault that is your daughter.

My friend, don’t go back!  Be the girl you were 20 years back when you had promised that our teacher wouldn’t insult you again.  A father who hasn’t seen his darling daughter’s face, a husband who has slapped his just postpartum wife doesn’t deserve your forgiveness any more.  Even if you go back, can you fathom what will be your and your daughter’s condition there?  You have tolerated all the abuse and violence for all these years thinking your husband would some day mend his ways.  But now do you want your daughter to go through the same ordeal as you?  Would you want her to give a life of humiliation and unacceptability?  You are the one whom she recognizes now, trusts blindly, and will always depend on, look up to you to protect her, give her strength.  Don’t repeat the mistake that your parents are committing now, of not supporting you.  You know how much it hurts.  The very people who are supposed to protect you, love you; your parents and husband, are nowhere in your support.

But my friend, you are a strong girl.  Don’t go back.  Your education and inner strength will help you.  Of course, the road isn’t going to be easy.  But at least you will lead a life of dignity and freedom.  You have to gear up for another battle; divorce, societal pressure, parental pressure, hurtful remarks.  But remember, nobody is in your shoes.  You have had enough, now protect yourself and your daughter.  Make yourself strong and resilient, make your daughter strong and bold.

A marriage is a happy one only when there is a bond, not bondage.

Much love and strength to you.

Your friend,

Note:  I went through Meena Kandasamy’s blog in this Sunday’s Times of India and was very impressed by her honesty and her fearlessness.  Her decision to walk out of an abusive marriage is not a step that still many educated women take till date.  That’s why I want to read her inspiring story, When I Hit You,

My cherished trophies..

#WOW

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

In my school days, I was a very good student and a good singer too.  I used to come first in my class as well as in the music competition every year.  I used to win prizes but never won a medal or trophy as an award.  Students who won in sports were given medals or trophies but for some strange reason students who won in arts and music were never given medals or trophies, only prizes.

With every win I used to be elated but somewhere the longing for a medal or trophy always remained.  While my parents or I would say that I used to win competitions or come first in academics, I never had a medal or trophy to display my happiness or talent.

Years went by, I grew up, gave up the hope of winning any trophy ever.  Somewhere in between, I had confidence issues too.  I was not that confident and effervescent girl that I used to be in the school days.  Then post college, job, marriage and kids somewhere I totally forgot about that longing.  I used to be immensely happy when my kids won medals.  Somewhere the student in me was happy!

Few years back I started blogging.  It simply started as a medium of sharing my parenting experiences on various platforms, which I started taking more seriously over the years.  My blogging slowly started giving me some recognition too.  Many new moms would approach me for advice and also appreciate my inputs.

On the eve of Women’s Day this year, I participated in an event organized by a nearby mall and decided to sing on the stage once again.  With the responsibilities, my singing had taken a backseat.  I went on the stage and performed in front of a big crowd and heard the claps after many years.  At the end of the event, I was given a trophy!  Yes..finally I could proudly display a trophy!

I am the part of many mom forums out of which one mom forum held an event yesterday and I went there.  They felicitated me for being a Woman Achiever in the blogging category and yes I again won a trophy.  This was in front of many talented women who clapped for me and appreciated me.  I was overwhelmed!

Winning these two trophies in the same year once again made me realize that anything is possible in life!!  We tend to believe that life after a certain age is over but my long-cherished dream as a student got fulfilled this year when I turned 40!

Its never too late to dream or achieve anything..

Preparing for school

One of the most important milestones in a child’s life is the beginning of school life.  A child who has been with the parents since birth, protected, guarded is to be prepared to get exposed to a different life altogether.  A life which has teachers, friends, and a lot of other new stuff.

I see many new moms getting nervous about how their kids will adjust or whether they are taking the right decision by sending the child to a school early and so on.  Whether to send the child to a playgroup is totally a parent’s choice but at any stage of school life certain things need to be kept in mind.

Sharing a few pointers from my own experience of sending my two children to school at various stages.

  1. Playgroup.  This is the beginning of a setup where the child is on his own without the parents for 2-3 hours.  A lot of times there is a discussion whether the child who is so young needs to be sent to a playgroup or not.  I would simply say a playgroup is only for 2-3 hours where the children interact with their little peers, play, learn a little, and have lots of fun.
  2. Setting a routine.  When the kids are babies sometimes there is no routine.  They stay awake till late and wake up late.  But once the parents decide to enroll the kid in the school they should start following a routine for the child few months in advance so that the child can cope up well later.
  3. Sleep time.  A toddler needs 10-12 hours of sleep for rest and better growth.  Ensure that the child sleeps on time in the night so that he can wake up fresh in the morning.  Often moms complain that the child is cranky in the morning.  This is because his sleep is not insufficient.
  4. Meals.  One of the biggest struggle of parenting for many moms is food!  Mothers are worried about the quantity of food, the nutrients, and the time taken by the child to finish the meals.  Always ensure that the child has breakfast before going to school.  My children have this habit of having breakfast right from the time they were in playgroup.  Wake up the child a little earlier so that you don’t have to rush the child to eat or may be send the child empty stomach.  A good breakfast is essential for the kids to stay fresh, active and healthy.
  5. Try to select a school which is closer home or either parent’s workplace when the child is younger.  Either parent could reach quickly in case of any emergency.
  6. Talk to the child daily in a casual way to know how his day was, whether he has some issues.
  7. If there are any issues, approach the teacher in a polite manner.  Don’t accuse or argue unreasonably.  After all, the teacher is handling many more children.
  8. Don’t be overprotective.  In the school, kids learn to share, have tiffs, cry, laugh; its all a part of growing up and learning.

School life is a new phase of every parent’s and kid’s life.  With all its ups and downs, its one of the most memorable phase of the children’s life..

Slow down son..

Sometimes I feel like cuddling my son in my arms and telling him just relax my boy! Wish I could turn back time and make you a toddler again where we would go to the park together, read stories together, fool around together. I would watch cartoons with you while we had lunch, I would take you to the karate class in the evening. Every evening you would go down to play with your friends sharp at 7.
 
Now those friends are grown up, some like you in 10th, some in 11th and 12th. Those bunch of boys fighting and laughing every evening have vanished, now they are seen in tuition classes or worrying about their future. Now I see you my boy working hard throughout the day and sleeping the minute your head hits the pillow.
 
Sometimes I feel like telling you bunk the class today and take rest. But you yourself won’t do that. Wish I could make you the cute, chubby 2-year-old again who didn’t have to slog and worry about the future. I know its inevitable and as a parent I wish the best for your future but looking at you working hard relentlessly without a break makes me think why did you grow up so fast?