Category Archives: parenting and me

Letter – Day 4

To My Darling Daughter,

No today is not your birthday but here I am writing a letter to you. Why, you wonder !! Today morning in that moment when you were holding back that single drop of tear, millions of emotions raged in me. In the that moment when you were denying that you were crying, for the first time I was at a loss. I didn’t know what to say except kiss you and hug you. And I really want to apologize because mommy needs to do better than that!!

I know 3rd grade has been a little tough for you emotionally. From getting bullied in the bus to your very close friend being friends with the bullies and teaming up against you. I know it’s been rough. As a mum it’s my job to say all the right things that sometimes sound so lame. But honey, I want you to truly believe that I understand. While I tell you to stand up for yourself or ignore depending on what the situation demands, I wish I could actually tell you to slap that kid and I’ll deal with the consequences later. But I hold back.

You are a very sweet kid. I often complain about how quickly you are growing up there are often times Daddy and I feel in comparison to your peers or fellow 9/10 year olds, you are still very innocent. I see kids who are a lot more street smart. Often during such times I get so scared. I feel even now when your peers are still in the very-much-kid-category age, often they are manipulative and take your niceness for granted. So many tell me, you’ll change with age and others close to us tell me that such niceness is an asset and I shouldn’t worry. But my mommy mind worries. Sometimes I honestly wish you weren’t so nice. I wish you were not afraid of confrontations. I wish you could give back a taste of their medicine. But you are too kind.

You hate fights !! You hate screaming and bickering. You are generally a calm and peaceful person. You get really upset when people around you are sad, sick or distressed. While I know your exceptionally sweet and helpful nature makes you the loving little girl for not only family but your teachers also adore. But sometimes, sometimes this very selfish mommy wishes you didn’t care as much about others, were a little more selfish, mean when need be. But I know that’s just me being protective mama bear. Selfish thoughts not shared by Daddy who reprimands me when I think these thoughts aloud. So often than not, I wish you could see yourself through my eyes.

Like I always tell you, wait till you grow up a little more true friendship will happen. You will find that one/few friends. You just need to trust me. But never let yourself be treated badly. Back when you were little I always said, “Treat every one like how you like being treated”. But today I want to say, “treat yourself how you treat others and never settle for anything less”. And that my dear is something you have to learn.

And no matter how old you get you don’t need to hide those tears from us. Crying does not mean you’re weak.

Love you to pieces sweetie pie !!




Mish Mash 

In a blink, April swept by me and I’m still trying to catch my breath. Not too much has been going on in my end and yet I’ve been busy with things here and there. Things called regular life with an active and super busy 8 year old. So before I had a chance to pen anything, we are in May. Wow!! May already and in my head it’s like 2017 has just begun.

We have just over 3 weeks till the end of the school year. I can’t wait for summer break to begin. Daughter is at this wonderful age where she pretty much doesn’t need me other than chauffeuring her around or for food. She’s extremely independent but still isn’t in the ‘tween/teen whatever’ phase yet. It’s wonderful to have conversations with her and I’m often amazed at the responses I get. 

I love hanging out with her be it at home or go out shopping. She’s my absolute bff these days. I love to shop and have those mommy n me day outs with her. These days with activities during weekends, summer is the only time to splurge in those luxuries. So I have a lot planned for summer. Three months of unstructured mommy hood with no running around daily. We aren’t doing any regular camps except for a horse riding one which she absolutely insists on doing. Apart from that one, one week camp, swimming and piano lessons will continue. Musical theater will be done after the year end show for the summer. The best part for me is no packing lunches. 

Her being an avid reader, there are times I don’t realize she’s at home. So that definitely helps both of us from getting in each other’s hair. For her a good chunk of the day is also spent in her room playing some pretend games. And right now her current obsession is Harry Potter and Nancy Drew books. She has read the first four books of the HP series and I’ve promised her that she can start the fifth book once the break begins. So you can be assured the first week is going to be spent in having her nose buried. 

We also have a trip to Myrtle beach planned for the last week of June. So definitely there are fun times in the horizon. With the beach vacation looming large, my weight loss plan has picked up double the speed. I only wish the numbers on the scale were a little more promising. Anyway that’s a topic for another day. For today I’m optimistic I’ll get there even if it takes time.

This seems to be a mish mash post of sorts but that’s exactly how my headspace is right now. Too many things screaming for attention. I think I need to do separate posts for a few that I want to talk about in detail but for today I just need to publish this before I re read and delete. So here’s a mish mash peek of my mind :). 

Parenting Googly – Day 91

I always thought it’s better to teach my Daughter by example than preach. Of course I have my moments when I go on and on about something which I know she barely listens but nevertheless it doesn’t stop me from giving a looong lecture. But in the end I always try to focus on doing things the right way knowing how closely she pays attention to details. 

She knows I’m trying to loose weight and I make no secret about it. I tell her when I cheat and she knows it when I’m being good. She knows when I’m high with enthusiasm and these days she also understands when I’m struggling. Now you might ask, what I’m trying to achieve by sharing my personal struggle with my 8 year old. To me this was a conscious decision. I deliberately share because I want her to be aware of a healthy lifestyle. Apart from sowing the seeds of regular exercise and healthy eating, I also want her to know it’s fine to have bad days but we need to move on and not give up. My mum thinks Daughter hardly understands all that I’m trying to explain but I differ in my opinion. I know she doesn’t understand the bigger picture that I’m desperately trying to show right now, to her she’s the boss of my schedule. She thinks she’s in charge. It gives her great joy to tell me no tv time if I’ve not exercised, etc. But I’m sure she’ll understand my perseverance very soon. She’ll appreciate hard work when she sees her parents working hard no matter what the cause.

The other thing that I’ve consciously tried to practice is dealing with my stress in a better way. Some time back, I felt I was always on edge and yelling a lot. I lost my patience at the drop of a hat. That’s when I asked myself, what am I teaching her ?? That when you are having a bad day, yell and that’ll solve the problem. If you are stressed then yell and the others should bear it because you are having a bad day. Is that how I want a little child to think. Do I need her to study my expression and first judge whether I’m having a bad day before coming to me for any help/talk. NO !! No screamed all over my head. That’s when I tried working on my patience and letting a lot of baggage go. And it helped me as a person and definitely as a mum. 

I’m known for speaking my mind. God help you if you ever mess with my loved ones. I always stood up for my loved ones. It gave me a lot of happiness when I see her standing up for friends or when she sees something wrong. 

So I was really focusing on doing things that I thought were right so that inadvertently she would be steered in the right direction. Atleast that’s what I was hoping for. I was happy with myself because even though the reason of trying to change was to be a better mum but I was really enjoying a much more lighter, carefree, happy me. So to me it was a win win situation.

Yesterday night when I was tucking her in bed, she was talking to me about a random incident in school. I was getting her clothes ready for the morning and kind of had half an ear to her story. Suddenly I heard something’s that I didn’t like which made me keep the other tasks at hand and totally focus on what she was telling me.

Her story went somewhat to the effect that a classmate was a little mean to her and she chose to ignore it because if she said something back then that would hurt the classmate. I was taken aback. Of course you should be considerate to other people’s feelings but not by being hurt yourself. That’s exactly what I told her. Next what she said will have me thinking for a very long time. She told me with a very serious face, “But mommy that’s what you always do. You never show when you are hurt. You just smile but I know you also feel sad.” I honestly didn’t know how to react. I blinked and gulped but no words came out. This gave her further opportunity to elaborate on the point she was trying to make. I was dumbfounded by her sensitivity. Of course I quickly regained my composure and tried being honest. I admitted that yes I have trouble speaking up for myself but I’m getting better. While she had one example of her witnessing something that was directed towards me and I didn’t say anything, I told her little incidents where I did speak up for myself.

 She’s still little and that made her happy. She understood it’s important to speak up for oneself and that’s not selfish or mean. We should never accept disrespect or bad behavior from others. Atleast for now she got the message.

While one part of me was happy after getting first hand proof that kids do watch and learn but there was a part of me which also made me realize once again, parenting is a tough job. While I congratulated myself that she’s definitely picking up traits that we display but it also made me realize that I’m being watched. Every step of the way. It just made me realize how transparent I’m to my 8 year old and I better watch my ways. 

Study Time – Day 87

Happiness is seeing my 8 year old do her studies without being told to do. We woke up later than usual and finished our breakfast; talked to both our homes. Then I was cleaning the kitchen and Daughter came to me asking to tie her hair. By the time I was done with the kitchen cleaning, I saw her focused with some math problems. That was the best sight. For once I feel all those times of forcing her to sit and study and those times of her thinking I’m being mean is finally worth it. Atlast these things show me that after all the drama a positive habit has taken shape. And Im really thankful for that.

As I type I hear hubby and Daughter trying to work with some algebra problems. Yes in case you are wondering she has figured hubby is the more patient one when dealing with maths and every Sunday they sit for a math session. My job is to take care of the weekly homework and study times. My job is to nag and make sure everything is done. My job is to see she practices the new concepts she works with hubby on Sundays. 

While I know all days won’t be perfect and there will be times I will still need to drag her to the study table, we need to take those as bitter pills and swallow them. We need to put in the hard work now to enjoy the perks later. And I’m sure there will be more days like these as she grows up !!


Tuesday Thoughts – Day 68

Studies have always been very important to me. Not that I always loved to study but getting good grades were always important. I was always amongst the top of the class and while I was not the competitive kind but I knew where I stood and always wanted to stay there. My mum often got irritated why I didn’t bother to work harder to be ‘the topper’ but I was content where I was. 

So it was very natural for me to make sure Daughter has a designated study time from early on. I think we started to sit with books and scribble and read while she sat patiently around the time she was 3.5 years. This was a time when she was going to daycare for about 4 hours. She had enough playtime and park time in the evenings. I really saw no harm in sitting for 20 minutes every other day. From early on she knew just like we have fun and play, we also need to sit and study. 

Now Daughter was a very early reader and as much as I would like to take credit for it, I honestly didn’t do much. It was a ritual for me to read to her ever since she was a few days old. And we read lots of books. So by the time she was 2.5, she would even want me to read labels- toothpaste, face wash, body wash, etc. These were particularly her favorites because she would sit on the potty and have me read away to glory. Then there were times of grocery shopping and she would sit in the cart and read food labels, etc. I know there are a lot of our friends who thought I taught her how to read but I can honestly tell you she taught herself reading. Not because it made us happy but because she loves to read. 

Anyway this post is not about her reading. She is in 2nd Grade and makes very good grades. Her teacher challenges her all the time in reading, comprehension and maths. She’s also in the gifted program. I’ve always heard raving reviews from all her teachers. Now we’ve never put her in the kumon classes or other such programs inspite of being pushed by numerous friends. I honestly never felt the need. 

But even at 8 my Daughter is very aware that I’m pretty serious about her work. I absolutely lose it when I see sloppy work. I’m ok if she makes mistakes but do not like to see carelessness. I don’t hesitate to praise and I’m very generous in giving compliments but I don’t mince my words during criticisms either. And there are times I find I’m harsh. 

I often see parents who are chilled about studies and feel so bad about the tight ship that I run. But in my defense all I can say is I strongly believe that you need good grades if you want to do good in life. By good I mean professionally and financially. While I know these elementary level grades aren’t important, I just want to instill the perseverance and hard work in her. I have seen numerous examples of kids who did excellent in school and some how withered away during college. While there are those who were average and are doing exceptionally well now. So you just need to work hard and there isn’t a substitute to working hard. It’s important in every aspect of life. And that’s the only lesson I really want her to learn.

Today I was talking to a friend and that’s how this whole thing came about. Am I becoming one of those obnoxious moms that I hated during school ?? Do I need to listen when she says no to doing extra homework ?? But then again to my defense I want to say she has no homework days too !! Do I need to stop nagging ?? How do all of you deal with the education scenario??  Am I the only one who has these kind of questions ??!!

Blogathon 2017#Day24

Day 26 – A Difficult Conversation 

Last week hubby and I were in a fight. Nothing major but we were arguing for some time about some mundane stuff. Even though I call it mundane now but apparently that day it was important to me. Daughter as most kids, gets really upset if we are in a fight. It’s not very often that we fight and somehow the whole scenario makes her very uneasy. Here I must also mention that even though I’m using the term ‘fight’ but there is generally no yelling or shouting involved. But kids as intelligent as they are pick up on the vibes and bits of conversations.

So as Daughter’s bedtime rolled in, the hubby and I went up to tuck her in and kiss her goodnight. By this time we had resolved our differences and were friends again. Seeing us her first question was whether we were getting a divorce or not. We quickly told her that no such thing was happening and we had already resolved the issue that was bothering us. We sat and talked for a while to put her little mind at ease. Now the question that was bothering me was where did she learn about divorce and how much exactly does she know it. But I chose to ignore those questions as it was bedtime.

After coming down and further discussing with the hubby, we identified her source of the new-found-knowledge. She has a friend whose parents got divorced when she was around 3 and they are now both married to different people. Her friend K lives with her mom and step dad, while she spends one weekend in a month with her dad and his family. Now this friend K also lives in our neighborhood. Her mom and I are also friends. So even though I know Daughter knows about the ‘step’ thing but I wasn’t aware that she knew the how’s and whys of divorce.

But honestly what disturbed me was why she thought divorce was a bad thing. I knew I had to talk to her. I honestly don’t want her to grow up thinking life is one big fairytale. So explaining divorce is not bad and it sometimes works for the best was my priority. 

The next day, while we were talking I once again emphasized that we are not getting a divorce and having arguments in the family is quite normal. She listened and nodded. After once again putting her mind at ease, I slowly moved on the subject that was in my mind. I asked her why she thought divorce was bad. She was quiet for a while and ceasing the opportunity I explained that sometimes it works for the best. Taking example of friends often helps, so I gave her the example of K’s family and how they were happy even though they didn’t live in the same house. To this she told me, ‘of course it’s better for the parents since they don’t have to fight anymore and are free to live(marry) with people who they are friends with. But it’s not fair on K. She hardly gets to see her dad and she often tell me she misses seeing her dad everyday. She doesn’t like her dad’s family. Her step-siblings are sometimes mean to her when she visits. So how is it better for K ??’

I had a million answers that I could have given her but words failed me. Even though I know K’s mom’s situation but how can I tell a little 7 year old it’s fine to live without a father. Most importantly my heart went out to little K. I know she is a good kid but I didn’t know the pain that she hides in that little heart and in her beautiful smile. I left the discussion there and hope to get to the more important parts some other time. For now I will let her live in happily-ever-afters.

When your child is sick….

You know your little one is sick when….

– The house is unusually quiet….
– There are no toys lying out of place…..
– No cheerful banter can be heard……
– No Kidz Bop playing non-stop on Pandora….
– Your offer to paint the new outdoor picnic table is declined with a sad smile…..
– No begging for ice cream on hearing the familiar ice cream truck music…..
Yes the Daughter has been down with a bad case of stomach flu since Friday night and that’s exactly how quiet the house has been. Today when I saw the neighborhood kids walking to the bus stop, how I wished Daughter was amongst them too skipping merrily to school after a regular relaxing weekend. No !! Not because having a sick child at home would interfere with my routine but merely because I’ve had enough of  watching an otherwise energetic child laying quietly in bed or sitting and reading a book. While I complain she talks nineteen to a dozen a minute, the quietness disturbs me like nothing else.

I hope my baby girl gets better and back to her normal chirpy self soon. It physically and emotionally drains every ounce of energy from me to see her suffer even with the slightest pain.  The joys and heartbreaks of parenthood is what I guess it is.

Day 5 – Meaningful Monday

The house was so quiet today, after a very long time. The grey skies and the constant snow made the outside look so dreary. I really hate these long winter months. Even though the sun peeked out for sometime, the bone chilling temperature pretty much wiped out any ideas of venturing out.

Daughter was dressed in 4 layers today and still complained of being cold. The kids at the bus stop really looked cute all bundled up. I was thankful the kids had inside recess today but Daughter complained that she is bored with inside recess and it’s much more fun to be outside. I absolutely agree with her sentiments. Being outside is much more fun and I think the scope for unstructured play is much more outside.

One thing that I want to record today is the awesome conversation that I had with my baby girl who is not a baby anymore 😦 . I was actually talking to her about the importance of time management. The reason for our talk is because this little missy loves dilly-dallying and pretend playing. Give her any place and leave her there for a few minutes, when you come back, you will find her pretend playing. Mostly she starts play acting the book that she has been reading. That’s how we waste a lot of time calling her to do certain things. Trust me even in the morning when she is in the bathroom , you will hear her talking to some pretend character. Sometimes it’s cute but mostly it can get quite frustrating to put it mildly. The other, is her penchant for perfection. That can also cause some major delays. These days, I often find incomplete work in her school folder. When I talked to her teacher, she told me that Daughter loves to make things perfect. Her teacher told me not to worry as it’s pretty common. Moreover her teacher said there wasn’t any need for concern since she has observed Daughter do things, and the times when she doesn’t finish her work is purely because she is busy making things better and not exactly wasting her time.

But try telling that to this mom. To me the recipe for success is do your best and in time. You do not have the luxury to take your sweet time. At least that’s how the academic world functions. So today, I was explaining to her why time management is so important. I was amazed at her reaction. She not only understood all that I was telling her but also told me how she is trying to do things in the given time. I was pleasantly surprised when she said, if the teacher says to complete certain things in 10 minutes, she challenges herself to 7. I was dumbstruck to know her little brain has worked out a strategy to fight with her weakness. We also talked about focussing on things and not to be distracted. We talked about limiting our pretend play to certain times.

All in all, it was such a rewarding conversation. A conversation that made me realize how fast she is growing. It also made me realize that slowly and steadily, she is becoming more independent and she is using her own judgement to help her through. A conversation which gave me an insight to her mind. She really made me proud today !!!

Being A Better Parent

Do you feel guilty for snapping at your child just because you are in a hurry/stressed/running late/too much workload/or any other reason for that matter ?? I have fallen in a vicious cycle or so it seems. I yell – feel guilty – try to behave for a couple of days – something or the other is in my mind (again) when Daughter does something and I Yell again – the cycle continues.

Often these days I take a lesson from my Daughter. Like today when we were playing together. I was pretending to be a little girl and she was supposed to be my big sister. The game was thought up by her. But while playing I deliberately didn’t follow her instructions. She kept explaining it to me and I kept ignoring. After it went on for some time, she came to me. Held my face in her hands so that I would look at her and calmly stated, ” Mommy, remember how you like me to listen when you give me assignments. I would appreciate if you would listen to me too.” She was poised, calm and articulate. I just stared at her wondering why I couldn’t be as calm when she didn’t listen.

Few days back, we were having a mommy-daughter time cuddling and acting crazy on the living room floor. After sometime we were tired and she lay on my hand. We were pretending to watch stars on the ceiling 🙂 . I asked her if she was having fun, and she silently nodded. Then she went on to tell me that she loved it when I was happy and not mad at her. I told her gently that she is a good girl and I’am not always mad at her. I also apologized for being impatient at times and told her I’am working towards being more patient. Once again what she said next showed me what a sensitive child she is. She simply said,” mommy I know you are trying. I also know that you are often busy but I’am just a little kid. Sometimes I don’t understand if you just tell me stuffs once. Please don’t be mad or irritated when there are toys all over. Remember I don’t do it on purpose, I just forget. I love you and I don’t want to do things to upset you.” I really wanted to cry that moment. At how mature she sounded. I just hugged her.

I also thought hard that day. I questioned my reactions on a number of occasions. And in the end I was pretty ashamed of how I was dealing with things. I honestly felt that sometimes I’am setting a bad example. What am I teaching her subconsciously ?? That if you are stressed for whatever reason then it’s fine to bite other peoples head…..that it’s fine to snap and snarl at your near and dear ones…. Is that how I want her to deal with stress when she grows up….And in all honesty I have a pretty perfect life. There is really no big stresses apart from the normal ups and downs. While I really don’t want to give my Daughter the impression that life is one big fairytale, I also don’t want her to grow up before its time. Because contrary to what we think, they are pretty receptive towards our moods. They pick up the general vibes pretty easily.

And the other things about me that I’am so irritated are – **why am I in a constant hurry?? **Why do I need to have things in their rightful place all the time?? **Why do I need to plan every minute detail and why does all plans have to have a plan B?? **Why does not having a plan freak me out so much?? **Why am I becoming such a control freak?? After all I am not running a marathon. I have decided to be easy on myself and on others around me. So I made a promise to myself that I would be more patient and try to control my emotions. I’ll take each day at a time.

I am in the second week of the new me. So far so good 🙂 . Let’s see how long I’am able to be true to my promise. I like the way I’am dealing with things. There are also less arguments or tiffs with the hubby. In all the house is a happy place.

A Little Effort

I think I’am starting to have a fetish for homemade treats. Especially when it comes to indulging Daughter. As I have mentioned before she is a very fussy eater. So much so that many of my friends who claimed that their children were way too fussy, now consider themselves lucky after seeing my Daughter. I have absolute zero trouble with her in almost everything but eating.

Trust me I have done everything. Tried to feed her with the idiot box on. Didn’t work. Switched it off thinking she would eat just to have it back on. That didn’t work either. But that was when she was little. Thought she would improve after starting her preschool. Probably eating with other kids would help. O No!!! Not my girl. As far as eating was concerned she didn’t care. Ice creams, cookies, candies, pizza…..she didn’t really care for anything much.

I read articles and followed all the ‘gyan’ that I laid my hands on. I bought all the fancy tableware I found. I tried to make the food look real pretty. Made flower/heart/u-name-it-I-made-it shaped mini sandwiches. But nothing really worked. Each time I took the extra effort and made something special, I was met with a girl who would say, ‘I like it mommy, but I don’t want anymore’. Mind you this would come right after the very first bite. Lunch/dinner time often felt like a battleground in our homes.

There came a point where her pediatrician was worried about her weight gain cause she didn’t gain any unlike her mom 😦 . But at each time her pediatrician reminded me that at least unlike other kids she didn’t stuff herself with junk. So in a strange way I was supposed to be lucky.

Most kids I know, love to eat out but that was not the case in our household till sometime back. Even now she prefers eating at home any day over restaurants. But at least now she tries. I have accepted that she is not a foodie and I’am fine. Infact I know in the long run that’s better. These days I don’t have to struggle with the fruits. Granted she has only banana and a rare slice of apple or melon. But I’am happy she eats a fruit daily.

I have also noticed she is intrinsically a healthy eater. She prefers tofu over paneer. She would much rather have freshly made juice over any store bought. She simply refuses pop. Not that we ever encourage her. But on occasions when she is offered a fruit punch or pop in a bday party she politely refuses. Someone once told me, she is a model kid. Where everyone is constantly monitoring their kids junk food intake, I have absolutely no concerns. So these days I’am trying to be easy. As long as she is healthy, I’am fine with how little she eats.

These days with summer at full bloom I’am trying to experiment and explore a little further. Now days instead of yelling or forcing her to eat something that she doesn’t like, I try to present her in a way I know she would like. Another thing that, in my experience has worked is setting up an example. When she sees us having fruits or anything for that matter, she is more open to trying it. Just preaching doesn’t get the desired result always.

Today for example was a hot day here and she wanted to go out for a milkshake. Instead of giving in or getting in for a major drama, I decided to rope her in my plans. I told her we would make a homemade strawberry milkshake for her and for us she could help in making a melon cooler. She was excited and game for it.

The result was all of us were happy. She loved her milkshake. I don’t have a problem with these indulgences since they are a win-win situation for us. This way I’am at least able to control everything that goes in the shake.

Even for us, I have noticed making stuffs at home from scratch gives me a high. The biggest satisfaction is I know what is in there. I just need to remember that the next time I want to order or go out for lunch/dinner 🙂 .

Strawberry Milkshake (right) and the Melon Cooler(left) 🙂