December 28, 2011

Of Loving and Understanding

There are many days which end in a whirlwind and yet many others where I have the time to relax, think and plan for the next day. I cherish this time which I get at times, towards the end of the day, however rare it is. Being a new mother, there always seems to be so many items on the checklist, which never ever get done, but nevertheless have to in the week. All such planning and updates on the list happen during these few hours which I catch up with at times.

If I will be credited with 2 hours every day, then there is something which I have not being giving any time for, and that is myself. Being able to sit down and plan my life out, take the time to think how I wish to pan out plans and achieve them. And these me-times are very rare to find as there is inevitably something which I need to attend to at any time of the day. So, more than 2 hours extra, I need to have these two hours completely to myself. That is what I would want the most.

And what would I do during these two hours? There are many things which I feel, in the daily run called life, we miss out on and do not give any importance to.

The most important I feel is to understand a fellow human being.
The second important thing is to love unconditionally.

If you ask me, of the two, the second one is very difficult, and it does play havoc with ego, emotions et al. But, to truly be happy, one must be able to love someone taking away the good, bad and ugly from than person. And that requires that I am able to do some good amount of thinking, re-assess what decisions I took and how differently I could have done things. They might be the smallest of small things, but if it has affected me, and warranted a look over it in these 2 extra hours, then it sure is important.

Understanding people around is again something which requires time for me. I have noticed that many a times, I end up assuming what the other person would have wanted to me understand rather than just understand what they said. And if they do not say anything, I have learnt to ask. I think this is one of the most important things which I need to instill in myself. It is a tedious process, I have begun the same, but I know analyzing my thinking and actions are the only way to go about it.

So, extra time is something I really do need. I need to organize my mind and improve as a person.

December 13, 2011

Time flew

7 months seem like a short period of time for many other things which I have done. But, when I look at my 7 month old daughter, I feel aww, love, amazement. I see everyday a new development, I see a personality developing apart from the milestones which I am quickly counting and documenting. She has her likes and dislikes, somethings will never happen when she doesn't wish for it. But, she also knows when I am losing my temper and she will also quickly concede.

When I embarked on this journey, I was so unprepared, in fact now I look back, I had no idea what to expect. I did not know anything about children. I had only seen my nieces and nephews for brief periods which were more customary than in a taking care role. I was there to take care of them when their mother needed some work done. So, I was the one who would sit down and keep them occupied, but I was never the one who would be with them all through the day and I did not know how I would ever manage that. And today, I have been all alone at home, with no help ( yes, my help bunked), which means cooking, cleaning and T has all been my responsibility.

I do not know whether it was my running about or was it that children tend to get themselves into weird positions, but T just got her first nick while trying to stand up and stumbling, bumping her head on a rocking chair. She screamed and I came running, I saw the tinge of blood and my first instinct was to call B, but then I decided it didn't require that. It was a small nick, and she stopped howling after a minute. I dabbed it with a wet cotton and applied some baby lotion. Now, I believe that children fall down, get hurt and then they become OK, but then the first one being at 7 months is what I did not expect. My mom keeps telling me, you have one very active kid in the making, she will ensure you are on your feet. And my mom is also of the opinion that instead of wasting money on gym, exercise classes et al, I should just start running about with her and interact with her all through the day which will surely have me tired. After one day of managing everything on my own, I think maybe she does have a point, well moms always have a point! Experience that is called!

Anyhow, on the trying to stand up and move about bit, I think maybe it would be a good idea for me to get her a walker so that I know she wont be tumbling down anything soon. Also this will allow her to move about more easily. Any inputs, please do leave a comment. Any particular brand, model which is good, or if you feel walkers are not a good idea.. whichever way. 

December 8, 2011

How a child can change your life

Every time I get a call from a friend, the question which I get asked is as to how I am coping up with the change and how I am liking the different lifestyle. The fact is it is a big change and nothing which you could have thought will explain how the things are going to change. There are changes in every aspect of your life. Something as simple as just going to buy groceries to more elaborate shopping for oneself, all of it changes dramatically when you have to feature in a small person who loves to go out and explore, but would also be finicky about the kind of place and that she gets her food on time. Timing is everything in this whole process, with knowing your kid's schedule and being prepared about what would be required on a trip out.

Taking out time for myself has been the biggest challenge which I am faced with. You can have a help but getting yourself to trust completely that person and leaving your child is something which I am not too sure about. My mother says you have to trust someone or else just give up everything that you wish to do and sit at home. That is a choice which I have to make. Or the other option is some member of family from either side is present at home. I am not very thrilled with that option either. I think I have been ever too comfortable in a place which I call my own since the past 10 years and now if there is a constant other presence I am not too sure I would really like it. Nevertheless, I can't say for sure as I have not been there. But this is certainly one option where in I can just be sure that it is perfectly fine for me to leave the house for a few hours and go any place. But, then the trade off is in the way you want to teach your kid to do some stuff. There would be two different kinds of instructions which the kid will receive and that I am not too sure would be great to build a good solid foundation on the manners and habits which I would like to instill. For example, I can say that I do not give books in Tee's hands simply because I know she does not know what is to be done with them and hence she will just crush the paper to make noise. My help does at times give her books/ news paper in her hand which I have said NO to, and she does it because it is simple for her to keep her occupied such than play/ talk to her.

I was recently talking with a friend and she was of the opinion that when you do not let the child move about on the floor, explore, they do not end up moving about and learning to roll over or crawl. A friend of mine has experienced this first hand as she was working and hence the baby was in the care of the nanny most of the day. And she believes the nanny was in the habit of keeping her daughter in the pram through the day as it was simpler to move her about and also easier to manage her.Hence, she feels her daughter has started to crawl very late and is in general lazy as is used to being carried around or in a pram and is not used to exploring on her own. These might just be cases, but there might be many such things which will arise and hence the apprehension. I would love to have my freedom back and move about, but I think it is also in me to bring up my daughter to the best way I can. I have to prioritize and see what is it that I can let go and what I can not under any circumstances.

One of the main things which I need to start is working out. This is something of a priority for me and have been putting it off for long now. Now, for this I would like to leave Tee for an hour with my help and get this done. I feel some time being apart is fine but I am personally not comfortable in leaving her for prolonged periods. By this I mean, I would not like to leave her until she is able to tell me when something was wrong and she did not like it. Until then I think I should be around to ensure that the things are the way I want it to be done. For some reason I can not imagine that someone would take care of my kid the way I would. And this is where I see the truth when its said its good to have family stay with you if you wish to work or be away from your child for a long period. The fact is I do not want to leave Tee, not that I can not. I can. I can if I wish to trust my help to do the things as I would like it. But, will she?

A child truly changes your outlook to many things and opens up new emotions which you have never experienced. Its difficult and so many times you just feel frustrated with your situation and wonder why can't someone just take over for a while. And, then you realize, unless you really blindly trust the person who will be taking over, there is no true break.

I just had no clue its so hard being a mom!

December 7, 2011

Valmiki's Daughter - Book Review

Valmiki's Daughter by Shani Mootoo, set in Trinidad, revolving around a family of four, their sexual preferences and the society they move in. The book is written in the voices of all the characters and there is also a fair bit of third person narrative in it. Hence a good blend of style.

The story weaves seamlessly, the past and present, emotions and culture. It moves through the relationships between father - daughter, mother - daughter, sisters and also the couple. The plot is mostly of the emotions which Viveka, Valmiki's Daughter experiences as she realizes her sexual preference for women over men. She is not worried about it, but she does know the plight of such women in the society and how it will affect her family. She knows that her parents might not agree to her likes, as they are shown to be through the book, but moreover she herself also is unsure whether she will have the courage to step up and take her stand for her wish. Through this there is the hidden preference of Valmiki himself, which is camouflaged in the screen of a womanizer.

The book portrays how society rules one's lives and how it is mandatory in smaller societies to ensure that the likes and dislikes are guarded heavily lest they become the topic of all conversations. It also shows how those who want, still goes ahead and cater to their likes, but with the knowledge of how to go about it and to not cause a scandal.

This is a book which I picked up at JustBooks over a month back but just never got down to reading it. Just been busy, I guess. Once I did pick it up, I was done in a matter of days. Its beautifully written, emotions played out and thoughts detailed. It does set you thinking.


December 6, 2011

I don't know how she does it - Movie Review

Being a SATC fan, and also a Sara Jessica Parker fan, well not for her acting per say. I just liked her portrayal of Carrie Bradshaw, and seem to watch her movies. Lets say most of her movies are what a good chick flick is for me. Its never too heavy and still has some story line better than the Euro trip kinds. Being at home, and a recent mom, just wanted a peek into the other side... as I do plan on starting to work, maybe not soon, but will. And what I did see was not a pretty picture. I think its super difficult after seeing this movie.

She is a working mother, good at her work, enjoys her work and is trying her best to get the whole work done. Her husband is a very understanding man, but is also working and is hence quite busy with himself and has little time for the kids too. How the kids are affected by the nanny's continuous presence and how the yearn for their mom to be with them. They see more of their dad than their mom, and the elder daughter (6) makes it very evident that she dislikes her mom's work as it keeps her away from home. The plot moves onto a great project which comes her way, and makes life even more difficult for her. At the end of it all, she just decides to quit her job and stop as it was just driving her family crazy, but she ends up just prioritizing and saying 'NO' to the boss when required.

I thought it was quite dramatic how she decided to quit her job as how many of us would actually do that. If it is a job you have worked so hard to keep, work hard on and then you just walk out? Well, maybe you can if it is driving your life crazy. There is nothing phenomenally great in this movie, but its a decent week night movie.