I've been tagged! - Motherhood lessons

Aparna tagged me to write five foremost lessons that motherhood has taught me. Thanks Aparna for this tag! This is my first-ever tag.

Parenting, especially motherhood, is one job where the parents (it is a learning curve for both parents, although it is the mother who takes the exam) keep learning throughout their lives — it starts with bringing the child into this world, understanding the baby, dealing with the toddler, bonding with the teenager and nurturing and keeping the relationship alive with the adult.

I had a planned motherhood but I was totally unprepared for the challenges that this new responsibility was to throw onto me. The first few months of handling a demanding baby that hardly slept during the day and my own post-partum blues taught me to expect the unexpected. Just as I was to give in to despair and frustration, things began to look up and it was just a beginning to a wonderful relationship.

I learnt to take life a little easy and forgive myself for the mistakes that I made. I understood that everything cannot be planned and plans will invariably be upset with a baby in the household. I learnt to respect myself as an individual and also trust my decisions- this part is tough as I constantly self-doubt only to be reassured by my husband.

I found a new-found respect for my own parents as I realized how easy it is to judge someone from the outside but how very difficult it is to play the role of a parent. It is not as though you didn’t respect or love them earlier but after you become a parent, life takes on a new perspective that can be appreciated only by someone who is a parent.

A child lives life every moment. Each moment is enjoyed and explored to its potential. I am marveled and try to imbibe this very crux of life. I never realized that a smile on my child’s face could light up mine like a thousand-watt bulb. Every mischief and antic is cherished and relived by narrating it to my husband later in the evening or writing it out on this blog. Never thought life could revolve around a child in so many ways than one.
Having said this, I have also realized the importance of having my own “me” time. I realized that I will function better as a mother only if I can get some time off to be able to appreciate the time spent in.

As a parent I am anxious to give my child all the best things in life- just as any other parent would want to. Most importantly, I want to create a positive environment that is growth- conducive in our home for our son. This includes, among many other things, maintaining a healthy relationship with the spouse. Of course I take out my failings and frustrations as a mother on the hubby but I believe and realize that it is important for the child to feel the love, respect and warmth between the parents. So, just as it is necessary to be a good parent so it is to be a good spouse - at least in front of the child..;-)

This tag has been going around for quite sometime now in the mommy blogger circle and I have nodded my head in affirmation to most points that other mothers have written about. I tag:

Vidya (Life under the sky),
JLT (Just like that),
Uma (of the Pattu fame),
Chotu’s mom (chotu’s world),
Simran (chipsnchutzpah),
Nancy (Reflections)
and any other parent (fathers are also welcome) who would like to take up this tag. Would love to hear from you guys!

Am I Good enough?

I wonder sometimes…
What is good enough?
If good enough is enough then
What is good enough?

I am judged by myself
But am also judged by many others
Is it enough to surpass myself..or
Is it necessary to surpass others?

I start by pleasing myself
Enroute I end up pleasing others
Suddenly pleasing others seems foremost
And I am not so sure of myself

It’s a good feeling to be liked by one or two
Even better if loved by all
What best if you can
But love yourself too

When you work for others
It is a job
When you work for yourself
It is a pleasure
Thus goes a known truth
Easier known than understood
For, had I known
Had I understood
I would have known..

Art and some giveaways..

Art- in form of drawing, painting, sketching, craft or handiwork- and I are like chalk and cheese. The drawing classes in school used to send me into an all-time low. The teacher would announce a topic and while I would gape at the blackboard and devise ways of intelligently tackling the topic in a way that will allow least forms of drawing, my artistic friends would have filled the canvas in breathtaking hues and forms. I was among those students that could give the poor drawing teacher the nightmares.

I do have, can safely say, a decent sense of the aesthetics. So, you will not catch me dead in a fluorescent green shirt and shocking pink trousers. I like subtlety and a touch of ethnicity in my home décor. I love to browse through beautifully done up homes in magazines or blogs, drawing ideas and inspirations from them to decorate my future home. I have great regard and admiration for people who rather than just pick up random stuff out of store shelves, make the effort to create them and give them a personal and warm touch, especially given my inadequacy of craftsmanship and creativity.

So, what’s with a post with Art and a giveaway as the title? Since art and I do not gel so well, I cannot dream of giving my creations as a giveaway. I do not want to scare away the existing few that visit me here. Well, so what if I cannot make a portrait or think of a creative use for old curtains. It does not stop me for contesting for goodies that other artists are putting up as giveaways. Simran, whose blog simzcorner is a wonderful blog on home décor, is giving away awesome goodies to mark her 100th post milestone. Do have a look at what she has there.

p.s. Now, who can turn down a person who is such a great advertising mouthpiece...so maybe the awesome pouches may just find their way into my closet..Simran, are you listening?..;-))

And others, who may have also set their eyes and heart upon those gifts, may follow suit and spread the message and you may well be the lucky one.

How I Met My Husband (Part three)

Story so far..

As per Hindu traditions, there is an inauspicious period of 15 days (pitrupaksh or mallayapaksham) where people refrain from embarking on any auspicious events-especially marriage. Since that period was nearing, both set of parents (esp mine) insisted that we meet up before it started. Now that was just a week away. This was first week of September. I was not too keen on meeting up just yet. I wanted to establish some more comfort factor. When I spoke to him he also felt it would rush matters unnecessarily although he didn’t quite mind it. The tentative date for the meeting was set for 6th September.

I was in a new job and my induction was to take place on the same very day and I could not miss it. So, I mailed him and asked him if he could meet me at the place where my induction would be conducted. It would save us the time I would spend in commuting all the way home (in the Mumbai traffic) in the evening after the event, I reasoned. He was new to the city but agreed nevertheless. A day before the D-day, he called me to say that his manager from the US has flown down for an important meeting and hence he wouldn’t be able to make it on 6th. Hah! Was I relieved!!! (I later learnt that he had sensed my hesitation and anxiety and decided to make an excuse. He won my heart all over again.)

So, it was decided that we meet after 15 days on the 24th of September. This gave us both some breathing space. In the meantime we spoke over the phone and exchanged a few more mails. I noticed that he began to address the mails with my name..:-). He also sent me a recent snap of his shot at a picnic and he looked much better -in fact he was good-looking..:-)

He was to come down to Mumbai to meet me. I asked him if we could meet alone and he said that he was fine with it and was in fact about to ask me the same. So we decided to meet at a park by a lake near my place. I picked him up mid-way from my place in an auto. I don’t remember what we spoke about but we ended up spending two hours by the lake-side. And the rest, as they say, is history. He later on came home with his sister and family to formally meet my parents. The engagement was fixed for October and the wedding in March. I ended up taking an off from work the next day and we went for a movie together-my first real date. He would come every month for an extended weekend stay at his sister’s house to visit me during our courtship days.

An arranged marriage to begin with ended up with love blossoming on both sides and our relationship getting stronger with time. As the saying goes, fruits of patience are sweet. I can certainly vouch for the truth in this saying.

How I Met My Husband (Part two)

Story so far..

I was in the disinterested mode, nit-picking unnecessarily only so that I could avoid the rigmarole. The photograph on the profile was not impressive but I dare not say it aloud for my family would have chastened me for being unreasonable and difficult (which of course I had become by then). Secondly, I did not like the name. Ya, laugh as you might. But he has this old fashioned name and I fancied my husband having modern names. Thirdly, he was from Chennai- although he didn’t live there. Now, I had a mental block towards guys from Chennai- don’t ask me why and also because of the oppressive weather I didn’t fancy settling down there. But the other details were quite impressive I should say and so I had no proper reason to turn it down.

His parents lived in Chennai and he had a sister living in Mumbai near where we lived. My mother spoke to his mother who then gave us his email id so that we (the boy and me) could start corresponding. Also, between his parents and my parents, it was decided that his sister come and meet me. I was not excited to say the least. Anyway, like a good girl I dressed up accordingly before they arrived. His sister, her husband, sister’s co-sister and their daughter turned up at our place that evening. I usually take time to open up to strangers but that day I was silent even to my own discomfort. The sister was (is) very friendly and there was small talk about mundane things in life. She asked me if I was willing to relocate to Hyderabad, where the boy worked. I said I didn’t see any problem in doing so. I answered only when spoken to and that too in one-liners. I was secretly hoping that seeing my aloofness they would not go ahead with the matter. Later, when I overheard the sister asking my mother if I always spoke so little, I smiled to myself. My mother and sister covered it up saying that once I get to know the person I can be talkative - which was true in a way.

The next day in office I got a call from my mother. I had recently switched jobs and since the project was yet to start I had all day to me. She sounded excited and said that the sister and company liked me very much and came to our house to convey the same and also gave some personal information about the family which they thought we might need to think over if we needed to go ahead with the alliance. I was like gulp. This, after all that non-cooperative attitude I had put on. Mother was already much pepped up. I told her that anyway I can decide only after corresponding with the boy.

I wrote a general email writing a few details about myself. The date was 19th August. He replied promptly with the very details about himself as I had about myself. I noticed he addressed the emails with a Hi there instead of my name. (My nit-picking skills are quite sharp, btw). He asked me if I was comfortable with settling down in the southern states and/or abroad as his career options permitted him options only in those areas. I replied in affirmative except for Chennai. (No offence to Chennai-ites) He surprised me by replying that he himself had some reservations about the place! A couple of more emails and phone calls later our families started pestering us to meet so that a decision could be reached.

to be contd..

How I Met My Husband (Part one)...

I had earlier written about my marriage saga. The story up to the marriage was not as simple and abrupt as mentioned there. As you know, I chose the internet way so that I could have some control over the choice of my life partner although there were horoscopes that were going to be matched as a pre-condition. It was already 4 long years since we (parents and I) had embarked upon this journey and never once had I imagined the heartaches that were in line for me. When my husband’s proposal came along, I was already miffed about the entire process of this arranged marriage business.

Now, if I liked the photograph and the primary details of the boy, the horoscope wouldn’t match and if the horoscopes matched to perfection, well,..you get the drift. There were times when the guy and me would exchange some mails and it would seem (at least to me) that probably this is it and my mother would start imagining the marriage happen within a couple of months. Then, like a thunderbolt out of nowhere the mails would just stop or the guy would give feeble excuses like he is going out of town for a project and would be busy. I was initially naïve and would wait endlessly refreshing the mail-box to see if there was a reply to my mails. Later, I became a pro in reading between the lines. I could almost write a book on - If a guy says this, he actually means this. I had met some and interacted with plenty on the internet and discovered a plethora of weird personalities. I could write a book on the weirdos that I had the (mis)fortune of getting acquainted with. I also understood that education had nothing to do with the mindset of the person.

The first two years of the search were not bad I would say. True, there were times when I wished feverishly that the proposal materialized and was quite disappointed when they didn’t. Yet, the hope and my self-image were not yet battered. There was hope and enthusiasm. The period made my search criteria clearer as I graduated from what I did not want to want I wanted in my spouse. But as the time passed on, the sheer effort of identifying prospects, entering into a dialogue with them, investing emotions and time and then detaching when the talks did not fructify began to take a toll on me and I was almost a case for the agony aunt column. Now, it was not that I faced rejection all the time. I rejected quite too many too. But rejection either ways was painful.

I had a job, a few close friends and a decent social life that kept my sanity levels from reaching a point of no-return, but only just. The after-office hour times were always filled with some kind of gloom always associated with proposals not clicking, people around giving their invaluable and most always unnecessary advice, relatives suggesting anyone who they thought is ready to get married as prospective alliances, worse- my parents ready to contact all of those, people claiming to be well-wishers subtly and not-so-subtly counseling me and sometimes my parents to reconsider our (my) check-list for the groom insinuating that if we (I ) were rigid in our wish-list, it would be too late for me to get married.

I was hopelessly losing faith in this arranged marriage system and cursed my stars that I did not have the (good?)fortune of having a love marriage. That, I am those shy types who never dated in college or never met anyone in office is not the fault of the stars but at that time I needed someone to blame the mess I was in and I was in no mood to blame myself, you see. So, it was when I was in such deep state of mental stress that my husband’s proposal came along. It was this two-line message over the matrimony portal from his parents that said that the horoscopes matched from their end and if we were OK with the preliminaries, we contact them.

to be contd...