Mommy, why can’t I play with my iPad?

ipad

Image: pixabay

It’s an incident that happened a few days ago when I was visiting my parents’ home. My 5-year old nephew was watching some cartoons on the iPad. In spite of umpteen warnings by my mother, he was still glued to the screen. A couple of hours later, my sister in law returned home. She saw his son still with the iPad. So, without warning, she just snatched the iPad from his hands. What followed next was totally unbelievable.

My nephew was first stunned. And then in the next second, he lied down on the floor, and started banging his fists and head in a full blown tantrum. Seriously, who throws a tantrum, that too over a tablet?

A few days ago, a similar thing happened with my daughter. As she is more vocal, she chose to express her feelings rather than throw a tantrum. She was playing Temple Run on my phone, when I told her to give my phone back. She first made a face, but then when she saw I was serious, she gave the phone back to me.

But not without throwing this loaded question at me – “Now what do I do?”

It made me realize that I took away an important thing from her. But, in return I was offering her nothing.

Also, threatening them with “age-old TV, phone or tablet is not good for your eyes” cuts little ice. They have heard this a million times if not more, and they don’t care. They have friends who wear cool blue, pink or yellow framed glasses and don’t think having weak eyes hampers their lifestyle even a bit.

Kids until they turn 7-8 years, unlike adults cannot stare into space or daydream for hours. They need an activity to keep them busy. And, more often than not, the onus falls on us, the parents.

I often look back upon my childhood and try to recall what I did when I was my daughter’s age. It was simple. We didn’t have TV then (except a couple of hours in the evening which at that point of time didn’t interest me much) and there were no electronic gadgets. But, I had siblings. So getting bored was never an option. There was always someone or the other to play with. I don’t ever recall my mother playing with us. She had enough on her plate with 3 children. But, today, our kids are alone. Many of them don’t have siblings. And with working parents, no one to play silly games with.

So before we snatch that iPad or phone or switch off the TV, we need to think of interesting options for our kids. It’s not right to just yell at them – Go in your room and play! No, that doesn’t work.

They need clear clues. Suggest – how about you do a bit of drawing or colouring. Get more lucid if you have to – “Would you like to draw a flower, mountains or your favourite friends?”

They need more options. You snatched their favourite toy even if you don’t think of it as one. So they are sulking. That means whatever you suggest won’t go down very well initially. Remember, how we behave when we are upset with things. We just can’t think straight or realize what is right for us. Hence, keep a multitude of options handy. Running out of them is not an option. Drawing colouring, making puzzles, playing with dolls or kitchen set, etc.

Encourage to play alone. Do not pity. Playing alone is neither a catastrophe, nor a punishment. Today’s kids have ample toys and games. It won’t hurt them to indulge in some alone time with their treasure.

Offer to play. Kids can play alone but not for long. And, you can’t have their friends over all the time. So, sometimes it’s advisable to offer to play with them. Unfortunately, I have realized I cannot play with dolls or tea parties with her. It’s just not in me. However, I can do activities with her – like I read to her, make puzzles, take her for a walk, play Frozen UNO cards, narrate stories or play board games with her. Find your niche and indulge in that activity with your child.

Don’t back down. Once you have decided to take the gadget away, stick to your decision. If you surrender now, you won’t get the same level of attention or respect the next time you choose to do it. So, however hard it may be for you, just stick to it.

At the end of the day, just remember, snatching away a gadget is not enough, even if it’s for a higher good, you need to replace it with something worthwhile (in your kids’ eyes).

The Curious Case Of Being A Woman!

woman

Image: pexels.com

So I had a small surgery last Monday – it was a small procedure, well actually 2 procedures done together – Polypectomy Hysteroscopy with Cervical Cauterization. Big names! And btw, I am fine. Recovering, little weak and easily exhausted, but better!

So it actually started 3.5 years ago, when I started strength training at the gym. I would bleed a little outside my menstruation cycle. As it happened only on the gymming days, I put it down to lifting heavy weights. It happened on and off, but I never paid much attention. As I said, I noticed it on the days when I visited the gym. Also, since I turned 33, I would get an annual health check up done which included complete Thyroid profile, CBC, Lipid profile, Vitamin D3, Vitamin B12, Fasting Sugar and Post Lunch Blood Sugar, Bone Density, etc. And, they were all under control, which gave me little reason to worry about a thing as small as infrequent bleeding (as I thought).

Curiously 5-6 months ago, I realized that the bleeding happened even on days when I didn’t go to the gym. That worried me. Time to visit the gynec. The doctor checked via an ultrasound and showed me a mushroom-like structure having taken up residence in my uterus. In medical terms it’s called Endometrial Polyp. She told me it was big and would only keep getting bigger and acquiring blood vessels, which in turn would burst and bleed. It happens to pre and post menstrual women. It is a cause for worry in post menstrual women who have never had it before as the growth may be cancerous. There is no reason why it happens. Our body works in mysterious ways, I realized that day!

She suggested me to remove it within 6 months to a year, because with the polyp growing, it could pose embarrassing situation for me. So without delay, I got the procedure done. There was no pain before or after the surgery. No stitches either. But it was a procedure that involved many risks to the life if went awry.

Long story short – if I had seen the doctor 3 years ago when I first saw the bleeding, I might have been saved this surgery. There was a chance the polyp could have been melted with medicines.

It’s not only me, there are many women like me who have this easy going attitude when it comes to their health. At the first sneeze of our children we rush to the doctors, while we can bleed to death, we are least concerned. Women’s Day and Mother’s Day come twice a year – the days when all women and mothers suddenly become extremely precious; but the rest of the year, we still need to manage on our own, we still need to fight our own battles, whether they are mental or physical.

My polyp was a small thing; I got away with a simple surgery. But the next time, things may not be that simple or curable. I have to take the reins of my well being in my hands. And, thus I urge you my friends to be more aware of your health too. You make the world (at least your household) work; so don’t take things lightly. Age has got nothing to do with diseases. They can come anytime.

If you are unsure about the slightest thing, get a health check up done, rush to the doctor and get things sorted. Take Care!! Hugs!!

Fathers, We Could Not Have Done It Without You!!

father's day

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In the parenting world, it’s not uncommon to see most fathers take a backseat. However, it does not mean their contribution is less significant. Along with mothers, they are also the ones who have witnessed the joy of birth of a tiny human being, have held her, burped her, cleaned and changed her, been urinated and shat upon, lullabied the little one to sleep, bandaged the wound, taken her to parks or the malls, driven her to school on the days when she missed the school bus, and many more such things. However, their contribution never comes to the fore.

I remember my mother saying that it was my father who looked after me during the first year of my birth; he would bottlefeed me, clean me and burp me. So this Father’s Day, I want to list all the wonderful things that my father did for me and my siblings, that only he could do.

Telling me stories: Every night before going to sleep, I insisted that he narrated me a story. And he did that, without a single complaint. All the stories that I know, of Indian mythology, Alibaba and 40 thieves, Aladdin and the magic lamp, cap seller and the foolish monkeys, I have heard from him. Long before I started reading, he was my storyteller, and what a wonderful job he did.

Visiting doctors: Whenever I was sick, and I was quite often when I was small, it was he who took me to the doctors and the pathology labs. He held my hands or legs when I took a syringe; and it was a big thing because I screamed, screamed and screamed and made the whole clinic come to a standstill. He wiped my tears and gave me the prescribed dose of the medicines.

Teaching maths: I was not good at maths, but he was. And, he taught me this godforsaken subject; how to solve complex problems and learnt geometry!

Teaching life lessons: Maths and history apart; he taught me something far more valuable. How to live life, work for your self-esteem and not to take shit from anyone!

I may be close to 40 now, but for him I am still his little girl, for whom he cares and worries all the time. He may not talk to me every single day, but I just have to call him, and he picks up on the very first ring.

Well, my husband too has been a wonderful father. Apart from the usual diaper changing and giving her a shower, there are times when he attends her PTA, makes her ready for school, prepares her breakfast, takes her out for dinner, and looks after her when I step out. I have realized that he is a more calm and collected person when he engages with our daughter. And, my daughter listens to him better!

A mother and child’s relationship is unique, but that doesn’t undermine or overshadow the relationship a father and child share. For every father out there – you may think your kids prefer their mother over you or you may feel your kids don’t understand the hard work you put in in raising them up, just relax – they will realize that one day! Fathers are equally important! Believe me when I say, we could not have done it without you!

So let’s raise a toast to the awesome fathers of this world – Have a wonderful father’s day!

Is it Safe to Exercise during Pregnancy?

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Image: flickr.com

In most cases, some exercises during pregnancy are safe. It is very important to stay fit and have a healthy lifestyle when you are pregnant. Doing some pregnancy exercises will help you maintain weight and prepare for childbirth. Moreover, if you were physically fit and active before pregnancy, it might be safe to stay physically active during pregnancy too. Exercising will also help you overcome mood-swings and sleep well. Here are the answers to some common exercise-related questions running through the minds of most pregnant women.

Will exercising harm my baby?

Contrary to the popular belief, exercising will neither harm your baby nor cause miscarriage. Although heavy exercise will not harm your baby, you will be quickly exhausted. This is because the amount of blood in your body increases by about 50 percent when you are pregnant, and your heart works harder to circulate blood all around, including to the placenta. Therefore the pressure on your heart will be 50 percent higher for the same exercise that you used to do before pregnancy.

What exercises should I avoid during pregnancy?

Not all exercises for pregnant women are safe. Some of the exercises and activities you should avoid during pregnancy are as follows:
• Activities in which you’re likely to fall, such as skiing
• Holding your breath during any activity
• Exercising in humid or hot weather
• Full sit-ups, deep knee bends, double leg raises, and straight-leg toe touches
• Twisting your waist while standing
• Playing sports, such as football, basketball, and volleyball.
• Any exercise that may lead to abdominal trauma, including activities that require speedy changes in direction
• Activities that involve extensive hopping, jumping, skipping, running, or bouncing
• Bouncing while stretching
• Heavy exercise followed by long duration of no activity

What are the advantages of exercising?

Here are the benefits of exercising during pregnancy.
• Better sleep. Know more about best sleeping positions during pregnancy
• Lower the risk of some complications related to pregnancy
• Reduced discomfort
• Boost in energy and reduced stress
• Improved self-image
• Prepares you for childbirth
• Helps you quickly get in shape after delivery

You would be pleased to know that there are some pregnancy exercises for normal delivery. However, consult your doctor to know which exercise best suits your body.

When should I stop exercising during pregnancy?

It is advisable to stop exercising and consult your doctor if you go through the following symptoms while exercising:
• Abdominal cramping
• Severe nausea
• Vaginal bleeding
• Light-headedness
• Extreme headaches

From yoga to Pilates to swimming during pregnancy, exercising enhances your spirits and prepares you for labour. Pregnancy isn’t the time to your limits, and it’s important to be cautious while working out. Pampers India will be your best friend during and after pregnancy. Read through the expert tips and get answers to all your queries from Pampers India.

10 Essential Items for Diapering your Baby On-The-Go

Travelling with your baby needs a lot of preparation. Diapering your baby while on the move can be quite a tedious task. You need to ensure that you pack your diaper bag with all the necessary items.

Are you worried that you may forget something important? Keep the following checklist handy, and let go of all your packing woes:

1. Disposable diapers
The most important item in your bag is, quite obviously, the diapers! You will be required to change your baby’s nappies every few hours. Carry disposable diapers in sufficient quantities, depending on the duration you will remain out of the house.

2. Disposable bags
Carry separate disposable bags to dump used diapers. These bags will ensure that the soiled diapers do not create any mess or foul smell in your diaper bag.

3. Reusable diapers
If you are on a long trip, and think that reusing diapers is easier than carrying a bulk of disposable ones, then go for reusable diapers. These diapers will help make your bag light.

4. Wipes
Wipes are necessary while diapering your baby. They will keep your hands and your child clean and dry.

5. Sanitizer
A hand sanitizer will help you maintain proper hygiene after diapering your baby. It is a must as you may not get a chance to wash your hands every time you change your baby’s diapers.

6. Cream
Keep a travel-sized tube cream in your bag. You will need it for your baby every time you change the diaper.

7. Air freshener
Travelling with poop smell will be very unpleasant. Use an air freshener so that you and your co-passengers may have a stink-free journey.

8. Napkin
There’s no such thing as too many napkins. You will always require more napkins than you think. You will need one every time you feed the baby or when you need to clean dripping saliva or an accidental spill. Napkins are your best friends, and you’ll find plenty of uses for them.

9. Baby clothes
Always keep an extra pair of baby clothes ready. Spits, spills, or diaper leakages may be severe enough to require a change of clothes, so you had better have some on hand.

10. Bottle
Breastfeeding while travelling will be difficult. Keep your baby’s milk bottle ready, and ensure that you carry warm milk during all your journeys.

Be prepared for anything while you’re travelling with your little one. Carry these items while keeping your bag as light as possible.

For the right tips on pregnancy and early parenting, check the Pampers India website. Pampers also provides expert tips on newborn baby diapers, easing pregnancy and post-pregnancy symptoms too.

7 Observations I Have Made In Five Years Of Motherhood

child and mother

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In the last 5 years, as I have fed, cleaned and nurtured my baby, I have made quite a few observations which can be useful for all mommies! Let’s see them one by one.

My tummy is not a bin for leftovers

I had seen my mother doing it. Initially, I did too. I would eat my meal and then eat the leftover from my daughter’s plate. Of course, because we are taught right from the beginning, there are many kids in India and Africa who don’t get two square meals a day, and so it is not fair that you throw away precious food.

I don’t want to joke about it, but what kind of a rationale is that? How stuffing my stomach is going to help any kid, let alone the kids of Africa? On the contrary, over eating was only helping my waist line increase.

The wisdom is in serving smaller portions to your child, rather than stuffing yourself with leftovers.

I need to put myself first

Again, something I tried to do after my mother. She would feed her kids first, then her husband, and lastly she would eat. That’s the Indian tradition. But, the tradition doesn’t understand hunger pangs.

Thankfully, with time, I understood that I was not the cog in the wheel, but the wheel itself that was important to the smooth functioning of my house. If I fall sick, the whole house will fall apart. Hence, I made a promise to myself that I would put myself first. So, if I am hungry, I do not wait for anyone, I eat. I take out time to exercise, read and socialize. It keeps me happy. If you are happy, your household is happy too. Try it out!

Slow down, there is no need to hurry

My daughter was just 2 or 3 days old, when all of a sudden, out of nowhere, I had a sudden attack of anxiety. “She is so small, when will she learn all these things – to sit, eat, go to toilet, walk, speak”. The journey seemed long. But, as my daughter started covering all her milestones one by one, I have realized that she will learn. Yes, with time, she will learn all she needs to learn. And, the road doesn’t seem as ominous. So quit worrying or pushing things.

Kids don’t demand much

I have heard this hundreds of times if not more. Kids are an expensive affair. Well, in 5 years, I have come to know, that it’s really not. Kids don’t demand much, we give them. They don’t ask you for expensive toys, education, tuition, clothes, birthday parties or supplies. They are happy with cheap ones. So if you believe in buying them a Polo or a Burberry, blame it on yourself, not the kids.

Smile and touch are the best therapy

If someone asks me what works the best with your child, I’d say my smile and my touch. My smile makes her smile and my touch comforts her. When I go to pick her up after her school, my smile makes her light up. When she is upset and I kiss her, I know her world becomes alright again.

Self control is very difficult

You can pride yourself in being extremely self controlled, but when it comes to your child, your self control is tested to the core. When you are weaning your baby off her nightly feed and she is crying, or when you want her to sleep in her own room, but she comes knocking at yours or when she is standing at the edge of the swimming pool refusing to enter the water and pleading with you to make her quit her swimming coaching, it takes a heart harder than the rock to not give in, but stay impervious. Yes, it is a mother’s heart that can melt at the slightest smile of your baby, but also stays firm when it needs to be.

Lying is not such a bad thing

With time, all mothers become accomplished liars. At least, I have become one. So when your daughter catches you popping M&Ms into your mouth which you don’t want her to have, you say you are taking your medicine. When you need to go out leaving your toddler behind, you don’t tell her you are going for the movies, but that you are going to see the doctor.

In Bhagvad Gita it is said, “If you are lying for a higher purpose, that lie is not considered a sin.” I remember this line everytime I lie to my daughter and hope it will absolve me from the sin. And hope she doesn’t read this post of mine! 😉

I am sure you might have made some observations of yours along your motherhood journey, which are different to mine. Care to share with me?

It takes a village to raise a child! Where’s yours?

villaage

When someone praises my daughter, I beam with pride. I have raised her well. I have taken good care of her. I have spent a good amount of time and effort after her. Isn’t it too much of “I” and “me”. Yes, I am her mother and so my daughter’s primary responsibility is mine.

But what about the neighbours who look after her when I have important appointments to keep, the watchmen who stop her from running outside the building gates, the maid who feeds her when I am not around?

I am raising my daughter well, but not without their help. Hence, it will be wrong of me to siphon off all the credit. It is said it takes a village to raise a child. And, it’s true! They are my village, and without them I would be lost.

Today, parents are being overprotective. And in their bid to be independent and mistrust of people, they are losing touch with their village.

Let me tell you about a small incident that happened a few years ago. As I was waiting at the gate to pick my daughter up at her kindergarten, a classmate of my daughter came out. She was holding her shoes in her hand, and then she put one dirty shoe in her mouth. Without giving it a moment’s thought, I tried to take her shoe away from her mouth. The 2-year girl started crying. Just then her mother came running from nowhere, and gave me a nasty look. May be she thought I was bullying her daughter or trying to kidnap her. I don’t know! She picked up her daughter, shoes and all, and left. No explanation was asked, and none given. The little girl’s reaction was expected, but her mother’s was not.

The incident upset me. I admit it. I realized people don’t always take you in the good spirit.

I started asking myself – Was I wrong in helping the child? Should I refrain myself from helping others in the future?

But then an inner voice told me – Will you ignore a child if you see her crying at a mall and all alone? You will not help her just because you burnt your fingers once and might be taken wrongly a second one? Or wouldn’t you raise your voice if you see a child bullying another one?

When I have a beautiful village of mine, shouldn’t I be a part of someone else’s, though they might not want or care for one?

I remember very well when we were young, it was OK to be corrected by parent’s friends, friends’ parents or neighbours. No one minded, and no one’s sentiments got hurt. And no, there were no nasty or suspicious looks. It was a given; you do wrong, you get scolded, even if not from a family member.

Parents can’t be everywhere at all times. But the village is. The village is the community where kids learn, grow and feel safe. It is there to keep a check on your kids, to correct them and protect them so they grow up into good global citizens. It is called community raising.

We talk about how single kids get a short end of the stick. Or how the kids of today suffer from psychological issues or existential crisis. One of the many reasons is because we are losing touch with our village. The kids don’t only have no siblings, but also a very small group of people they can call their own. No wonder they feel left out and feel they belong to nowhere.

Whether we accept or not or appreciate or not, everyone needs a village to raise a child. Thankfully, I have mine, where’s yours?