Why cloth diapers are better for your baby and budget?

This is a beautiful and a very handy article from Anjana Bhartia for all new moms out there. For all those who don’t know her, Anjana is a mommy blogger at MommyRepublic.in  She describes herself as an imperfect mom stumbling through motherhood, discovering the joys of natural and attachment parenting along the way. Do check out her blog!!

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Here’s her post now!! Happy reading!!

As a new mommy, you have to make so many decisions every day. You want the best for your baby, and even the diapers decision is a big deal! While some moms prefer cloth diapering, some are not even unaware of it.

Cloth nappies were used by our grand moms and with the changing times even the humble cloth nappies have evolved into cloth diaper. Cloth diapers are much easier and hygienic than you could think.

What is a cloth diaper?

A cloth diaper is a reusable diaper made from natural fibers, man-made materials or a combination of both. I switched over to cloth diapering for the following reasons:

1] Less Rash: Disposable diapers are full of chemicals like sodium polyacrylate, that convert the moisture in the gel. The companies manufacturing these diapers claim that the chemicals are harmless, but the truth is that if the babies were to sit too long in the wet diaper they may get rashes due to the chemical cocktail. On the other hand, cloth diapers are made of breathable fabrics that does not change the chemical composition when the baby pees in it. Thus, if you use the right cloth diaper and change it frequently your baby will be rash free.

2] Less Trash: On an average a baby will require 6 to 12 diapers in a day. This comes out to be 42 to 84 diapers a week. Whereas in case of cloth diapers you can wash them and use them thus only 24 to 36 diapers will be sufficient. Considering the hazards of wastage on the environment it is viable decision to use the cloth diaper. Disposing so many diapers is coming up as big challenge for the authorities.

3] Less Cash: Disposable diapers cost Rs.12 per piece and thus can cost Rs. 2016 to Rs.14112 in a month. Thus, by the age of two you have literally spent Rs. 48,384 to Rs.338688 only on diapers. That’s a pretty high sum! Imagine the number of toys/books and holidays you could take for that amount. On the other hand, the best quality of cloth diaper comes for Rs. 2000 in a package deal and lasts for two years. Thus, it is feasible to use the cloth diaper as you can save huge amount. Even the cost of washing the diaper is negligible thus, you will come out way ahead financially with the cloth diaper.

6] It Can Be Used For More Than One Baby: These diapers are no less than a asset as they can be used on other babies also. Thus, you do not save the first time that use it but also when you use the same with your other kids.

5] No Blown Outs: It is nightmare for any mother, at times disposable diaper malfunction also occurs. A baby’s poop will ooze out right up their back and will spoil everything. However, it can never occur in case of cloth diaper. The well-designed elastic in the present-day cloth diaper will never let this happen. This is one of the biggest factor in favor of the cloth diaper.

As the above points clearly show that a cloth diaper is way better than a disposable one. And yes, when we travel or during winters, sometimes disposable diapers become inevitable and it is perfectly alright to use them where required.

When using disposable diapers what I do to reduce the chemcials from seeping into my child’s skin I apply a layer of baby massage oil so that it creates a barrier. Just one of the many hacks motherhood has taught me!

What baby diaper do you prefer for your little one? Do you use any specific brand, which you trust? Share below!

 

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6 ways your body changes after pregnancy

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Image credit: Pexels.com

It’s been more than 6 years since my child birth. I have attained my pre-pregnancy weight, in fact, I weigh lesser now than 7 years ago. And, I am fitter and healthier than ever before, thanks to adopting a healthier lifestyle. However, my body that underwent a transformation during pregnancy has still not 100% recovered. Looking at me, one could easily say ‘she has been pregnant once’!

Pregnancy makes your body change in some irreversible ways. Here are a few ways your body changes after pregnancy.

Boobs: Your perfectly round goblets or ripe mangoes or whatever you chose to call them with their taut nipples do not look up to the sky anymore. They are a lifelong slave to gravity now. While, your cup size may not have changed, once a subject of your pride, these poor souls now, look malnourished and exhausted. Heck, you could use them as a pen holder now! (And, yes, I have tried it! 😉 )

Belly: I still remember on a visit to the Jemma el-Fnaa in Marrakech in the night, while we were waiting at this spiced dessert kiosk, one lady came up to me and said politely, “You should not have this in your condition.” Before I could understand what condition she was referring to, she looked deliberately at my bulging tummy. When she read the confusion in my eyes, she was very apologetic, but not as much as I was. So much for my gymming, 90 second planks and crunches till my insides hurt. My taut belly is lost forever. It’s as if the elastic was pulled too long, and it’s taking forever to find its place.

Hips: I have always had child bearing hips, which is a polite way of saying I have a big butt. However, I still miraculously fit into my 15-year old jeans. Maybe, I have landed myself the original travelling pants of the sisterhood, who knows!! But, I definitely feel that the fit of my jeans has changed. They say the hip bone structure change in the pregnancy, and that’s what has happened to me without really affecting the size. Lucky me! Yay!

Bladder: OK, this may not sound very pleasant, but it needs to be said, or in my case, written. Remember, how during pregnancy, you leaked a little when you laughed out loud or sneezed. And, then you were so happy because you thought with child birth that would be a thing of the past. And, now you realize how wrong you were. Because your little bladder has lost its elasticity or continence forever. And, so even years after childbirth, while you are watching a comic movie, or while sneezing, you may leak a little. Yuck! But, true! I have recently started with Kiegel exercises for urinary incontinence, you might want to look it up on Google and start yourself.

Feet: Personally, this hasn’t happened to me. But, I have heard women groaning over how large their feet have become post pregnancy. Some have grown their foot size up to a foot. Interesting, right??

Stretch marks: Silver lines on belly, hips, thighs and arms are a common sight in pregnancy. They show you are nurturing a life within you. But, once that life comes out, these lines still refuse to go. Yes, they stay with you forever, a constant reminder of what your body has undergone.

Have you felt any difference in your body post pregnancy? Do share, though I can’t help much, it would be lovely to know!

 

 

 

Our kids are not kids anymore!

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Image Credit: Pexels

Do you remember your childhood? I remember mine. Till 4 or 5 years of age, I used to roam around naked. When I visited my family in Delhi, my grandfather gave me a bath or all cousins used to have a bath together. Some cousins were older to me, some younger, but I don’t remember having any discomfort bathing  naked in front of them. Well, maybe, because it was a different era! More innocent and less aware.

Today, when my daughter goes to Ahmedabad and has a shower with her male cousin, I make sure both of them are wearing their underpants. I also make sure that no male is around when she is changing clothes. She has also been taught, to never change clothes before people. Also, she knows what is good touch and what is bad touch.

I am sure there are millions of parents like me who do the same. They do not let their kids roam around naked, not even before their family (the world around has dirty eyes and you don’t want them on your child). They teach their kids good touch, bad touch. And they regularly hold sessions with their kids to teach them the way the nature works between a man and a woman.

What are we doing? We are protecting our kids in case of any untoward situation in the future. But, are we?

If a 4 year old can insert his fingers and a sharp pencil inside his classmate’s vagina, then each one of us needs to ask this question to ourselves? Are we seriously protecting our kids, or sending them down the bog of self awareness and confusion.

Do you think the child did that deliberately? Bah! A 4-year old, who doesn’t have clarity of speech, who might not even realize that he has soiled his clothes, who needs his mama to make him sleep can he actually violate another child’s body?

The poor child, doesn’t even know what he has done. Can he be blamed? I think not. It’s the collective failure of the entire society. We as parents have failed him and the little girl. We have robbed them of their innocence. We have stopped them from being kids.

Our kids are too aware: Awareness is good, but anything ‘too much’ is not! Our 4 year olds know what is a good touch, what is bad touch, what are the private parts, how babies are born. More awareness leads to more inquisitiveness.

Girls and boys are different: When girls play with girls and boys play with boys, they become more aware of their physical differences. ‘Boys don’t put on make up’, ‘Boys don’t play with dolls’ or ‘Girls are silly’ make them physically aware of one another which can be detrimental to their positive growth in the long run. This leads to girls giggling on seeing boys or boys resorting to dares like touching girls’ breasts, deliberately touching their body or lifting up their skirts.

OTT parenting: Go to any bookstore and you will find shelves full of books on parenting. Also, the Internet is full of parenting blogs (mine one of them) who can teach you how to have a normal birth to how to deal with an impossible teen. We want to raise our kids as per the latest research or as the experts say. Our kids are our favorite projects and experiments, and we want to bring them up that way. However, we tend to forget, parenting doesn’t come out of a book. Parenting is an instinct. Yes, we can definitely learn from each other, but we need to put in our respective context before applying the same.

Videos and apps are culprits too: Parents are extremely busy species, they have been for centuries. I don’t remember my mother ever playing with us; she just didn’t have the time. She was busy cooking and raising her three children. And, we didn’t have 24/7 television and mobile phones. We played with siblings, cousins and friends. Today, the mobile phone is the sibling, cousin and friends, and sometimes parents too all rolled into one. There are zillions of apps available, and not all appropriate for them. But, who checks what kind of disturbing things they might be watching?

Sexual assault is turning into an epidemic. We teach children to beware of strangers, but what do we teach them against their own classmates. We can’t be everywhere to protect our children. But, we can’t let this go too. We need to take up more responsibility for our children, however small or innocent they might be.

  • Tell your kids that girls and boys have different body parts. That is how the nature intended, and it is no big deal.
  • Avoid differentiating between girls and boys. Do not stop your kids from playing with the other gender.
  • Keep a close watch on the kind of videos your child watches and the kind of apps he downloads. Most kids at this age replicate what they see or hear.
  • Do not fondle or indulge in love making with your partner in the presence of your child. Their innocent mind won’t be able to process it, and they would want to replicate it with the other sex.
  • Watch them while playing doctor-doctor. It is the roleplay which should give you enough signals about the maturity of your child.
  • Talk to your kids regularly to understand what is going on in their mind. The way they talk or act should give you a hint.

Let us understand one thing here – that 4 year is not a culprit. He is too young to understand the crime. But, he will have to live with the repercussions of his deed his entire lifetime. Not only the girl child who was violated, but also the small boy will undergo a trauma when he will be repeatedly scolded or chided for his act. His parents should not only take him to a counselor and refrain from reminding him what he did, but should also get their act right. They need to look within themselves and find out where they went wrong.

This is an activity that every parent should undertake from time to time. It’s time we left the books alone, and got down to some real parenting!

 

 

A Trip To Imagica – Beyond Imagination!!

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A few years ago, one of my cousins from Delhi visited us with her kids. I took her to all the usual touristy sites in Mumbai, Juhu beach, Gateway, Siddhivinayak, etc. I also wanted to take her to Alibaug given the attraction a beach holiday holds for non-coastal residents, however she was not too keen on it. She wanted to take her kids to Adlabs Imagica instead. Well, to cut the story short, she went to Imagica with her kids, while I chose to stay behind, my then toddler wouldn’t have enjoyed it, and so neither would I. But, I was still surprised that she chose a theme park over a heavenly 2-day stay at Alibaug. She replied, “When your child grows up, you will realize.”

4 years later, last Saturday, my daughter, now 6 years, and I visited Imagica to experience the wonder first hand. We started around 9 from Mumbai and reached Imagica at Khopoli around 11:15. We took the tickets for all the parks; i.e Theme Park, Aqua Magica (water park) and Snow Park. I chose to take Express passes (which for Rs. 1000 more gives you the license to surpass long queues at all the rides). And God, wasn’t that a wise decision, given the unusual crowds that day, as Imagica has been celebrating Children’s Day all the month round in November.

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We decided to enjoy the water park first. To my surprise, they offer locker facility at a charge of Rs. 150. It is compulsory to wear nylon clothes; swimsuits, dry wear, etc. would do. Aanya had a whale of a time at the water park, and didn’t want to come out of water, especially the waves pool.

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My water baby

There was vigilant and friendly Imagica staff (3-4 personnel per ride) stationed at all rides. As my daughter couldn’t do all the rides there, we finished early and headed to the theme park. There is a free shuttle service between the theme park and Aqua Magica.

Once at the theme park, we lunched at Armada, a boat-shaped restaurant that serves a limited but nice menu. Our tummies loaded with food, we decided to avoid the rides and try the indoor motion simulator rides instead. I for India takes you through the stunning sights of India, but Aanya was not too keen on it (also it’s not recommended for people suffering from vertigo), so we went for Anil Kapoor starrer Mr. India, which through an animated motion simulation form movie takes you through the various rides and attractions of Imagica.

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Mr. India and his car

Though we enjoyed the haunted by lanes and dungeons of Salimgarh, I personally feel it could be made more eerie and terrifying. Alibaba and Chalis Chor was like a real-life video game, and thoroughly satisfying. We missed Wrath of the Gods, which is said to be a sensory delight, as none of us wanted to get drenched again after our 2-hour adventure at the water park.

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Next, Aanya and I sat on various rides like Tubby Takes Off and Splash Ahoy! I liked the fact that I could sit on these rides with Aanya, as she was more comfortable with me around. I would have liked to try a few of the more adventurous rides like the Loch Ness, Gold Rush, Scream Machine, Dare Drop, but we were short of time. May be the next time!

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Steps to the faraway lands

There were many school kids on picnic from some of the popular schools of Mumbai and Pune having fun at the pop jets, licking ice creams and candies.

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We watched the end of the day parade, which is a visual treat while sucking on an ice cream. The last item on our itinerary was to visit the Snow Park. The Snow Park has 1-hour slots. We decided to go for the last one, that was at 6 pm. It took me a little time to make Aanya and I ready in gloves, jackets and gum boots, and so we entered the 50-foot-tall snow dome just in time for the snowfall. It was impressive and the highlight of the day. We indulged in a snow fight, crawled inside the igloo and touched the ice sculptures.

Before calling it a day, we decided to check out the evening lights. Imagica in the evening lights looks magical, straight out of a fairy tale.

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We left from Imagica around 7:30 and reached home at 9:30, exhausted but totally exhilarated by our memorable experience at the theme park. And, I finally understood the meaning of the remark my cousin had made 4 years ago. As children grow up, they become ready for a different kind of adventure. And Imagica, thankfully, gives it all!

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A few tips to note before you head to Imagica:

  • Buy Imagica coupons online. There are various deals available regularly. Find one which best suits your needs.
  • No outside eatables are allowed inside the park. However, you have a choice of 6 restaurants serving a variety of cuisine. The food is absolutely not an issue.
  • You can buy Meal Packs (food coupons) online which are redeemable at any of the 6 restaurants. However, you can use them at carts to buy ice creams, sweet corn, soft drinks, etc.
  • They have locker facility everywhere. Instead of lugging heavy backpacks that would hinder your fun, just make use of it.
  • Imagica is more fun if you have a bigger group. However, if not, try to visit on a weekend when there are more people. Don’t be shocked, believe me, no one wants to go on an empty ride.
  • Avoid visiting in Diwali or Christmas holidays, but if you must, to beat the long queues, I would recommend buying an Express pass for Rs. 1000 pax. It’s totally worth it!
  • In case you forget to carry a swimsuit, cap, goggles, fret not; Imagica has various merchandise shops from where you can buy everything and more.
  • Carry flip flops and a sarong for roaming in the water park. It can get uncomfortably hot even in the winter months.
  • Carry a pair of socks for the Snow Park. The rest of the snow gear jacket, gloves and gum boots are provided to you at no additional cost.
  • No one can stay beyond 20-25 mins inside the Snow Park. Time your entry around the snowfall, so that you don’t miss the experience.
  • If you have adventurous teenagers with you, I suggest enjoying the theme park on one day and the water park on the next, to get the maximum out of your adventure. Imagica boasts of Novotel where you can board up for the night, or there are more options at Lonavala.

Hope, after reading this post, you are raring to check out Imagica, that is at par with many international theme parks! And do let me know about your experience.

7 Superfoods for a healthy winter

After the wet monsoon, it’s time to welcome the winter with its pleasant mornings (especially for Mumbaikars who only see heat, humidity and rains for the rest of the year) and cool breeze. However, the cold season brings with it, its maladies too. Adults and children alike suffer from cold, cough, sore throat and flu.

Here is my basket of 7 superfoods that will keep you relatively sickness free throughout the winter months.

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  1. Tulsi (Holy Basil): This humble plant that is more or less found in every Indian home is a mine full of benefits. It builds immunity and keeps colds, coughs and fevers away. Have 5-6 leaves daily, however, do not chew the leaves (as it erodes the tooth enamel), just keep it at the back of your mouth and slowly exert pressure with your gums to release its juices. For small kids who don’t want to chew, boil tulsi leaves in water, and give them this herbal tea. Tulsi is also a great remedy for asthma that flares up in winter months.
  1. Turmeric: Indians make a liberal use of turmeric or haldi in their cooking. However, in the winter, you get fresh turmeric roots which should be used to the maximum. Apart from keeping away viral infections, turmeric helps in relieving symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis that flares up in winter. An interesting way of including fresh turmeric in your diet is to make a pickle out of it. Buy mango ginger (curcuma amada) and fresh turmeric roots, wash them, peel them, finely slice them, add sliced green chillies, lemon juice and salt. Mix it well and store it in a container. Have a little every day with your meals.
  1. Amla (Indian Gooseberry): Come winter and the markets are awash with these pale green fruits. Don’t be fooled by its unattractive colour, this humble gooseberry packs quite a healthy punch. Amla translates to ‘nectar of life’. It is a super fruit, no idea why it isn’t getting the due that it deserves! Rich in vitamin C (it has eight times more vitamin C than an orange), it helps fight the common cold, boosts metabolism, builds immunity and relieves arthritis-related joint aches. Also, it improves the quality of hair and skin, and the eyesight. Make sure it is a part of your and your child’s daily diet. Either include it in your vegetable/fruit juice, make murabba or pickle it in salt and turmeric water.
  1. Cinnamon: Do you know cinnamon is the favourite spice for fall and winter baking? Also, it’s not a coincidence that cinnamon sticks are used in mulled wine or cider. Apart from its sweet taste and woody smell, cinnamon has a host of benefits. Firstly, it keeps you warm in the winter months. Cinnamon treats cold and cough, settles your stomach and boosts your metabolism. This spice is clearly a winner! Soak a cinnamon stick in hot water, and sip it when it’s comfortably warm.
  1. Ginger: Cold, dark winters often lead to indulgence in rich, heavy foods. Ginger eases digestion and helps to expel gas from the digestive tract. It is a time proven remedy for wintertime sniffles, runny noses and chest congestion. It helps reduce joint pains and swelling. No wonder, Indians love their ginger tea. However, include ginger in your child’s diet by adding grated ginger to his meals, baking gingerbread cookies or making fresh ginger pickle (use of new ginger roots is advisable for this pickle).
  1. Garlic: Call it an herb, a spice or a vegetable, the truth is, this pungent smelling root is extremely versatile in treating many illnesses. In the winter months, it’s a great food to boost your immune system and keep cold and flu away. It maintains healthy lungs and stomach, and reduces inflammation associated with various forms of arthritis. Garlic bulbs are available all the year round, however, in winter, you get fresh garlic, which looks like a slimmer version of spring onions. Finely chop them and use them generously in your dals, subjis and chutneys.
  1. Ghee: Don’t make that face yet! Ghee is a fat-soluble food that is rich in vitamin A, D, E and K. It helps in digestion. Having a teaspoon of ghee daily prevents dryness of the skin in the winter months, and keeps it moisturized. It provides the desired lubrication to the joints and keep them healthy. Apply ghee on kids’ rotis or pour a dollop of ghee on their rice, khichdis and dals. Or as our mommies do, make gaund and besan ka laddoos, or gajar ka halwa that make a good use of ghee.

With these commonly available foods, you can make sure that your winter is sickness-free. Enjoy the winter!!

Mummy’s guilt in her child’s tummy!

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Image courtesy: Jeshoots

I will tell you something that I witnessed 10 years ago and still do on a daily basis. I had just got married, moved to Mumbai and immediately started working at a well-known BPO. Now, I had a colleague who was married and had a two-year-old daughter. Every day, she would be carrying two candies to the office. Not for her consumption, or for any team mate’s, but for her daughter to whom she gave them when she reached home in the evening. One day, my curiosity got the better of me and I ended up asking her “Why do you give your daughter chocolates every day?”

“I leave her home all day with her grandfather and maid. This is my way of saying to her “I love you” as I am not with her the whole day.” Beautiful sentiment. But, what she could not understand was it was not love, but her guilt that was forcing her to bribe her daughter with chocolates every day.

One classmate of my daughter brings cupcakes every day to the school. Seeing her, my daughter demands for cupcakes in her tiffin too, which I of course, promptly refuse. So, one day when I met the mother, I asked her, “Why do you give cupcakes to your daughter every day? My daughter gives your example to me and thinks you are the greatest mama to live and breathe on this earth. She wants to exchange me for you.” I joked, but it was not funny to me.

“Cupcakes are the only thing she asks for, so I don’t deny her that pleasure. Also, it’s available in the nearby bakery, so it hardly takes any time.” Yes, but every day??

Remember, when we were small and went on picnics, how our mother would elaborately prepare chhole bhature, pav bhaji, aloo puri, halwa, homemade potato chips and all. We would always carry a giant-sized water thermos from home, because no packaged water bottles were available in those days. Now, when we travel, we mostly carry packaged wafers, juices and biscuits. Who would take the trouble of cooking when things are available so readily and conveniently?

I understand we are busy with our work and feel guilty of neglecting our children. But, why should that be a reason to spoil the health of our kids? Getting rid of our guilty by giving them sugary treats or junk food is not the solution. On the contrary, it adds to it.

We work for money, for better lifestyle and for self-esteem. All of them are positive things, aren’t they? Then why is there this guilt, and the need to redeem it by playing with the health of our kids.

Let me tell you this. My mother in law loves my daughter and whenever she visits us or we visit her, she spoils my daughter with chocolates, ice creams and what not. She doesn’t like cooking and so she prefers giving her outside stuff. My mother is an excellent cook and prefers sending homemade sweets for her (sukhdi, besan ki barfi, atte ka laddoo) and whenever we visit her, she asks my daughter, “What shall I cook for you today? What do you want to eat?”

Both mothers give her sugary treats, but they are vastly different, you see.

My daughter’s comments – “Nani makes such nice things for me. I love her.” And let me tell you, she loves chocolates far more than sweets, but even a small child like her understands and appreciates the value of homemade food. I still remember my dadi for the “gulgule” she made, and the “jawe” she would send in quantity to us. I fondly remember my nani for the awesome cook she was; for her parwal ki mithai, pickles, badam and kaju ki katli. They are long gone, but the sweet memories of their food have still stayed with me.

Agreed, our nani and dadi never worked in a stressful corporate environment, never had to board stuffy trains or crowded buses, didn’t have to meet targets or month end deadlines. But, then they didn’t even have access to 24/7 maids and very helpful electrical appliances. As a working mother, we don’t have much time, I understand and I agree. But we still take out time for Halloween parties, playdates, movie dates. Just a food for thought!

Just question yourself what do you want to be remembered for? Your store-bought cupcakes, doughnuts and chocolates or your once-in-a-week-or-month baked cakes, kheer, halwa and laddoo? No food is bad, even sugar, if it’s prepared at home and eaten in reasonable quantity.

Some people will argue that women of 21st Century is breaking the glass ceiling, they are not supposed to slog in the kitchen. I will tell them – preparing delightful meals for your child and for your health’s sake is not exactly slogging. Remember, health can never come out of a packet (however fancy)!

This article is not written with the intention of judging or putting down anyone, but to serve as an eye opener that our guilt is finding its way into our children’s tummy. We love our kids and look after the tiniest detail so that they are not inconvenienced. Then how come we ignore such a huge aspect of their lives – their HEALTH!!

Beta, I don’t want you to be my ShravanKumar!

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Image source: pixabay

As a child, I loved hearing stories, and pestered my father to narrate me one every night. And like a darling, he obliged me. So that’s how I learnt about ShravanKumar – the good son, how Ganeshji got an elephant head, Alibaba and chaalis chor (forty thieves), the amusing pranks of Lord Krishna and many more. Back then no one told us, but we all wanted to be like Shravana or Lord Rama, the ever obedient and ideal sons. There were no stories about good daughters, except maybe Sita and Panchali who married the men their parents handpicked for them.

We have one child. A daughter. And for whatever reasons of ours, we plan to keep it the same way. So it is going to be only one child for us. Now, we sometimes wonder what will happen to us when we grow old and need someone to look after us. We cannot chain our daughter to us. She would want to explore the world and stay wherever her heart would take her. And she would do so with our blessings.

It’s not that that wouldn’t hurt us. But I am hoping the pain wouldn’t be too much. When she was little and I was breastfeeding her, I remember getting let-down reflex as soon as my newborn started crying. I couldn’t imagine letting her go out of my sight even for a moment. Gradually, she started school and I was OK with her not being around for 3-4 hours. Then, she joined the big school, and I got used to her absence for more than 8 hours. I have realized, with her growing, I have grown too. I don’t fret for her every minute of the day. I know she needs her space, and I need mine. And this mutual respect for space is what will help me the day when she leaves home forever.

As a mother, I would want her to be with me, always. But, I also know, as a mother, I can’t be selfish. That’s the first rule of being a parent – LET GO!! And, when the time comes, I will be ready to let her go! I am preparing myself to be the mother who doesn’t hold her child to ransom. She didn’t ask to be born, I wanted her. So I cannot hold that against her.

I will love her. FOREVER. She is born out of my body and carved out of my heart, and she will always carry a big piece of me. But, I can survive without her. And, she will survive and thrive without me. The world is her arena, and she would not get burdened with my expectations and my regrets. I would not want her to be my ShravanKumar, to carry me wherever she goes. And, that’s what I will tell her – beta, I don’t want you to be my ShravanKumar! Don’t be tied down to me! Live your life! You get it only once!