The Mothers Around Me Who Inspire Me…!!!

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Image courtesy – pixabay.com

My earliest memory dates back to when I was 3 years old. In spite of living in a joint family, I can clearly see my mom in it. Most kids like me will have their mom in their first memories. And, why not! After all, it’s the mother a newborn sees the first. It’s the mother who feeds her cleans her, makes her sleep, teaches her and shapes her. No wonder, a mom is the one person who everyone aspires to be.

I know I do. Since a very young age, I’d want to be like my mother, who selflessly gives. She wakes up before the entire household, cooks for everyone and still is the last person to eat. As the eldest child, I have seen her sacrifices and her tears. And though we hurt her, ignore her…she doesn’t hold any grudge. Does the world hold any other person who would do the same for us? Neither our darling spouse, nor our precious children.

Even in the Indian mythology, we have learnt about the great mothers. Yashoda who raised Krishna like her own child. Or, let’s talk about Keyikeyi, who we might vilify, but what she did was for her son. Or Gandhari who, though knew her son was in the wrong, took off her blindfold so that she could bless her son with eternal powers. While mothers in the real world might not boast of such superhuman powers, what they do is unparalleled.

As I said, my first inspiration remains my mother. Her devotion to her children is matchless. But today, I want to talk about other mothers too who I have been lucky enough to come across in my life.

One is a very close and dear friend. She got married very early, while she was still studying, and within a year she delivered her first child. But with pregnancy, she continued studying. And while her baby was taking her first steps, she was taking her first steps as a college lecturer. She managed home, baby and work efficiently. Within a few years she had her second child, but she continued working. She continued studying for her doctorate program. Today, she holds a Ph.D, she is a college professor, has two beautiful kids, and a lovely home. But, nothing had been offered to her on the platter. She has worked, and worked hard. She learns Kathak with her daughter, she participates in every college event and dances on all 9 nights of Navratri. She balanced motherhood with personal growth and development beautifully. And that’s what makes her an inspiring mom for me!

The other inspiring mother is my lovely neighbour. On meeting her, I got to know that she was an IAS aspirant. But, when she got married, she was asked to stop her studies and concentrate on her family instead. With two daughters coming early into the marriage, she concentrated all her energies and efforts on her. She did the entire household work, took her daughters from one class to another, and looked after their studies. Only when the daughters joined college and became independent, she resumed her studies. And today, she holds a doctorate degree in Food Science and Nutrition, and works in the capacity of Deputy Director in a Govt. Of India recognized, NABL accredited food and water testing laboratory in a reputed women’s university in Mumbai.

And lastly, I want to talk about my house help. A lady who is my age and has 5 children. For the want of a male child, her family made her give birth to 4 daughters and abort 2. A good-for-nothing husband, she does household work and tries to make ends meet. She doesn’t own a single gold piece of jewellery, wears old or donated clothes, borrows heavily but still makes her kids study.

A mother may be educated or not, may belong to a different socioeconomic class, but her children will still remain her number one priority. She makes us what we are…and she loves us as we are!!

This post is a part of #Momspiration stories published on mycity4kids.com.

Mother’s Day Contest

My Dear Mommies…it’s contest time on Firsttimemommy.

It is a Facebook contest. Here’s the link to Firsttimemommy Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/mammaspeaks/

All you need to do is:

  1. share this review link on Earth Baby products on your Facebook page – https://firsttimemommy.net/2017/04/27/review-earth-baby-the-goodness-of-earth-for-your-baby/
  2. tag 5 friends
  3. and tag firsttimemommy too.

50 lucky winners will get a beautiful gift hamper from Earth Baby. The winners will be announced on Mother’s Day 2017. Contest valid till 13th May, 11:59 pm.

PS: Contest limited only to India and the sole discretion to choose winners rests with Firsttimemommy and Earth Baby.

Review: Earth Baby – The Goodness Of Earth For Your Baby!

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A few days ago, I got to know about Earth Baby products. Being a person who believes in clean eating and living, I was naturally pulled towards these products that used natural ingredients. Also, I am sure it’s not only me, but being a more informed and aware generation, we are very particular about what touches our baby’s skin and what goes inside her mouth. And we don’t mind going that extra length and spending that extra buck if we know we will get what we are promised.

As I went through its beautiful website, I realized they don’t only have baby skincare and food products, but also a gamut of interesting products that will help a new mother take her first steps into motherhood. From nutritional snacks for the mothers like lactation inducing panjeeri and hunger satiating organic jowar/sesame ladoos to naturally dyed cotton nappies and jhablas, and herbal mosquito repellent and natural hand made laundry soap.

I talked to the concerned person at Earth Baby and expressed my desire to review a few of their products. They agreed, and sent me samples of a few of their products.

However, before I give the product review, I must mention that the soaps, coffee powder and sunni pithi powder were packed in paper bags, and not in plastic. Being an environmentally conscious citizen, I was mightily impressed. Only the apricots came in a plastic bag, which though initially I was upset, I realized it was needed because of the nature of the product. Also, the plastic bag was not the cheap use and throw kind, but a Ziploc bag which can be reused. So the Earth Baby team believes not only in nature, but also in protecting it. Full marks to the team!!

And, now here is the review of those products.

SOAPS

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So, I got soaps. 3 mini soaps in 3 boldly coloured packaging (neither of the soaps contains colours, they are of natural colour).

Red packaged soap was Cow Milk and Sandalwood soap ideal for baby of 1 year and plus.

Blue packaged soap was Vetiver (Khus Khus) soap again ideal for baby of 1 year and plus, and,

Green packaged soap was for new born babies.

My daughter was excited on seeing these mini soaps, and called dibs on the Elsa (thanks to the movie Frozen, blue is not just light or dark, midnight or Prussian, it has a new tinge – Elsa blue) blue coloured packaged soap. She has been bathing with it for quite a few days, and she loves its smell.

I on the other hand took the soap covered in red paper and have been enjoying its mild flavour of sandalwood.

Verdict – These soaps neither boast of pretty colours nor bold fragrances, but that reassures me on the contrary. It means they are free of chemicals or even if I look at them with a cynical eye, they contain fewer chemicals than the ones available in the market.

BARLEY MALT CHICORY COFFEE

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I love coffee, but caffeine keeps me awake till the wee hours of the morning even if I have a cup at 4 in the evening. It has become a joke in my family that I can moonlight as a night guard on just an evening cup of joe. Well, this barley and chicory coffee has solved that problem. The other day, in a daring move, I made a glass of cold coffee using this decaffeinated coffee powder, and drank it at 5-5:30 pm, and I was still asleep by 10:30 pm.

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I am no new mother, but this coffee is ideal for new and lactating mothers as well as chicory promotes breast milk. It contains no caffeine, so no worries about caffeine finding a way into your breast milk and from there on being passed on to your newborn. Also, it relieves constipation (a mother who has had a recent episiotomy would understand its importance). It has anti-inflammatory and blood purifying properties.

Verdict – It tastes different (not like your regular coffee), but I like the earthy taste. I add some desi jaggery instead of sugar and enjoy my cup of brown wellness.

SUNNI PITHI BATH POWDER

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Indian moms bathe their newborns with a concoction of homemade powders. Earthy Baby has such a powder ready for your newborn baby of 1 week+. It contains chick pea flour, green gram flour, rice flour and turmeric. Green gram flour is supposed to remove excess body hair while turmeric improves the complexion and keeps skin infections at bay.

Verdict – I have been using sunni pithi powder to wash my face, as my 5 year old bathes on her own, and is not comfortable bathing with a powder. But, I like the powder as it gently exfoliates my skin. I have an excessive oily skin, and I find my skin fresh and moist (without the stickiness) after washing my face with this powder.

SULPHUR FREE ORGANIC DRIED APRICOTS

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My husband and I are a big believer of clean eating. We use minimal salt and sugar in our everyday food, and promote the same in our daughter. We use molasses, jaggery, coconut sugar, dried figs, dates and dried apricots to flavour our beverages and desserts. However, till I read the label “sulphur free” on Earth Baby’s organic dried apricots packet, I didn’t even know that I had been eating sulphite laden dried apricots all this while. On googling, I came to know that sulphur dioxide is a preservative used in dried fruits like raisins, apricots and prunes. And if you are sensitive to sulphite or have sulphite allergy, it might pose a series of health problems like difficulty in breathing, wheezing, etc.

Verdict – Earth Baby’s organic dried apricots taste different and better than the ones available in the market. However, it is a little hard to bite for my 5 year old, so I have started soaking it in warm water for 1 hour and add it to her curd. She loves it. Also, it might be me being overobservant, but she has not complained of constipation once.

Apricots has a high fiber content that helps rectify constipation and acts as a mild laxative. It is also a good source of iron.

I am super impressed with the quality of Earth Baby’s products. My sister in law is expecting, and I have a very good mind to gift some of these lovelies to her and her newborn.

Meanwhile, I urge you to try them out and experience their goodness too!

PS: I will be launching a CONTEST shortly! Stay tuned!

10 Guaranteed Tricks That Make My Baby Smile, No Matter How Much She Has Been Crying!

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Pic Courtesy – Pexels.com

Little babies have an attention span of a housefly, and get bored and cranky fast. If we moms don’t have enough tricks up our sleeve, we must be prepared for a cranky and crying baby!

I am sharing 10 guaranteed tricks that make my baby smile, no matter how much she has been crying. They have been tried and tested by me on my baby. And trust me, they work; they really do!

1. Blowing Air On Their Tummy

This one is a true wonder. I think it is the noise and the cool air on her tummy that makes your baby stop her crying midway and smile at you!


This is how I do it:

-Pull up the T-shirt of your baby

-Fill some air in your mouth

-Now, rub your mouth on her tummy gently, and slowly let go of the air making a noise
A word of advice though – do not try this in public; the sound is not very appealing, and you might have people giving you weird glances. 😉

2. Making Faces

It works like a charm, every time! It works even with older kids. As a mom, I have learnt that making faces, sticking out your tongue, rolling your eyes and some other silly facial expressions will surely make your baby smile. They probably enjoy seeing their mommy look so comical, and may even try to imitate you!

3. Making Your Baby Stretch

Make your baby lie down on her back. Now hold her legs by the ankle and make her stretch. You can try any posture – legs wide apart, legs up her chest, or cycling motion.

This will help her release some gas and make her smile too, as she feels a sense of comfort.

4. Playing Peekaboo

This is another guaranteed trick I have tried to get that million dollar gummy smile – play peekaboo! Lean in close to her, kiss her nose or cheek, and then go back.

With an older baby, you can take a pillow or a cushion or her favourite blanket, and play peekaboo using the prop. Or do it the old-fashioned way using your hands. It works each time!

5. Massaging Your BabyWho doesn’t love a massage! Even babies do! If you want to use oil, it’s up to you. It’s also totally fine to dry massage too! Gently massage your baby’s feet, her toes and legs in circular motion.

Read more at http://www.worldofmoms.com/blog/10-Guaranteed-Tricks-That-Make-My-Baby-Smile-No-Matter-How-Much-She-Has-Been-Crying/1401/2

Hypothryoidism – Do not suffer in silence..!!

I am not sure whether I have shared with you before, that I have Hypothyroidism for last 12 years, and been on medication since.

Now, an underactive thyroid has a host of unappealing symptoms: brittle nails, hair loss, fatigue, lethargy, brain fog, hoarseness, depression, joint stiffness, muscles aches and pain, sensitivity to cold, constipation, slow metabolism, unexplained weight gain and inability to lose weight, complications in conceiving/carrying it full term.

So, this small gland secrets hormones vital for your body functions, Now, medicines help but they do not repair your gland. Even after taking medicines, I still suffer from all these symptoms, their intensity might be low, but they still plague me one way or the other. People close to me know my constant struggle with fuzzy memory and weight loss.

So what option you have other than taking medicines for your whole life?

Yoga, of course helps. Yoga has specific asanas namely:

  • Sarvangasana
  • Bhujangasana
  • Naukasana
  • Ushtrasana
  • Dhanurasana
  • Chakrasana
  • Simhasana
  • Surya Namaskara and many more.

Recently, I came across this video by Luke Coutinho, a well known nutritionist from Mumbai/India who has shared great tips to manage your hypothyroidism. And, one of them is consuming Coconut Oil. So here it is. My bottle of cold pressed virgin Coconut Oil. A spoonful daily, doesn’t have any taste. But, can work wonders.

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So let me get back to you after a few months on my hypothyroidism status.

For all ladies suffering from hypothryoidism, do not suffer in silence. Act today!

Check out this link –
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64eVj9hwRm0&feature=youtu.be

Disclaimer – This is not a product review. This was the cheapest bottle of cold pressed virgin coconut oil available on Amazon.

9 Reasons Some Babies Refuse To Eat Food, No Matter How Much You Try

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Feeding a baby is not an easy task at all. I am sure that all of us have experienced this as mothers. While there are some days when your baby agrees to feed/eat, there are other times when he/she REFUSES straightaway, no matter how much you try!

As soon as the baby turns 6 months old, most doctors recommend to slowly introduce solids. It is an exciting time for parents, mothers especially, as it means her breasts can finally get some rest! And also, babies get the opportunity to widen their palate, which till now has been exposed to only breast milk.

But, it’s not as simple as it sounds. As a mother who has experienced this phase, I have concluded that feeding baby food is not an easy task all! Come summer and many babies face feeding and appetite issues even more. So, why is that babies refuse to eat food on certain days? Is there some reason other than just moodiness?

In the course of my parenting journey so far, I have found some reasons why some babies refuse to eat food, even when you try really hard. If we manage to deal with these reasons, our babies might just regain their appetite!

1. When She is Not Feeling Comfortable

If your baby is not feeling comfortable, is colicky, is wearing tight clothes, is feeling too hot/humid, or has a full diaper, she may not want to be fed. If she has been vaccinated recently, that might spoil her appetite too.

2. When She is Full

Believe it or not, kids cannot overeat, unlike adults. So, if your child is full (was she recently breastfed?), she may not want to eat. Don’t force her. Either she will not take the food inside or vomit. It is best that we try to keep an adequate gap between two mealtimes.

3. When She is Constipated

If you notice that your baby has not been eating or taking breast milk, try to remember when she had last passed stool. She might be constipated and uncomfortable. Pooping problems affect many babies, and at these times, it is no wonder they don’t feel like eating.

4. When She is Teething

Has your little one crossed the 6 months mark? Some babies begin teething quite early. During teething, your baby might not be feeling well or comfortable, and may also experience some pain. This could be why they are refusing food.

5. When She is Fed a New Food

Have you recently introduced your baby to a new food? A baby may not like a new food and reject it! This may also lead to her refusing to eat anything in general.

Keep on reading at – http://www.worldofmoms.com/blog/9-reasons-some-babies-refuse-to-eat-food-no-matter-how-much-you-try/1397/2

Why I visit my parents’ home, my pihar?

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Photo Credit – @GiselaFotografie at https://pixabay.com/en/users/GiselaFotografie-2364908/

I completed 10 years of marriage earlier this year. And, till date, I feel strange that how quickly the 10th year anniversary crept up on us, because it seems only like yesterday that we had gotten married. However, on hindsight, it may seem like yesterday, but it certainly doesn’t feel like it. I have lived the ups and downs (and remember them too), and can see the changes in myself (both physical and psychological) and in my relationship in these 10 years.

Ten years ago, I called my parents’ home – my home. Today, it is my parents’ home – my pihar. I don’t love it as I love my home; but I have a strong connection with it. That’s where I have grown up, and have lots of memories attached to it. I love my home and it is my sanctum. When I leave it to go to my pihar, it is with certain misgivings. You see, I do not have a cunning mother in law or scheming sister in law staying with me, so when I go to pihar, I am not running away from anyone. When I go, I leave my home behind.

I remember as a small child seeing my mother’s excitement to visit her parents’ house, my nani’s (maternal grandmother) house. On the train journey from Ahmedabad to Surat, she would be as eager as us, for totally different reasons though. We were eager because of the eventful train ride (the spicy chanawala (split chick pea vendor), munfliwala (peanut vendor), milk from Baroda Dairy, masala jaamfal (spiced guava)), while she was to meet her family. And, all through the summer holidays that we spent at my nani’s house, I distinctly remember my mother more as her parents’ daughter than our mother. That was what visiting her pihar did to my mother. Put a spring to her feet, a charming lilt in her voice, and made her a child again.

It happens to every woman. No wonder, visiting pihar is such a sacred event in the life of married girls. No wonder, come the summer holidays and women are talking about going to their parents’ house. It’s the annual pilgrimage that every married woman likes and wants to make, so that she can go back in time and be that little girl for a while. Where she is the taker, and not a giver for a change.

Enough about what the girls feel about visiting their pihar. How about thinking from the parents’ point of view? My mother insists I visit her every summer vacation.

My father still goes for his morning walk and goes to the office at the same time every day of my visit. He doesn’t talk much to me either. But, I know he appreciates my coming over, because during those days, he would bring home all those fruits and foods that I love, and ask my mother whether I have been having them or not. This is his way of showing love.

My mother on the other hand changes her routine drastically. She takes a break from her friends, cancels her kitty parties and concentrates only on me and my daughter. What will I eat, where would I like to go take precedence for her. She is getting older, her movements slower, but when I or my sister are around, she has a renewed energy. Her life revolves around us for the entire duration of our stay. She has a lovely daughter in law and a cute little grandson, but when her daughters visit her, she loves the fact that her entire family is once again living under the same roof. She too, like me, tries to capture a handful of the beautiful past.

So, even when there are times when I don’t want to visit that inferno of a place called Ahmedabad in the summer, I still go, for my parents. Because, they might have given their daughters away in marriage, but we still form an integral part of their life.