Mummy – kal, aaj aur kal?

kal aaj aur kal

This happened a few days ago when I was visiting my parents’ house in Ahmedabad. I was cajoling my daughter to finish her food. Being a Sunday, my father was at home and was observing the whole scene.

“You know, we never had our mother running around us to make us eat!” He commented.

I looked at him to elaborate on his remark, and he complied. “We were 11 brothers and sisters, and amma (he called his mother amma) was always overworked. She kept our food and milk glasses on the table – 11 plates and 11 glasses for each of her children. But, then she never stood there to see if everyone was having his proper share. So, there were a few who would drink 2 or 3 glasses of milk, and others would not get anything. No one went to amma asking for more; not that she wouldn’t have given us more, but no one had the heart to add on to her already big pile of work. And studies, well, being an illiterate woman, she could neither help us with our homework, nor did she bother. We sorted matters ourselves.”

A big insight into the days of their lives 50 years ago!!

We are three siblings. My mother made sure that we had proper nutrition, each one of us. Thankfully, processed foods weren’t that much in demands those days. Maggi had just been introduced, and breads (double roti) were consumed rarely. Having three kids and not having sufficient domestic help, she couldn’t sit with us and make us study, but she encouraged us to study ourselves.

I remember clearly the day, I must have been 6 years old, when I came home with a note in the school diary. I asked my mummy to sign it. She was busy with my 1 year old brother. She said, “Bring it later. I am busy!” Afraid to forget it later, I signed the note myself. Of course, the next day, the teacher realized it was me who had signed and called my mother to the school for an explanation. A big drama ensued!

When we went out to play, she never bothered to ask us where we were going. There were kids in the neighbourhood, and she knew we would be playing with them, however, we had to be back at 7:30 for dinner. There were no lessons on safety, no good touch or bad touch (in fact it was something I came to know when my daughter was 2 years old). Happier times they were!

And, then I see my style of parenting! My daughter being a single child, my whole focus is on her. Whether she has eaten enough, has she exercised well for the day, what’s her homework, has she prepared for the projects…!!!

And, of course, she is not allowed to go and play alone in the park or in the society compound. I know where she is at all times! Yes, gradually I am encouraging her to be more independent; she sets her own bag, bathes and brushes on her own, dresses on her own, helps in the house…but still I doubt she will be as independent as I was at her age!

So these are the 3 generations of mothers. My grandmother’s role was to provide food to her children. My mother saw to our health, education and comfort. While I am looking after each and every aspect of my daughter; from her nutrition to education, comfort and physical, mental and psychological development. With time, a mother’s role changes too! All mothers do the best they can do for their children, according to their capacity and understanding. There is no right or wrong, that’s what I have understood!


5 Signs That Indicate Something Is Not Quite Right With Your Child

I was quite happy that my daughter was meeting all her developmental milestones. She started sitting at 6 months, crawling at 8 and walking at 11. I was so happy with her timely accomplishments that I forgot that there was something equally important to focus on. Her behavioural development. There are some telling signs that can indicate a serious problem. Consider this my warning!


Behavioural development of your child is as important as her meeting all her physical milestones. Hence, focus on them too! For me, it wasn’t until my daughter’s constant desire to be with me became a nuisance that I realized that there was something not correct. I talked to her paediatrician, enrolled her in a kindergarten and hosted play dates, and that’s how gradually she started observing and mingling with other people other than me.

Yes, behavioural development of a child is as important as physical development. A child may throw a tantrum, be disobedient, or display an outburst of aggression or destructive behaviour. If that’s occasional, there’s often nothing to worry about. But, if this kind of behaviour is a regular norm, it’s time parents took it more seriously and took positive steps to control it.

Read more here –


My journey from a fussy mum to a buddy mum


A sculpture of a mother and children with the words “A Child Gives Birth to a Mother,” Bandra, Mumbai, India.

If you have ever passed through Bandra reclamation, you might have stumbled upon this beautiful sculpture of a child and mother. But, more than the sculpture, it’s the words written on it that will grab your eyes.

A child gives birth to a mother. – Dr. Vithal Ventakesh Kamat

It’s so beautiful and so true! I understood it the day my daughter was born. Coincidentally, it was also my birthday. Yes, my daughter decided to pop out on my birthday. After the delivery, as the doctor was stitching me up, I happened to tell him that it was my birthday that day. He congratulated me and then said these words.

You may be born on this day several years ago. But, today you are reborn as a mother.

However, the funny part is that I didn’t feel that I was a complete mother the very first day. When I breastfed my daughter for the first child, I experienced a wonderful motherly feeling. When I lulled her to sleep, I felt more of a mother than ever before. When I stayed awake nights to nurse her cold, that’s when I reached a new height of motherliness. It was a slow transition, this motherhood. And, no mother achieves it overnight. It happens with time, patience and effort.

Every day is a new journey. Even after five years, every day I learn a new thing. It makes me wonder how I survived all this while. Motherhood is like a part of a giant jigsaw puzzle, and every day, a part of it gets connected correctly. And once a mother, always a mother. So this puzzle will stay with me till the very end.

In this journey of mine, I have learnt a lot of things – from my elders, neighbours, peers, friends, and maids. Also, I have learnt a lot from Khuljaaye Bachpan. As I write for it, I also try to emulate in real what I write. And, that has helped me. Tremendously to be a good mother, no, a better mother.

I was a fussy mommy, like all first time moms usually are. I wouldn’t let my child play in the sand much for the fear of germs and not let her get wet in the rain for the fear of falling sick. I would fuss and fret over small things. But, a year later, though I wouldn’t say I am completely a fuss-free mommy, I can at least confidently say that I have come a long, long way. My daughter now gets wet in the rain (though she needs to take a hot bath immediately) and plays in the sand (though she gets a head to toe wash later).

Recently, we travelled to Goa on the occasion of our birthday. There we rented a scooter, and my little darling was thrilled to bits on standing at the front. She loved the cool breeze on her face and hair. But, that also meant her hair was full of stubborn tangles. The older me would have never let that happen, and would have plaited her hair. But the new me didn’t bother tying her hair. Later, as I was combing her hair, it produced a few tears, but at least she had her fun with her hair down. J

Another incident that highlights the new me took place recently. My daughter loves to explore my mirror cabinet that contains perfumes, lipsticks, nailpaints, powders, bindis and other knickknacks. I usually keep the door firmly locked, because if she finds it open, it becomes very difficult to detach her from it. And, as far as my cosmetics are concerned, they are later found in different states of distress. Now, that day, I forgot to lock the cabinet door. After a while, when I went into my room, I found her surrounded by my cosmetics – her toes were painted green, there was a bindi on her forehead, and her lips were scarlet red. And, then I saw my favourite red lipstick lying on the floor broken.

I was just about to shout at her, when I stopped myself in time. She was all dolled up, and looking a pretty sight. I didn’t want to spoil her fun by shouting at her. Yes, the lipstick had cost a bomb, but my shouting wouldn’t have mended it. So, I let it go. The next moment, I sat down with her, and asked her to paint my nails green too, and put lipstick (a different one) on my lips. By choosing not to make a scene over the incident, I bonded with her.

I am committed to give my daughter a happy and carefree childhood. The Khuljaye Bachpan journey has helped me turn into a buddy mum. And, I think twice before shouting at and scolding my daughter. If things are not important enough, I don’t rake them up. My household is much calmer and happier now.

I have changed, and for the BETTER!!! Though there is still a long way to go…