A letter from a working mother to her son

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mother-and-son-5Since last couple of days, I have come across a lot of articles on mothers – working and non-working ones.

The working mothers most of the times feel the pressure of managing family and work – they carry a bit of guilt of not spending enough time with their kids and how they sometimes miss the most important moments when their kids are growing.

On the other hand, there are feelings expressed by the non-working ones that reflect how they choose motherhood over career, how they left their well-paying settled jobs just to be with their kids and cherish each and every moment.

And then I sit and wonder – where do I fit in?

As the mother’s day approach near, I would like to tell something to you my son – through this letter.

I want to tell you, that I am a working woman and I work because I have the passion to work – more than the need. I enjoy the status of “getting noticed” in the crowd. I dream of being a respectable and recognised professional. I work to fulfil my ambitions.

Then you may have a question for me – that – mom, are your dreams and ambitions more important than me?

No, my son, absolutely not. You are the most precious gift I have got in my life. There is nothing more important than you – not even my own self.

I stepped back from my dreams when you came in my life, and I will always do the same whenever you will need my complete attention – without any second thought.

But by me working, there are a lot of lessons I can teach you – that may not be as effective otherwise.

Do remember my son, I don’t want to teach you feminism, I want to cultivate that in you by giving you those experiences. I want you to know that like your dad, your mom shares equal responsibilities and enjoy equal authority at home.

I want you to remember that as I have you in my life, I have my parents too, who have struggled enough to ensure I succeed in life. Would it be a nice thing to be dependent on my spouse to take care of them? Or should I leave them with whatever available resources they have – even though I have the capabilities to give them a better life?

Yes I do miss some moments where I wish I didn’t have this hat of a working women. But then, don’t I have hats of all other relations that I maintain within the family? Aren’t there times when I was away from you for a family emergency in your grandparent’s home. So my son, don’t relate my working with me being away from you. We just have a lot of things to manage at the same time.

You may say that, mom, you only taught me that money can’t buy happiness. My son, don’t ever under estimate working with earning. Earning is one benefit why people work, but then there are many more such things above money – satisfaction, self-respect, confidence – a complete package.

Money is the mean to lead a life as per your wish.  Money is not life.

Whether working or not working, your smile is the most affectionate thing I crave for. Your upbringing is the most important responsibility of my life.

I take pride in ensuring that I capable of being your support system – in whichever form you need. I am a happy person and I want you to be the same – without guilts, without sacrifices, without any burden on the heart.

I just have a silent wish – that when you grow up as a mature adult – you come to me and say – Mumma, I am proud of you!

 

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Food for thought

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Your-Brand-Sucks-Because-Youre-Trying-to-be-Someone-Else (2)Just on crazily busy day with calendar full of meetings and a long to-do list, my Skype notification attracted my attention. One of my friends had changed his Skype status.

I thought to myself, my status message is also getting old day by day. It needs to be youthful, a refreshment to mind as soon as I start my work. It should make me smile as I begin the show!

Not that the current one isn’t doing so, but may be I have started taking it for granted and not paying so much attention!  😛 Is it like an old relationship.  😀

So after a couple of minutes in my own thinking world – I came up with a great message – oh I do think it’s a great one!  😛

Believe in the power of being YOU!

I got so impressed with my own thought that I posted it on Facebook as well to see if I have like-minded people around. 🙂

And to my surprise, a dozen of “likes” followed 🙂

This makes me think – is this very simple fact of life of being and living the way you are, really worth a status? Does it really need to be practiced? Is there a disconnect between who we are and how we are portraying ourselves?

Even standing in front of the mirror gives a “mirror image” not the real one. The reflection in water also shakes with the flow. The photos you have saved as memories doesn’t necessarily reflect your true emotion in that moment.

And then what are we scared of? Are we too busy pleasing others? Or just not very confident about our own selves? Is it a fear to avoid loneliness? Or a habit to showcase an ideal figure??

Not sure of the answer really – but worth food for thought!

It just needs a moment to look within and find out – how does it feel to just be “ME”.

May be the “likers” of my status message took that moment!

Are you in it yet??

 

 

 

It’s your story.. dear woman!

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womanbAlarm rings.. 5am.. With drowsy eyes and a strong undesire to get up, I try locating my mobile – just to swipe the snooze button and get that “10 mins more” sweet sleep..

10 mins gone…. alarm rings again.. Why can’t gadgets too feel lazy sometimes? 😐

Finally I make my mind to get up.. Do I have an option?

Slow pace and rubbing eyes, I am out of the bed.. Yet another long day ahead..

And then it strikes me – ohh its special day today.. it’s Women’s Day.. it’s a day to celebrate the pride of being a woman.. to cherish the achievements.. to feel like a queen!! 🙂 🙂

As I start my home chores, I think.. how is women’s day gonna be different at home? I still have to go for walk, make my own coffee, cook, get my handsome little one ready, drop him to school.. aemm.. countless big and small to dos.. So am I really proud of being a women with an endless dance on the toes?

Yes, I am proud – A strong voice shouts from within. Look at the way I multi-task the whole day. I manage my home, my work, my son’s home-work ;), my husband’s taste buds, my parents, my friends, my maid (most importantly), my hobbies, my aspirations!

My world – just a perfect one! 🙂

And then I become a role-model.

TO my son, unknowingly I am teaching him that woman deserve equality, they are not meant “for-home chores only”. I am teaching him to be independent, I am letting him grow more like an individual – obvious reason – I am not around him all the time. I am working!!

TO my husband, I am assuring him that I am there – to share responsibilities – he is not a one man army! I am there to contribute in every little thing we do for our home, an ear for his office troubles – as I have them too! a strong back-up, when he wants to fly for his professional aspirations – he doesn’t need to be holding his discomforts for the sake of home responsibilities.

Wow – what a proud feeling – a working woman, yes I AM!! B-)

9am, I drive Avneesh to school, and keeping my cool, drive through the traffic jams and honking to reach office. I do a bit of make-up before settling on my seat 😛

and then there are e-mails flooded with wishes – happy womens day – from bankers to marketers to shopping sites – all are in full swing to please women!!

HR team makes sure we feel on top of the world today! Flowers, special gifts, games, motivations speeches – I love every moment of this enjoyment! Yes – I tell myself – such a blessing being a working women – happy, independent – full of self-esteem! 🙂

As the day passes and the clock strikes 1, all head for the “special lunch for beautiful ladies”. My heart runs home to see if Avneesh had food? Did he like it or left it halfway? Did he take his morning fruit?

I assure myself that all is going to be well and I don’t need to stress. Wasn’t I convinced with the thought of making him independent??

Day passes by. My mind keeps wandering around home. Did Avneesh do any new thing today that I missed to see? Did he speak a new word?? He must be missing mumma for a garden play, poor chap! 😦

Evening arrives as I start wrapping-up my work. What a pleasant weather it is – perfect for family time with coffee and chitchats! I smile with this thought.. I am sure my husband too would have been missing this! A day-dreamer in me visuals us together!

And then comes an e-mail – urgent action needed. Errr.. Does that mean I am going to be late? Is it yet another miss to a great family evening?? Hmm..

I know my people will understand.. They won’t complaint at all.. They know it’s a need to support family.. Still.. what is this feeling of incompleteness? Would it have been better to let go career, stay at home and enjoy every moment with family?? 😦

SO I finish the urgent tasks and get back home.. It’s too late for a refreshing coffee in the “tiny-fortune paid” home with amazing view from balcony.

Let’s cook-eat-sleep. Simple plan now. 😐

And the day gets over.

This is not just my story – but story of all the women in this world – working or not working doesn’t matter. It’s the story of tremendous patience and balance in a woman’s mind.

It’s about the power a woman has to handle these extremely opposite emotions of pride and guilt every single day!

I am proud of this power, I am proud of this balanced mind. I am proud of being a woman – god’s complete package deal!

Happy women’s day!

 

a mother or a learner?

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happy-quotes-1245So, you are a daughter, and a sister and a wife and a MOTHER and a friend and a professional and a home maker and the list continues!! 🙂

Out of all the roles I play in my life, being a mother is something I enjoy the most. Motherhood is the greatest blessing woman has. It’s an embracing experience, a bundle of responsibilities, authority, joy, innocence and of course a continuous learning!

Yes, my 2.5 years old son is the greatest teacher I have. Life has been so very positive since his arrival. The priorities have changed, the approach towards my own self has transformed – a refreshing feel! 🙂

So what is this learning I am talking about:

  • Being fearless – I am sure you would have yourselves noticed kids in the park playing fearlessly on the rides and the swings. They don’t bother about falling down, they just enjoy the moment.

Isn’t it the best learning ever? Whenever I see my son, he teaches me to be fearless – because only the present moment is in our control – neither the past and nor the future is. We have to live this moment to the fullest. And that’s what will make our life worth enjoying! 🙂 🙂

  • Consistency – Since his birth I have been observing him. He keeps doing the same thing again and again till he actually learns it. Let it be crawling, standing up, sitting or walking.. or even talking. His repeated actions give him perfection in what he does.

A great way of dealing with things! I have been trying something, then leaving it blaming its difficult and then trying it again – on a random basis. The reason of my failure was lack of consistency. Let it be healthy eating or meditation or gyming – I failed countless times. But seeing my baby try all the various things so consistently makes me feel to ape him! 😛 I am sure the one reason for my success now is going to be his teaching!

  • Creativity – Trying something new every time is something that amazes me about him. The small brain inside him can relate anything anywhere – imagine he playing with a “griddle” singing “wheels on the bus” rhyme! 😀 😀

Well, we are humans and we get bored doing same things again and again. Think about it. Is it so difficult to just tweak a few things here and there – unplanned sometimes – and just be creative!! We are not machines to be monotonous isn’t it 😛

I am sure you have your own learnings (and challenges 😉 ) that you counter every day as a parent. Do share, I am eager to know if I am missing some fun! 😛

 

Old Age (NEW) Home

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takingcareofelderlyMy neighbors – the sweetest couple I have ever seen in my life. Ajji-Ajoba as I call them (grandpa and grandma).

Ajoba, in his late 60s, is a retired person from a manufacturing company. Ajji has been a home-maker ever since she understands “marriage” – since just a decade minus her age.

Every day I have multiple “eyes-breakers” with them. In the morning, when I open the door to collect the milk bags, both of them are going for a walk; when I leave my son to school, they sit relaxly on their sofa enjoying breakfast and tea; when I leave for office, there’s a quick instruction of “go safe” for my ajji next door.

They do not believe in the modern – close doors and sit policy. Their home welcomes everyone with a smiling face – anytime of the day.

It’s been 6 months now that I know them and they have become our extended family.

I just love the way they complement each other, they understand each other’s need without uttering a single word.

Last month..

They decided to go to an old age home and stay. Initially, I didn’t understand why was this even needed as a thought?

They do have 2 kids, both settled in the US. Neither the children want to come back to India, nor Ajji-Ajoba wanna go and settle in the US. Their children though, did buy a flat for these old parents – as a part of social responsibility.

I wasn’t at all convinced of this whole idea, still decided to give an ear to why they think it’s a great deal to be in an old age home. They have their own reasons. They had a struggle every day for cooking, cleaning home managing their needs on their own and so on.

They looked very excited about the shift. They described the old age home as a place with all the amenities they need – just under one roof. An ATM, Hospital, Medical Shop, Recreation Club and most importantly – people of their own age to mingle with.

The room they had chosen was a beautiful one room kitchen kind of arrangement, with tea coffee was just a button press away!

They explained me the ease they will have there with no tension to think of buying groceries or vegetables, no tension if maid doesn’t turn up, no worry if there are power cuts and they don’t find things in the dark.

Hmm, not such a bad idea, I thought for a moment.

With a lot of enthusiasm pumped in their blood, they left and I also happily waved a  bye-bye to them promising that we will surely be in touch.

Few days later..

I started missing that elderly presence on our floor. In this busy world, you need someone to tell you that you need to have food on time, you need to pray etc etc and etc… :), isn’t it? Ofcourse, our parents do that. But practically, we have come far from our parents too..

I decided to visit them. They welcomed me with the same happy gesture. They looked content. They shared stories of how Ajoba was thrilled while playing Carrom with his “new” buddies after many years, how Ajji goes to temple with her new girl friends 😉 How they loved that small picnic to Japanese garden! And yes, not to forget, the coffee was really a button press away. The well dressed staff of the old age home got us coffee in just 5 mins.

Amazing! I felt so good for them. They are delighted to the fullest! They are making the most of the life after retirement!

With the satisfaction of meeting them, I came home and got back to my routine life..

Last week..

I was surprised to see Ajji-Ajoba back in their flat. A thunder of questions hit my brain – did they come just to collect some stuff? Were they not able to manage in the old age home? Are they ok? This is something wrong with them?

I went running to see them and figure out. The same smiling face revealed that they have shifted back to their flat and cancelled their stay at the old age home

What?? I said? You were so happy there?? A curious me questioned.

Gathering courage, Ajoba said.. Yes, we were very happy. But the fact is that we are old. And we are going to die soon.

People in the old age home are also our age.

It breaks our heart in pieces hearing news of death of people in our group. Our heart is not so strong. It doesn’t let us sleep whole night. It makes us restless. NO.. we are not that strong to take it.

A moment of silence…………………………………………………………………………

I couldn’t utter a single word, just came back.

It’s been 2 days now since they are back. I see them settling again in the flat, keeping up with their routine.

Is this the life they had imagined when they were growing their children? Wouldn’t they be wishing to play with their grandchildren? Wasn’t they imagining a relaxed life on retirement assuming their kids will take care of them from now? Didn’t they dream of a complete family time?

Why is our generation not considering these points and running after success leaving parents to suffer?

I am not blaming only others. Even I make mistakes. How much time does it take for me to call my mom and ask if she has taken her medicine? Don’t we have even this much of time really?

How happy will they feel when we hold their hand and say – don’t worry, we are there for you! Why do we need old age homes ever in this world? The way their cared for us, can’t we give it back the same way?

I am speechless.

An evening (like) in Paris!!

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stock-footage-paris-france-circa-eiffel-tower-at-night-light-show-timelapse-paris-franceParis – the city every tourist dreams to visit. The city of love, the city of lights!

I am no different! I too imagine myself roaming in the crowded streets of Paris, clicking myself under the Eiffel Tower, witnessing the magic of lights under the open dark sky – somethings I have only read about.

What happens when I get the same experience – here – in Pune?

Aeem.. Are you thinking I have lost it? Comparing Paris to Pune?? 😐

Don’t know really. But the emotions I felt that evening weren’t any less than of being in Paris.

I think the inner happiness is felt from the moments we live, the emotions we feel in a certain situation – place is just a plot of the entire experience.

We started from home at 4 in the evening. It was a small plan – taking my son to a park, dinner in one of the restaurants nearby and back to home. A simple family weekend.

While on our way, I saw a newly opened amusement park. A temporary one built on a playground, huge hoardings of exciting rides, balls and balloons, ice creams and chocolates – a vibrant environment. The tall colourful lights on every ride were surely the most powerful attraction of this park. A lot of kids were standing in front of the park with their families and friends excitedly waiting for their turn to enter.

That momentary sight tickled my mind. Reminded me my childhood memories. It had been years visiting such a place. My father used to take us to amusement parks after our exams – a simple way to distress our little brains. 😎

Would it be a good idea to take my soon turning 2 years son to this place? A thought pricked. Well why not – I said to myself. But isn’t he too small for this place? Caring mom in me peeped.

After a couple of thought exchanges between my caring side and my practical side, we made our way to the amusement park.

We entered the amusement park. Every ride had a queue of kids waiting desperately for their turns. The Mary-go-around, the Columbus boat, the dash-the-car, the jumping jack – all were full of joyous screams! I must say – those innocent smiles have an extra ordinary power of refreshing our lives!

Out of the few rides suited for my son, we made him sit on a play car ride. A simple one with 5-6 cars rotating on a small horizontal wheel like structure.

His way of holding the steering, the joy in his sparkling eyes, the way he waved his little hand every time the car passed by us – the complete experience was a speechless delight!

I think more than he enjoying his first time visit to such a park, we were amazed seeing his play. 🙂

He played few more rides – a bike ride, a small dragon ride, a helicopter ride – with the same enthusiasm and energy.

At last we went to the jumping balloon ride. It was a huge balloon with a netted flat base where kids can keep jumping. They had kept some balls inside to add more fun.

There were few more kids inside the balloon – between 2-5 years of age. I was scared initially – fearing he will get hurt if another kid falls on him while jumping. So I stood a bit far while my husband dropped his inside the balloon.

At first, he didn’t understand what to do. The moment he used to try standing, the balloon would shake by the jumps of other kids and he used to fall down. He tried couple of times, then just sat in the middle of the floor wondering what to do next. My husband read his mind, made some signs asking him to crawl and come to us, which he perfectly understood and followed. Then my husband holded his right hand and said – jump. He jumped and yay!! – he was doing exactly the same as other kids. He was happy for his success!! He kept jumping, losing his balance, kicking the balls that came near him. Adventurous – for him and for us.

Ahh, what a heartfelt experience was this!! 🙂

After the rides section was a small market area. We bought some toys for him, which he proudly carried. We got our family photo clicked in sketch style – that has become a frame in our bedroom now.

Wow, a great evening spent!!

I don’t know when I will go to Paris, but I am sure when we have our loved ones with us, every place has a Paris in it!! 🙂

2nd innings..

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2013-02-19-back-to-workAh! So finally here I am with my tortoise pen blogging again!

Last 2 years have been crazy with my little one doing all the naughty cute things, and keeping me busy. Though hectic, I feel this is the best part of my life seeing my – now toddler – growing and dancing and playing and learning and what not. My smarty he is! 😎

During this period, I didn’t take off from work but chose to make my home my new workstation. I was working from home for the last 2 years taking care of my bundle of joy and my home and my home office. I kept visiting office once a week or so just to be in touch with people around. Its just 1 month away now that I need to re-join work and get into the 2nd innings after a good long honeymoon period!

A lot of mixed emotions are going around my mind, and I am not sure which one to focus on. 😐

As you would also have experienced, there is a joy of getting back to work, be with people (sitting at home working alone is terrible!), share stories, share lunch.. Ah, I soo missed it!

Meeting people and sharing ideas and the discussions are still much more productive and “human” in this advanced technology age!

A small tea break with friends and the chitchats and the gossips give more energy to the blood than the fiber-rich biscuits at home 😛

Hmm, yaa so that is one part of the story.

Other part of my brain is all taken by a worried mom on thoughts if my tiny tot would adjust in the playschool, would he be ok without me, would the people in playschool be as patient as I am with him while he make tantrums for food. The list is endless! 😦 😦

Who can understand a kid more than his mother? And again, who else would want to?

This again reflects the importance of our culture of joint families, staying together – helping hands for all.

I checked a couple of playschools all of which claimed to be the best. The choice is tough and gets tougher with the reviews that I read – a mix of good and bad.

And with these thoughts when I walk towards my room, I see my wardrobe and wonder – isn’t the collection a bit old now for office 😛

30 days to go from now, and life is going to change! Let me see what comes in the plate!

The best part about future is the suspense it has! Isnt it? 🙂