Body Image Issues

I’m OK with Not Being Perfect

Every person is different and that’s what makes them unique and actually perfect in themselves.

The concept of perfection has become so flawed and yet so rampant that many of us have started comparing ourselves to everyone on social media. There are many aspects of comparison but comparing the shape and size of bodies is the most common. Daily we look enviously at models, skinny moms, actresses and even at our neighborhood lady. While comparing, we forget that everybody not only has different body types but also completely different lifestyles and priorities. This is where Body Positivity comes in.

Body Positivity Articles
It’s human nature to compare and proliferation of social media has made it very easy. Isn’t it funny how many of us end up losing our mental peace for something that is not even worth it most of the times? There’s no smartness in valuing your body over your being.

I was never skinny but never fat either. By the time I entered late thirties, I started seeing changes in my body. I gained weight easily and didn’t seem to lose it easily. Then I got pregnant and put on another 10 kilograms. I lost it all within two months of delivery but didn’t lose many inches and soon after, I started gaining weight again.
I started walking and some exercise but couldn’t get regular thanks to mommy duties. We live in a nuclear setup and don’t have full time maids which meant that I couldn’t find time for my own health. Rather than going crazy, I decided to look at Body Positivity. A good thing I have started during this time is intermittent fasting which helps even though I end up eating sweets quite often. The guilt creeps up but still self-control isn’t my forte. Who can I blame then?

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Rather than wanting a toned body without doing much about it, I have started to take things as they come. I feel good now that I have decided to take things as they come, I’ve become more confident.

You might say that you are doing everything and still very far from your ideal weight; it can just be your body type or maybe you need a little more time. The plan should be to never give up on yourself. Fat or thin, you need to love yourself. It’s not that I don’t want to lose 10 kgs but I have accepted that it will take some time. Till then, I try to pose in flattering angles and embrace Body Positivity 😛
I’m okay with not being perfect
‘Cause that’s perfect to me
‘Cause that’s perfect to me
‘Cause that’s perfect to me

Do you also feel that awareness about Body Positivity is important?

I thank Priyanka Sehgal who blogs at https://mommynshanaya.wordpress.com for introducing me. She is a dear friend who writes about things close to her heart on her blog. I would also take the opportunity to introduce Sthuti Panigrahy Singh who blogs at https://mommyaccountsays.wordpress.com.

It brings me immense pleasure to share that I, along with 30 other bloggers, am celebrating Women’s Day with a twist. This post is a part of #UnapologeticGirlz Blogathon hosted by @mylittlemuffin_mom @mommyvoyage and @themomsagas, sponsored by @kaurageousyou.

I Love My Husband More than My Daughter

So finally, I get to say it! For starters, I don’t have to worry about him falling from the bed (or maybe I have to :P). On our wedding anniversaries, I write letters to my husband which are basically all the good things that he has done in that year. When I was pregnant, I wrote that he will always be my first priority. Easier said than done as babies are not only attention seekers, they actually need it.

i love my husband more than anything

Obviously, I have to keep Idhaya’s needs on top these days and Mr. TRM18 has been sidelined. We both barely get to speak to each other a sentence which is not about her- her food, savings for her, shopping for her, diaper changes, potty training, bedtime and everything in between. It so happens that I find many opportunities to want to punch him or at least scream (I choose screaming). Yet, I Love My Husband More than My Daughter.

why you should love husband more than kids

When I come out of all the chaos, the first thought is always his. I think about all the mean things I said to him in the last 24 hours and he took it silently (or with some opposition). I think about the time when it was just the two of us and I used to be this clueless kid, to him I still am his big baby, who had no idea how to behave in groups or how to speak to new people and even how to talk to elders. He has shaped me into a socially acceptable human being.

Not that it’s ambiguous, my husband is the reason I even thought of having a baby, leave alone conceiving her. Without him, I wouldn’t be sitting at my dining table typing this post 😀 And that’s why I Love My Husband More than My Daughter.

I Love My Husband More than My Daughter

The question of who you love more is always tricky and picking either your spouse or children seems impossible. To some, it may even seem silly but my choice is clear even though he leads by just 1 point.

Can you pick a favourite between your better half and your kids? I Love My Husband More than My Daughter. Are you also partial to your spouse?

9 Learnings of A One Year Old Mom

Seriously, I am not into learning things I don’t want to but somehow mommyhood has managed to teach me few needed and many not needed lessons. Some are of the life-skill variety and others are just there because I had no idea what motherhood comprises of. I have learnt funny and the not so funny realities but mind you I haven’t mastered any of these. So let’s see exactly What Motherhood Has Taught Me-

1.Patience

A mother is supposed to be really patient but I’m sure that most of us are not built that way. We are not born with patience (have you ever seen a really accommodating baby?) and it comes only with experience. I am lucky to have an embodiment of tolerance in my husband and he’s the one who pointed out that being impatient is one of my shortcomings.

Then came Idhaya who drives me crazy with her antics and there is little I can do about it. The only option I have is to learn the art of patience. I yell at her but not as much as I would have yelled at another baby doing the same things so it’s progress.

What Motherhood Has Taught Me

2.Mess and  happiness can live together

This coming from an organization freak is a scandalous statement! I don’t have ‘before’ pictures with me or I would’ve shared a ‘before and after’ scenario of my home. My home now basically looks like a garbage dump but you know what, I have to turn a blind eye towards it. What Motherhood Has Taught Me is to look beyond such things. The reason being I don’t get much time to myself and whatever precious ‘me time’ I get is for doing things that are just for myself like Instagram, online shopping or reading. And so we live happily in a messy house.

3.Love

Not that I don’t love my husband and honestly I still love him a little more than Idhaya (sorry baby!). The difference is that in motherly love, I only give without getting any favours. Loving unconditionally is What Motherhood Has Taught Me. Please don’t tell me that her smile and happiness is what I get because for me it’s a by-product of what I do for her.

what motherhood feels like

4.Unselfishness

Ha! So this is another life-skill that I am trying to imbibe. My current level of unselfishness is putting Idhaya’s needs before mine and giving her my rabbit soft toy that I have kept very carefully since last 5 years.

5.Confidence

Want to asses my progress? Asses my confidence because it’s the most important of the things What Motherhood Has Taught Me. I have risen above people-pleasing and judgments after becoming a mom. I would add that my frequency of judging others has also come down drastically.

6.Letting Go

Letting go of things that won’t matter in a few years from now What Motherhood Has Taught Me. It makes your mind free and I have felt it lately. Initially when Idhaya won’t sleep and I rocked her, I used to think that she will get habitual of this but I carried on thinking that it will continue for a maximum of three years or so. Guess what? She doesn’t need to be rocked to fall asleep anymore. When she’s sleepy, I simply lay her next to me and enjoy her happy smile before she falls asleep on her own.

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7.There is no best way to mother

Oh yes and many moms will agree with me (though my mom never will) on this. Your mothering style is unique and what works for you is the best (don’t be abusive though!).

8.I am amazing

I still can’t believe that I have not only become pregnant, given birth but have even managed to raise a baby on my own. With a lot of help from the Internet of-course but I am so proud of myself.

9.Sleep is not mandatory

Idhaya used to wake up every 2-3 hours till 3-4 months of age but luckily she almost always went back to sleep after feeding. Now she wakes up just once at night that too because of hunger. There are off days but mostly it’s great. Now, for a sleepyhead like me, waking up at odd hours wasn’t easy but now I’m habitual of it. I have realized that I can do with interrupted sleep.

This is What Motherhood Has Taught Me. What are your Learnings From Motherhood?

3 Reasons Why I Don’t Want to be A Mom Once Again

I can give you hundreds of reasons for not wanting to have another baby but I don’t have time to write that much because the baby will nap for just 30 minutes.

Even before my blog happened, I used to think that if I write my autobiography, I’ll name it ‘The Reluctant Mom’ :D. But again, who would want to read the life story of a lesser mortal yet I started blogging.

Anyway, these days every other person I see is like- have the second one soon as your biological clock is ticking. I say that I don’t want to and then get to hear that you will want to in a few years. The most popular reason to have another baby is to give company to the first one. People say that you won’t be there forever and who will support Idhaya then. It’s also said that single kids are self-centered but I don’t believe in that as I have seen enough single children who are perfectly nice.

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Some day, I might lose my mind and agree with all these arguments and so I decided to write down this post. It will act as a reminder to keep me away from making the disastrous decision. The things that make me Not Wanting Second Baby are summarized here.

1.Body Troubles

My pregnancy was smooth apart from the backache in the last trimester which ensured that I couldn’t turn easily while sleeping. Then came the excruciating labour pain and finally the delivery. Don’t get me started on episiotomy and the uneasiness that lasted for 15 days every time I wanted to sit after lying down for a while.

Weight gain and protruding tummy are total deal breakers and make my resolve of Not Wanting Second Baby even firmer. I am working on my body and I don’t want to undo the hard-work by going back there.

I don’t have in-laws living with me so even though I have a part-time maid and a cook, I don’t get much respite. Many times, I have to hold Idhaya in one arm while doing some chore or the other. My left hand is in constant pain. Baby-wearing comes to rescue in such situations but I would prefer being free.

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2.Mind Games

Worrying about Idhaya all the time has given me mom-brain which has resulted in forgetfulness of the next level. I get up in the morning and the first thought is what I will give my daughter in various meals today. When I was not a mom, this was last of my worries but now preparing food for her while she clings to my leg and wails is plain torture for both of us.

I have to watch her like a hawk lest she harms herself or creates a catastrophe in the house. Not Wanting Second Baby seems like the best option otherwise after becoming a watchman, I’ll have to become an umpire too 😛

My house is a mess and it drives me crazy as I am an organization-freak. I hate the current state of my home but there is little I can do.

Why I Don't Want to be A Mom Once Again

3.Affordability

Not to forget the all important financial point, we can’t give the same lifestyle to another child. And more importantly, I don’t want to compromise on her education. We are a middle class family and can afford only one child going to a posh school and her higher education at an international destination. With two children, we’ll either have to compromise on this or will have to forget about our own desires. Not Wanting Second Baby surely seems like a wise decision when I think of this.

Simply put, I don’t want to spend all my time, energy and money on kids. I have my own life and want to focus on myself. With one more baby, as soon as I am out of all the current mess, I’ll be pulled back in a vortex of s**t. With two kids, I might forget to live my life and become like my own parents who worked only for their three kids and now none of us lives with them.

I don’t want to appear depressing but giving my best is possible only if I have just one child. Some might call me selfish but I have always been like this despite being raised with two other siblings 😛

What do you think about Not Wanting Second Baby?

5 Things I Don’t Want My Daughter to Learn

In my last post, I shared 5 Things I Want My Daughter to Learn. Obviously, there have to be things that I don’t want her to learn and actually there are plenty. Still, like the last post, I just want to share a few gender-neutral things that will go a long way.

I am not a parenting-expert and these are just simple things that I have learned on my parenting journey which is not even a year old. Things You Should Never Say To Your Kids are sometimes more important than what to tell them.

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1.Sharing

When I first read that it’s OK not to share, I felt confused but after digging deeper, I found out that it’s actually great. This becomes even more important for me as I don’t want another child and it’s said that single children have a tough time sharing their stuff.

How will you as an adult feel if any of your thing was taken forcibly from you especially when you were using it? Not great, right? Why force the little ones then? A much better approach is to let the kid decide when s/he is done with the toy or anything they are playing with. And when they are over that toy, remind them to share with other kid who wanted it. “Share your toy with XYZ now!” is one of the things that tops my list of Things You Should Never Say To Your Kids.

Both the children learn important lessons this way. The giver learns generosity that’s not forced and the taker learns the art of waiting. Yes, waiting can be really tough for toddlers but they will soon learn to deal with it and this will help them later in life.

2.Thinking that She’s the Best

The next thing on my list of Things You Should Never Say To Your Kids is to keep saying- “You are the best.” Every parent thinks that there kid is the absolute best and I’m no different. It’s normal but I feel that telling them that they are the best puts pressure on the child to perform up to expectations. Calling them smart and other similar adjectives can even make them smug according to a book I read. It’s best to praise the effort whether they excel or fail. I know it’s a tough thing to do but I want my daughter to feel that it’s the efforts in the right direction that make things achievable.

What Not to Say to Kids

3.Being Mini Me or Him

It’s highly tempting to want to live your unfulfilled dreams through your children but won’t it be same as what your parents (in most cases) wanted from you? I’m sure that most of you didn’t like it.

When our kids copy us, we feel so kicked and it’s certainly fun. What is not fun is forcing your desires on them. I wanted to be a fashion designer and my husband a scientist. We couldn’t achieve our goals due to various reasons and sometimes we jokingly say that she will be an architect where both art and science is required.

We have decided that we’ll never stop Idhaya from doing what she wants to. She can be anything- a boxer, a pilot, a dancer, an artist, a scientist or anything else she feels like. We will never say to her that you should follow us.

4.Being Thin Skinned

It’s so common to shame people and like it or not, the shaming starts right from the time a baby is born. She is too small, too big, too dark and what not. Then we shame naked babies even if it’s just for fun. We shame babies for not eating, not sleeping, crying and anything they do that we don’t like. The intentions may be good but such shaming can’t be good for little ones. Idhaya was tonsured at 6 months and a little girl, all of 3 years laughed hysterically at her. It might seem normal but it hit me and I realized that unknowingly, we teach our babies to put others down.

While shaming is tough to stop, I want Idhaya to be able to not feel hurt by such things. I want her to develop thick skin against such things even if she comes across as haughty sometimes. Being gullible is never an option.

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5.Looks Are Everything

I myself am guilty of calling her ‘my pretty baby’ throughout the day. Mom infatuation much? The fact is that it’s not good for little ones. We say such things out of love but it drives kids to feel like they have to be good-looking. I anyway feel that every person looks good (except me :P).

I don’t want Idhaya to grow up thinking that she has to be tall, fair, skinny and whatever else makes up the ‘conventional’ definition of beautiful to be complete. There’s so much more in everybody so I would rather shift her focus on being a good one. Words that give too much importance to beauty are Things You Should Never Say To Your Kids.

I would really appreciate it if you want to discuss any of these points or if you wish to add more pointers. Let’s talk in the comments section about Things You Should Never Say To Your Kids.

5 Big Little Things I Want My Daughter to Learn

My little baby girl will be 1 in a few days. She will move on to toddlerhood and will create more challenges for me and her Papa. The absolute innocence of being a baby will give way to an awareness which will still be pure and innocent but with a dash of newfound smartness (she is too smart anway :D).

I don’t know whether it’s good or bad but I don’t have any expectations from my little girl. I just want her to be happy in her life. I have read a few parenting books about which I will talk later and those have helped me in getting a better perspective of things. I don’t know everything and so reading helps but again it’s not possible to apply all the things you read. To get a better view of things, I asked people on my Instagram page that what they want to teach their kids and their ideas were same as mine. All of us parents are the same that way and so are the Life Lessons to Teach Your Child.

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I am typing away while my girl is sleeping next to me and I can’t believe that this cute face has so much to learn and even more things to do. The basic things that I want Idhaya to understand are gender-neutral and that would be it in a perfect world but there will be other things that she will have to learn. As of now, let’s continue just with her starters’ kit because there are many more Life Lessons to Teach Your Child and the post will be too long if I list everything here.

1.Optimism

Babies are born optimists and it’s reflected in the way they don’t give up on trying to pick that speck of dirt 😛 I see Idhaya trying to climb on bed everyday even though she is too small for that. The twinkle in her eyes on spotting something new is the signal that she wants it and will try to get it in anyway she can. Most of us stop being optimistic as we grow and I don’t want this to happen to her. I will try my best to make  her understand the importance of staying positive with my words and more importantly with experience.

2.Independence

I have always been an independent person but again not as much as I would like to be. I have my limitations which probably stem from upbringing. For Idhaya, I want a more open and a more accepting type of parenting. Both me and my husband want her to be able to feel that she can do anything on her own without looking for others’ approval.

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3.Kindness

Being compassionate towards other people makes us a better person and the world a better place. There are many sides of kindness but my favourite way is to be empathetic. A baby will learn empathy only if she gets it at home so I resolve daily to be more understanding. I don’t succeed daily but the optimist in me knows that I will get there. As it is always said that following what you preach is one of the best ways to give Life Lessons to Teach Your Child.

4.Good and Bad

To be able to differentiate between right and wrong is a life skill according to me. It can be tough to see the greater good but the basic idea of right and wrong is essential for kids to be able to live peacefully wherever they are. Honesty and justice are something that every kid should be made to understand from the start.

5.Fearlessness

Even though I am tempted to, I don’t always assist Idhaya in everything she does. I am scared of almost everything and passing on this fear is very easy but I am trying to control my nerves for her sake. She needs to tackle challenges and learn. If I make things easy for her, she won’t be able to cope with real life challenges later on.

I would love to know the virtues that you want to inculcate in your child. What according to you are the Life Lessons to Teach Your Child?

How I Dealt with Motherhood as a Reluctant Mom?

Motherhood feels different to every mom. To me it felt like a tempest. If you have read my last post or the ‘About Me‘ section here, you must be aware why. I wasn’t forced to be a mom but it wasn’t my first choice either. Dealing with pregnancy was simpler and I had a relatively easy pregnancy but dealing with the baby was the real thing.

how to deal with motherhood

Initial days are a blur now but I still remember not being able to bond with her. She was a mostly calm baby (still is) but I was anything but calm. I was quite stressed with this new addition and a long list of responsibilities. I didn’t want to see her in any kind of trouble and did everything for her but there was no peace of mind. I called myself a stuck-at-home-mom (I still do).

My husband supported a lot and continues to do so. He knew my feelings and always tried to calm me. I became even more short tempered and sometimes shouted on the baby though I knew that it was the worst thing to do.

But you know what? I used to take a lot of pictures of Idhaya and looking at them always made me smile. I realized that if the pictures can make me this happy, the baby can make me happier and all I do is sulk.

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Little things like this made me fall more in love with her. I just thought that however reluctant, I am a mom now so why lose the opportunity to be a better one? Why not give her the most amazing childhood which is not just about buying the best I can afford!

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Now that Idhaya is older and more responsive, I am really enjoying this phase. This is probably the best one before she grows up and becomes smarter. She babbles a lot, she crawls around like crazy, she smiles a little too much (she has a cute dimple on her left cheek like her Papa) and the most amazing thing is the way her face lights up on seeing me. She is always genuinely happy to see me, no scope for pretense there.

All these mushy feelings aside, I am still coming to terms with having her in my life but I don’t want her to suffer because of that.

These are the thoughts of a new mom. What are your thoughts on motherhood? I would love to know.