A little bit of fantasy (Maybe WE can stop time)

Music isn’t my thing but there’s a particular song that’s making me smile a lot these days. I am in that phase in life where I guess many moms get into where you want to be stupid, and think about things that are impossible. But it’s that element of broadening your thoughts, that makes you smile. Anyway, I’m sure I’m being rather weird….Here’s the song, it’s by a youtuber. I like his other song ‘once in a lifetime’ it’s well written and light.

This is ‘Stop time’ by Landon Austin

The lyrics are fun, well written, young, refreshing, flirty and have an empowering fantasy element to them.

Apart from the chorus above, my favourite lines from the song include ‘Let’s be fearless baby, lets be free’. So liberating! I am full on into making my happiness a priority at this point in my life.

Let me know if you enjoy the above song in the comments below…

Compartmentalise

I shall share some advice/wisdom. My brother had spoken to me about compartmentalising my thoughts while I was in Dubai earlier in the year. I thought, must be easy for men to do that. We women especially moms are multitaskers, to the point that if we don’t have more than one task at hand we will add one.

But there is a lot of power to this phenomena. There are so many thoughts rummaging in our minds, most are clashing in intensity, and positivity. I very often find myself frazzled and frustrated trying to manage all the duties, and responsibilities I have on a regular basis. Not to mention any emotional drama that may be playing in the head.

I have a tendency to actively tell my brain to delete stuff. This may seem rather weird, scary even. But it’s my coping mechanism, I tell my brain to start forgetting certain experiences, incidences, words heard and people. It gives me a great sense of control over my life and emotions. So compartmentalising to be able to focus seemed like a sane thing to venture into. And man it works. I am a visual person, I simple have figure out an image for all the many things in my brain, image code them basically and then just focus on what I want to. Like switch the lights off on the ones I don’t want to think or work on.

If you are able to compartmentalise your brain effectively you will improve the quality of life and double up productivity. Right now I have several things on my mind like, assignment submissions, school work, sunday school,blogging, vacation in dubai, and other personal distractions. But I have found that mindfulness, and a little positive approach on understanding what’s in your brain can do wonders. It gives you the faith that you can manage your shit, and manage it efficiently. Potential will be achieved in all departments if you’re focused.

Try it and let me know how it works out for you.

My white and clarity

It’s really odd when you’re thinking about something and suddenly you read about the same. There’s an overwhelming feeling that takes over you. I have experienced two such situations or phenomena recently. One of which I experienced just today. But we shall go in the order of occurrence for respect.

1. I have always been the loud one, when it came to enjoying, having fun, motivating someone, but never when it came to problems that were my own. I like to solve them on my own, I like to be patient, and be supportive via space and silence. I pick up on energy very quickly, I know by just walking past a person how they’re feeling. This sense gets heightened when I know the person. This is an area of my potential, and I believe that people like me bring comfort, there’s a reason why I am able to be a good counselor and comforter for students and friends alike. I will be the quiet, patient ear. And I have been treated unjustly. And well in the midst of all the sad drama I came across this quote of Ernest Hemingway, and it was the pure expression of what I was going through. And somehow it made me feel good that a man (especially) is capable of understanding an experience women face on a regular basis, especially in family life.

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2. My maternal grandfather was a spiritually blessed man, people used to come to him for all sort of ailments and he used to recite prayers for them and comfort them. I never asked him any future telling questions, I didn’t want the ‘grandparentness’ to go away from him, because no matter what he would be my nana first. Anyway, once he has asked me a question, he asked what it is that I want to see the most in life. And I responded spontaneously as it was something I had thought of previously and I knew the exact answer. I said, I want to see a lot of ice, all white around me, me in the center of white purity. I related that to ice, as I have never experienced snow. And his response was, well it was more of a nod and appreciating bafflement. He didn’t say anything, but he looked impressed. I didn’t ask ‘why?’ because that would break the ‘grandparetness’ code I had set up in my head. Today I was going through the 600 odd pics from last evenings madrasa event, and I saw this one pic and went, ‘wow! this is exactly the white purity and surrounded by whiteness I was talking about, and there’s no ice!’. And a feeling of complete beauty took over me, I smiled into the picture and tears came to my eyes. I found my white.

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I hope in life we are able to find the courage to not just try to find the truth but fight for it. So many of us live under the pressure of a conformist society, just trying to get through the day that; we forget that there’s a higher purpose to achieve. I have found my white, and I have faith in those who believe in moving forward, and aren’t afraid to stand for the truth. Stand up for what’s wrong, and most importantly refuse to be silent sufferers,because we know for a fact that; not all will realise that our patience, our silence and our strength is actually meant for the change, and not acceptance of dwelling in the problems.

Happy strength mommies!

Potential

There is magic in potential. The first time i had heard of the term , it was my 5th grade PTM at school. I looked up the word in the dictionary and since then that word has had a significant space in my mental vocabulary.

As a mother It’s sad that I have to take time out to remind myself that I am human. And I deserve to be cared for, and most importantly, I should be supported implicitly to realise my potential. We end our lives at marriage, or kids, or just the camaraderie of homemaking. And it’s not just exclusive to a stay at home mom, this is something every mother faces. We lose ourselves.

I firmly believe in the beauty of potential. We all have some significant areas of potential, and it is our responsibility to make sure we struggle at attaining that. It’s important that we aim to achieve it in our lifetime. And this struggle has to be support. Human beings weren’t meant to live separate lives, individualised like the settings of our phones. We are meant to co-exist, be educated about our way of life and help each other realise their innate potential. The world will be at its best when everyone in it are focused at being the best that they can be.

Sadly I have experienced the loss of support. And I have struggled thoroughly to build that support system within myself. It’s not easy. And definitely not required. The positivity of our lives stems from having the right kind of people around us. If we want to grow, we have to grow together, if we want a break, we have to take it together. Be patient, be empathetic, discard judgement and just be there for each other.

Potential is in all of us, mine didn’t die after PTMs. It’s still there, and in many areas. As I explore the person that I am, I understand the person that can be. And I advice all mothers to take time out, think about yourself, find out what you need to do, to be the best version of yourself. Demand respect, demand closure, demand support. Its our right, we’re answerable for all the slacking we do in our lives. Our children won’t understand random excuses, they want to be led by actions not mere words passed on from generations.

And I promise in this struggle you will find your true friends, and family. You will find truth.

What makes us who we are?

Here’s a thought that always occurs in my head. As human beings we are constantly evolving, and with the increased influence of media we have become even more susceptible to change. Our experiences, our beliefs our values make up who we are. But how do you know what the future holds for you?

I am not the person I was when I was 18, in fact I see more change in me every other day. I can’t make out if it’s because I am willing to adapt, willing to absorb what’s around me and mold myself into that shape. I can’t make out if I was truly meant to be who I am today also. This is where I ask myself, really what is it that makes us who we are?

From my self-observation it has been the people around me. I am an extrovert, and opinions of people, their body language, their sense of interaction is not negligent to me. I am observant and being in the field of psychology, I people watch too. This year I decided to take control over what I become. Because I can’t control what’s around me, living or non-living. But I can try to keep a list of traits that I want to acquire and a list of those I want to let go of. And along the way if I find something interesting that adds to me, I shall grab it. That’s my motto now when it comes to personal growth.

It gets difficult with our mommy lives to be able to think about the ‘you’ that has been pushed aside, everything else comes before ‘you’ to the point that we start to become nonexistent to ourselves. That’s when the society, the people and ideologies around us attack our personalities, and take away some goodness from it. The areas that needed to grow, tend to get stuck, you become weak as a person. And that’s not good.

As a mother I have learned a lesson from all these floating thoughts about what really makes us who we are. And I am going to make sure Batool asks herself this question. Because that will force her to bring things into perspective, what am I and where should I be and how can I get there. The beauty of inner soul is that only you can control it, if you let go of being the boss of who you are, others will grab it, and then you”ll be like a puppet on strings.

Accepting Ignorance

I just came across a quote that inspired me to write this post. This is going to be deeply intellectual and thought provoking readers….

“Whoever abandons saying, “I do not know” meets his destruction”- Imam Ali (as)

The above quote holds great significance in my life. It has been my point of realisation of many people and mentalities around me. This isn’t specific to Hyderabad per say, even though here is where I came to my realisations. I will break this quote down into three…Child, parent and society

1. Child-A child will never be afraid to say “mommy I don’t know”. He is willing to learn, and so he understands the only way to do so is just express that he doesn’t have the knowledge. This eventually dies in some kids, we call it lack of confidence or self-esteem, when the child returns home and has so many doubts. “why didn’t ask your teacher?” we say. This issue arises partially due to the extreme pressure on students in schools. When it comes to education we want children to be top notch, ‘know it alls’. But a child who isn’t willing to accept his ignorance will never learn, simply because he will never ask questions.

2. Parent- As parents we are the role models, we are older, more mature, more experienced than our kids, and this gets to our heads. Accept it! Many of us are guilty of this; we change topics when we can’t answer the questions of our toddlers, we are embarrassed when we don’t know something, and even more embarrassed to accept it. This happens to teachers as well, they will ask the child to “keep quiet”, “this isn’t part of your syllabus” instead of being human and accepting that they don’t know. Our kids didn’t come with a manual, and we are only humans, so why not accept our ignorance with finesse? This will be a great model for your child to follow at school too. He will not be afraid to face the truth, and ask questions an make and effort to find out the answers.

3. Society- This is very tricky, because this is the land of adults. In families I have noticed when the elders have a mind set of “i am infallible’ such dialogues occur. You can’t move forward with time if you’re not willing to constantly educate yourself, and for that the first step is to accept that ‘you don’t know’. The lack of this courage in turn sends the message to the whole society that once you’re a certain age, or become the only elders alive in the family, you can do whatever, no questions asked; in other words Being unreasonable is your right. What sets us apart from animals is our capability to evolve intellectually, learn, educate, move forward, and if we can’t accept that we don’t know something, we are definitely headed for destruction. No one likes a person living in denial of the obvious. We shouldn’t be proud about things that are going to make us backward, everyday is a learning opportunity, and to make the most of it, we need to accept that God has created a world for us to explore and educate ourselves.

Shedding the weight

For the longest time I was that mother who looked around at other cousins who got pregnantDSC02175 around the same time as me and were back in shape in just a year. The first birthday of their child and they’re looking glam, like nothing even happened. Even though I don’t believe that one needs to become a certain shape or size by the end of their childs first year, I do like the possibility of someday, being the old you. I went through the period where I didn’t want to get out of the house because of how fat I got and how I just couldn’t relate to this person that I had become.

Needless to say I have struggled and still have difficulty losing the weight. But lately I have motivated myself to stick to some sort of work out instead of only watching the diet. I don’t lose weight untill i really move and I always knew that, but I wanted result in the first session. This time my body has responded well. After four years of my daughter being born, I am close to my target pre-baby weight. Close as in I still have easily 10kgs to go. Just so you know I went from a 53kgs to 85kgs in having Batool, this was also because she was an IUGR baby, and I was on house arrest basically post delivery, as she needed the special preemie care. The only going out I did was hospital and doctor visits. And I am not joking about that.

I just wanted to share the videos that I have been working out to, that have worked for me. Let’s get started!

1. Cafe moms 30 min cardio- This was my first, and initially I couldn’t even do the basic knee raise, but now I am able to get through the whole video. I skip the boxing (it’s boring), and the mountain climbers. I substitute the mountain climbers with a similar exercise in the 2nd video. I try to not strain my lower back as it is weak, and I have mild scoliosis.


2. Fitness Blender- 37 min cardio- This video is a great motivator, I noticed the various jumping jack exercises did great fat burning for me. I could notice a difference after every workout. I sometimes did the first few sets after the exercise in the above video. The time graph gets you all motivated and the calorie count too is very encouraging

3. Jessica smith tv 8 min legs- I have to say these exercises looked so easy breezy when I saw the video, but then doing them they will kill you. I do these toward the end right before cool down.

I have understood and accepted that working out has to become part of your life-style not just a reason to weight loss. And I love it, it relieves me of all the stress i pile up. And I am making sure I don’t push myself into an unreasonable routine of working out every single day of the week. For me twice or thrice a week is manageable. And whatever weight I lose in that is fine, it will take time, but I’m in no hurry.

Have you tried any of the above videos or have suggestions? Leave them below in the comments…..And let me know if these work out for you….. Healthy mommy =Happy mommy!

children till they're 18

It’s childrens day, and I thought today I shall share some information on how we can sustain the childhood for our children for long. These days children are going through problems that only adults faced, these range from health to emotional. Childhood diabetes, stress, anxiety, insomnia, fear etc. are just few examples of problems of todays children. So lets ponder over the following points, and remember that they are children till they’re adults!

1. Educate yourself- Psychologists all over the world are doing tremendous research on development during childhood. As parents and caregivers it’s important to always keep knowledge of children and their innate age-wise capabilities. This is important because it will help us not put too much pressure on the child. Familiarity with milestones is the key to providing the right care, responsibility, boundaries etc to your child. Resources like parenting magasines online or print are helpful, self-help books, or if you’re enthusiastic enough you could read texts books on life-span development, or child psychology.10173529_863366093697014_5291794490731707564_n

2. Birth order blues- Children struggle greatly when a sibling arrives. Sibling rivalry is common, but what is even more common is bias treatment by parents and other adults. The little one no matter how old he gets will be the little one, the eldest no matter how young he is is burdened with being the elder. Take a second and think, no matter how much we try to not give in, we do compare our kids. And this lets others compare them openly too. This phenomenon is undeniably common in India. Unsolicited advice is the expertise of elder ladies, especially the grandparents. Remember that no matter how many kids you have, you have to treat them according to their age, not their birth order. It is not the responsibility of the eldest to be the role model, it’s the responsibility of the parents to be role models. Putting that level of pressure on a child will only make him aggressive, lose confidence in himself, become anxious and self-demotivating. Let me bring this into perspective, take a tiny moment, and ponder over this:

In class 2 at XYZ school, the students are all in the age bracket of 6-7years. There are two friends both who are 6 years of age, but R is he youngest amongst his siblings and T is the eldest amongst his. Both these kids are treated very differently at home. Yet, they’re both the same age, possess more or less the same capacities of normal 6 year old, have similar interests, want to play and be active. We need to start looking at the big picture here. Our children are what their age represents, it’s not their choice to be born first or second or third, or alone.

3. Let them play- It’s important to give exposure, set boundaries and schedules, equally important is providing child time to play. And this play shouldn’t be restrictive, it shouldn’t be like a class, it should be free play, the child should choose his/her toys/games, do whatever he wants to do, let them create that mess, help them clean up after wards, but don’t program their mind to believe being a “good” boy or a “good” girl means doing nothing you like. Parents are very concerned about play time, and regard it as useless, but that’s not the case. Children learn the fastest through play, and they show their true personalities and talents when they’re not being penalised for every choice they make.

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4. The future adults- Children are the future of our society. They should be shown positivity when it comes to adulthood. Children who are surrounded by adults who are quarreling, or news that’s blasting about the horrible crimes committed, scare them. No child will look forward to becoming an adult if he starts associating negativity to it. Explaining to them about difficulties, and importance of faith, values, societal responsibilities etc will enable them to understand that life as adult will be challenging but it doesn’t need to be regretful.

5. No gender bias please- Snatching childhood from one genders not fair, girls are made to act older, more responsible from an earlier age. It is true that they emotionally and physically mature earlier, but that doesn’t mean they should start taking up adult like responsibilities. Responsibilities should be age and capability specific not gender specific. Simple chores like cleaning the room/closet, or helping set up supper shouldn’t be only a girls responsibility, the boys in the house too should help. Boys too shouldn’t be burdened with outside work, it’s good to allot some simple chores like a grocery run, but the house shouldn’t depend on a child, adults are the pillars of a home. Even while play girls should be allowed to play outside, just like boys. If the environment is unsafe for the girl, it’s unsafe for the boy too. They’re both precious and hold great relevance to your life, and none should feel they are inferior or superior to the other.

6. Look back- Make time to think about your childhood, what you liked and disliked, how you want to make the experience better for your children. Try to ponder over the methodology used to convey messages in your time, understand that not all are applicable in the todays world. Make a deliberate effort to bridge the generation gap between you and your children. Be humble enough to forgive, and stern enough to set boundaries, communicate and reason with logic.

I could go on and on, but the above 6 points are worth mentioning the most. Childhood is a very significant period of anyone’s life time, it’s the base or personality. Memories created and experienced at this stage have a lasting impression. Lets enable our children to have the best that they can, and have beautiful memories to give them hope for the future.

Moving forward leaving FB behind

I have been under a dark spell these couple of days. There are many decisions we make in life, and don’t regret, however over time negativity gets attached to them when we look around and get exposed to the world. Life isn’t meant to be all candy floss but we as humans always tend to want perfection. Perceived perfection of anothers life is the worst, it gives rise to unrealistic hopes which eventually take over your emotions and leave you confused and lost.

Image courtesy insidermonkey

Thinking regularly, pondering over life, trying to pick up on patterns of stupidity help us to be wiser. I am a big fan of thinking. And I realised that finding time was becoming an issue with each passing day, and my list of to-dos be it domestic or personal were just increasing. Facebook has been taking up a lot of that time. Meaningless, unfruitful browsing. I decided to quit, just to see if it makes any difference. And it did, within just an hour, when I didn’t have that tab to open anymore, I started to browse for information, read more, explored the internet, spent time with the daughter. I felt good that I didn’t get any updates on the fabulous life of the many “friends” I had on my list. It’s sad when we live our lives just to show them off on the web. We are deliberately making an effort to live the life of a show off, with good or bad intentions, doesn’t matter. We have been consumed by taking pics for the sake of posting them up, we are losing moments trying to capture them on film, and eagerly tweet/fb/instagram them. We are living moments via the net, and it’s not normal, it’s not human and it’s not fun. It’s just not.

What was bothering me was the bombardment of information that I wasn’t keen on receiving, there isn’t envy when I see fellow school mates succeed. But there’s a pinch, the question of ‘what are you doing?’ and ‘what have you accomplished?’ and I realised that I don’t deserve to scrutinize myself. Truth is my age mates don’t understand what I have accomplished because they’re only now getting married (at-least most of them). They can’t appreciate or value motherhood, the hardwork that goes into it, the level of accomplishment that it is. And I can’t blame them, and I am happy that they’re entering marriage when they’re stable, emotionally happy and ready for it. Then again, I don’t need to build issues, and then waste time trying to resolve them. It’s not practical, it’s not what I need in my life. And as adults, life is a series of constant decision making, and the older you get the more complex these decisions become, the more effect they have on others and most importantly they start defining you more.

I realised that I am way more happy to live in my bubble than be consumed by other people and their lives. I don’t have a lot of friends in Hyderabad, actually I can count them on my fingers, on one hand! But I don’t need friends sitting in a different country who can’t benefit me in anyway. We are connected via news through fb, but in reality half of us don’t give a shit. We would take maybe 2 minutes out of our lives, if we found out a fb friend died. Harsh truth, it’s bitter, it’s a reality bite. You want to surround yourself with happiness, and love, not the illusion of happiness and love that the internet provides. Anyway, my philosophical self is happier without fb.

I am moving forward, and focusing on myself, as it is being a mom takes that whole segment off your brain, it’s a whole exercise that requires warm up and appointments with your brain to think about your own happiness and life. I speak of fb as though it’s a breakup,hehe but it’s just been a weighing chapter of my life that I want to close and never revisit. I don’t have time in my life for that, I only have time for me and my family and happiness.