Blogging for World of Moms

Long time!! I know, I have been super busy getting life on track. Multi-tasking away.

I will be heading for vacation to Dubai on 27th and boy am I excited!.

One of the many things I have been doing is actively blogging on a great website. The World of Moms team approached me to join their portal and also contribute regularly as a blogger. This website is a must join for all smart moms out there who want to mingle with other like minded mothers out there. I would describe World of moms as the Facebook of mothers. It is easy to signup for, browse and explore the lives of many moms out there.

Here’s my first post for them on routine building. I will be blogging on a weekly basis, so stay tuned to this blog, my facebook page or simply follow me on the website!

What summer plans do you have?

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.

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.

working it out through a work out.

These days the stress is getting to me a lot. The everyday routine, the dead lines, the responsibilities, it’s just a mixture of no break and full hard work. One of the issues that has been consistent is my weight. After Batool my weight transported me into obesity, which is not at all normal for one pregnancy to take you from 53 kilos to 85kilos. And no one bothered to make sure I was healthy, in fact I was constantly told it was normal to become this fat. I was naive enough to believe, as it is Batool was a preemie and I totally forgot I was a human being in the process of taking care of her. It’s just recently say in the past 2 years that I’ve had time to look at myself in the mirror for more than 5 seconds. And I hate that I am still overweight and that losing weight is so bloody difficult. I’ve seen my cousins get to pre-baby weight by the first birthday of their child!

Anyway, recently I have been losing weight, I traced my way back to the days that I was of normal BMI, and tried to compare my past lifestyle to the one I am living now. And well, I realised I’ve been eating like I am pregnant, because I got habituated to eating larger quantities. I also don’t have as much exercise as I did then, and I don’t mean going to the gym, I mean climbing of stairs, running around the house, skating, cycling, playing table tennis and other sports. I have since the revelation decided to fill this void. Many young girls start to feel there’s a time in your life when you just don’t gain weight like when you’re in school or college but that’s rubbish. It’s not “the time” it’s how active you were. After marriage most women don’t have 2 or 3 floors of stairs to climb to classes, or sports period, or visits to the parks with parents. It’s a lifestyle issue not time. We can find endless excuses, we can live in denial but always unhappy, the jiggling fat reminding us of the person we have lost.

Anyway point being, I have finally started to make a change, and right now this is the exercise I am doing at home.


I’m not putting pressure on myself, cos the aim isn’t weight loss, it’s a lifestyle change.So the slow I am to more committed I will be after I eventually reach my target weight. I am presently 67kgs, and my end aim is 55kgs. I don’t want to be at the border of Normal-Overweight BMI, I want to be safe, I want to be able to eat candy, eat them lovely chocolate cakes and not be worried. I am not a film-star, the only expectation I have with me is a realistic one. I want to have energy and stamina to be able to play with Batool. I am only 25, I don’t need to feel  50.

Here are few thoughts that motivate me:

1. You won’t have issues looking for your size in clothing

2. You will feel younger and stronger emotionally

3. No more jiggling!

4. Just do whatever you can, whatever you can

5. It’s your body, no one can help you but yourself

6. Women across the globe have children, blaming the child for bad health choices is unfair

7. My daughter deserves a healthy mom

8. I deserve to be confident and happy

9. I will get better sleep at night

I also try to focus on the people who haven’t seen me for a long time to get proper feedback. Like mom, she travels to Hyderabad with a few months gap, if I can work enough to show ANY difference which is visually noticeable than it’s good enough. Also, the appreciation element makes you feel proud, after all exercising is hard work.

What motivates or demotivates you from being healthy?

 

A minimalistic life- Rambling away

I despise clutter. Over the years I have truly found my style, I used to be a total tomboy layering clothes, mixing and matching, this was reflected not just in my clothes but also my room, study table etc. But I have changed, Pinterest can do wonders to your taste, and add motherhood to the chaos and you know you have to cut down on everything.

Image courtesy fengshui

It’s difficult though, I have mastered the art of donating or simply getting rid of things, I try not to think too much, the more you think the more time you give yourself to change your mind. My mother has this issue, I did too, sentimental attachment to everything. Saris, broken watches, books, rusted picture frames, old fashioned bags etc. the list is endless. My mom can’t part from spoons, water classes etc as well. I hoarded too, but that was more like a habit, I wasn’t consciously keeping any of the things I did keep, there was no reason, no ‘sentimental attachment’ nothing, It was just the way I was raised I guess. But I am not like that anymore. And boy am I glad. In the end you’re not going to take all of that to grave, there will be so much confusion for your children to sort through the junk you left behind. The more you hoard the more you hoard, there’s no two ways about it.

I’ve realised the only practical way to live is to live like a minimalist, and I struggle the most in the wardrobe. Us Indian women have two wardrobes, Indian and Western. That’s a lot of wardrobe to manage, not only is it financially annoying, it is super difficult to maintain no matter how big your closet is. I hardly wear Indian ethnic wear, so I take all joy in distributing and donating it all away, but right now I’ve come to a point where it’s too much. Everything I have is either new, or I like a lot, or will definitely get a lot of wear out of. Yet the quantity is large, not to mention my mom buys me Indian wear, I don’t shop for any of it, I have no taste in that genre of clothing. Every time she comes from Dubai and reminds of a particular dress my mind goes “oh oh! I gave it away”. And with clothes you just can’t say ‘ I misplaced it’ like a freaking pen. Then it’s a big blasting from her, can you blame her? So I tried to nip it in the bid this time she came, I told her to stop buying me clothes period, unless I specifically ask her to get anything, I extended that request to Batools clothing too. She has a tendency to not just buy a set but a whole suitcase!. She didn’t take that very well, but I guess it’s the only way. I can’t be forced into hoarding, and ‘not having enough space’ is not good enough for her. To her my western wardrobe is useless, and vice versa for me!

Point being, your home, flat, bungalow, castle or whatever it is you reside in, should be clutter free. It should only contain what is necessary. You will always have money to spend on important things, plus you’ll never have to feel like you have constantly sort through junk. Hoarding usually starts when you already have a lot of junk and just don’t now where to put it, so you just let be, because it’s too much hassle to figure out what to do with it, the thought of throwing it away simply doesn’t occur, or seems very difficult to digest. Here’s what I’ve learned:

1. Monthly cleaning always works, especially if you’re a mom, children grow out of their clothing super fast, it’s best to only keep those things that you want to give to your child when they grow older for memory sake, everything else should get donated. You can always buy more clothes when your next baby comes, till then many many children can benefit from them.

2. Purchase only what’s essential for your kids, we are made to believe kids require a load of clothes, when they don’t. Wash the clothes frequently buy good quality clothes or clothes on sale. The child won’t complain, and when they grow up look back and complain it’s going to be too late anyway 😉

3. Don’t buy anything for the purpose of storing it, like books unless you already have plenty space available and know exactly what you’re planning to do with them few years down the line. Donating books to your local school library is great. Even your childs books, they grow out of their books too. It will be a while before your kids have books they can store too.

4. Manage your space, look at how much space you already have in your house before deciding to keep things. You have space of one shoe rack but you want to keep 20 pairs, it’s going to make you mad.

Image courtesy kouhl

5. Buy only what you can store. don’t buy clothes before buying hangers to hang them, don’t buy shoes without making space to keep them etc.

6. If there are things you haven’t used for over a year, even if it’s a knife, chances are you didn’t need it in the first place, GIVE IT AWAY.

image courtesy kveller

7. Get used to giving things away, in the end they are just things. non-living things.

I am trying to get my daughter to be minimalist. If you only need one box of crayons, then she will get only one and be responsible for it, I will of course keep in hiding a spare box. But the child should learn to value what she/he has. Toys too, most kids have too much toys, too much of left overs from many games, get rid of the half missing pieces, they just add clutter. The child too gets confused about what to do with random pieces of toys from various kits.

8. Teach them to organise their toys after play, not just put them in one place organise them. All toys should first go into their respective bags/boxes/cans/ etc before they are thrown into the main toy box or room. This is HW for you, make sure there are different boxes for each toy set. The kitchen set shouldn’t mingle with the animals, there’s no logic to it. Jigsaw puzzles should always go into a box or (I love) zip lock bags. The boxes in which toys actually come in are useless, they break apart in two seconds. Unless they’re the ones with the screw on tops or containers, keep those. Don’t expect the kid to manage random cardboard boxes, it’s not going to happen. Plastic is the best, a trip to your local ‘china bazar’ should do it, get cheap ones, nothing expensive or airtight required 😉

Image courtesy organisemyspace

The earlier in life we teach our kids about a minimalistic life the better more self sufficient they will be. There’s not doubt about there will always be things we will have when we don’t need, as long as we have the strength to let go of them when need be it’s fine.

 

The week that was too fast and life update

This week went fast!…Super fast. I have gotten into the school rhythm of my daughter and myself. Making to-do notes for each day she’s at school so I can catch up with everything I have piled up. Organising never ends. Trust me!. But the more I get done the more productive I feel.

Tomorrow is Saturday and I am taking a much needed break, alone. Have a tonne of work to accomplish (this always happens). When I am exhausted and desperately want a day out for myself, I tend to have a heap of work to do as well. But staying positive, I shall chillax and be alone and I’m not quite sure what I will do, but am just glad I’m going to be getting some peace. Both my buddies are busy, so it’s just me.

Now getting to the update, diploma officially starts July 1st, and it’s one serious diploma, with dead lines and a long list of assignments/submissions. Am I excited? HELL YEA!

I am also looking into starting my masters as soon as I’m done with my diploma. I don’t like the idea of doing your degrees like your school, however the aim is to be PhD by 30! so…..Anyway, was looking at colleges and MSc psychology is available at Ambedkar Open university. But the website doesn’t have detailed information on the course, will have to go there myself and check out. Also I don’t know anyone personally who is studying from there to get inside information on that.

Madras university was a bit of a nightmare. And just the fact that it’s in Chennai, no matter how “good” it may be, it’s just not practical, the Indian education system is way too screwed up for students who genuinely want to study. The curriculum was fine, but the books were hideous, too many errors, the centers don’t notify students promptly, the results are a joke, there’s no guidance whatsoever, communication is slow and via post which makes it insanely ridiculous. It’s all just too stressful. People who opt for distance education are looking for non-stressful ways to education, because they’re already busy with other responsibilities/commitments. And don’t get me wrong, working hard is different from being stressed due to irresponsible behaviour n the part of the university. I am all for working hard.

I am half considering masters from outside India (a girl can dream can’t she?).

Life is going fine, I’ve been slacking on my blogging, and it’s partly because the week is flying by! (Excuses excuses) hehe. I have to get my blogging more organised.