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SoftyPink n GloriousRed

…. the colours of life with my kids

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Motherhood

Musings..

This parenting jig is a tough one. We’re at a stage.. somewhere in the middle of a transition from the old order into a new one! I believe I’m among a generation of parents who are trying their best to conform to the new norms. Who are among those that listened to their parents and now, are compelled,by circumstances, to listen their kids as well!! I’m sure many would agree with this and relate to the fact that we’re wondering if we are the parent(s) or our kids are.

For one, the confusion arises from trying to be a friendly parent. From the outset, I wanted to be a friendly parent. But in one of the parenting counselling sessions at school, we were told to be a parent and a friend, not a friendly parent. Guess I’d got it all wrong. I went into the friend mode first itself and now its become quite difficult to be in that mode when all I want is to whack senses into the young one! Ha ha.

She adores me no end and for her there’s nothing more she loves in the world than being with me.At the same time she’s her own person, which is good, but not when it comes across as uncaring and insensitive to others around her who care a lot about her.

I feel good about the fact that she’s open with me about everything that goes on, but definitely not that great when she openly defies me on every single thing that I try to discipline her on. I honestly value good manners, ethics and a certain amount of discipline, more than anything else. But when these are not uppermost on her agenda, it annoys me no end. I wonder if its just her age or if its me that’s not doing it right… Sigh!

 

 

K is for kisses :)

Yes… tiny tiny sweet ones ! The kids are growing up and there’ve been lots of changes. they’ve become more independent in their day-to-day activities and are learning newer things each day. But what remains unchanged through all this are the kisses n hugs!

At times… there used to be tiny wars too! On who kisses first and so on. Thankfully, this seems to have been resolved between the two 🙂

No matter what the mood , when leaving home or when entering home, the kiss has become customary… a ritual of sorts. Feel blessed and a sense of peace prevails…such is the power of the tight hug n the sweet kiss 🙂

 

Head vs Heart

Crossroads in life are all about this. Logic, that is, the head says one thing and your heart says another. There’s no doubt that we’ve all gone through such situations. The answer or decision is comparatively easy at times. At other times, its a real tug of war and we struggle to get out of the dilemma, we want to be sure we’re making the best possible decision.

The past year has been one such for me…

At work, I’d been feeling complacent and indifferent. I felt uninspired to give my best, attributing it to the fact that I’d been doing the same kind of work for a very long time. I thought about the alternatives that I could choose but was unable to come to a decision as to what to choose, since I would be a newbie in either fields/domains.

With the beginning of the new year, the confusion sort of cleared out for me. I chose neither of the options that I’d been mulling over. Without my realizing it, i’d begun to take more interest in my work and I got very positive feedback which made me realize that I have vast experience and expertise in my current field and it makes no sense to abandon that and start something afresh. It made me look at my work experience in a new light and lo! I made my decision to continue my work with more zeal so that it’ll help to move towards things that I could do without giving up everything that i have learnt so far.

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At home, I was having a tough time with Ammu as she was becoming more and more complacent towards her studies and was becoming very ill tempered whenever things didnt go her way. I started feeling really hopeless sometimes. I’d been telling her since a long time that I would send her off to sister’s place as b-i-l is the only person she would listen to and comply with. Now, it seemed inevitable. And, sis and b-i-l too were getting concerned, for me as well as her.

In Nov last, when sister’s in laws went back to Kolkata, they took Ammu home with them. It was a very tough choice for me to make. on the one hand, I wanted her to understand that I want the best for her. I wanted her to focus on her studies, which would be possible as sis would be around in the evenings, unlike me. On the other, I did want to stay away from her, even though its just 10 mins away! Finally, I just decided to go with their decision, and I’m glad I did that.

Ammu is now much more regular at studies, is helping her chitti [my sis] with some household chores. Even though her outbursts have not disappeared altogether, she is slowly but surely becoming more patient and sensitive to others. She misses me a lot and is waiting for vacations to begin so that she’ll be back home. The countdown has begun!

As for me, I’m thankful  for all that has happened and I hope the fruits of this effort remain. Especially amazed at the willingness of sis and b-i-l to take on this additional responsibility in the midst of their own hectic lives.

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I’d been having to deal with dilemma on another front too. A personal one, that seemed to go on and on with no resolution in sight. By mid Nov, things seemed to sort out all of a sudden and by Dec end, I had a feeling that 2016 would be different. That things would change and move forward finally. Things did move forward but in a completely unexpected way and in a totally opposite direction! I was stumped… at yet another surprise from Life!

Just when I thought I got my answers, life showed me that indeed Life is in control, not me! I realized that I had the answer all along but had been reluctant to accept it. The situation did not go away, but with acceptance, things seemed easier to deal with. There is a kind of emptiness and the sometimes nagging thought but I’m more at peace with myself for having made up my mind to stay aligned to my nature and to give up on things that did not give me joy.

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Letting go!

Again… from the drafts..

Letting go is damn hard! Perhaps that is the reason why life gives us so many opportunities to learn and adapt to the process of letting go. Each time it is a bitter sweet experience! We want to cling and to let them fly n soar too.. Its a dilemma every parent goes though.. again n again!! Learning to tread the fine line remains the key.

The very first step is perhaps when we wean them off slowly lil by li and move them completely to regular food.
Then, we gradually get them to brush their own teeth, wash their own bums. It was as if a huge burden is taken off. Then they learn to bathe, get ready for school and so on. they want to do stuff by themselves. I cannot remember the dates when the transitions happened. But surely the kids have grown so much and I have let go.. sometimes cheerfully, sometimes wistfully.

This Summer vacation she did not ask me to take leaves. She was happy to play and spend time with Adi, her friends and then with D’s daughters who had come down to spend some time with us. In fact, she insisted that I go to office … no hindrance from mom..complete freedom 🙂

Yesterday the school reopend. She is in the 5thstd now. Just to know her reaction, i said ‘now you are a big girl. You can go downstairs by yourself and wait for the school van’ She took a minute to respond ‘Yes mamma. i’ll go by myself ” total bittersweet moment! There was a huge tug within… but then I felt the echo of ‘Let go’ in my heart!

Of course she wont have to go by herself. Dad is always ready at that time to go for his walk and he wont sop accompanying her. But her statement was a much needed reminder to me 🙂

P.S: As I said, dad or D or I have been accompanying her to the gate… 🙂 Habits die hard!!

The parenting jig!!

This Mother’s day I’m in a rather introspective mood.
The thoughts are abuzz since a few days.. and I was wondering if I should write about this at all or not.

In the early years of motherhood I’ve been very short tempered, easily venting out my frustrations. This was due to so many things going on at that time and I hardly realized or even considered the impact that it would have on others esp Ammu.

Ammu turned out to be short tempered too. Even as young as 2-3 years old, she’d yell and tell others off when she disliked something or when things did not go her way. There definitely was a sense of entitlement and tinge of rudeness to go with it. I countered this with more yelling and more often than not it led to an altercation with my dad. Rarely did I handle such behavior with a cool temper and soft words.

Dad was worried about the impact my temper would have on her. My thinking was that she would ‘adjust’ to her mom’s ways. Did we not grow up that way.. putting up with our parent’s quirks! A chance meeting with a counselor a couple of years ago made me do a ‘U’ turn on that. She told me that to reform my child, I’d have to reform. ‘Learn to manage your temper and she’ll learn to handle hers.’ is what she had said.

A change in my circumstances also helped me to manage my emotions better. Nothing happened overnight but definitely things have changed for the better, at least where my temper is concerned. I mostly yell only after repeated requests and warnings have yielded no results. Or when she insists on having her way when I’m really tired or busy with some other important stuff and she refuses to acknowledge that. Times when I yell and then regret are very very rare now.

The catch, however, is that she has not changed one bit.No amount of counselling, cajoling, explaining has made any effect. She’s even more stubborn now and insists on going on and on till she gets a whacking! The sense of entitlement is bigger and there is defiance in her manner and words, which generally comes across as being rude and disrespectful.

Between Ammu and Adi, there is one upmanship all.the.time.This of course leads to arguments and fights. Frankly speaking it has only gotten worse this summer vacation. Adi, though naughty and has a i’ll-do-what-i-want attitude, is the softer of the two. He relents much more easily when she requests or asks him something. Now, our worry is that her rebellion is rubbing off on him also and that is the reason he gets into a ti-for-tat mode. Not entirely sure of this. Though we hope that if Ammu is a bit considerate, it will have a positive effect on him. Of course, these are all conjectures and we never really know what to expect.

Not that she doesnt realize all the pain that she is causing. She does and even regrets her actions and promises to behave henceforth. But then, when things dont go her way, she immediately flares up and refuses to see reason. And, she expects everyone around to toe her line and fall in place. So the flaring up happens quite often. And, no one is spared! It is her own expectations that is causing her misery and that is a cause of great agony for all of us.

Since a couple of weeks, we all have been witness to her outbursts at one time or other and we’ve been worrying about how best to go about handling this. One constant thought is ‘where did i go wrong.. have i been too lenient.. have i not imparted any values to her’. I know it is a collective influence of all the people around her that has shaped her, but I feel the primary responsibility is mine.

Many a times, things have become clearer once I put my thoughts down in writing. This time too, I hope that the cloud will clear and I will see the way ahead. I believe that she will eventually turn out alright. She is sensitive and hopefully will become sensible too! This phase is a difficult one. I never worried when people spoke about teen and pre teen mood swings/tantrums, etc. But looks like I should brace myself up to expect the worst and then handle it in the best possible way. This year she turns 10 and then the years ahead .. I wonder what awaits us! Need all the positive vibes and good wishes to brave this one!!

P.S: This blog turns 5 !!  And..this is the 350th post!! Yayy!! 🙂

Reading! or is it Thank God! :)

.. for small mercies! or is it small 😉

I meant to do a post on ‘reading’ as in my/our reading.. choices, patterns etc… but I’ll leave you with this instead 🙂

Last night she plonked onto the bed as if she would doze off in a moment. She’d danced, read and danced [practised her steps] again before dinner, had had no nap in the afternoon.. so I was sure she would doze off by the time I went and joined her. To my surprise, she was still awake.. deeply engrossed in her book!! Tinkle btw 🙂

She replied in the negative when I asked her if I could switch off the light. She assured me she’ll do it once she finishes and said that I could go to sleep !!!!

Yayy!!

And thank God! Its a big one for me 🙂  I’m sure mommies/paappas who are readers, book lovers will vouch for it!

Yayyyy 😀

Lil joys!

Through the years…

On some days, she is the one to throw tantrum and not relent till I give in..

On some other days, I am the one yelling in anxiousness 😦

On yet other days, thata keeps on warning that time’s up which irks her further…

And, there are some days when he gets angry with me for not handling the situation tactfully and allowing it to snowball!

Of course, there are the uneventful days when she wakes up happily and gets ready without any fuss, and with a cheery disposition.. making it all feel like a breeze 😀

And then, at the end of it all, she offers her kisses and says her byes. Thata bends to get his muttam. They walk towards the gate, holding hands and chattering away!!

I look on, washed over by a strange kind of peace after all the hulla gulla!!  And slowly a smile appears, and the heart is filled with gratitude 🙂 Pure bliss!!

P.S: Muttam = kiss, hulla gulla = chaos.

P.P.S: Now, there are more of the uneventful days 🙂 Touching wood!

I love rain!

I love to play in the rain!!

Ammu drew this last evening, after revising the lesson Seasons for her Geography worksheet. She was maha excited to show this to me when I came back 🙂

She says ‘Rain is my favorite season ma.. look I’m throwing away my umbrella to play in the rain’ 🙂

We had a nice respite from the relentless heat, with surprise showers on Tuesday morning. She didnt like it raining in the morning though. She has to wear her sweater to school, which she dislikes very much.. and also its time for school and not play!

Anyway, that was only for one morning. It is back to sun shine and she’s so glad about that !!

She’s sooper clear about when she likes the rain and when she loves sun shine 😀

Happy Friday!

Today is Vara Mahalakshmi festival. And this is what Ammu made for me yesterday evening!

The card..
Inside.

We do a simple pooja offering fruits and some sweets to the Goddess. This year though, I have a deliverable at work and so.. no leave. Ammu has a holiday and is excited 🙂 She will take part in the pooja.. with her thata, assisted by our house help.

Hoping that the day will be a good one. May the Goddess bless everyone with good health and prosperity!!

Yellarigu Vara Mahalakshmi habbada shubhashayagaLu 🙂

P.S: This is one of the many love notes that Ammu has made for me till date. Saved them all up for a scrap book in the making 🙂

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