Let’s Make Our Children Friends with Germs!

I am a parent.

I get hysterical with dirt and dust around my kid.

I live in a home that is hyper clean– with disinfectants of various sorts.

I doze my young one with sanitizer often, especially when outside.

I have a list of food that has been ticked off owing to their potential threats.

Fascinated!

Well that is what it would to most of us! No contact with germ laden stuffs means no potential illness. Hyper clean homes and bodies mean no antibiotic invasion. No threatening food means none falling ill.

But wait.

Is that really so?

Is my fear rational?

Is it actually required to follow such a norm– a norm which probably never existed before?

How could our parents produce stronger generation of kids without being so phobic to germs? 

In fact, they had a generation which was less prone to germ causing diseases and allergies– even though their houses never smelled of disinfectants and sanitizers and soaps– even though they were not plagued with the thought of their children getting dirty in mud and soil.

The reason might be simple.

Somewhere while maintaining cleanliness, we fail to strike a balance with the right kind of germ exposure. There is a whopping trillions of bacteria in human body which control the immune system. This system needs to be nurtured through the right kind of exposure to germs and bacteria, especially during the very young age.

Of course, we can’t promote exposing kids to virus and bacteria. Infact, basic sanitary practices are the main cause that have helped survived various infectious diseases and make health advancements. Washing hands before meals and touching something gross, basic rituals of brushing teeth; day and night, having shoes out before entering home, showering, and laundry can never be underestimated. 

However, our immune system needs to be challenged to be fit. If we create an environment so antiseptic, then we are probably making our immune system too lazy to take that challenge. So if ever such hyper-sensitized immune system comes across something that’s foreign then they become inflammatory triggering allergies.

Therefore, let’s expose our children to germs, the right kind of exposure indeed!

Let’s allow our children to play with mud. I believe mud is just not just a gooey, sticky substance, it has some magical powers. It is the most natural form of play and creates some fondest of the memories. There is no permission better than the permission to get dirty. Other than the fun element and the sensory appeal it has, it does a lot in building immunity. Exposing kids to germs at early age reduces chances of contracting allergies later in lives. Let’s try to control the parent in us against dirt, mud, soil and let kids be kids.

Let’s not sterilize our home too often. I get fascinated by the houses that are clean. However, sterilizing everything our kids touch will reduce their contact with the good bacteria as well needed in their gut. Let’s live in an environment which is home like and not hospital like.

Let’s not to go insane if our child picks from the floor and eat. I don’t say that I would promote eating food dropped on the floor. Of course eating food from the floor is not absolutely risk free. But if it is normal household floor and a child has picked up then let’s not panic like a germophobe. At least not be the one tutoring of how dangerous such an act could be!

Let’s not lather our children with hand sanitizer. I have layman knowledge of the chemicals these otherwise cleansing agent could be made of. They could be harmful, more than what touching or playing can cause. Let’s eradicate this as much from life as possible.

Let’s give our children fermented food. A lot of buzz that has been around fermented food and that it is meant for adults. Fermented foods are high in antioxidants and probiotics which is really good for our gut. Introducing the good bacteria at an early age is always a good idea. It’s not only good for our existing health but it also prevents us from falling ill. So time to include fermented dairy drink kefir or the yogurts of variety!

Let’s not freak out when our child goes barefoot. Most kids are conditioned to too much of an indoor environment these days. But ever if they wish to go barefoot on the grass, on the mulch or the fields, just let them be; not trying to anticipate who might have spitted, pooped or trashed the place. I believe this practice of grounding or earthing shall be doing good indeed; as the Earth carries a lot of negative charge. This charge is a good supply of antioxidants and free radical destroying electrons.

Let’s not use antibacterial soaps. Antibacterial soaps have been the latest thing to advanced cleanliness and providing protection as compared to the regular soaps. However, these soaps have lately been under the scanner for the harsh chemicals they have. These soaps deplete the good bacteria found naturally in the skin. And if the good bacteria are killed, then chances are that the bad bacteria will overpopulate. 

Let’s come out of that overtly cautious era of humans that we have created. Humans who give way to their irrational fear of contracting disease and create limitless boundaries for their kids. Humans who are unaware of the dangers of not exposing kids to dirt and soil and germs and pathogens. Humans who introduce allergies before introducing food to their kids. 

Of course it will take time. It will take time to allow kids snacking without having washed hands after gardening. It will take time to pick a pacifier and put back to a little ones mouth without washing it. It will take time to not grab our piece of disinfectant after sensing of any act that stands in our list of gross and yuck.

Just remember “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”!

Advertisements

Kalahari Resorts- A Weekend Getaway you Must Visit!

It’s summer and a long weekend at hand and all you are looking for is grabbing some waterfun, then Kalahari Resorts & Conventions is the ultimate option to choose. One of the biggest indoor waterparks in the US, the place is fun for all the ages. A mix of thrills and relaxation, the place will give you memories of life time.

We visited the Sandusky, ohio location. It was a two day stay, good enough to explore the waterpark attractions to the most. You can also consider going just for the day; just ensure that you purchase your passes ahead of time online.

You have carts available at the entrance. So grab the cart that makes it easier to carry your luggage.

Get your bands: You need to pre register yourself at the counter to get the bands for using the waterpark. You are supposed to wear this waterproof band throughout your stay. It can also be linked with your credit card and also lets you access the facilities in the campus.

Check-in: Checking in the rooms is available at 4.00 p.m. If you happen to reach before check-in time, you can anyways use the waterpark; until 3 p.m. on the day you check out. Just leave the luggage in car and have a handy bag separately for your swim essentials.

Dive into the water fun

Some of the popular attractions include:

Indoor waterpark

Swahili Swirl: This huge ProSlide BehemothBowl is used in four-person rafts and features a big drop as well as some rotating in the bowl.

Cheetah Race: This one lets you grab a mat and race down Cheetah Race.

Flowrider: This 5 foot wave simulator gives you option to challenge your surfing skills.

Wave pool: This is an all time dive-in between the rides or the pools or just a simple rest time.

Lazy river: This is a perfect place to get a relaxing break from water slide fun.

Indoor and outdoor hot tubs: These hot tubs let you relax in warm water after a tiring day.

Kids Safari and Coral Cove: Fun-sized and jam-packed with interactive activities for little ones.

Zambezi Outdoor water park

The park also offers its outdoor waterpark area in summers. This has some thrilling slides that will give your heart a rush into thrill and excitement. There are also pools and animals for kids.

Barrelling Baboon: Riders slide through soaring dips and twists into the oscillating funnels; this ride changes tempo enough to keep riders guessing what’s around the next bend.

Stingray: Soar up steep sides and experience a few gravity-defying moments as the tube rocks up and down the funnel sides.

Accomodation options

Kalahari has a range of accomodation options available including room, suites and villas. Whether you want a room for a couple or separate room options in one suite, you can choose as per your requirement. All you need to care for is the availability, specially during the peak seasons.

Food options

You can buy food from the various available options from fast casual to sit down dining. If you are carrying your own food then eat in the dining area as they don’t allow carrying food in the waterpark area. Anyways, you won’t need to leave the waterpark area as there are various options available.

B-Lux Grill & Bar

Café Mirage

Felix’s Bar

Great Karoo marketplace buffet

Ivory Coast restaurant

Java Manjaro

Marrakesh Market

Pizza Pub

Book a Cabana

You can also book your own cabana in the waterpark area to relax and lounge or for dining. This is a well equipped personal space with refrigirator, seaating options, house phone, towels and condiments.

Other attractions

The Big Game Room features two great Virtual Reality attractions with dozens of different experiences. This would include Arcade, Bowling, Laser tag and others.

Art and craft activities: The place has a schedule for art and craft, which is specially great if you are travelling with kids. Kids can also involve in coloring activities anytime.

Zip Line Tour, Adventure Climbing Walls, Ropes Course are some of the thrill you can grab outdoor. Safari Adventures Animal Park is a unique, educational & interactive experience that allows guests to get up-close and personal animal encounters

Shopping outlets and hours

Kalahari has an amazing selection of toys and children’s clothing and everything you’ll need to hit the waterparks in style. There is even a wide array of products for your convenience. Nonetheless to mention, the souvenir options that you will wish to grab are too many. The outlets are

Kalahari Outpost: 24 Hrs

Safari Clothing: 9 am- 10 pm

Zakanaka Kids: 9 am- 10 pm

Spa Kalahari and Salon

You can even relax and rejuvenate your mind, body, and spirit with amazing body treatments, luxurious massage, skin care, nail care at the resort.

Top tips

1. Go to the slide during early hours to avoid long ques and enjoy pools during the rush hours.

2. Waterpark provides towels, however they are small so carry your own if you want bigger ones.

3. You can hire lockers for your bags to keep your valuables in if no one is going to stay and watch your things.

4. Children under 48″ are required to wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life vest.

So be a water baby, and grab some thrilling fun at the Kalahari waterpark and resorts.

8 Types of Mothers You’ll Come Across

Mother circles are one thing we mothers love about. Nonetheless to mention, one thing that goes common in mommy circles are discussions about parenting; and quite sometimes it’s about others in the league. And there are labels and tags and tones and undertones. While you have selected labels for others, someone else has already tagged you as well. So let’s happily remind ourselves, the tags or labels that we might fit into.

Helicopter mom

She is the control freak. She manages every bit of her children at the micro level. She is involved to the extreme. She knows what happened in her child’s school. She knows what is there in her drawer. She knows it all.

She is the hoverer. She is on guard keeping a close watch– while they are on the playground, at a playdate or in the classroom. No bare foot, no playing in mud, no high slides.

She often draws disdain from her fellow bench warmer moms. But that’s what she can’t help. ‘Better safe than sorry’ is what she believes in!

Pinterest mom

She is the DIY queen. She likes to craft. She likes to decorate. She likes to cook. She likes to make things. She is constantly on her search for her next project. She not only pins it, she even does it­.

Well, she invites a lot of OMG’s. OMG, you did all this yourself!

…and a lot of hearts. I love your idea!

…and a lot of frowns. Why doing so much at home? or Why such showing off?

But that’s okay!  She does it for the love of it! She does it for the fun it has! And she will continue to do it as far as it makes her feel adequate.

Tiger mom

She is the one who believes in strict adherence to rules and regulations. Parties, sleepovers, hangouts are not much of friends with her. She sets higher expectations for her children. Forget about the ‘B’ or ‘C’, it’s ‘A’ and not getting an ‘A+’ that upsets her.

Sometimes she goes to extreme to bring out the best in her children. Even if it’s a birthday card that she receives from her 5 year old, she doesn’t forget to remind that the colouring was outside the borders. Well, perfection is the limit she sets and tries to realise the highest of the highest goals, no wonder how finicky she has to get sometimes (infact most of the times)!

Hot mess mom

She is the unplanned and the unorganized one. She invites her kid’s friends and doesn’t have her house cleaned or haven’t had her snack activities planned. She misses half of the bag essentials on her trip outdoors. Even if it’s the 5th day for clothes to be in the dryer; they are waiting to be folded.

She is cool in making allowances to kids most of the time. She knows how much her kids hate those beans and asparagus and so she is cool about giving them Mac and Cheese or some nuggets.

Me time to her means breathing, eating or going to the restrooms. She has all high rated dinner plans but finally ends up serving the ever rotating normal platters.

Despite all the mess, she is happy and her kids are happy.

Type A mom

She is the organized one. She has notes and spreadsheets and charts by her hand. She is dot on time. A meeting at two means a meeting at two. She is the multitasker and rarely asks for help since she wants things a certain way. She never lets herself off the hook.

Her mind is always occupied with an over lengthy to-do-list and what she has to do next. She is like a sergeant to her own mind which keeps her on the go. Her immense organising skills might be overbearing sometimes and she wishes to be a little laid back sometimes. But she can’t help it and that’s what keeps her sane probably!

Crunchy mom

She is the one who believes in making informed choices about health and lifestyle. She prefers kale chips over Oreos for her kid’s snacks. She believes in doing her own garden and farm to keep it all organic. She willingly pursues her own research from birthing, breastfeeding, diapering, vaccines, feeding. She advocates attachment parenting. She believes in making informed choices and discovering perspectives to healthy, natural and safe living.

She is the natural, hippie mama on the vigil!

Cool Mom

Her kids are a bit of a free ranger. She is absolutely okay with letting her kids eat pizza if that makes them happy. She is fun and look forward to social outings. She jokes and even supposedly spoils her kids. She sometimes draws criticism from her fellow moms for being too liberal!

She dresses not how she is supposed to but how she wants to. A tattoo on her ankle or a streak of blue on hair is not far her way. She doesn’t trade her lifestyle after having a child.

And the most important part, you don’t need to tell her that she is cool since she already knows it!

Social Media mom

She loves her phone as much as she loves her kids. She is mostly glued to it and is busy commenting or sharing. She captures every bit of her kid’s stuff and even posts it. While it’s all so cute initially, after a while it all stops being adorable when it’s the 100th picture she posted online. Anyways, she can’t help it since she finds all such stuff so cute and worth sharing.

Ever came across someone who fits into any (or a mix) of such categories! Hmmm….Let your mind do the racing.

Hand-painted T-shirts that will Make a Perfect Gift for Fathers

It’s Father’s Day or dad’s birthday and you believe that giving a handmade touch to anything is divine. If that is the case, gifting daddy dear a t-shirt with a handpainted message is a great idea.

You can do it for your dad or for your little one’s (with your assistance of course!). I am sure a touch of their kid’s hands will make it extra special for any dad. Even kids can enjoy making it as a craft with an added sense of pride and accomplishment of gifting something unique.

Even better if you make twin t-shirts for your kiddo as well!

Here’s what you’ll need:

A plain t-shirt ( you can get it at the art and craft supply section of any store; or you can also use an old one)

Fabric paints of your choice

A piece of card board

Stencils

Cello tape

Directions to make:

1. Print your message on a paper. Next, using an exacto knife cut out the letter part of the paper. Do remember not to cut the entire portion of the letters, leave a bit so that your letters don’t look weird.(You can also use store bought stencils to write your message.)

2. Before you start painting, put the cardboard inside the t-shirt to prevent the paint from seeping through to the back of the shirt. This will also keep the shirt stiff.

3. Put the stencil on the T-shirt. Use cello tape to hold your stencils in place.

4. Now carefully apply the paint you want to use with a sponge or a paint brush.

5. Once the paint is completely dry, remove the stencils and there it’s ready!

Other alternative ways of painting:

*Instead of paintbrushes, you can use stamps, foam rollers, bubble wrap or anything that will make a mark.

*You could use tape or ready made stickers to write your message on the t-shirt and go ahead with painting the whole t-shirt or a selected area.

15 Creative Toddler Hacks that are Life-changing

Toddlers are amazing. These tiny creatures are on their all-time ride to moving, discovering and experimenting. Handling them by no means is an easy deal.

Considering these everyday parenting hacks is sure to make your ride a little less bumpy– be it keeping them involved into something, caring about their safety or handling their mess and fuss

1. No mess play

Add three dollops of different coloured paint into a zip lock bag and let your baby play. A great way to indulge them into creating all kinds of designs without any mess!

2. No more browning of apples

Put the apple slices in a lunch bag, sprinkle salt over the pieces and give them a quick slosh with water. Exposing apples to salt keeps them looking fresh all day!

3. Medicine time without hassles

Giving medicines to toddlers in syringes or spoons or cups can be extremely fussy and nerve wrecking. Try pouring the drops directly into the nipple and dozing it into your toddlers mouth with zero struggles.

4. No slip socks and booties

Slips on floors specially tiles or marbles can bring a hell out of you. Try to give them grip by using hot glue or puffy fabric paints on the bottom of these.

5. Toothpaste to clean furniture

It’s difficult to keep an eye on your toddler 24 by 7 and so is on their experiments with walls and furniture. Toothpaste makes an effective cleaning agent to remove permanent marker and crayons off the wooden furniture.

6. Snack band or necklace for playful eating

You can simply keep your kids fed indoors or outdoors by snack bands or necklaces. Make a band out of cereals, pretzels or even gummies using tooth floss, and leave them when eating solo or a playful eating.

7. Stretchy cup tops for spill free drink time

Use stretchy cup tops to turn any cup into a sippy cup. These are easily available online and in stores. Keep a few of these at home and in your carry bag so that your toddler has his spill proof cup any time.

8. Band-Aids and tapes to block outlets

Use tapes to block electric outlets so that your toddler doesn’t end up being unsafe around them. You can always cover the switches and sockets when outside or at random places.

9. Pool noodle for safety

These can be a great rescue for enhanced safety of your toddler. Just cut them into smaller parts and slice them like a hotdog to cover sharp edges of tables etc. or door tops to avoid kids slamming their fingers in doors.

10. Protective shower cap

These are a great invention to protect your toddler’s eyes from water. Use these head umbrella shaped caps to avoid panic attacks of your toddler due to water running into their eyes.

11. Kids’ safety temporary tattoos

End worries when your kids are out by using these kids safety temporary tatoos. You can also write your phone no. on your kid’s arms and cover it with liquid bandage.

12. Hair spray for removing temporary tattoos

Use hair spray to remove temporary tattoos and simply avoid rubbing your little one’s sensitive skin over and again.

13. Over-the-door shoe organizer for storage

This can do multiple duties for storing all those baby things like bottles, small toys, bibs, snacks etc. What an inexpensive and easy way to kids’ storage!

14. Skewer foods for picky eater

Food on sticks look more appetizing to kids whether they like it or don’t. Try putting their school lunch on sticks using their favourite fruits, cheeses or even chicken cubes and get them delighted about their food.

15. Pouch ready for storing and organizing

Try to make separate pouches for different things and keep them handy for small toys, food, modelling clay, fun puzzles etc.

These parenting hacks can surely be game changer. Do share your own favourite mom hacks that you believe other moms should know about.

Creamy Mini Tarts

These are super easy mini dessert cups filled with melt in mouth whipping cream and covered by delightful toppings. They are so quick and easy to make that they can be safely opted for the last moment dessert option anytime. Plus, they are so presentable that kids will love it and adults will relish it; they can be a clear winner for any party.

These mini tarts are superbly versatile as they can use any filling from cream cheese or custard filling to any mouse or ganache. Also, the topping options are endless; from fresh fruits or dried fruits to cookies or jellies.

For the crust, I have used phyllo pastry cups. These are store bought, pre baked mini crust available at the frozen section of any grocery store. You can also make them at home following the recipe of tart crust (which can be either pie crust or pastry crust).

So let’s get going and treat our family and friends with these super delicious and superbly gorgeous mini tarts.

What you need:

• 1 pack phyllo pastry cups (also called mini phyllo shells)

• 4 tbsp whipping cream 1/4 cup

• 1 tbsp sugar

• Vanilla essence

• Toppings of your choice- Jelly, sprinkles, chocolate shavings, Cookies, pretzels

Instructions:

• Take the frozen phyllo cups out of the packet to defrost a few minutes before you need them (don’t leave them in the packaging as you don’t want them to potentially soak up any ice that may be in there and go soggy) and bake them at 350 F for around 10 to 12 mins.

• Blend together the whipping cream, sugar, vanilla essence until smooth peaks are formed and well combined. Get your toppings ready. You can do all of this ahead of time.

• Fill the baked phyllo cups with the whipped cream – you can spoon or pipe it.

• Top it with the toppings of your choice. Refrigerate until ready to serve, but try not to make them more than 1 – 2 hours ahead as the pastry will soften

Note: Tart cups are best when used on the day of assembling.

How she Learnt to be Happy in her Skin

 

She had looked into the mirror and had her meltdowns. She was nowhere close to the notion of perfection– the slender, the curvaceous, the lean or the petite. She had had a huge pile of clothes in her wardrobe that was in the ‘not fitting’ list. The bulges on the body, the chin (the second one) calmly resting on its first counterpart, the numbers on the weighing scale have all given her jitters of life. She had been there all through.

But today she is happy.

She is happy because she has learnt to appreciate. She can pick up a heavy load of laundry, climb the 4th floor using stairs, travel distances, dance in the rain, play laugh and make merry with her little one, sleep and wake up without body aches and pains, cook for the family, eat a wholesome meal and feel hungry the next time. 

She is happy because she has learnt to accept. The fact that she has been blessed with a unique body and it can’t be like someone else’s. The fact that it deserves to be loved, appreciated, encouraged, and invested.

She is happy because she understands her powers within. The blessing of being a woman– to procreate, to love unconditionally, to stay strong and look beyond the wear and tear her body might have gone through.

Of course it didn’t happen overnight. She had her own shares of pursuits and anxieties.

How it began!

There came a time when she was all charged up. She had to lose those extra pounds. How much she hated her bulging belly and those love handles! She had to perfectly fit into that dress. It really looked terrible when she had tried it. She had to get back to size small.

Greasy food, fattening food, aeriated drinks all were chalked off the list.  And she was all salads, veggies, fruits, low fat, and gluten free. The meals were planned she was adhering to (or trying to) all that had been chalked out.

She felt deprived. One day she was convinced of doing a great job and the other day she was over treating herself followed by big lofty promises in her head. Then followed a nagging sense of guilt.

Nothing seemed to be working. Goals were set– for a function in the family, a special date or just random nothings. Goals were abandoned.

Somehow that food part was not just enough. No difference was made. She had to make some more additions.

Yoga! A bit of running! Walk! All of them! 

A new pair of gym shoes, a bag and bottle; everything was all set. Sometimes the preparation of a plan grabs greater excitement than its execution. Working-out tops this list perhaps.

The first two weeks were a killer. The third mediocre.  The fourth a disaster. Work commitments, an early hour conference at the school, an appointment to the doctor, something or the other just popped up. And rested in peace her plans.

After a hell lot of plans and additions and subtraction made to  them, the numbers on the scale didn’t move. Even if they did for a while, soon they went back.; leaving her a little more hopeless. 

Why nothing seemed to be working? What was it that just doesn’t seem to be right? A thousand such thoughts crossed her mind every day. 

She was just not happy. Her girth seemed to be taking away her mirth!

And the realization!

Doing something which is not sustainable

She was pushing her body beyond its happy limits; pushing herself on the treadmill; pushing her taste buds towards the food on the palette. There was something too mechanical rather natural.

In reality, she just could not go eating the carrots and the greens all her life without appreciating it. In reality, she couldn’t push her body to bend, squat or push without connecting to it. So even if she achieved the goals she wanted to, they weren’t sustainable.

Body hate

She scanned her body for all the flaws it has. She disdained for its shape and size– the bulging belly, the hanging arms or the wrinkled neck. She was constantly judging, hating, and poking her body.

The diet culture and the weight loss culture was somewhere so deeply ingrained in her that she started to see the flaws that in reality might not have even existed.  All this kept piling on and on, wiping her off her confidence, self-esteem and hope.

Useless pursuit of a perfect body image

She was struggling for achieving the notion of perfection perfect weight, perfect size or simply somebody she was supposed to look like. She wanted to look the way it was perceived to be beautiful. Like many of us, she had grown up with a notion of body ideal and beauty standards- Flat abdomen, curved waist, leaner thighs!

But in reality, there exists no rule-book to tell what is beautiful and what ain’t. This perception of body image is just an illusion created by the channels, the media and the sellers;  as the saying goes, “Even the girl in the magazine doesn’t look like the girl in the magazine”. This running behind something which is supposedly beautiful lead to her pursuit being even more futile. 

Her body deserved a lot more

She paused, studied and her mind took a leap of faith. She realized that her body is the souvenir of her life and what it has been through. This is the body that has seen the struggles and survived to be healthy. This is the body that that has celebrated the hours of her happiness, bore the pangs of her pains, gave the strength to achieve her goals.  This is the body that has been the witness of her highs and lows. 

Her body was her forever friend. And she gave it a gentler treatment she ever could. She stopped beginning her day with the curses for the number on the scale. She regarded her body as worthy– regardless of the food choices it made or the way it looked. She honored the nourishment and the appetite her body needed. She didn’t hate it for every inch that grew, rolling or shape she was in. 

…and she practiced

Self-love over self-doubt. It takes time, but if we start loving our body the way it is, it will start loving us back too; thus giving more desiring results.

Mindfulness. A healthy body requires a better connection with mind. A more focused mind is better able to understand the cues of our body. What it needs? When it needs? How much is enough?

Ditching the scale. Constantly keeping a watch of the scale is a clear indication of a goal which is external and short term rather than the overall wellness. On the other hand, a broader perspective of health, leads the scales to automatically follow.

Embracing imperfections. There is nothing in the world as perfect. Every body is unique. Trying to be like somebody can only land us to a self-created unhappy world of our own.

Eating not by calories, tags and labels. The food should not be eaten by numbers– the numbers on scale, the count of calories, and the size of the portions. It should be eaten the way it is supposed to– to feed our soul.

Feeling beautiful. How can she look beautiful if she is deprived, anxious and unhappy? She chose to smile, express, be amazed, inspire, appreciate and have a beautiful mind. If one chooses to feel beautiful inside, that will show on the outside.

And finally, getting off the couch to make a difference to herself and to someone else.

Soon she found her happier version of herself with a mind that was stronger and a body that was connected to its soul. There was no damn body to approve of the way she looked, other than herself. As far as her mind approved of what she was doing was right, she felt happier, stronger and more beautiful than ever before.

 

 

Let’s not forget those who’r gonna have it tough, this Mother’s Day

Mother’s day is round the corner. The day which mamas all around the world look forward to– to be loved, surprised and spoilt.

And why not! It’s such a feeling of pride, fulfilment and joy for mothers to be appreciated for what they do.

However, it might be a tougher road for some amongst us. The day might come rubbing some of the hidden bruises. Truly they are the special ones, and this is just to appreciate their enormous strength and worth which is beyond words.

The mother who is far apart from her children.

Step by step, she has been there to see her child grow. When he started to sit, she waited for him to stand. When he could stand, she waited for him to walk. When he learnt to walk, she taught her how to fly. Now when he has learnt to fly, he is somewhere making her feel proud- working, raising, achieving, and even failing to rise up again. 

The pangs of separation are bitter. Sometimes she has meltdowns, tearing her world apart. But again she stands strong, defiant and unbewildered; instilling in herself the spirit she infused in her child. And she finds joy in his achievements, pain in his sorrows, mirth in his laughter and life in his life.

The mother who is hopeful– that she will hold her own child someday.

There she has been through the journey of innumerable prayers, moments of disgust, lost hope and revived faith. She in her mind, has made a million pictures of their unborn; lived a thousand unlived moments of holding, playing, cuddling, and rejoicing. She just can’t hold over the fact that how beautiful their life would be when it happens. Days, months and years have passed, she has learnt to live in acceptance and anticipation.

But this journey has given her something which is beyond the superficial. An unfazed faith that there is nothing above God’s will– faith that everlasting happiness is worth the wait. Forbearance– to stay strong through the most vulnerable moments. Hope– that the best time is yet to come. And above all, the blessing of togetherness with her other half, standing by her through thick and thin.

The mother who is bereaving the loss of her child.

This can be the most devastating thing that can ever be in one’s life.  The child, who brought a new ray of hope, is gone now. The pain is excruciating.  She has questioned the almighty, willed her own end over her beloved’s, stood hopeless at the altar– all of it, times and over. But the truth is she has him no more– lost to the disease, lost to the mishap, lost to the crime. God willed this to her and the reason is beyond her understanding. 

Amidst all the mayhem, she understands that this the time of test. From somewhere in the universe, she gets forbearance and strength to bear something unimaginable like this. She finds connection with God and learns to withstand the deadliest of challenges that life has thrown at her. She learns to part away from something so precious. It was given by him and taken away by him. This is something that teaches her to face any circumstance whatsoever in life.

Someone who has lost her mother.

There can be nothing more terrible than this. Even a thought like this is enough to run shivers down anyone’s spine. A mother is the first symbol of strength, love and dedication. When she is gone, she leaves a void that is irreplaceable and a burden which is heaviest to bear. The pain might grow less with time but the memory is un-erasable.

However, God always compensates for what he takes away. He sends angels to take care of those in distress. He gives them a stronger mind to withstand; and an ability to connect to a deeper level. And there she finds a whole new strength; and discovers life through a whole new perspective.

Unfathomable gift of strength and more power to all such women!

Making a Rock Garden

Now that its spring and we are garden ready, this is the best time to add a creative edge to our gardening stuff. I have long been thinking of painting rocks for my garden, so I did a couple of these with my little one. Not only it adds an extra pop to our garden, it was really a fun thing doing.

You can get rocks in the stores (particularly home improvement or landscaping) nearby you or also collect it from areas around. Collecting rocks with kids on your daily walks is an additional fun you can add to the process.

What you’ll need:

Rocks
White charcoal pencil/Regular pencil
Small flat or round brush, liner brush or other detail brush
Patio paint/Acrylic paint
Markers (you can use glass paint markers or sharpie), glitter pens
Hot glue
Acrylic sealant/varnish

Basic steps:

Pick smooth rocks for painting and close to the shape you intend to make. Wash the rocks to clean. Put the base coat and let them dry completely after this and after every coat. While acrylic paints can also be used, patio paints last longer for outdoor weather conditions. For better protection of paints from elements, you can do a final coating of sealant or varnish.

Some ideas

Cacti in a pot– You can have rocks painted as cacti in cute pots. First, apply a base coat of dark green color. Then draw different patterns using a white marker– straight dashed lines, criss cross, and dots. You can also add lines using lighter shades of green to add an interesting twist. Now, fill a pot with decorative sand or pebbles and stick in the rock cactus.

Lady bugs– These are one of the simplest and most popular forms of rock painting. Paint black for their heads and vibrant colours of red, blue and yellow for the body. Then put dots with a black marker and make eyes.

Butterflies– For this one, pick rock of shapes that can be transformed into a butterfly. First, make a sketch. Based on the selection of the rock, you can make it either open winged or closed winged. Erase the unwanted part using the dark shades. Then, do the undercoat of body and wings with white paint, so that the subsequent colors look more vibrant. Then paint the body–the upper wings, the lower wings and the body. Then using a liner brush, make designs; tear shaped, circles, curved lines, outlines, eyes and set of feelers. For some additional pop, make designs using glitter pens.

Kittens– This painting of a sitting kitty was quite an attraction. First, do a black coat as the base coat and then use white paint for body patterns. Painting the face requires a better hold of the detailed brush. It’s easier if you use markers or pens for this. Then, stick the face with the body using glue.

Plant markers– For this, you need to collect rocks of different sizes depending on the size of the word. Paint them with a base coat. Let them dry. Now write the plant names using markers or thin paint brushes. You can decorate them with designs of your choice using colours that will show up over your base coat. Now your plant markers are ready to be placed. Also, they make great gifts for friends and family as an encouragement for their first garden.

Sunflower vase– Select rocks with flat base that can stand on itself. Divide the base and top using green and blue respectively. Add highlights to the vase. Sketch foliage and flowers (some upwards and some bent downwards). Paint foliage using shades of green. Now paint flowers–its centre with brown and leaves with yellow. Define and detail the inner circle and individual petals.

So what are you waiting for! It’s time to get garden ready and add rock painting to the summer bucket list of activities for the kids.

How relationship with husband changes after becoming a mother

Well, you are a mother now.

And the beans have been spilled!

You have already got the cue that it’s not going to be an easy ride for sure.

You are running hard on time. It’s getting difficult to catch on enough sleep. Your child needs you all through. Your preferences have changed– towards work, family and friends. Everything else has taken a backseat.  In short, your world has turned topsy turvy.

This transition from a wife to a mother is deep rooted and can have great impact on your relationship with your husband too. There are some obvious changes that happen- to a varying degree of course!.

The lone time of you two is now a thing of past.

You hardly find moments to spend time with your partner since you are up and running on schedules. The priority is now your child’s needs, safety and health. And that requires a more than 100 percent of you. You are worried catching up the bed early since you have to wake up sharp at 6. You can’t just miss being late for anything. After all, being on time is not a choice you make. It is the decree by God now (Sigh!). You just can’t afford to have a hungry toddler crying his lungs out or miss your pre-schooler’s bus.

In this commotion, your mind is so exhausted and body so drained that you hardly have time for each other. Spending weekends watching movies together, or talking for hours in the evenings or making impromptu plans is a thing of past. You are physically and mentally occupied with household chores and handling your kid’s issues and to-do’s.

What can I do?

Find moments to bond, listen and show care.  Bonding and connecting doesn’t need those perfect dates and dining. Try to catch moments to snuggle and cuddle. If possible to find an arrangement, find ‘we time’ for short visits outside. Or just do some activity together indoors.


The sweet and understanding girl is taken over by drained and exhausted woman

Your kids just don’t listen. 9 out of your 10 to-do stuffs are still pending. Your boss shouted at you. And this the 19th time you’ve told him the right bag for dirty linens.

Motherhood can most of the times leave you drained, exhausted and exasperated. On top of that, you have your mood swings. In this scenario, it’s quite natural that all this gets passed on to the other person of the house. And there be more than usual rude answers, tiffs and uncalled arguments.

What can I do?

Don’t be a wrathful spouse. Don’t let that distressed state of mind take over your kind you– because that is what you are. In fact, that is what we all are. Try to avoid going on rampage as much as possible. And if in the heat of the moment, you ever do, no realization is too late a realization. And if we don’t realize that what wrong our wrong words and action might do, it keeps on building up. And there is a constant bickering in the household.

Ask for help. Clearly converse and ask for help if you need one. We often tend to not ask for help when we need it the most. Don’t expect that your man will understand without you telling about it. So believe strongly in the idea of co-parenting rather than handling most of the responsibilities single handed. Assign, switch, and divide responsibilities until it works out. It’s always better to peacefully discuss rather than barging into his sleeping senses and stirring a storm in the household.

A switch to mother mode

You are overwhelmingly involved in nurturing your children. While in the morning you are busy planning for the day, at night you might be busy preparing yourself for the next day. In the upheaval of your life, you might just not find enough of time and energy to give your attention or even talk to your partner. This might make you and your partner feel losing the spark in your marriage.

What can I do?

There are plenty of ways to show that you care and adore him. Understand his cues. Listen and empathize with him. May be a hug or a few words of sympathy will suffice. Show that you care by sending a sweet message or doing a gentle massage after a busy day.

Disagreements happen more often

The reason is simple. There is an addition in the family. And this addition is so very important for both of you. A mother thinks that her instinct is the most right one. Be it about packing the perfect set of clothes for a particular season or buying the right size of show, or introducing (or not introducing) a newer food. Even when the kids get older, there can be divisions of opinions. For example, when one of the parents is too liberal, the other one might be too reserved in making allowances for the children. And there tend to be disagreements on minor matters.

What can I do?

Be gentle. Sometimes without even realizing, we get too judgmental about our partners parenting. So it’s important to be mature enough in handling all such situations and maintaining calm and composure on self. Laugh off the mistakes that he makes dressing up or feeding of your child. Don’t be a know-it-all kind of over tutoring spouse. Be more forgiving towards your spouse and a greater person asking for forgiveness for your own mistakes.

Taking for Granted

There is a sense of complacence that takes us over after becoming parents. We no more feel the same thrill and passion in our relationships. It begins naive and natural. We are so overwhelmed with the love of our child that we every day tread those extra miles to give our best shot. As a mother you are compromising on your sleep, your entertainment, and friends and everything else. You might feel lonely in handling the pressures. You feel a lack of understanding on part of the other fellow. You expect him to be more sensitive and appreciative. But all these emotions are deep rooted in your mind. And a huge mound of frustration and distress is formed. Given what is going in our head, you might get less communicative of your emotions, less apologetic to your mistakes and less appreciative to each other’s efforts.

What can I do?

Communicate. It’s important that you draw empathy from your partner by communicating your worries. Sometimes, in reality there is no problem that exists. All what rests is there in our head. And we continue to assume and presume without telling the real reason of persisting tension between the two of us. Communicating rationally is the key for a happier you and a happier home. And that is the biggest gift you can give to your child.

Appreciate. Actually when we are expecting to be appreciated, we often forget to appreciate the other person as well. Appreciate– even if it’s no big deal. Appreciate– even if you think he is supposed to.

Catch moments to express gratitude through your own gestures and words. Buy him an unexpected gift. Or tell him how his cooperation matters to you. (Don’t forget to remind him that how smoking hot he looks in doing the dishes or folding the laundry!!)

…..yet there’s something that is so beautiful!

Then why do we want to have kids so desperately?

Motherhood is any day the biggest joy of life. It can also make your marital journey so exciting and beautiful! You meet the lowest of low and highest of high phases as a team taking your relationship to yet another level.

There’s a beauty in discovering the bond with the man in your life. The bond that brings you closer despite all the arguments you have had. A bond that is stronger than ever before. Living without that person becomes more impossible as he takes a greater share in your life through a new soul.

There’s a beauty in discovering some very unique side of his. The transition from just a husband to a dad who can be so caring and loving. There can be no joy greater than your man holding you child for the first time and forever. The way he plays with or sings lullaby to your child. The way he surrounds his world with you and your child.

There’s a beauty in finding a new friend in the same person. A friend who listens, shares, agrees and above all gives you strength when you need him. A friend whose support let you fight all the challenges that life throws at you.

There’s a beauty in finding love in his actions more than his word and falling in love with him all over again.

……and you discover his love

When he looks after the baby so that you can catch on your nap.

When he lets you connect with the people who help you refresh and rewind.

When he sits and patiently listens to your endless complains about your body aches, gossips about the neighborhood gang, bitching about your grumpy boss or the tactics of your creepy colleague.

When he helps you in your household chores bearing or switching responsibilities.

When he never watches your favorite Netflix show without you since you were busy on schedules.

When he makes friends (or tries to) with all the people who are important to you.

When he tries to make allies with you after that nasty tiff over that diapering issue.

When he watches those boring TV shows with you to just to give you a company.

When he baby sits for your visits to the salon.

….and the list goes on!