Monday, December 5, 2016

In the pursuit of Happiness

A few days ago, I was having a little chat with my not-so-young 10 year old about what happiness is really about. He is at this age where he relates the source of happiness to everything materialistic and specifically gadgets. He is surrounded by kids here in the Middle East who have the latest gizmos and spend a lot of time gaming. Their conversations are seemingly centred on who played what, whose online score was higher and the latest updates ... so on and so forth.
When recently we were thinking of whether or not to get him his own laptop - I raised my hand in disagreement. Until he has a real need for his own laptop, I don't think it makes sense for us to give him his own. Seeing as there are a couple of laptops in the home already - I thought of it as a nice opportunity to teach him the importance of shared resources.
I don't know about other households, but I do tend to place a lot of value on family time and real human interaction. For instance, I expect my children to engage with each other in whichever way they find mutually fun (they are 6 years apart so maybe there's not many games that they can play together). Even if it's just kicking a ball around in the corridor or chasing each other around the house - it's something REAL and tangible and that's what makes it special. When I see them collapsed in fits of laughter, I know then that these rules are so worth it! :)
Even though we can afford those gizmos that he so craves - I have limited his gadget usage to TV and his Lenovo Tablet which is password protected - he doesn't know what the password is. I keep a track of how much screen time he is given. And somewhere along the line, I am teaching him to be conscious and aware - to not be simply drowning inside some virtual quicksand.
But first as adults, we need to ask ourselves - What do we base our happiness on? Is it external factors all the time, or intrinsic? Are we seeking validation all the time from our social circle or social media OR are we learning to be happy and content on our own? Our children are watching us all the time and imbibing subconsciously.

To summarize, I'd like to think we have to work in tandem. Parenting and teaching life lessons in this day and age is challenging no doubt. If we're not effective role models, we cannot expect our child to learn anything. If you take away all of your child's gadgets BUT you are always busy on your own phone/tablet, it does not make any sense. If you don't give them real alternatives to what else they can do with their time, then is it going to work? I don't think so.

In a couple of decades, my son will not remember his top gaming score but he will surely remember those fist fights with his brother and all those songs they like to sing loudly together.

Those are REAL memories :-) unbeatable, precious and priceless.


Saturday, October 8, 2016

A decade of parenting

It is a warm Saturday afternoon as I write this. Jr#1 is hanging around watching a movie and Jr#2 is asleep and yes their dad is also asleep in another room.
It is also one of those days when I sit musing about life.
Jr#1 turns 10 this month  (YES, He is the then-5-year-old cutie who is in the image you see at the top of my blog)- yikes he is officially entering the double digits :) He has grown up - in more ways than one. I can talk to him on a different level now and he understands more stuff than he ever did so far. He sort of knows the difference between fake emotions and real ones.
He also shows a great deal of interest in helping around at home and I let him do it. To illustrate, he washed a few dishes lying around in the sink this morning, for the first time. So far he had only been rinsing his cup or plate and putting it away. I really hope he continues to be responsible and will want to help around like this - I am sure as hell encouraging that.
I have vowed that I will never be THAT mom who ends up raising ungrateful kids because she didn't know what went wrong along the way. No parent does it consciously - it just happens. It happens when you don't correct kids when you are supposed to or you let them be slobs, whilst catering to their every whim and fancy. Before you know it - they get used to being treated as royalty and BOOM, one day they're adults and you can't do anything about it, least of all mould them anymore.
So it has been a decade of parenting for us :) Hubby and me have learned a lot along the way, made some mistakes and worked on rectifying it too. We understood very early that parenting is team work - and it only bodes well when both parents work in tandem.
The pre-teen is already starting to throw his weight around and I know that tougher years lie ahead - may it be easier than I imagine it to be. All that rebelling, slamming doors, 'you don't know anything' etc etc - GASP - I guess I'll never know what to anticipate :D
Wish me luck ! :) :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

MidYear Musings :)

After some of this and some of that - it is officially the middle of 2016. For better or for worse, the changes in this year have definitely brought out the best of me. I discovered "deeply-buried-inside-me" aspects to myself which I did not know were ever there.
In June this year, I completed 10 years of staying home (of being a SAHM) after quitting a full-time career which was good while it lasted :) I won't trade those beautiful years in for anything in this world - I got to work with some really fun people who were more my friends than colleagues.
I realised early on that I wouldn't be able to juggle the balancing act between motherhood and a full-time job; and so I made the obvious choice. And a beautiful decade it has been ! :) Some awww and hair-raising moments later - the bittersweet experience of parenting has changed hubby and me in ways we never imagined.
Speaking of which, Samarth enters double-digits this year - a milestone in any child's life :) He is at this age where he is not a kid any more and neither a teenager nor an adult as yet. It is this beautiful pre-teen phase where he is beginning to discover himself, his peers, his family and also beginning to understand emotions better. I am happy to be around him when he needs me the most - and happy to witness these years. And alongside, I am praying that the teenage rebellion does not hit us too bad when it arrives :D :D For now, we are enjoying each day in its glory!
As I write this - I am in the midst of planning Sumedh's 4th birthday next month and simultaneously thinking of a special way to celebrate Samarth's 10th birthday in October. In a couple of years he might want to go hang out with his friends FAR away from parental supervision so I'm going to enjoy his 'I need my parents' age while it lasts :)
Meanwhile, I have also been reading SO much on my kindle :D
One of the things on my to-do list  is to put together a list of my favourite books from the huge stash which I have read, alongwith my rating. Interestingly, I have been buying books looking at the reviews and not author-wise, so I have read the books of many unknown authors in the process. There are many upcoming writers, Indian as well as non-Indian, whose works are unparalleled. They write compelling stories which we all need to read - of complex emotions, of simple lives.
What have you been doing this year? I can't wait to hear all about it :) 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Celebrating another birthday :)

Everytime I think of updating the blog, I feel I have nothing to say. But when I sit and think on a daily basis, there are so many thoughts that cross my mind :D Does it happen to you too?

I turned a year older a few days ago - how exciting :D It was a year well spent watching my kids grow and sailing together in the boat which is a symbol of our life together. Through the trials and tribulations of daily life and through smiles and tears. I feel like I get all sentimental around the time it is my birthday and I introspect so much. Which is nice!

Birthdays remind us how blessed we are. How incredibly blessed we are to have a family that loves us and depends on us for their emotional needs and whose faces light up at the very hint of a smile on our face :)

A birthday is less a celebration of the day you were born; but more a commemoration of the life you have led since that day. A birthday is special because it is that one day which reminds you of your life goals and the purpose of your life. The greater purpose.

I definitely remind myself of whatever I wish to achieve this year and I hope to be truthful to it. Everything in our life does not go as planned, but it's ok. It's always OK to have a plan B and use it without guilt if necessary. That's one life lesson from the past year :D :D


Friday, February 5, 2016

Life is in the Small Moments :)

When we thought that 2016 has just begun, here we stand 5 days into the second month already! Whoa!
I am trying to infuse positivity into my outlook for this year and have decided not to think about anything that is not in my sphere of control for the moment. Every now and then, I find my mind overcrowding with thoughts and it is then that I realize that YES, it is possible for us to control our thoughts and it is in our hands as to what we let affect us.
The first month of the year was filled with so many moments, precious and priceless. Taking a good look at both my cubs everyday, I discover in sheer amazement as to how soon they are growing. What the hubby and me are doing is not just raising kids, we are shaping individual personalities and grooming them as humane and empathetic people who will eventually be independent and lead their lives in such stellar ways that make us proud.
The little one is so happy to follow in his Anna's footsteps. Sometimes it is literally following every step and tagging behind :D :D So we also tell Anna how important it is to set the right example and how he has to be careful because the little eyes are always watching his every move :)
On another note, the hubby and me absolutely delight in making plans for the following weekend even before the ongoing weekend has ended :P Somehow, it perks us up when there is something to look forward to.
By the way, it does not have to be anything fancy.
Our outings with the kids are mainly to the parks as we are in the midst of a beautiful UAE winter. We sit together and share a few words as the older one cycles around and the younger one climbs monkey bars shrieking in sheer delight and discovers that he can navigate the higher slides without help! :)
Life Is In The Small Moments. Those moments that pass us by as we browse idly through a social media feed or anything random. I am guilty of it too. Remedying it one day at a time :)