Monday, February 25, 2008

Health Treasure It.

Every typical day for the mother starts with getting up early in the morning, starting with preparation of breakfast, waking up kids getting them ready to go to school, packing their lunch, getting lunch ready for the husband and if she is working then getting ready to go to work. Believe me very strenuous, back breaking and hectic best describes the work that a mother puts in. Yes fathers do help these days to a large extent but the onus still seems to be on the mother whether she is working or otherwise.

How much care does she take of herself with regard to her health is the question. There is awareness yes but not to that extent. Most of the time we are so wrapped in our world of doing and doing more things that we tend to neglect our health. Unlike Australians who are so health conscious we tend to overlook the little niggling health problems thinking that we do not have enough time.
These days women at a very young age face back pains, migrains, spondalosis and so on because of the nature of work and lack of excercise. This if neglected creates so much of havoc as the mother is the pivot of a family. The whole routine gets upset and even if we want to we cannot take care of our children as in most cases bed rest is adviced. You know how much disorganised the house gets if the mother is down with viral for a couple of days, then imagine what state will it be if she suffers from a recurrent problem like backache, frozen shoulder and so on. Here I am not talking about life threatening diseases or conditions.

That is why I feel even if it is for a few minutes she has to do excercise in some form or the other. Be it yoga, aerobics, going to the gym and so on. Most of the time we go in for excercise for weight reduction. We also expect to reduce within a few days of excercise the fat that we accumulated for almost decades!! Well excercise I feel is mainly to keep our body really flexible so that bending, leaning, running and other actions we mothers have to do day in and day out can be done with ease and alacrity. I have found that I feel quite good and more active on days that I excercise than when I don't.

Undoubtedly I would say that health is wealth as the old adage goes. It's high time we mothers looked after ourselves even if it means taking out half an hour from our busy schedule. As my yoga teacher says we spend most of our waking hours looking after or working for others can we not spend just a few minutes for ourselves? As they say in the magazine femina "YOU ARE WORTH IT". So go on and enjoy family life as well as your work life by giving a few minutes to yourself too.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Making Children Independent

When children are small, we as parents do everything for them. We feed them, clothe them, bathe them, wash their tush, clean them; in other words we do everything for them.

As they grow slightly older one must encourage the child to take care of his things. Beginning with his toys. At the end of the day they need to keep back all their toys in its place. Most mothers agree how difficult it is to get them to clear things and how we would still have to do this at the end of every day despite being tired. One can make it like a game for the children, like who is going to pick up most number of toys and keep it in the right place. We need to keep inventing innovative ideas to make this cumbersome job more interesting!

Teaching them how to make the bed, how to fold their clothes, how to bathe, and how to lay the table are some of the things which needs to be taught early on as later it will be difficult for us to get things done by them. When the maid doesn't turn up I ask my children to help me in wiping the dishes, sweeping the floor, mopping and so on. They enjoy these activities as long as we as parents make them understand that this is their house and these are their things and we need to keep it clean. Though my mother-in-law feels that these chores are not for boys I tell her that they have to learn these things so that they will be more independent. Slowly she is coming around and appreciating these things.

Now my children suddenly seem to have developed a penchant for cooking!! I am glad as this is also an art that they need to learn. So they can now light the gas, roll a nice chapathi and love to help me cut vegetables. I found that this was another way of bonding with my children and spending moments of joy.

Just yesterday I got a pleasant surprise when I found that both the kids had closed their room door and were inside for a long time. When I went inside I found that they had changed the entire layout of their bedroom and I felt so happy to see them planning and arranging their bookshelves according to the topics of the books. It was great.

So I feel that it is really worth starting out when they are young and enjoy some restful time as your child does things for himself and one fine day I wish to see my children preparing good breakfast on a Sunday morning all set and waiting for me to enjoy a sumptuous meal. What do you say - wanna join me?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Are We Overindulgent Parents?

Life these days is made more easy by means of mechanical gadgets that we use at home. Here in India we also have the luxury of having a maid to help us tho handling a maid is proving to be a more difficult task than managing a company. That is another story altogether. Well the thing is our children are growing in more luxurious circumstances than we grew up in and the same can be said about us compared to our parents and thus the cycle is going on.

But now I feel we indulge our children too much. Unlike earlier where children were admitted into nearby schools more so for the sake of convenience than the standard of the school, we would all walk in a big group and it was lots of fun. Unlike our parents who had to cross small lakes or little hillocks to reach their school we had relatively shorter distances to walk. Now I find in the case of my children it is car to school bus back to car and home. I feel that is some indulgence on my part. Also their taste for high end priced products is getting more evident. Here atleast we try and put our foot down and tell them why we would not like to buy these things though they draw comparisons and tell us that their friends have it so why can't they have it.

Later we tried out a new strategy wherein we told both of them that once in a while they can buy a few things and gave them a budget of Rs.50-100 and it was hilarious to see them scrambling here and there taking things and looking at the price and calculating. Then my little one comes and tells me in exasperation "Mamma there doesn't seem to be any thing available within that amount" much to the amusement of people shopping there. That was the right time to discuss about value of money and now they understand, though since they are still small they get tempted to ask for things. But we see a lot of maturity and I can see them looking at the price and trying to weigh whether it is worth that much.

I remember when I was a kid I had asked for a balloon and my dad refused to buy though I threw a huge tantrum. His philosophy was never buy things immediately when the child asks for it so that they can learn to take a NO. So this I is the principle that we also follow for our children and it really helps them later when they have to face lots of obstacles in life.

When a child is gratified the moment something is asked there will never be any value to it. They think that it is their right to get whatever they ask for. Hence in future they just can't take a simple NO. I remember reading in the newspaper that a boy commited suicide just because his father said no to buy a bike . It is quite shocking.

Many a parent have this thing of since I did not have these things during my childhood let me buy all these things for my children. Children are more happy to play with small items in the kitchen or they are imaginative to take a small box and use it like a car for hours together. They are not worried about branded items.

I still enjoy watching the children in the slum areas or the children of the construction site workers using a lot of creativity and enjoying their time playing with materials lying around. So don't you think that we as parents let children enjoy life with simple things which give them great joy?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Adoption is a viable alternative

This is one couple whom I admire. They have two children. The older one is adopted while the younger one is biological. They went through a lot of pain and lots of tension. But they had a lot of courage and decided to go ahead with adoption and this was in eighties!! And surprisingly enough they had a baby of their own after a few years. Now both children are grown up into young teenagers. It is a delight to see them. I really feel the parents need to be lauded for their courage.

Then I heard of another case where this woman adopted a baby and later when she found out that she was expecting she decided to undergo abortion fearing that in future they might discriminate against the adopted child. This is a different angle of thought.

But the point is these parents decided to take this step despite the stigma that many face when they can not have their own child and gave life to another child. Who does not hanker for a cute little baby of one's own after a few years of marriage? As it is, the age at which one gets married has increased and after that getting adjusted to a new life, work, and so many factors lead to couple planning their babies at a later stage. Working couple these days choose to have either one or no children policy. But of late we get to hear more and more cases where the couple is desperate to have babies but is finding it difficult to have one due to various factors.

One of my close friends could not concieve for a long time and she was telling me how painful and expensive the tests are when she went to the fertility clinic and finally wondered whether it was all worth the trauma that she finally decided to go in for adoption.

All the children whom I have come across who have been adopted are a delight to watch. They are so intelligent, loving, and make the couples life so very fulfilling that I feel that if they were not taken in, these childen would not have had an opportunity to shine in life. It would have been a national waste of talent.

After seeing these children, I felt may be if I had thought about this aspect at an earlier stage then I definitely feel I would have liked to adopt a baby and give the love and opportunity to atleast one little child.

I still feel our society needs to change their outlook towards adoption, because I have heard people saying things like whatever said and done our own flesh and blood is what matters how can someone elses child be like our own ? But I have read so many cases of our own so called flesh and blood abandoning their parents that I feel we definitely cannot go with this arguement.