Thursday, December 2, 2010

Deja Vu

Have you ever been back at the site of an accident you were involved in? It's the strangest feeling, you almost feel like you should be seeing something there, some evidence of the magnitude of the fall, the injury, the drama. And yet, there is nothing there but people walking about their daily business and it hits home how much life moves on, with you or without you in it. Wait! You want to shout, this here. THIS is the spot it happened, your mind screams. Right here! No one cares, they mill around waiting to pick up their children, gabbing on cell phones, playing on their hand helds, reading books, not aware of what the walls had witnessed a few months back. It's almost like you want to make it into some sort of a shrine, except not in a reverential way. You want the spot marked. You remember all too clearly, waiting for your child, just like they are now. Talking on the cell phone, just like them. Feeling darn good in those strappy, made for you, high heeled shoes. Half aware of your other child losing his balance as he tries to hug you. You holding on to him for dear life and spinning, spinning through the air. You, hearing your bones break with a crunch in your shin (more than feeling it) and thinking "Oh shoot baby, what did you do?" before the pain hits and you fall down, holding your ankle, screaming "My foot, my foot" not even aware that everything you were carrying has been flung down, your mom with whom your were on the cell phone not a moment ago hearing every agonizing scream from the other end of the world. Your child rushing at you with concern and you flinging him away in your moment of intense pain. Nothing but white hot pain. Your child moving to the corner and standing with his back pressed to the wall. Not having it in you to comfort him yet. Not yet. Needing a selfish moment more to just feel your pain and no one else's. Other parents rushing in and lifting you onto a chair. A woman there picking up the scattered items from your bag and handing you your phone and asking you to call whoever. Dazedly realizing your husband is not in town and that for the time being atleast, you must pull yourself together and get your children to a safe place first. And then calling your husband and telling him to get home asap as a part of your leg is literally hanging off a chair. Calling friends. Asking the parents there to please call 911, please, please, please. And then praying that your friends will get there before the ambulance. All the while watching your children, their faces pressed to the glass and willing themselves not to cry. Shivering in the thin shirt you are wearing, shock lowering your temperature. Yelling at the paramedics as they ask you incessant questions, waiting for the blessed morphine to take effect. Panicking as they load you on the stretcher and the friend not beingthere yet to pick your kids up. Sighing in relief as finally, finally, when as you are loaded into the ambulance, you see her leading your two little hearts to her car, their faces scrunched with worry and trying to look brave. Sighing that now you could think about yourself.
As you stand there and look at that place, you wonder at how anonymous it actually looks, that place.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Cuts both ways

I recently read MMs post here on the judgement SAHMs face and my comment ended up being too long so it is coming up as this post -

I think it it cuts both ways. I see plenty of SAHMs that tend to have a sanctimonious attitude when they talk to and of working mothers "I don't know - my family is so important to me that I could never leave them and go out to work". "I could never leave my child the way you do and go somewhere outside to work". Err, I think that a majority of mothers anywhere in the world would place their family and children on the top of their important list, working or not. WHy then do I have to hear statements that imply that by choosing to work, I have somehow brought down my family's importance in my life? That I choose to add something to my list of what is important in my life (in this case, me, namely because I don't need to work for the money but for the rush I feel from working))?. A lot of SAHMs behave like they have martyred themselves to the cause of raising their babies, especially when they sound defensive and qualify their choice with how important their family is to them and how they have placed their children over their selves. Plenty of SAHMs go to a gym, go shopping, get on the telephone with their chums everyday - arent they choosing a few minutes or an hour or two for themselves during those times? That is their "me time", granted. My "me time" takes up more time in a day than their "me time". So what?

The bottom line is this - each of us have to be at peace within ourselves for the choices we have made. For the longest time, statements like the ones above made me feel less of a mom somehow, that somehow I was committing a crime for leaving my children under someone else's care. As time (and a short 3 month stint at home) went by though I realized this - you do what you have to to be in a happy place deep inside. The happy place changes, what makes you happy changes but only you can judge what that is - you only need to be flexible enough to recognize that and move with the flow. Something that another mother does is not necessarily one that puts you in your happy place. As your kids grow and mature, their needs increase in certain areas and decrease in others and as a mother, you instinctively recognize the increased pockets of need and step in while pulling away from other places where they don't need you anymore or need you less (and I believe that pulling away is as important as stepping in). As more and more mothers choose to either join or leave the workplace, we have to recognize that it is OUR" choice and cease to make excuses for making them, other people be damned! Nobody else walks in my uniquely fitting shoes and nobody else is qualified to make a pronouncement on how those shoes pinch their feet, whether I am an SAHM or a work outside the home mom!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


This is a fun tag from here

If I were a month, I’d be July
If I were a day of the week, I’d be Sunday
If I were a time of day, I’d be the crack of dawn
If I were a season, I’d be Spring.
If I were a planet, I’d be Venus.
If I were a sea animal, I’d be a dolphin
If I were a direction, I’d be lost
If I were a piece of furniture, I’d be an ottoman.
If I were a liquid, I’d be Water
If I were a tree, I’d be a Neem
If I were a tool, I’d be a Wrench
If I were an element, I’d be Water
If I were a gemstone, I’d be Ruby
If I were a musical instrument, I’d be a Violin
If I were a color, I’d be Red
If I were a emotion, I’d be Happiness
If I were a fruit, I’d be an Orange
If I were a sound, I’d be the sound of waves crashing on the rocks.
If I were a car, I’d be a Prius (I'd be the one that just won't stop:))
If I were food, I’d be Avakka Manga (Raw mango pickle)
If I were a taste, I’d be Hot and Spicy
If I were a scent, I’d be Citrussy with a hint of floral
If I were a pair of shoes, I’d be strappy and high heeled (more straps the better)
And if I were a bird, I’d be a parrot
……….go it’s your turn to give it a shot!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Breastfeeding - the right to choose?

There was a recent report here that talks about how exclusively breastfeeding can save more lives every year. The report states that new moms should not be blamed but instead lays the blame on latching on problems and grandmothers dissuading against the practice. I breastfed each of my children exclusively for 6 months and then almost till each was almost 13mths and 19mths respectively. I can tell you what an effort it took to stick to my beliefs. First of all my children were diagnosed with a dairy allergy so that if I took even a spoon of any dairy product, they would pass blood in their stools. I went through 2 excruciatingly painful months for mother and child when we put baby(ies) on a special formula and waited to flush the dairy out of their system. All this while, I still wanted to keep my supply up and ended up pumping and throwing - I know how much it hurt to throw 30 to 40 ounces of pumped milk each day while my children would refuse to drink that nasty smellling formula. All this while, the doctors kept telling me to stop eating most of the food that I eat because they were making my children gassy until all that I was left with eating was rice, green beans sauteed in a little oil and chayote squash cooked with mung beans every single day for 3 months! There was not even a gaurantee that I could go back to feeding them myself if they didn't stop the symptoms. Once I started work at 6 weeks, there were other challenges. My employer fortunately is one of the few that have made provisions for breastfeeding moms (and deserves a kudos for taking these steps) - our sites are fully equipped with rooms that have pump bases and refrigerators and access to support groups to connect to other working and breastfeeding mothers. However, when you go back to work after a baby, you are already aware that people are watching how much you let that affect your work. When you take 15 (and sometimes 30 minutes) every 3 hours to pump to keep up supply and baby's needs, there is a ton of guilt associated with that. That of course is my problem to deal with because at the end of the day, I was lucky that my employer had provided the facilities and once they do that, they are aware of the time spent with the activity. I however know other women that have not had that luxury - some of them have actually used a restroom and a hand pump and tried to relieve painful mastitis because there was nowhere for them to pump! Employers also do not take kindly to a woman that has just come back from a 6 week "vacation" (a lot of single guys would ask me when I was going off on "vacation" to have my baby:)) taking off what would amount to a hour of each day trying to pump milk to keep up breastfeeding. The other aspect that needs mentioning are lactating consultants. While what they do is laudable and they do help so many women with supply and lactating issues, many of them come across very strongly and refuse to consider the possibility that mom is actually trying hard but baby just will not drink. One woman told me how much the lc blamed her for not trying hard enough that she ended up thinking she was committing nothing short of a crime by switching to formula. The "grandmother" factor is very strong too. My children were advised not to have any solids till they were 6 months old and to be fed exclusively on either breastmilk or formula during that time. I met a woman on the flight back from India who was shocked that any one would consider "starving" the baby that way (and she was'nt a grandmother to be sure - she had a baby girl 4 months older than my son at that time!). It was quite annoying to listen to someone tell me I was starving my children after all the trouble I went through to stay off dairy just to be able to breastfeed them. And ofcourse the numerous people around that will jump up and say that baby is crying so much because mother probably doesn't have enough milk? Or to be made to feed the baby within half an hour of feeding because baby was making sucking motions with his mouth in his sleep which can only be interpreted as hunger again? No wonder women find it hard to stick to exclusively breastfeeding their baby, with all the pressures they face today. The benefits are many, I believe in them tremendously. However, like the right to choose, I do believe this is one issue that is a mom's right to choose and she should be allowed to make that choice without society blaming her for being a bad mother or predicting doom for baby.

PS: Since I last wrote this, I came across an article here detailing that President Obama has signed into that it is mandatory for companies with more that 50 employees to provide a private, secluded area for mothers to safely express breastmilk. Awesome!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Let there be a decree...

..that guys with a serious case of foot-in-mouth disease not go anywhere near me, not within a mile, not within a 100 miles.
So I see this guy-I-knew-from-way-back-when yesterday in the elevator. After a few seconds of pc, he looks at me excitedly and says "So are you having a baby?" I feel my smile freeze and begin to crack on my face as I say "No". So guy with the dreaded (for me) f-i-m says "Oh, so did you just recently have your baby?". Now my cheeks and my whole face are cracking to the point of falling off and just to be spiteful (I refuse to be kind to people that just keep shoving that foot deeper inside with each sentence), I say "Actually my last baby is four years old". He flees from there.
Oh well, some shirts just need to be retired :(
And some guys too.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


So some think it's hip to claim they don't believe in astrology, laugh, poke fun and in general, treat the people that believe feel like they still live in the trees. And then turn around and talk about their Zodiac signs!
Either you believe in the stars, or you don't!