Monday, December 01, 2014

SAHM vs. SAHD

I thought I will write a detailed post on the subject, but ultimately all I want to say is this. To all the men out there who feel that if you bring a baby to this world, then you should prioritize baby over career,


"How many of you have downsized/given up your job to take care of your kids???"

Thursday, November 27, 2014

It's Been a Long Time...

..since I wrote here.. The delightful cocktail was so heady that me, hubby and the whole family has been on toes for the past 4 and half months. Unlike my first born, I announced her arrival on Facebook and not here. I am unable to upload a snap here due to browser compatibility issues - Well, another time !


In fact, talking about photographs, I hardly take any pictures of her - life is truly a whirlwind these days...


I have gotten back to work - whether that was the right decision - only time will tell.


I got myself a Kindle - and I am happy I did.


Rest later :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

This Time Around...

"So, what's different this time around?" is a question I get asked often...Well, plenty ! For starters, I know that parenting, especially in the first year is not gonna be a rosy affair ! As one of my team members very encouragingly quipped, "When you have your first child, you become a mother. When you have your second child, you become a referee !"

Last time around I was far more healthy - however, by sheer will-power, I decided that this time too I shall work as much as possible and I am happy I managed to do it !

This time around expectations from others are far more tempered down...Yes, I am still upset that I don't get any kind of help from certain quarters, but I have learned to live with it.

The biggest change is that the last time around, I was hardly anticipating the baby to come - I had a good one more month to go officially...In fact, I had come home all set to celebrate Onam and then get back to work ! It all happened all of a sudden - one moment, I was pregnant and the next moment I had become a mother ! This time, the dates have already been fixed for the surgery and that is causing some amount of anxiety. Unlike last time, I splurged on buying clothes for myself and the baby.

Overall, the only thing that remains constant is the firm belief that, no matter what the hurdles, I am getting one more person into my life to love and that is gonna be one joyous roller coaster ride !

Monday, June 16, 2014

Handling Advice

As I am getting ready to welcome a new member into my life, I realized that I was quite perturbed by a lot of things that didn't go particularly well the first year when I became a mom ...In fact, it was quite a challenging time for both me and hubby that it put us off from even thinking about another kid for a loong loong time...The wounds of that first year are still very raw, and I am determined not to let them reopen this time around....One of the major things I didn't know then was that there will be a bunch of solicited and unsolicited advice that comes your way...I was clueless on how to handle this and that led to a lot of heart burn...This time around I spend considerable time and energy trying to figure out a framework that will help me deal with the barrage of advice that I get across all streams of life - be it parenting, finance, relationships, education, the city I should live in, the job I should take...well, you get the drift ! This is what I finally came up with...
 
1. It doesn't matter whether it is solicited or unsolicited: We often think of unsolicited advice as 'how dare they comment on my...' but experience has taught me that you can get good practical advice regardless of whether it was solicited for or not !
 
2. Beware of the source, though - On analysing past advice I have recieved, I discovered something interesting. Advice from people who have been there and done that successfully, are usually far more useful than otherwise...Thus, if you admire how a child behaves, then parenting advice from its parent will be far more effective than parenting advice from a brat's mom. If your financial advisor is himself not rich, then he has no business advising you !
 
3. Respond with a smile: It is not necessary to let people who are wrong, know that all the time. This is especially true for qualitative advice that cannot be easily boxed into right and wrong - you will be wasting time trying to explain your side of the story...Just smile and change the topic of conversation, no matter how strongly you feel about something...If they insist that you follow up on their advice right then and there, then you can firmly say 'I'd prefer to do it my way'. Just this one point would have saved me many a hassle during my breastfeeding days...
 
Yep, I am already feeling better prepared for the year ahead !
 

Monday, June 02, 2014

The Smells That I Love..

1. Petrol - I lovvvve its smell - everytime we go into a petrol pump, I roll down the windows and enjoy the smell...Has been a habit from childhood..I have read later that it is harmful to health and that breathing petrol fumes is actually addictive - well, well !

2. Shoe Polish - The only reason I enjoy going to a shoe shop ! I have got ugly big fat feet and shopping for footwear is always a nightmare - the smell of shoe polish in the showroom is the only saving grace. My son's shoes are not made of leather though, and those shoes use some kind of a liquid polish, which doesn't smell great.

3. Detergent - I like the smell of freshly washed clothes - I also smell the detergent everytime I load the washing machine - it smells great ! BTW, how many of you have tasted soap?

4. New Books - The first thing I do when I get a new book is to smell it...In school, my drawing book had the best smell, and on the day when new books are distributed, I used to spend the entire day smelling my books.

I am craving for these smells in a big way ! Some say, my aneamia has got something to do with it - I wonder whether science backs up that argument....

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Looking Back, Looking Ahead....

10 years - almost one-third of my life ! That's the time I have spend as a professional ! Seems unbelievable...When I started my career, I wasn't sure how long I will have a career...Today, I know I will work for atleast another 10 years....I have changed from a naive, wide-eyed 24 year old to a practically wise and experienced person who is much better equipped to handle a back stab, ignore a social media barb, and avoid nay-sayers. I have learned which battles to fight and which ones to walk away from ! I now know that pig headed people who sit on moral high grounds cannot be rationalised with - it is a waste of time and energy that can be better spend elsewhere. There have been several other learnings as well....
 
1.  Being around people who respect knowledge motivates you to spend time and effort on increasing your knowledge - It is an enjoyable way to grow in your professional life.
 
2. There will be people at your workplace who will be willing to bend all rules to progress in their career. You don't need to do that - there are more honourable ways ! However, be aware of their actions, so that you safeguard yourselves.
 
3. There will be people who will think of you as pawns in their career chessboard. Again, it is best that you treat people with respect and give them credit where it is due. And as for those who treat you as a pawn, move away from their sphere of influence !
 
4. People may try to talk to a third party, about messages they want to convey to you! Ignore such messages - if they were worthy of your attention, it would have been conveyed to you directly.
 
5. When you get feedback in person, don't justify your behaviour - you may be shutting the door for further conversation. Listen carefully and analyze later. Either, it needs a change in behaviour or a change in others' perception about you...Identify which one and work on it.
 
6. When you give feedback, start and end with the positive messages and keep the negatives in the middle - always have examples for negative feedback.
 
All of these have helped me not just in my professional life, but even in my personal life...It has been an exciting 10 years !!!
 
I am eagerly looking forward to the next decade.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

That First Year..

My dear friend send me a book for my birthday - titled Bringing Up Vasu - That First Year. It was written by an IIM grad and when the book was out there was enough marketing noise around it, but I never bought it...I am not sure how much of the fictional account in the book is autobiographical, but reading it made me think about my first year with my baby...
 
Given that I will be going through the whole drill very soon, it was good to look back and reflect...I did a quick browsing through my old posts to see whether I had written something after 1 year and couldn't find anything...Maybe there is a post which I am unable to trace now...Anyway, how I would have talked about that first year then and now is drastically different, so I can write about it again...
 
The book talks about stuff which I could hardly relate to...My experience was very different...The protagonist takes a break from her career to look after the baby and suffers huge guilt pangs every time she tries to get back to work or even as much as move away from the baby...I had no such problems - guilt was (and hopefully never will be) never a part of my parenting journey till date...
 
I went to work till the date of my delivery and went back to work on my 87th day...In fact to familiarize me with staying away from the baby, hubby dear took me out one day around when the baby was 60 days old and we promptly got stuck in a traffic jam...By the time we reached home, the baby was super hungry and I was super uncomfortable in an animalistic sort of way...but I never felt bad about going out - we had a marathon feeding session as soon as I was back and then both of us were happy...
 
The first year though was a struggle - juggling work and family was toughest in that one year ! and everytime we thought about a second child, we were hesitant about it, primarily because of that first one year...Depending on other adults is a tough choice and as my hubby says 'It was like two lions living in the same den'....
 
A lot of my working friends used to say that they felt upset when they went home and the baby refused to come to them and instead used to cling to the primary caregiver ( mom, mil or maid). I never felt that way either - he used to come to me when he felt like it, and I was happy about it...
 
Compared to the book, I had an easy child..I have seen parents struggle with a collicky baby and it is madness !!! My son also quickly learnt to sleep through the nite, and I used to wake him up for his feeds...He was also a no-fuss eater - his feeds used to rarely last beyond 5 minutes (the average duration is supposed to be 20 minutes)...everyone used to think that I wasn't feeding the baby enough, till he started drinking from the bottle - when he started emptying the bottle with great speed, people were releaved and said 'ok, he eats fast like his dad !!' :)  Altogether, the baby's general attitude towards life made it easier for me in the first year....I only had to deal with MY problems and not his...
 
They say every baby is different...I am wondering how the first year will be the second time around !!!