Sunday, June 4, 2017

It was his first day at day care

and it seemed like it would never end!

When my son was little..I mean littler, my husband and I would joke about never letting him go out of sight and getting him home-schooled so that I could always be near him. How naive of us.

I am not working at the moment and have the entire day to cater to my little one's needs. We spend all our days in each other's company, merrily and whole-heartedly. But I realized that my now 2 year old little guy needs more than just his mommy. He needs his own circle of friends. Well, apparently toddlers have their own social circle chemistry. Where they babble, baby-talk, laugh, cry and simply have a ball.

Sooo, off we went and enrolled him into a lovely place where all beautiful, 2 to 3 years old balls of fun can rock and roll themselves.
I couldn't sleep the entire night before his first day. Though I knew he would be OK there, it was myself I was quite nervous about. You see, it was not just his first day, it was mine too! Since the day he arrived in my arms from my belly, we haven't been separated for more than a loo-break! And now, he would be there for hours and my heart would either burst with all the nervous thumping or my eyes would swim out of my socket with all those tears. No, I am not being over dramatic. Yes, I know all kids go through this phase. But hey, I am an over emotional mess at the moment.

I cried some happy tears while I sat labeling his belongings with his name, realizing my boy will soon have stories to tell. Double checked everything he needed for the morning and then checked it again. Didn't ease me up on the nervous sighing.

The morning arrives and this boy happily runs to the room full of toys and new things at the day care. I ask him just for the sake of my melting heart - "Do you want mummy to stay, baby?" . "No , No mummy !" . Huh. So much for the bleeding heart *eye-roll* . Toddlers!
But I stayed. Silently observing him from the next room where he couldn't see me, watching him meet new people, new human beings at the eye level and explore his surroundings.

An hour gone and he realized I am not there anymore. He went over to the window overlooking the parking lot and kept asking for his mummy. He cried. Oh Gosh..and I cried! Tears just kept rolling down, knowing I couldn't rush and hold him (for their own good they tell me). One fire truck later, he was okay again and chirping with his new buddies. But now, my trigger was blown. I was drifting towards being that mom who suffers the worse end of separation anxiety. He cried again WHILE playing with his fire engine, which is like his most favorite of all toys, and it occurred to me that may be he feels I have deserted him. May be he thinks mummy is angry and gone! All I wanted to do was to hold him and tell him I am right here. I didn't. It felt terrible and I was already considering myself for the bad mom of the year award. How could I leave my little boy all by himself? How could I watch him cry? How mean of me!

Thankfully, the staff at his daycare is pretty good with toddlers, especially with those on their first days. They would distract him, read him a book, have a game of tag and he would be fine. I thought I was waiting too much to comfort him and should just go in and get him. But then came the snack time. And I saw something amazing. He sat at a table with 5 other mini-humans and actually ate his snack happily while enjoying his time at the table. He NEVER sits still at home. Watching 6 little heads around a table like a board meeting, discussing what  a cantaloupe tastes like, was so incredible. That sight was all I needed to know that I was doing the right thing. He is on his way to build his own social circle. One that doesn't involve me.  And you know what, I cried again. We moms are a volcano of emotions really.

So this crying and happy moments went on for some time and I stood there watching and living everything. Five hours. And they felt like eternity! When I went over to pick him up, he came running to me with little arms outstretched as wide as they could be and all was well in the world again! 
First thing I said to him was - "I was right here all the time ! I will never leave you alone !"
May not always be literally true but that doesn't make it a lie either. 

I know it gets better with time, but the second day comes this week and I am dreading it so very much. I suppose its much more difficult for me than him. And I thought separation anxiety was a phase in toddlers. No one warned me about how it rips apart a mom's heart.

Hopefully, I would do better this time and not cry out a swimming pool. 
Be still my heart - The Battle Has Just Begun.

This Mother's Day

I sat down today to write about who has inspired me as a mom. And I cannot decide on one single person. 

Some would say your mother is a good example to start with. But I like to think that rather than inspiring me as a mum, she taught me more as a human being. She has never needed to do anything 'inspiring' because every single thing she does or did, be it difficult decision making or watching TV, has been inculcated in me naturally. And it goes without saying, we all look up to our parents for lessons and so do I.

Inspiration can come from unexpected places. Be it a stranger or an ordinary person you have known forever, you may be surprised with a deed or thought that stays with you for life and somehow becomes a mantra to follow. 

There is an incident I would like to share. I had taken my new car to work that day and came back home with a dent. Although it was pretty minor and not really visible, I was heart broken being it my first day with my new car. I called home and my mum-in-law came down to the parking when I reached there.
She said, " To kya hua? Atleast you are okay. Chalo shagun ho gaya. Jab tak nayi cheez, sofa ho ya car, scratch na lage tab tak uski tension hi hoti rehti hai. Achcha hai ab nazar nahi lagegi." I said that I won't drive anymore. She calmly replied, " Galti ho jaaye to us se daro mat. Usko  sudharo aur aage badho. Aise hi to seekhte hain." She wouldn't let me be upset at all about that dent. Mind you, my mum-in-law is a brilliant driver and has never been in any sort of accident.
Now this may seem like an ordinary incident but her reaction to the entire episode was absolutely different to how my own mum would have been (my mum would have taken away the car keys from me forever :D ) and her simple words were all I needed to recover. Not only did I learn to not dwell on petty mistakes, but she also showed me how important compassion can be for someone in a difficult situation.
It definitely made a permanent change to my otherwise panicky-snappy-attitude, and now before I freak out at the 'spoiled milk' I always take a moment to re-frame my words.

Before I myself became a mom, I once met a lady my age, married, earning well-off and a regular student at the hip-hop classes I went to. Not only was she an amazing dancer, fit and intelligent but she also had a son who was 2 yr old at that time. I was awed by her personality and how happily she was doing it all. We never spoke as much but she inspired me incredibly without even trying to. I was motivated to put more effort into whatever I chose to do and at the same time enjoy doing it too.

Fast forward 5 years and now I am a mum of a 2 year old.  Since being pregnant, I had found huge respect in myself for all pregnant ladies and have always considered women with more than one kid as super-human beings. There have been so many people during this time who have inspired me in more than one way. Sometimes, they were total strangers. A person doesn't need a hard heart-breaking backstory to be inspirational. A cheerful happy life-story is just as inspiring as a growth story of hard times to a successful today.  I have been actively involved with social media over the past year and have come through some incredible women. Their stories are a mix of happy and heart-breaking but one thing is common in all. They are all strong and persevering women. They are doing all they can to set an example for their kids and I sometimes also see their kids following their tread. No matter how many falls, I have seen them get up and go again. They are fueled by the desire to not just live up to their children's expectations but also to their own. 

A prime example of how other mums have inspired me would be my own food blog. My Dad actually laughed when I told him I do a blog on food. Yep. Me and kitchen was a rarity even after marriage. And now, I have my own food forum with new posts every day! How did that happen! Coz one evening last year, I was bored of making khichdi for my little guy and decided to look up on Instagram for something. Who knew there were a million moms with a billion recipes ! I was fascinated. How much effort, patience , creativity and most importantly - love, went into those posts. It made me want to make a presentable meal for my little fellow. It made me want to give it a try. And soon, I was hooked. I still get my low days, but there is so much motivation being passed around for anyone who needs it. All I gotta do is reach.

There is absolutely no doubt that WOMEN are INCREDIBLE
But MOMs are 'Women with Superpowers'. There is almost nothing they can't or won't do for their family. And they don't cease to inspire. Not just other moms but anyone!

If "Inspiration" ever needed a word replacement, there wouldn't be a better fit than "Mom" .