How I Wish, I Was Never Married At All…!!

Yeah..sensational right? Hitting any cords there? I know it is hard to say it out loud, but we think about it atleast twice each day. Isn’t it? Please tell me I am right, and I am not the only one in it?

And, No, it does not mean I am unhappy in my marriage, but, I feel I was happier before I got into this institution! Why the hell marriage is called an institution anyway? Because it teaches us many things…each day. Yeah…maybe. Ok..Ok..Yes it does!

Many a time, when I see a happy, cuddly, mushy, clingy, PDA friendly, young couple outside, I try to tell them through telepathy, ‘Dude, do not get married!’, ‘I know you’re very happy together and you feel like you can spend eternity together and that you can’t live if you don’t get married!’ No Dude, seriously, trust me when I say that, having a fling, no matter how serious are you for each other… things will change after you tie the knot. This pink season will turn into grey before you know it. Having said all this, I know you are judging me in your heart, that I am that saddist, vicious, brutal, ruthless beyach, who just talks negative and tries to scare others.

Well, No! I would say, marriage has it’s own perks. Like everything else, this coin also has two sides. You get a partner for every crime you will commit, forever. If it is forever! (Saddist b**** back).You get somebody to share your entire life with. You get to make babies, have your own family, have your own little world in this big world. (as Sridevi said in Engligh Vinglish). A gene pool, you get to call your own. Yes, sounds beautiful right? (If you’re unmarried, it will sound beautiful!). Conversely, You get to spend your entire life with just one person (just kidding, don’t take out your swords ladies. But I know you have thought about it too.)

On a serious note, what I am trying to say here is, every relationship is built on a lot of factors, like trust, love, faith, care, passion, sense of belonging, needs and desires, and many many other factors. Only try adding baggage of responsibilities to it. Dayum!! There it goes..!

The whole gamechanger is the set of resposibilites, that come with the word ‘Marriage’. No, I am not trying to demotivate the ones who are unmarried and are planning to enter the world of being ‘soul-mates’ soon. I don’t regret being married even for a single day. To marry was my own decision and I knew very well that life was going to change after that and it won’t be that rosy love story forever anymore. It was ‘one-step-ahead’ of our relationship.

But my heart does cringe at times when I visit my past and feel we were more fun before we got married. We had no responsibilities and we were free like birds. We lived the way we wanted to. We were not answerable to anyone but ourselves. Life was more amusing. Don’t you agree?

After marriage life took a full turn and we had to make a life together for ourselves and our families. We had to be more responsible or atleast act like one.

We were answerable to our families.

We had to behave, keeping in mind our loved ones.

We had to think before we did anything.

Now saving accounts were very important.

Festivals became very important all of the sudden.

Many rituals we din’t even heard about were now important.

Relatives we never cared about were suddenly very important.

Holidays became more of a family affair than just us backpacking to the mountains.

Grocery shopping became a monthly pilgrimage (who knew there is a thing like ‘monthly budget for grocery shopping’?)

Speed dialling numbers changed to doodhwala, presswala, maid, cook, etc.

Furniture, bath linens, bed linens, were more important than Zara, H&M and Mango.

Buying disinfectants were more important than buying perfumes.

Who knew one needed two towels in the bathroom, a hand towel and a face towel. And yes, not to forget, bathe towel is separate one, needless to say.

We now have separate toothbrush too. (How did we ever shared our toothbrush?…eewwww)

Who knew one needs so many toiletries in the bathroom?

Forgetting a birthday or anniversary of any family member was a crime you could get hanged for. (Earlier it was ok if you didn’t even attend the party, even though you were invited to it.)

A major part of the wardrobe is occupied by salwar suits, sarees and lehengas you can’t even imagine wearing before you know what.

Sasu Maa becomes the most important entity in one’s life. Even more important than your husband, your own parents, your own life.

Let us not elaborate about the above topic. It is a little risky, as it is possible, she might read this article.

Ahem…moving ahead, even friends change. Like literally. You will never know when the opposite gender buddies disappear from your life and how soon.

Well, the list is endless and I know I have scared the s*** out of my unmarried readers here. So, lastly, I would say, do not get scared from taking this step. Change is the law of nature and no matter how much you want to hold on to your current supercool life, it will change someday.

So go ahead, find yourself someone you think you can spend your entire life with, someone you think you will be happy with, someone who understands you and love the way you are, someone with whom you don’t have to change yourself much, someone you can dream your future with and cross the bridge and enter the world of matrimony. You will not regret it.

Just take it with a pinch of salt and don’t overburden your partner with the load of your expectations from him. You have your own life and your partner is not responsible for your inner happiness. Do what makes you happy and be yourself. Live your life and bring joy to each other. As long as his actions are not the sole reason of your happiness, you will be fine.

Marriage should be a bond of happiness and not a baggage. Remind your partner that you appreciate the little things he/she does for you. Be faithful and loyal to your partner. Honesty is the best policy after all. Last but not the least, always stay vocal in your relationship. Communicate everyday, as much as you can. Do not just complain but communicate your fears, your weaknesses, your loss, your failure, your joys, your victory, your happiness, just communicate your heart out.

Marriage comes with the promise of forever and forever is a very long time my friend. It is indeed a very long time so take tiny steps each day to make it work. Marriage is forever a work in progress.

Hi all my lovely readers. If you liked it, leave your comment and share it with your friends and family. To know more about me, search ‘that middle class girl’ on FB and Insta.

Love n hugs!

Klay School : The best Playschool in India

Most of my friends are same age as mine, and we have kids almost the same age too. And it is a known fact, that once you are a mother, the only conversation you have with your friends, is about kids! So most of us, as a current issue, have, school searching agenda at hand. A school that is next to home not just in location, but in the feel too.
We all know how critical it is, to choose the right school for our kids. Earlier in our time, there were not too many options, and it was an easy choice to send a child to start schooling. But today, with a flashy building in every nook and corner of the city, promising all the amenities and facilities, it becomes a stressful task to choose the right school.

Me and my few friends decided to make a list of things we need from a school and start to look for options available to us according to the same. So first thing we did was to decide what we want the school to do for our kids.

Then we gathered information about different schools and visited quite a few. Finally, we narrowed down the choices we had after going through the entire process. Topping our list of choices was standing tall : The Klay School.

The first thing that caught my eye was the school philosophy. Klay school thinks not just about the child, but the parent too. It says, the parents should not feel guilty about leaving the child at school and going to work. At the same time, children should have access to the best quality care and education, even if both parents are working.

These few lines sent a sense of relief down my veins. Which school thinks about the parents too?
The mission of the school is to ensure that the children receive the best of the care and a stress-free, healthy and happy environment in the initial growing years, that are very critical for the future development.

During my first visit to the school, I found it very welcoming for both the kids and me. The school premises were well kept and every corner of the school was a learning space, providing early education and development to kids between the age 0-10. The school promises to take the best care of not just the school going kids, but it serves as a suitable place for infants and toddlers as well, where it provides both day care to after school care. They have proper trained staff and In-house nurse, all the time for any kind of crisis.

They have a team of staff members who are trained for early childhood education. The teachers engage with the kids and express genuine interest, care and respect to each child. Also they have the best teacher to student ratio, so that each kid get proper attention.
For me the most important part of the school is safety. I was more than happy to find out that the entire staff was police verified and CCTV were installed in every corner of the school and the parents can access the live footage from anywhere anytime.

The floors, walls, and kitchen area were clean. Also the food preparation areas was clean and staff made healthy meals at the campus each day.

All the basic safety measures were taken and no strangers were allowed to just walk in off the street – and children were not allowed to wander out unattended.

Toys and play equipment were in good condition. Medication and all other hazardous substances were kept out of reach, and the outdoor play area was level and secure.

The school has an outdoor play area. Children get a chance to play outside every day – running, jumping, and skipping are good for them physically, mentally, and socially. Living in a metro city with row of apartments, kids hardly get enough sunlight and a safe and secure ground to play, and at Klay school, they make sure, kids engage in enough outdoor activities each day.
To my delight, this year being the 6th birthday of Klay school in India, they are up for a celebration in form of Lil Folk Festival in many of their branches in Delhi and NCR. There will be lot of activities for kids 0-4 years like puppet show, music, painting, Rangoli making, story telling and what now. I am very excited for these events happening on 16th February 2019, 10:30 AM to 1:30 PM in its Gurgaon and Noida branches.
Their curriculum and other school related information is available on their website www.klayschools.com and for more satisfaction visit your nearest Klay School branch and find out for yourself, what the school has to offer and I assure you will not be disappointed. There are more than 100 Klay Schools in India, so finding a branch close to home will not be a problem.

New year resolution for kids..? I don’t think so..!

While I was collecting the toys from one room to another, on the first day of 2019, all I could think of was, I still have to find out those hidden Lego blocks, clear the dirty dishes from each room, think about how to clean the wall of the drawing room, the center table and a couch, which is my little ones latest sketch board, not to forget he has colour all over his body that needs to be washed (however I doubt it will take days to go away), sky high laundry, and the rest of the miscellaneous daily chores.

I was feeling like I was doing some disaster management. It was the next morning of the new years party. We had a house party and it was quite a hit. We had 5 couples with 2 kids each and including us there were 12 adults and a dozen kids with age varying from 6 months to 15 year. What a night it was? We asked our maid to bring one of her sister and stay the night to handle the kids and still, kids room looked like it was hit by tsunami last night. And I am saying literally, because there was water, juice,and food all over,along with the toys, books, colors, shoes, and some of new T-shirts used as a cloth to wipe the paintbrush.

“Honey, please remind me not to keep a house party next year or …..EVER!”
My maid helped as much as she could and then finally she left looking like a zombie. Her sister left around midnight complaining of stomach ache. Well, I was left to deal with most of it and being a holiday, kids were home along with husband dear, who was too busy catching up on the highlights of last nights game. ‘Yeah, that must be pretty important. Wish I could swap my life with his.’
While rubbing my little ones new romper in the sink, which the kids used to clean the white board, I thought to myself, how good a kid I was, when I was their age. I never did this amount of damage to the sanity of my parents. At least I don’t remember doing any such thing, ever. I guess most of the 80’s kids had no choice but to listen to their parents and spend most of their time at home with parents, listening to their words of wisdom and agreeing to most of it. I remember making new years resolution and sticking to it for at least half the year.

‘Hey, that could very well be a good idea, I should ask my kids to have a new year resolution. May be then I will be able to put some sense of responsibility  in them. Yes, let me make a list of the most important things and I will let them choose one or two….no no…at least five of them. Yes, good idea!’

I washed my hands and closed the door of each room including the kitchen and bathroom, made myself a coffee and sat down on the redesigned center table.
‘What are the most important things they should follow? Yes, keeping the toys back to where they belong.’ I visioned both my kids playing with the toys quietly in their room and after that putting them back to where they were. “Momma, which shelf is for Lego?”
“Momma, which cupboard is for my teddy?”
“Mumma, where do I keep my cars and remotes?”
“Mumma, I need new batteries for my guitar.”
I snapped out of my dream and faced the reality of life. I got up and opened the door of the kids room. It had shelves and shelves of toys. A huge cupboard full of soft toys, doll houses, Lego scattered all over, racks full of books, a bucket full of colors and so many remotes, I myself did not know which one was for which one?
“May be first I need to call Marie Kondo.” I silently closed the door of the kids room, making a mental note to clear out the room soon and give away lots and lots of toys and books.
‘What else could be a great new year resolution? Oh yes, How about never say no to your mother. Yes, yes, that will be a very good idea to get everything done.’ I thought to myself and smiled at my smartness.
SLAP! I held my left cheek. It felt like yesterday when my mom gave me a good one on my left cheek, few days before I got married because I was still unable to cook a proper meal. ‘No, no, not going to happen either. ‘
Actually, the list is endless.
Make your own bed.
Get ready on your own for school.
Polish your own shoes.
Iron your own clothes.
Clean your own room.
Show interest in home cooked food too.
Finish homework on time.
Focus on studies more than Netflix and Instagram.
Stop eating on the bed in front of the TV.
Help your mother with random house work.
Share stuff with other kids, including your own sibling.
Spend a day without fighting or crying and yelling.
Let your mother chose clothes for you.
Brush your teeth twice, daily.
Keep the dirty dishes in the kitchen sink.
Keep dirty clothes in laundry.
Quit watching videos on youtube or playing games.
These are very few points of an endless list every parent has. So do I, but is it even feasible to have it in this time and era? The kids already have school bags heavier than their own body weight and too much competition to prove themselves. 80’s kids were the last kids who actually knew what childhood was. We played at neighbors houses, ate food and sometimes even slept there and our parents never worried about us. Summer vacations meant spending months with our cousins and having a great time and not learning new art forms of joining random classes or finishing off monstrous holiday homework. We already are living in the time, when we can’t leave our kids alone for a moment to play in the park or their friends house, because we are always worried about their safety. We don’t trust anyone with our kids, be it friends or even family at times.
So I don’t feel like loading them some more with the weight of our expectations from them and whatever little childhood innocence is left in them, take it all away. I would rather let them be. Let them dirty the house, the walls, the couches and the curtains. This is their safe zone, their playground, so I will let them be. These dirty walls are my memories. As they say, childhood turns into adolescence in a blink. So, I don’t want to blink and miss it all. Let them carry weight of books on their shoulders and not the weight of our expectations. Let the kids have fun while they still can. Let them make their own resolutions, as and when they want to. As it is, resolutions are meant to be broken. I don’t remember reaching the finish line of even a single of my many resolutions I made year after year, so why make a list for them. I love the mess, the Lego hurting my feet, the almirahs full of toys and couch full of squeaking toys every time we sit on them. These are the perks of having kids around. Soon these little birds will fly away and leave an empty nest behind. But these memories will forever stay within these walls. The stories of their childhood will be mine to tell. Today and forever.

 

This post is part of a Blog Train hosted by PrernaVartika and Alpana and sponsored by Pandora’s Box and Recipe Dabba.

HONEY I GREW UP THE KIDS- RESOLUTION FOR KIDS TOO

Dear Moms, you are doing just enough!

Being a new mom can be really stressful. That too, if you are a first time mom, it is not going to be easy. I remember my time as a first time new mom and it was not a very good experience. I would burn out myself to be a perfect mother, a perfect wife, a perfect homemaker. But most of the times I failed and felt guilty all the time. I was on the edge of being depressed. But, I guess, I was strong enough to cope with it and come out with flying colors.
At the same time, I have seen mothers not doing great and blaming everyone else and themselves, for not being a perfect mother. This needs to be stopped. Being a new mom is not easy. As they say ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ and hell it is true. New moms need to know that, whatever they are doing for their kids is OK. Whatever efforts they are putting is enough. No one is perfect in the world and a perfect mother or a perfect child is a myth. Whoever says they have perfect kids or they are perfect parents are lying.

Motherhood is all about learning with the baby. You learn in the process of raising a child. Yes, you will make mistakes, but they will be ok. Those mistakes are a part of your motherhood journey. Remember whatever you are doing for the baby, is for his/her best interest. Stop blaming yourself for everything.
However, when I had my second baby, I knew what to do. I knew how important it was, to think about myself too and not just the baby. How important it was, to take care of myself too and not just the baby. How important it was, to do everything to maintain my sanity because only a happy mother can raise a happy child.
So here are a few things I did. No, I did not do all of them, but they were definitely on my list. So go ahead and indulge yourself with a few of them, and see if it helps you in any way.
⦁ My doctor encouraged me to meditate and join Yoga classes, which helped me a lot in two different ways. One, it helped me physically, calmed my senses, made my trimesters easy. Two, I met many fellow mother-to-be’s and spent time chatting and sharing experiences.
⦁ I never realized the importance of spending time with myself before I had a baby. So my advice to all new moms or mom-to-be’s is, make sure and do whatever you can, to spend some time alone. Ponder over silly things, go watch a movie alone, go shopping, read a book, take a solo trip, visit a place you always wanted to, check a few things off your bucket list. You will see what wonders it does to your health and how happy it will make you and fill you with new found enthusiasm and energy. (Doctor’s advice is a must)
⦁ Visit your family, your cousins, your favorite people, your mom, your dad, your brother/sister. Spend time with them. Let them take care of you. talk your heart out with them. Share your fears, your agonies, your worries. Let yourself go back to your childhood.
⦁ It is a well known fact and no one can deny it, that after you have a baby, you spend more time with your child than your spouse. Having a baby is a life changing experience. Relationships change. Your camaraderie with your spouse is going to change. So go ahead, and plan a date night to rejuvenate your love life. If you already have a baby, arrange a nanny or your family or friend, and go on a candle light dinner, watch a romantic movie, do whatever makes both of you happy and rekindle that romance.
⦁ We all know, women love to shop, so go ahead and pamper yourself with all the things you might need after the baby or just spend some moolah and shop till you drop. Retail therapy is the best kind of therapy.
⦁ Cook some thing nice for yourself. We always cook for others. We cook what our husbands like or children or family and we adapt their taste and forget what we like to eat. So go ahead and bake some cake or cook your kind of pasta and hog on. The aroma of baking is the best kind of aroma your house can have.
⦁ A day out with friends can be really relaxing. Leave your kids with the husband and go ahead and take a day off with your friends.
⦁ Reading is always a good option and there is no better friend than a good book. Be it fiction, autobiography, fashion/food/travel blogs, history. Whatever is your taste in books, go grab one.
⦁ Fill your tub with warm water, put a generous amount of your favorite body wash, light some scented candles, turn on your favorite playlist, keep a bottle of wine or that cup of tea or coffee, and sink into that luxurious bubble bath for hours. Forget about the world. If you have kids, put them to sleep or just let your husband take care of them and just give your body this treat.
⦁ Think about the positive things in your life. Sit alone and count your blessings and thank God for them.
⦁ Netflix can be quite addictive, but if you have time on your hands, go ahead and watch whatever you like.
⦁ Fill your life with positive people. Make sure you cut negative friends or judgmental people from your life. They are no good to you and will only cause stress to you in future. So without thinking twice, distance yourself from negative people. Talk and take advice from people who understand you and help you stay positive.
⦁ Before and after you have a baby, make sure to pamper your self with a saloon visit. color those hair, get a new haircut, it helps to give a new perspective to yourself and life. Get a massage or visit your favorite spa.
⦁ Allow yourself more time to get things done.
⦁ Sit in the balcony, grab a cup of tea/coffee and do nothing. Just relax and enjoy the silence.
⦁ Make friends with fellow moms. Share your experiences , joys and failures. They will understand you because they must be going through the same and will never judge you.
⦁ Do not stress about your failures. It is ok to make mistakes. Parenting is all about making mistakes and learning from them. Stop feeling guilty.
⦁ Maintain a journal. If you can not open up easily in front of anyone else, just write everything down in a diary. It will help you vent out and will make you feel lighter.
⦁ Arrange for your kids and take that solo trip you always wanted to take or even better plan a trip with your friends. You have no idea how liberating it is to travel alone or with friends. Give it a try.
⦁ Create a hobby and make time for it.
⦁ Hit a gym, as and when your gynecologist recommends. Nothing feels better than to work that sweat out in the gym and go back to a toned body or just a fitter version of yourself.
⦁ If you can not go to a gym, go for midnight or evening walks or runs.

Motherhood is beautiful, but it is also a fact that we moms give all of our self to it and often end up neglecting ourselves. My first pregnancy was like that. I gave my everything to the baby and ended up being cranky, sad, depressed and messed up all the time. But when I became mother for the second time, I made sure, I paid attention to myself too. Because as they say ‘only a happy mother can raise happy children’.

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Thank you for helping me through PPD (pre/post partum depression)

Maya has been married for two years now. She and Prateek had an arranged marriage in Bhopal, which was hometown to both of them. Maya was an ace lawyer in Delhi and Prateek was rapidly climbing the ladders of corporate world. Both were ambitious and made a bomb of salary. Their families were after them to start their own family, as the biological clock was ticking and Maya was 35 while Prateek was nearing 40, and their parents worried, if they delayed even more, they will never have a baby.

Although Maya wanted to wait some more but she gave in to family pressure and concieved a baby. She wanted to keep working through the pregnancy, but she had complications and was given bed rest for the entire first trimester. She started to work from home and was mostly stressed, as she was trying to rock both the boats at once. She had anxiety most of the times, as she was scared she was not doing enough at work, also she had confusion, fear and stress that she might loose the baby if she was not careful enough. She discussed the issue with few of her friends, who had babies, and they told her it must be hormonal imbalance.

Being a workaholic, she tried to work as much as she can from home, but she could not concentrate and her doctor told her to take full rest as mental pressure can lead to fetal loss. She took 4 months leave from her office and spent her time reading books and watching TV. But it was not enough.

For the first time in years she missed her mom. But she couldn’t stay with Maya, as she had a business to run in Bhopal. She promised to make arrangements and stay with Maya after the delivery.

After Prateek went to office she felt lonely and irritated. She couldn’t sleep much and developed the feelings of guilt or worthlessness. She felt unaccomplished and felt she was not good enough. She spoke to her doctor about it in the second month. The doctor told her, it could be prenatal depression and referred her to a psychiatrist.

Prateek was seriously worried about Maya by now and took permission from office to work from home. He also called his mother, who was happy to help and came instantly. With regular therapy sessions and love and care of Prateek’s mother, Maya started feeling better and less lonely. But still something was off in her.

She gave birth to a healthy baby boy. After the delivery, she was sad most of the time. She got irritated on lame things and was overwhelmed most of the times. She was ready to cry at the drop of a hat. The whole feeding the baby and changing diapers was a little too much for her. Although she loved her baby to the moon and back, but she felt trapped and on the edge all the time. She did not feel like talking to anyone or getting ready or going out. Even if Prateek asked her to leave the baby with his mother and go out for a movie, she refused. She was confused and disoriented.

Prateek understood the urgency of the situation only after he tried to find online the reasons behind her such behaviour. He knew it was time to visit the psychiatrist again.

As soon as she reached the psychiatrist, Maya started to cry and told her how she felt. She told the doctor she felt as if she failed as a mother. She took the blame of C-section delivery. She said she did not try hard enough. She wanted to give birth the natural way and it was all her mistake. She told the doctor she felt like a cow, feeding the baby all the time. She said she failed in giving proper care to the baby due to which the baby cried all the time and she could barely sleep. She was tired of cleaning, nursing and changing diapers all the time. She wanted to go back to her normal life and spend time with her husband too. She was irritated most of the time and wouldn’t let Prateek comfort her or even hug her. She hated her bloated body and wanted to wear nice clothes and spend some time in saloon getting her nails and hair done, but she never got free from the ever wailing and crying child.

The doctor helped her with some medicines, as well as, making a chart and a proper schedule for her. Prateek and his mother were both very supportive and they also took help from a nanny, who would take care of the baby, so Maya could catch on some sleep. The doctor advised her to meditate and join some support groups.

Prateek offered to take time off work and help her as much as possible. Over the next few months, she was exercising more and getting more sleep and had significant improvement in mood and energy.

Maya was feeling better soon enough because of the support she got from her husband and both the families. She was also thankful to her doctor. She cared for her child and family even more so, but now she took care of herself too. She went out with friends and Prateek on dates. She went to saloon. Slowly she started working again too. With the help of her doctor, family and husband, she got her life back.

So ladies and all you new moms out there, don’t shy away from taking all the possible help. Only a healthy and happy mother can give birth and raise happy healthy children and we all know there is nothing more important to mothers than their kids. Every mother will have a different journey and every woman will have different symptoms. I’d like to encourage women that they are not damaged or different, that they are not failures as moms or wives. Guilt can be a very damaging aspect of PPD. So go out and talk to your husband or friends,family or doctor, anyone but express your feeling and let it all out. Have faith that you are not alone and there is help just round the corner. All you have to do is reach for it.