DEALING WITH SEPARATION ANXIETY

As a working mom, dealing with V’s separation anxiety has been tough for me. Although I am well aware that it only speaks of an attachment and is a completely normal behavior, my heart breaks each time she cries her lungs out while I leave. With time, I learnt a few tricks and tips for surviving this anxiety. It demands preparation, brisk transitions and a lot of time. The fact is we parents suffer as much as our children do when we leave. The first time I stepped out for an overnight work trip without V, I kept mourning the parting whole night. While the next day I tried to keep myself as busy as I can to avoid the guilt and thoughts about her, I realized I will have to consciously work towards make it easier for both of us. And months down the line, after a lot of effort I could successfully stay away for a week last month. Here are few tips that worked for me and worth giving a try –

  1. Familiarity: Familiarity always breeds comfort. Sometimes, it gets difficult for adults to adjust to unfamiliar situations, leave alone the little ones who consider their parents to be their whole world. It is very important to keep one familiar person constant, be it one of the grandparents or a caregiver. It is inevitable that your absence is bound to make a difference in the mood of the baby, but good news is babies forget everything too soon if they are comfortable with the surrounding. So, if there is a routine around a constant person, it makes things easier. Also, keeping security objects close to the baby (any favorite toy, blanket etc) makes them feel secured.
  2. Reassurance : As a practice, I have played the game of “Peekaboo” with V right since she started being cognizant of her surroundings. The whole idea behind it was to reinforce the idea that even if she cannot see me for a while, she would know that I will be back. Also, when I am home and my husband is in office, I make video calls to him and let V interact with him(although she would any way get to see him in the evening) so that when I do the same while I am away on work trips, she doesn’t long for me and wouldn’t cry during the video calls.
  1. Good bye Rituals: Good byes should be kept short and sweet. If you linger , the transition time will linger too and make things more difficult eventually. As a practice, I try to keep my departure at the same time every day. So, we follow a ritual of her bidding me goodbye at the door and then she heads out straight to the bath. Gradually, she has realized that there is something to look forward to after Mommy is off to work.
  2. Keeping promises: We all feel heartbroken when promises are not kept, don’t we? These little darlings are no different and rather more vulnerable. So, whenever you promise that you will be back by 6 pm, try to keep it. If you promise to come back with a toy, then do it. This mostly makes a difference to toddlers because they understand what you say and actually look forward to your commitments. Keeping promises helps build trust and credibility with your child.
  3. Customized approach: Every child is different. What works for my baby may not work for you and therefore, you need to keep trying until you are successful. Lot of people insist on letting the baby sleep in a different room in order to build a sense of independence. It never worked with me and I never had the courage to let her be out of my sight through the night but if it does for you, go for it. I have believed in attachment parenting and I always ensure someone is around her at all times until she maybe learns to speak for herself.
  4. Practice distance: Even when you are home, try and practice staying apart while the baby engages in fun activities. I typically like to send her for playdates with other toddlers (of course under supervision of adults) or leave her with grandparents for an hour or so. This helps in adaptability with new faces and gradually they learn to enjoy some time off familiar faces.
  5. Do not impose the concept of “No crying” – According to me, crying is not a negative trait by any means. It is just a way of expressing an emotion and babies have every right to express their displeasure regarding something, The ability to be aware and express the feelings itself is a major milestone and an important emotional foundation. While, we mothers can’t stop feeling guilty about it, babies outgrow this feeling very soon(unless the baby is sick or has any other problem). So, next time the baby cries when you are stepping out, give her a tighter hug and say ‘goodbye’. She will be fine with the care giver, trust me. Just make sure she is comfortable with the care giver on normal days.

While I am no child psychiatrist, I can say that most of these things worked for me and the suggestion are purely based on personal experiences.

BABYWEARING X SOULSLING

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Although baby wearing is an old concept, it has gained a significant momentum in the recent times as researchers have validated the benefits of this timeless practice. The studies have confirmed that our children’s social, physical and emotional development are all affected by human contact. Like many other mothers, I too have been told not to wear the baby often as it makes them clingy but if I go by my personal experience, I and V thoroughly enjoy the whole process. I cannot even begin to express how wonderful I feel when she falls asleep so close to my heart. After all, she is a piece of my heart beating outside of it.

Coming back to the benefits of baby wearing, let me list out the 3 most important ones which have helped me immensely in my motherhood journey –

Bonding and emotional security: The intimacy associated with the baby and mother/caregiver is multiplied exponentially with baby wearing and is directly proportional to the understanding and communication between the two. When you have a strong foundation, it leads to a healthier relationship in times to come. Holding the baby close comforts him/her, this has been a boon for colic babies as well. So, the next time someone tells you that you are spoiling the child by holding/picking him/her, think twice.

  1. Multitasking: They say being a mother is a job where you get no holidays. It is true, we get no breaks, no leaves and no time offs – so basically every other task needs to be completed along with managing pretty much everything related to the baby. With baby wearing, I was not just able to do the household chores but also travel conveniently with her wound around me. V was not too comfortable in the stroller when we went on a trip in her first few months but wearing her made both of us comfortable.

IMG_00483. Eco friendly option: The third less thought about benefit of baby wearing is it offers an option to cut down on the plastics used in strollers and chairs. People have been making their own baby carriers since ages but now, even in India we get ergonomic carriers in the best quality with the ease of online availability as well. My favorite one being Soul Slings!

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Having said this, I must emphasize on the fact that baby wearing is a good experience only if the baby is worn correctly. So, while choosing the baby carrier, there are certain conditions that you will have to keep in mind, few of them listed below –

  1. Ergonomic baby carriers – An ergonomic baby carriershould distribute the child’s weight evenly and comfortably for the wearer while giving good support to the child. The safety of the baby and the wearer is of prime importance, so it should give proper support to the baby and not inhibit the growth of spine in any way.
  2. Carrier suitable for the age – One carrier does not fit all ages and weights. A stretchy wrap is ideal for a new born as it takes the shape of the new born whereas a stronger structured one is more suitable for a toddler. Soulslings has a droolworthy collection of Onbuhimo, wraps, full buckle carriers and ring slings in the most amazing prints and soft breathable fabric.Here you can see me using the Standard Full Buckle Carrier from www.soulslings.com

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  1. Purpose of babywearing: It is important to firm the purpose of baby wearing and then choosing the carrier which best fits the position suitable for the purpose. So, if you want to nurse discreetly you would probably opt for a wrap, if you want to go hiking with the baby, you would probably opt for a full buckle which is ideal for back carries.

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I personally have had the best experience with www.soulslings.com, you should definitely go check out their collection.

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For more such updates, click follow on the picture below –

Look who has got my back!! I have been travelling a lot with V and it has been possible only because I decided to wear her weeks after she was born.Here,I am using the standard full buckle carrier from @soulslings_india one for the toddlers which is perfect for front and back carries.The best deal is it is perfect for fathers and other caregivers as well.When I started babywearing , I did not really have the best knowledge of how to evaluate a good baby carrier but now that I know,I thought I must list out 3 most important ones for you all- 1. Must go for ergonomic baby carriers as safety of the baby and the wearer is supreme. 2.One carrier doesn't fit all ages and weights-a stretchy wrap is ideal for a new born as it takes the shape of the spine while a stronger structured one is more suitable for a toddler. 3.Firm the purpose of babywearing (nursing discreetly,travelling,hiking etc) and accordingly choose the carrier which best fits the position suitable for the purpose. P.S : My Valentine V is having her morning chai on my back 🙂 #soulslings #soulslingsindia #vogueviolet

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You can follow soulslings on Instagram at www.instagram.com/soulslings_india

DOES BEING A MOMMY MAKE YOU MORE EMPLOYABLE?

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We have heard enough of how motherhood is a big hindrance to the quintessential career woman. Well, to think of it, it is undoubtedly a very big challenge to manage a flourishing career with a baby yet being a mother actually necessitates a whole barrage of highly employable skills and competencies which can only benefit a career woman.

While we may not consciously acknowledge or recognize the ways we have up skilled ourselves, I think it is very important that the same should be broadcasted to the world. Who knows our potential future employers might be able to identify with our skill set better after reading this!  I am going to write on 7 most important skills that we develop as mothers that actually give us an edge over our colleagues at the workplace.

  1. Time Management: Yes, this is the primary skill which makes us superwomen. None of us feel we have enough time to complete all the tasks in a day but as moms, we have mastered the art of meeting deadlines and magically completing all the tasks despite the uncertain circumstances. Like many other moms, I too mentally scan the whole day in advance every morning and divide activities in neat slots nearly perfecting the ambition of task completion by end of the day.
  2. Planning and Priority Setting: Yes, even without a scheduler, we manage to feed, wash, clean and complete all the important tasks with no qualms. And when we’re able to mentally plan and juggle these tasks throughout the day, we’re adeptly sorting out which ones are priority to us and which ones can be postponed for later. As a trainer myself, I have done multiple sessions on planning and prioritization for the employees in my organization but lately I realized that post motherhood, I have found new effective tricks to manage gaps, assemble activities and schedule tasks.
  3. Crisis Management: How you deal with crises is a big deal in Corporate life. As a mother, we already are experts in being on top of situational awareness, adaptability and conflict management. These are the most important skills required to deal with any kind of crisis at work and having developed these can actually put us in a pedestal at the workplace.
  4. Negotiation: Any parent who has survived the baby is definitely a pro at convincing an unreasonable person to do what they want. While we get to develop this skill absolutely for free, there is no denying to the fact that it has been developed during the toughest of times. So, negotiating with stubborn people would be a cakewalk for us now.
  5. Change Management: With a baby, every day is a new experience. We cannot predict what is coming our way next but dealing with these uncertain requirements every single day makes us a stone wall ready to take any kind of hit. This is a huge plus for the Corporate employees and in the current scenario, something that should go right on the top of our CV.
  6. Problem Solving : If you have more than one child, you probably practise this every single day. Babies and children always present an endless list of problems that need solving and with multiple children, you possibly got an added flavor of conflict management as well. Starting with sleep training to fixing broken toys, our minds are programmed in such a way that we literally figure out a solution for every problem that crops up.
  7. Communication : The other day during a fun Friday at work, we were playing a game of Dumb Charades. Bam, I was a pro at it. Thanks to all the non-verbal cues I pick up every single day from my darling daughter. Dealing with a baby helps us realize that language is not a barrier. It makes us more positive, empathetic and effective in both verbal and non-verbal communication. It also brings out a great listener in us, after all listening to the endless blabbering and answering repetitive questions is a test of patience that we can pass only with experience.

Personally, I think I learnt better in my motherhood journey than all the management lessons put together during my Business school days.:D

I hope you mommies find this useful as well!

Maternity and nursing style with Momzjoy.com!

Florals have been my favorite always. They bring in the feel of spring even on the gloomiest of the seasons. After living in neutrals all winter, I have been craving for some color and what better than this gorgeous blue with tiny tangerine flowers (just what would suit this kind of sunny winter brunch).

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This lovely maxi dress from www.momzjoy.com is ideal for a nursing mother (as it comes with concealed zips) or a mom-to-be who can use the detachable belt to flaunt that cute bump in style. The material is very soft crepe which lets your skin breathe in ease (just what you need at this time). Having said that, I think it is a wonderful maxi dress with side slits which can be worn even after pregnancy giving you a tall, elegant and confident look. Here are few more pictures of the look –

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Being a working mom myself, I know this would have been my top pick for dressing to work during maternity. I absolutely love the fluted sleeves and the linen fabric which gives a corporate touch to it. Extremely comfortable fit and front buttons make it ideal for a nursing mother. Generally, vertical stripes are to be avoided during pregnancy but the fall and fit of this dress makes you look effortlessly stylish!

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Momzjoy.com has a range of innovative designs that can be used during and after pregnancy. Go check out their collection at www.momzjoy.com and let me know in the comments section on how you style yourself with confidence!

LEAP OF FAITH

The other day I was looking at a picture of me and V taken a few months back. It made me wonder how fast she is growing, adapting to the environment around her so effortlessly and learning new things every single day. Learning seems so easy to her now and little does she know that unlearning all of these things will get difficult with age. Today ,when I look at myself , I wonder when was the last time I accepted a change without questioning or started something new,embracing a new beginning whole heartedly. Sometimes, you just need to take a leap of faith to experience the magic of a new beginning.

Here are 7 reasons why you must take the “Leap of faith “ –

  • Listen to your inner voice : Sometimes, we just need to sense our gut instinct and follow it because often it is the inner voice which leads you to the right path instead of the external advice that you have been seeking all along.
  • Regret and no regret : If you take up this lifetime opportunity, you will not regret it later. At the same time, for all the practical reasons you might realize later that you have made a wrong choice. Take a leap of faith for the choice that you truly want, so you will not feel the pinch of regret later. Sometimes the safer route is not always the best because once a decision is set in motion, it is likely to gain more momentum. I have seen infeasible dreams turning into reality merely through grit and determination.
  • Overcome the fear of unknown: There’s always an element of fear for what you can’t see and there’s always an element of excitement and a sense of desire to chase the unknown, to follow your passion. So, make your choice, let the passion overshadow the fear!
  • Celebrate the past and present: The pursuit to your passion will never be lucid until you pave your way yourself. Be grateful for your past , present and utilize it to carve your future. Gather your experience and pick the universe’s clues to take that leap.
  • Draw inspiration :Look around for people who follow the same passion. Do you want to move to a bigger city leaving behind your settled household for a dream job? How many people in your circle have done anything close to that, how many have been successful with it?
  • Money is not an excuse : I don’t want to sound like those zillion reminders you get on your social media on how you should drop everything and go travel the world. Money is very very important but don’t let money be your excuse. Plan your savings, take time to do it and if you really want to move and take advantage of this new experience, you’ll find a way to make it work.
  • It doesn’t work out : Come back and start again. You might lose time, but the gain is immense in terms of the experience. You learn new things from new people, new challenges, new places and most importantly the new ‘you’. The risk is well worth the reward.

The inner voice!

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A FIT MOMMY

Did the subject offend you? I really hope not – this is not a fat shaming, judgmental article that is going to make you feel sick about your existing body. All I want to share is how and why I look forward to being a fit Mommy and when I say “fit” I mean maintaining a healthy lifestyle and not having a body that would grace the cover of a magazine(Anyway I am far from being anything like a model):D

Here are 7 reasons which motivate me to work harder towards a healthy lifestyle –

 

  1. Leading by example: I had never spent a minute working out before my pregnancy neither did I ever pay any attention to the calorie intake of my body. Today, when I look back I wonder what was I thinking all these years. I know making a healthy choice has created an impact on my friends and family members as well. I sincerely hope my little munchkin follows suit too.
  2. Physical and Mental Development: Raising a child is not an easy task and for a working woman, it is even more difficult. Your hormones go haywire and disrupts the balance between body and mind. Becoming a healthy, fit, and happy person first involves a mindset shift to see yourself as someone who lives that type of lifestyle which means looking hot is not what you should aim at – getting fitter physically and mentally is what you should aim for.
  3. Creating a new passion: Sometimes, in such times all you need is a change. A change that can be embedded in your present. And what better than being passionate about being fitter? Everything in your life would just automatically integrate as habits which shall help you evolve into a better person.
  4. Building stamina: As your child grows, you need to do more running around and you will always need higher energy levels. A good workout also helps sleep better (which most moms find very hard to do).
  5. Me” Time: Finally you get some time to release your stress and just be with yourself. Be it a workout session or Yoga/meditation, it will act as a tremendous booster for your inner senses.
  6. Bringing out a “Happy” You – A good workout helps you release endomorphins and that makes you “HAPPY”. A healthy lifestyle translates into a happy lifestyle in no time.
  7. Back in Shape: Get back in that little black dresses you hid away in the cupboard thinking you would never fit into them. Bring them out and work harder till you get there. Any form of motivation can work, I use my LBD as a milestone J

 

Posting few looks from my journey of getting fitter (or trying to get fitter)  – Timeline of months post pregnancy:

6 months    >>        8 months   >>          10 months    >>        12 months

Champagne Themed Baby Shower:White and Gold

Hello everyone! Now that you have read all about the exhaustive efforts that goes into planning a baby shower, I thought I must show you a few themes and the elements around it which I have done so far. So, the first one that goes up one my blog is the Champagne themed baby shower – popping and fizzing!

The Entrance : The party details written on a Champagne bottle cut out.

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The Photo Booth : You can’t miss taking a picture right after you enter the party!

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Gold painted Champagne bottles : On the table top with glasses and white/gold balloons. Do not miss the white and gold danglers all around!

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The Cake table : White and Gold Back drop and filled with white, gold and clear balloons sprayed in gold. On the table is a Cake stand with crystals, a theme cake, Champagne glasses filled with mousse and cupcakes with mini champagne bottles on the top.

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A closer view of the Cake table!

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My absolute favorite – The Champagne cupcakes!

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The White and Gold Spread!!!

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Sleeping baby on the Cake!

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Salad Bar : Bringing in the element in the food spread!That’s a cute baby, isn’t it?

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Orange, yellow or golden??

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Don’t miss the Wish zone! Dropping in loads of love for the Mom to be!

 

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More themes coming your way!!

 

20 THINGS YOU CAN’T MISS IF YOU ARE PLANNING A BABY SHOWER!

What is your first thought when your best friend shares her pregnancy announcement?

Oh yes, time to be a good hostess! When my friend shared the good news, I had already started imagining what the baby shower is going to look like if I were to plan it. I will share an exhaustive list of what you must jot down the moment you decide to host a baby shower. Here you go –

  1. Will you be the only host? Always better to arrange for a co-host who can help you with all the planning and execution.
  2. Venue – Home or outside? If outside, which hotel/hall/lawn?
  3. Budget – Depending on the venue, set a budget for the whole event.
  4. Date and Time – Mostly, baby showers are done around the 7th month of pregnancy so that the mom is comfortable yet can flaunt the cute baby bump. Decide on the date accordingly, consult the Mom to be. If it’s a weekend and you got a sunny afternoon, nothing like throwing a baby shower outside in the lawn. If it is in the evening, look for a nice place where you can play with lights in the décor.
  5. Theme – Choose a theme and then pick the colors for décor. The time of the event is definitely going to be a deciding factor.
  6. Décor – Do you want to do it up yourself or hire an event manager?
  7. Choose your guests – Is it a young friends only party (you can get wild with the décor and the games) or a more formal family and friends shower? Is it an all girls or co ed shower? Consult the mom for the list, there will always be few you might not know well.
  8. Invitation – Make a quirky video or design a picture which can be sent over Whatsapp to all concerned. Do you plan to do it yourself or hire a designer? A teaser or precursor makes it more fun to reveal the theme.
  9. The menu – Giving miniature food items is always a good idea as the guests can play the games while munching on the starters. The food items should also reflect the theme – Like a “ready to pop” theme can have a popcorn bar.
  10. The cake – Please order well in advance!
  11. How to set up the cake table? – Do you want to put additional cupcakes/dessert jars?
  12. Baby Registry – The Mom to be is supposed to put together a list of all the items she expects to have but you must have all the details of the same well in advance.
  13. Baby Shower Favors – A personalized thank you gift always creates an impact. Something with a message when the baby is born will be even more thoughtful e.g. a candle with the message “Light the candle and spread the warmth, when little Joe takes birth”.
  14. Games and prizes– Decide on fun games depending on whether it’s an all ladies or a co ed shower. Keep extra prizes to be given in case there are multiple winners for each game.
  15. Photo booth – Depending on the theme, design a funky photo booth and place it somewhere near the entrance so that the guests do not miss clicking fun pictures with the Mom to be.
  16. Stationery for the games – If you are hosting the shower at home, you must procure the stationery well in advance. If you are hosting it at a destination, the event manager must be instructed to procure the same.
  17. Photographer – Hire one to capture the fun moments!
  18. The ‘Mommy to be’ sash – This is a must! Of course, the Mom to be must feel like a princess.
  19. Don’t miss coordinating with the “Daddy to be”!
  20. Don’t forget your gift !!!:D

 

Ten super cute ways to tell your husband – “WE ARE PREGNANT!”

Six months back while I and my best friend sat down to our weekly ritual of playing “Scrabble”, I found the phrase “YOU ARE GOING TO BE AN AUNT” on the board. While, I was gushing over joy, I realized there can be so many fun ways to announce your pregnancy. So, I thought I will compile a list of 10 ways to make the announcement to your partner!

So, here you go – Take your partner by surprise in the most creative way 🙂

1.Text Message Beep Beep Send a clue “1+1=3?” No matter how cheesy it sounds, it is sure to bring a smile on his face.

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Image Source – Bigdata.teradata.com

2. Bake a cake and write “ Baby on its way”. The appreciation goes beyond just baking skills for the day!

3. Fortune Cookie – Use a tweezer to pull out the fortune and write in your message – “Ten little toes, one little nose, boy or girl, nobody knows”.

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Image Source : Pinterest

4. Post it! – Post a note on the Microwave/Fridge(The first thing your husband checks in the  morning) – “ The only thing better than having you as my husband is our baby having you as his/her dad”. You can thank me later for his reaction, yeah!

5.Coffee shop Menace – Your next stop at the Starbucks – Order for 3 and ask the guy to write “ Mom”, “Dad” and “Coming soon”. That will be some entertainment for the spectators too when your husband starts jumping with joy.

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Image Source – Pinterest

6. Get a jigsaw puzzle of white cards and paint “You are going to be a dad” – Shuffle it and leave it for him to fix. Watch his jaw drop when he gets it finally!

7.Good Morning – Take a permanent marker and write “We’re pregnant” at the bottom of his coffee mug . Give him his morning coffee and talk away till he finishes the coffee, don’t miss taking a picture when he hits the bottom.

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Image Source : Pinterest

8. Baby on board – Get a “baby on board” sign and fix it on his car.

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Image Source : Pinterest

9. Grocery Time – Drop a pacifier in the grocery bag or add a baby rattle in the grocery list that you share with him.

10. Gift a book “ Dude , you are gonna be a Dad!”

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Image Source : Amazon

Another post with list of creative ways to make the announcement to your friends and family coming soon!