Plans may not work for new mothers, but moments do!

When my kids were little and I was in a new country away from family and friends, I often felt stuck and overburdened. No plan ever worked, there was no respite from constant care giving and it was a struggle to even have a proper bath.

At that time someone told me – Just take one day at a time as no plan works around babies and concentrate on moments… This advice of taking one day at a time, specifically, one moment at a time worked wonders for me. Because the struggle and stress due to failed plans, unfinished tasks and over-expectations were not there.

In retrospect, I realize that since I started concentrating on moments, other things began to fall in place. By focusing on little things, big things happened by default. I became more open and flexible to accepting changes in plans.

If the day would go smoothly, I would be grateful to the baby and the almighty. If it would be a hard day, I knew the struggle won’t last. Things would change the next day or the day after. And amidst these fun and struggling moments, I found my creative moments too. I managed to create this precious blog that improved me in many ways.

There were times when I felt others were going way ahead of me socially and career-wise. You know how social-media is, right? It over activates the green eyed monster who pokes and pinches you when you see people striding ahead, having fun, going places etc.

Well, little by little, the monster stopped bugging me because I had began to enjoy my own moments. My kids were a revelation to me and I felt how easy it was to enjoy ‘NOW’ with a baby around. That divine form, baby gestures and language.. I was hooked.

I also think I was lucky in many ways because I was not facing financial issues and got solid support from my husband. It is harder for those who have to work and have no support but still, I think, concentrating on moments would cut down the stress drastically.

Now, I make plans and follow a routine since there are no cranky babies to feed or care for. My kids go to school. I am beginning to concentrate on my ambitions and life again. This is great too! I know I am far behind my peers career-wise and it feels like I am starting from scratch again. Also my preferences and considerations have changed, so I am looking for a different career path. But it does not really bother me because the babyhood days of my kids have taught me a lot.

And amidst all this, if you ask me – Which is a better experience – life with plans or life with moments? I would say – life with plans is very comfortable and smooth but life with moments was simply divine!

The moments happened automatically with babies around. And I am glad I didn’t rush through them in pursuit of other plans. Other plans hardly worked out but moments always did! I am glad that I followed that advice…

Images courtesy Google

Paw Things#4 – A blog by a Dog (cute pics included)

 

Hi, there! I am Happy. It has been long since someone wrote something about me. Hmmm…so, I took the liberty to post my own Paw Things with many selfies and pics.

I am all grown up now, but still have that cute puppy face. Don’t you think so?

In January, I was unwell for about a week and there seemed to be a major health issue. It scared my family. But all turned out well in the end.

I am all hale and hearty now. I love to run in the snow and sniff around. I probably scare off the hibernating rabbits and squirrels. But what the heck, Spring is coming…they should gear up!

No, snow does not bother me at all. I love to eat a mouthful every now and then, when no one is watching.

There is something about the lake. I love to meditate near it.

This is my favorite spot. And my favorite thing in the world? Sleep Yoga!

I always wait for the boys to come from school. It is super exciting when they get down from the bus and run towards home.

I had fun sledding with the boys!

Yesterday, the boys enjoyed adding effects to my pic. Hmmm…do I look grumpy? Grumpy-Happy Dog!

Hope you enjoyed my pictures. I think Spring is around the corner and we will have more outdoor activities. I will share more pics soon. Till then, bye from Happy! Love Bark!

Validation vs Coddling – Did you know the difference?

 

coddling

Your child is crying due to a conflict with kids in his school. What would you say?

Option 1 – Get over it! It happens to everyone; you don’t need to cry about it. (Denial)

Option 2 – Poor thing, you’ve had such a hard day at school. I will talk to your teacher about it. (Coddling)

Option 3 – It was a hard day for you. It is normal to feel this way. Tell me more about it. (Validation)

Which option seems best to you? Using option 1 was the most-used method by adults in the past. A child was expected to be small, insignificant and behave in a certain way. But joint families and strong social structure helped in well-rounded growth of kids despite lack of empathetic attitudes of some of our parents.

But times have changed since. Only mom and dad (or sometimes single parent) have stayed as solid family structures have collapsed around us. And option 2 popularly name as Coddling and option 3 or Validation have mostly stayed. In both cases, a child’s feelings are acknowledged. But option 2 indulges a child while option 3 makes him strong and confident.

Now Coddling and Validation seem very similar. There is just a thin line in between! Validation is a balanced approach while you go overboard with coddling. The trick is to identify the boundary.

spoilt boy

Parents who coddle offer to intervene on behalf of the kids, signalling thereby the child is incapable of handling his problems.

Coddling makes a child feel manipulative, helpless, victimized and entitled. The child feels controlled and babied.

Coddling parents indulge in helicopter parenting – a phrase coined for those who hover over their child’s every move in an effort to protect them from pain, disappointment, and failure. When kids are over-praised, they start feeling entitled and reduce their efforts to do something and be challenged.

And if kids are overprotected, they feel restricted, socially inferior and inadequate.

We all are guilty of doing this, aren’t we? The thing is keeping a child’s self-esteem intact while challenging them to rise and shine, is a hard task and it comes with practice.

validating

On the other hand, parents who validate empower the kid to make his own decision and find a way out of challenging situations in his life. Parents kind of mirror back his emotions and show their trust in his ability to deal with it.

Parents who validate do not overindulge or offer to make things right for their kid (unless it is some serious problem that requires intervention of adults). Also, they do not deny their kid’s feelings but show warmth and understanding. It is a kind of midway between denial and coddling.

Validation creates independence, emotional intelligence, better social skills and strengthens parent-kid bonding.

The book the ‘Power of Validation’ talks about it at great length.

The authors define validation as “the recognition and acceptance that your child has feelings and thoughts that are true and real to him regardless of logic or whether it makes sense to anyone else.”

Validating means acknowledging thoughts and feelings of your child without judging, ridiculing or abandoning them. It means listening and making him or her feel ‘heard’ – this conveys that you love and accept your kid unconditionally.

Hall and Cook, explain that validation is not the same as comforting, praising or encouraging your child. For instance, telling your child that they played great in their soccer game isn’t validating. What is validating is saying the truth, such as “It’s hard when you don’t play as well as you would like.”

“Validation is acknowledging the truth of your child’s internal experience, that it’s normal and okay to not always play your best, be the best player, or do all things perfectly or even well,” they write. So, just validating,  just listening, just understanding …works wonder.

Parenting is hard and identifying those fine psychological lines that can straighten or bend our kids is even harder. It is difficult to be understanding when we have so much going on in our lives. But then it is not impossible! And this balanced approach comes with commitment and practice. We owe that to our kids, don’t we? Happy parenting!

(Images courtesy Google)

 

 

Small Things #25 – What is the last name of Krishna?

While my older one is excited about the wider acceptance and appreciation of our eBook ‘The Boy Named Joy’ (running in Amazon’s bestseller list of top 100 free books), the little one is exploring spirituality. Yesterday, he asked a question I had never thought of! “Krishna has so many names but what is the last name?” Baffling, isn’t it? Did you know?

Well, I threw the question back at him. “What do you think?”.

“Hmm…well Jesus has Christ as his last name. I don’t know why Krishna did not have a last name.”

So, I had to take help from Mr. Google and this is what I found. It seems that during Krishna’s age, the people had titles rather than surnames.

Krishna has been called by different names throughout Mahabharata – Yashodanandan (son of Yashoda), Giridhar (one who lifted a hill), Gopala (one who takes care of cows), Dwarikadheesh (King of Dwarika) and so on. But no surnames.

I guess, last names did not exist at that time. And since every name was based on the personal attribute of the individual, it was different. For example, Krishna was called Krishna (dark one) because he was dark in color.

In fact, all the people in the holy books ‘Ramayana’ and ‘Mahabharata’ are referred to by their first names, which indicates their personalities. Yudhisthira (one who is steady in war), Bhima (one who is formidable), Arjun (One who is pure and white), Nakula (most handsome), Sehdeva (with gods) and so on… Usually, no two people had the same name.

Last names began to be taken when the British came to India.

So, by today’s context, Krishna’s last name would be Vrishni. According the Google – “Krishna is referred to in the Mahabharata as a Vrishni during Arjuna’s war with Karna; the Vrishnis are a clan under the umbrella of Yadavas; Satyaki is also a Vrishni. So, by today’s human standards, Krishna’s last name would be Vrishni.”

It was a great question and looking for the answer was equally interesting. Kids really see things differently and that is why they ask the best questions.

(P.S.- Last day to buy ‘The Boy Named Joy’ for free. So, do download here. Thank You.)

(image- Google)

 

 

Just a Thought – The Retreat Within!

You feel immensely empowered when you carve a retreat within yourself – the charging space that you can get back to whenever the world overwhelms you.

And you come back from it rejuvenated, relaxed and full of energy to get on with life and its challenges. And you hold the power to return to that space anytime! No expenses problems, no bookings just discipline, faith and immense will power.

And the experience – priceless!🙏🏻

(Picture – Shivangi’s Phone)