The Healing Touch!

 

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Who wouldn’t crave for a soothing massage? When the massage has good benefits as well – why not? I heard from one of the famous doctor – that regular oil massage lubricates our skin and lock the moisture – prevents dryness & wrinkles which in turn prevents blood impurities. Blood impurities has lots of side effects starting from Acne till clamping of joints. Such is the benefit of performing oil massage regularly – not only for infants but for everyone. It also boosts immune system, relieves stress, enhances sleep, and more goodness than you might think of! My Grandmother always used to utter proverbs in Tamil ‘Ennai Pillayo Vanna Pillayo – Baby who has been massaged with oil regularly will be hale and healthy’ & ‘Ennayum Thanniyum dhan Pillaya Valarkum – Oil & water will help for baby development’ – which reiterates the importance of regular oil massage.

I’m a mother of 1 year old little munchkin who is just growing adorable day by day. Whenever my daughter squalls, I pick her up and fondle her – Presto, she’ll hold all smiles within fraction of seconds. That’s the healing power of a mother’s tender touch! Just a touch can make her calm, a massage can do wonders – trust me – it does wonders! Even when she was not mobile – staying in confined spaces, she always works hard to make movements & thus massage helped her perform even more constructive works (of course demanding her mom – what else…)! And yes – the magic touch has given us an undisturbed and a quality time – which has strengthened the bond between both of us which is going to last for lifetime!

I started massaging my little one right from the 3rd day with homemade oil (coconut oil – heat the coconut oil with necessary herbs) regularly – minimum 2 times a day. I use coconut oil since its edible and it’s easily digested when she sucks her hands or fingers. We use to pick a time when she is quiet and not cranky (not after a meal – which would make her spit and certainly not when she is sleepy). It’ll minimum be a 15 minute session where I lay her on my lap (oh yes – that’s where the bond begins and she loves lying on my lap) – we look at each other in the eyes – sounds romantic?

“I asked her – Are you ready for the massage, sweetie pie, rubbing the oil on her cute little feet. For the next several minutes, I and my daughter had a grand old time!! She curled her little fragile fingers around my strong one’s, beaming up at me. We had a conversation – She did not say much but whatever she said sounded happy. I did gentle & mild moves on her legs & feet, Chest, tummy, belly button, back & her face. I started by gently rubbing her feet, rotating her thumbs in a circular motion to create a soothing effect. Now her big black eyes crinkled at the corners, a smile unfolded across her face and a little coo’s and bah’s of excitement came out of her mouth!”

My little one really enjoys those mild strokes – she feels so relaxing during the stretch out! We used to chit chat during those massage sessions – I used to ask her if she likes it and there you go – she gushes out some blah blah’s with a big grin to acknowledge the same, I sing songs and tell her stories. I thought she was too small to engross herself with those stories – wait I was so wrong – the more I talk – the more she interacts and involves with the story! A soothing massage followed by warm water bath – out of world expressions she spurts! You bet – those are lovely times together to get to know each other with all smiles. It not only comforts her but it elevates my mental spirits, makes me feel calm and relaxed as I take care of my daughter’s physical and emotional well-being. I feel, the eye-to-eye contact, skin-to-skin contact and the voice contact help establish an enduring emotional affinity.

Any day after a massage, she sleeps well – no fuss – I mean literally – which is a boon to any parents – isn’t it?! Apart from feeding time, I consider the massaging ritual as a best bonding time that I share with my little one and I feel this as an extension of the care and experience being in my womb!! Why don’t every moms try this out – the power of loving touch is universal!!

My No-Guilt Journey of Parenting!

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Being a mother isn’t easy! I’m sure we love our baby to the highest degree, but at the same time they can be exhausting and keep us on the edge. And we as moms tend to feel guilty about many things – guilty if we feed formula, guilty if we work, guilty for not being guilty (never ending guilt list) and take ginormous pressure out of us to be that ‘ideal parent’ that everyone would want us to see. After all, our children grow looking up to our real self (for who we are and the values we etch in our lives) as a role model and not go by the definition of an ideal parent (there’s not one called ‘ideal’)! Here I have jot down 13 things that every mom should give leeway to do – and yes – without an ounce of guilt!

1.      It’s alright to wake up late

With the exhausting on-your-feet day-time and night wake-ups, moms need utmost rest. It’s always fine to wake up late & I’m sure moms can manage the rest of chores real quick – yes in a jiffy!

2.      It’s alright to take ‘me’ time and put dad on responsibility

I’m sure dad loves your kids equally as you do – so why not put dad on duty while you pursue your interests.

3.      It’s alright to spend a lot of ‘you-me’ time with your husband minus your kid
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Shh… My secret to happily ever after is to spend a lot of ‘you-me’ time! Take a break & do your favorite activities – amidst the busy schedules. Bunk office and go for a movie or go for a long drive. Celebrate any significant days with lots of gifts & embrace each other. I’m sure you can drop your kids with the super lenient grandparents while you are on a ‘you-me’ mission. It’s not a sin, trust me!

 4.      It’s alright to feel fainéant and do nothing all day

Yes we have limits too! So why don’t you allow the rest of your family to manage the tots and enhance their fostering abilities?

5.      It’s alright not to take rest but play/watch your favorites when your baby’s sleeping

You certainly need that entertainment, I say!

6.      It’s alright to use TV as a babysitter while you manage the daily routines (here and there!)

Cook or Clean – plop the kids in front of TV and they won’t hinder you anymore. I’m sure we feel guilty as they look far-off and get laced up to the idiot box.

7.      It’s alright to feel the aspects of motherhood wearisome

As much as you love being with your kiddos, it can be tedious and tiring too. It’s okay to feel that way!

8.      It’s alright to be strict with your children when they are off beat

Yes, primarily when their act causes concerns to their safety, it’s alright to be strict to instill some discipline.

9.      It’s alright if you have a messy home

Is it a home or a museum – to keep it perfectly clean all the time? Home looks hunky-dory even with all the shabbiness if your kids were the reason for it! And none – except, mayhap, you – expects you to be perfect!

10.  It’s alright to nap when the baby naps

I still do it even after my baby has turned ‘1’. When my eyes are heavy with sleep – yes – I actually wait for my baby to nap & I think there’s nothing wrong with that (as long as you spend quality time with your kiddo every day!)

11.  It’s alright if you do not have time to comb up perfect or dress up so elegant

Ahhh, these days my hairstyle is called – ‘I have Kids’ – the quintessential “mum bun”.

12.  It’s alright not to cook and go for a ‘happy meal’ out (Occasionally!)

Cooking is my passion but sometimes my weariness takes precedence than my passion! It’s alright to relish some outside food sporadically!

13.  It’s alright to lose your patience and scream at your kids (Once in a while!)

This is the first and foremost guilt for every parents. Yelling is not a great thing but it’s a way for children to understand that parents screw up sometimes too! But a ‘real’ sorry aftermath would make the scene look whole lot better!

Adorable moms – prioritize what’s important and do not focus on what you miss, stop guilt, chuck perfectionism, maintainto-do lists (keep it short and sweet) and remember that all moms go through these – so stop comparing yourself, finally stay away from people who make you feel guilty!

And hey – you need not be perfect to be a great mom! Get the guilt off your back & enjoy parenting! Go Mamas!

P.S I Love You – Heart-tugging & a life-affirming debut by Ahern!

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Reading the book, I literally cried after long time…a book which I would ponder upon till my lifetime…“P.S I Love You”by Cecilia Ahern!!!! Ahern has discovered a brilliant knot to the “Moving on after Death” concept…a surprisingly charming debut about grief, love, family and struggling to move on with life!

“Some people wait their whole lives to find their soul mates. But not Holly & Gerry!” This novel, by Cecelia Ahern, is about an Irish widow, Holly Kennedy, who is going through a tough time in her life. She was married to Gerry, an impetuous Irishman who loves her with every breath in his body; both of them were childhood sweethearts!!! Ahern had portrayed a symbiotic relationship between both…But when Gerry died of brain tumour, Holly feels completely lost & doesn’t want to re-embrace life, despite the efforts of her family & friends!

Then she receives a package from beyond the grave: the List. It was from Gerry. He knew his death was imminent and that his absence would be hard on his beloved Holly & wrote it before his death, leaving her a to-do list month starting from March and ending in January, there is one letter per month spanning the year after he died & every note ends with “P.S I love you.” And the way Gerry re-assures that she has to obey the list & its contents And remember, I’m looking out for you, so I will know . . .is the ultimate touch! Holly does things reluctantly & her experiences out of it, guided her through her grief, helps her to overcome her past & re-discover her future! We watch as Holly as she sings in Karoke which used to be a nightmare for her, finds an interesting Job & enjoys an adventurous holiday with her best friends Denise & Sharon arranged by lovable Gerry, becomes a God Mother for Sharon’s kid, watch Denise getting engaged & be a maid of honor in Denise’s Wedding…. and sorts through her beloved husband’s belongings… wrestles & juggles with the possibilities of a new romance…whilst still trying to stay true to Gerry. They were eternally grateful to each other!

Ahem…Holly was being a jealous, bitter and incredibly selfish & hesitant friend, when she heard about Sharon’s pregnancy & Denise’s Engagement, but Holly needed to be selfish these days in order to survive. But the touchy moments when Holly meets Sharon & Denise was sculpted beautifully, as we will relish the heart-tugging moments spent with our good old friends.

Holly is a fantastic protagonist who begins to mend through the solace provided by Gerry & Gerry, despite being dead, an intriguing personality and incredibly figured out what he could do to get his cherished Holly out of her depression and mourning and into the light of life. Accompanying Holly throughout the healing process is a cast of friends and family members who add as much to the novel’s success as Holly’s own tale of survival. Her family seems a little too bizarre at times, but weirdly enough, we all knows jerks, freaks and lovables like this. Worse, we’re related to some of them 😛

Filled in with Irish slang & perspectives, the book provides intriguing view unlike in American literature…You won’t be able to put it down and as you move on, you would find yourself smiling & weeping all mixed emotions all at once….! A wonderfully life-affirming debut…I should say!

 

Is Crying A Woman Thing? – Asks The #Woman In Me!

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You love it or hate it, crying is part and parcel of the human emotions and is the main differentiating factor between human & other species – but why is it often associated with woman? Is crying a woman thing – really?!

Crying to me is something intimate, it’s a positive representation of who I am. To me, faucet of tears open out at absolutely anything – when I see soppy commercials, thinking back on any cherishing memories, looking at any emotional gestures, reading an old letter or when seeing an old picture, of course extreme happiness, tension and anger! Does that mean, I’m not strong enough? I feel, it takes some good courage to shed tears and let others know your real self! After a great bawl, I actually feel a lot better and my decisions were clear-cut!
When I was growing up, many a times I have heard people uttering the most irritating phrase – ‘Do not cry like a girl’ – I felt like punching them right on their face. Our society doesn’t encourage boys to cry, they are taught to be rough, tough and strong which has moulded them not to emote in public – ‘Big boys don’t cry’ – huh! Really? And why crying men are depicted as sympathetic, wherein a crying woman is coined as a  ‘drama queen’…? Isn’t that biased?
My quick cents – when you don’t let out your emotions, the complexity increases multitude and bursts out very worse one fine day! Do raise your boys and girls to emote – after all – Crying is a human thing – and its absolutely okay to cry!

So the #Woman In Me says – get real – the world is tough – Keep the tissues at your disposal!

The #Woman In Me Has Compromised So Much To See Happiness In Others!

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We want to remain happy in our life and sometimes happiness comes when the people we love are happy. The #Woman In Me has compromised so much to see happiness in others & sometimes the grounds are just to ‘Keep the Peace’. It’s apparent that compromises are inevitable in the sustenance of any relationships. But the compromises should not go to the extent that you lose yourself on the go is the hard lesson that I have learnt through the process.

Right from my childhood I want to see everyone around me to remain happy all the time. Hence I try to bring myself into the picture, compromise myself in some situations, solve their problems, and be a mediator in most of the issues. In the process of seeing others happy, I started taking a lot of pressure. I used spend hours together thinking of ways & means to solve their issues. I’ve had many sleepless nights worrying about those. As the adage goes, ‘Don’t think too much, you’ll just create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place’ – I only created more problems for myself. My determination in seeing others happy has never changed the way they see life. It still remained the same. The ones who were agitating, are still agitating; ones who were complaining, are still complaining. Nothing changed over the years – attitude of compromising myself for others hasn’t changed either.

Under the surface, for any compromise that we do – there is a survival fear meshing which is deeply rooted in our early years. Springing up, we do not feel to be ourselves or to express everything that we felt is right. Finally, our instincts led us to compromise & sherd ourselves for the love that we felt we needed from our kith & kin.

Have I gained something out of the compromises – Yes, I feel contented when everyone around me is happy, however, there are some class of expected compromise that I feel is ominous and abiding to it is really sinful.

Have I lost something because of those compromises – certainly yes, in the process of seeing others happy, I’ve eventually lost myself, I almost forgot to voice out my opinions and sometimes it’s self-destructing.

The healing truth, however, is beneath these afflictive circumstances. Once I felt I have underwent enough and travelled my way through the quest for serenity and was ready to bestow my own values – by saying ‘NO’ sometimes – I took a deep breath – the universe started taking care of the rest. If the compromise is made for a win-win situation – you’re most welcome, if the compromise is belittling or unacceptable, have the courage of conviction to walk out of it!

It is important to make others happy but it’s equally important to make your life self-worthy! Compromise and felicity is always concomitant and it is on us to balance them befittingly in our life. ‘After all, to be happy is our birthright!’

The #Woman In Me has now took charge of her own and ‘will never settle for anything less that she is worth of!’

 

The #Woman In Me Wants To See The ‘MAN’ In YOU!

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The #Woman In Me wants to see the ‘MAN’ in YOU! I mean the Gentleman!

The #Woman In Me wants to see the man in someone who undermine women in Academia!

The #Woman In Me wants to see the man in someone who supports disparity in education!

The #Woman In Me wants to see the man in someone who show bias towards women!

The #Woman In Me wants to see the man in someone who repress women!

The #Woman In Me wants to see the man in someone who bully women!

The #Woman In Me wants to see the man in someone who shamelessly demands dowry!

The #Woman In Me wants to see the man in someone who raise hands against women!

The #Woman In Me wants to see the man in someone who insists on female infanticide!

The #Woman In Me wants to see the man in someone who involve in violence against women!

The #Woman In Me wants to see the man in someone who stalk at women or harass women sexually!

The #Woman In Me wants to see the man in someone who deny strong judgement of conviction for the crime committed against women!

To the men that sabotage women – Grow up – Be a ‘Man’ – the woman wants to see in YOU! To those that support women in the journey to empowerment, descendants will respect you.

To all women – Every time when you are abused – Remember to rise & exercise your RIGHT – that’s your identity! Let’s join hands in commonality and create a more women friendly world!

The world will be better only if men and women have traits of both!

Let’s #‎Pledgeforparity ‪and #‎Stopviolenceagainstwomen!

Crying My Eyes Out – A Tearjerker!

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Being a mom is filled with emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy, managing hurdles and challenges as well. Amidst the hustle bustle of my mommy life, while time flies like fairy dust, I sat back today as I lost in sands of time. I was blessed with an adorable baby, a beloved husband and a caring fly – yet I find myself crying for no reason – call it blues, mood swings, but why every newborn mother cries is definitely unwarranted but still endearing! I have just had my first baby & the excitement of being with my newborn has also set my emotions go overboard.

One fine evening, I was sitting on my porch, looking at the vehicles crossing by the roads – tears started rolling out my cheeks & I did not know why! Did I love being a mom? Certainly the first few weeks after the child birth, I really wasn’t sure if I loved being a mom! I was asked not to go out of my house for 40 days with some food restrictions as well – felt like I was sick – yes, sick of not being me. I wanted to run away somewhere! I have always imagined only the sunny side of the parenthood & did not hit the reality until I encounter those first few days after I left hospital. Feeding, nappy changes, rocking rocking until she sleeps, exhausted yet unable to sleep – As much I was exhilarated being a mom – I also felt fretful. My mom & my hub would patiently listen to me & would ask me not to be such a crybaby and be positive as the vibes of mine would pass on to my mollycoddle. I was conscious not to cry but few things were beyond my control! You know those tears won’t stop coming as if the taps were wide open – booooo hooooo!

I wish someone would have told me that I’m not the only one going through the blues & this happens due to the hormonal changes that every woman go through! I would not sleep a wink at nights as I have to feed my baby every 2 hours (strictly!)… My alarms were always on & I would be waiting for my alarm to ring – wide awake! While I was so enthusiastic about walking & exercise to bring my darling safely out, I almost forgot to perform the same rituals after my delivery to keep me fit. I almost forgot myself, I guess! The triggers why I would cry is just random – sitting in isolation, all work & no play, when my baby won’t stop crying, due to eyes that are heavy with sleep, when someone judge me on my parenting abilities, changes in appetite, worrying about my baby’s health though she’s fine – almost anything!

I picked up all the pieces & slowly got over of it by changing few things in my lifestyle – Went out in sunshine, took more naps while my baby sleeps – now I know the value of the magical 5 minutes and make most out of it, mom & I took turns at nights to look after my baby and rock her to sleep while my dad would help over the morning session, started my post pregnancy exercises & walking, some shopping, taking some ‘me-time’. Easy Peasy!!

Whatever happens, the moment when my darling stares at me & giggles, all the tears are worth it, definitely! Even now I have tears burst out in random – not blues but tears of joy being with my daughter and watching her grow happily!

To all lovely moms out there – if you feel – yes, this is how I felt too – you’re not alone – And it’s absolutely natural! Do not hesitate to ask for help when required – Be it – sharing household chores, asking hub or grandparents to babysit while you enjoy a spa or a movie of your choice. This too shall pass in a wink of an eye!

A Journey Of Pregnancy To The State Of Elated Bliss!

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Maternity is a magical journey of bringing a new life to existence through your own body & watching it grow with all love. Guess what – its life transforming. The moment we announced that we’re pregnant, our family & friends were in cloud nine. Right from the pampering the ‘to-be-mom’ gets to the ‘terrifying delivery stories told by all women’, ‘pregnancy taboos to parental advise’ – trust me, I’ve underwent every single experience just like every other moms.

Though the news of my pregnancy has settled in, but it still doesn’t seem quite real to me as there were numerous thoughts running around my head. Will I be a good mother? Will my baby get enough nourishment? About my career? My hub & I decided to keep the sunny side up & celebrate the journey throughout despite those that was bothering me. My family stood with me throughout the journey to make it a life time experience.

My pregnancy journal – A personal reflection which grew along with my bump was one of the idea to cherish the beautiful moments. I set aside a specific time each day – unplugged the electronic devices, in the peacefulness of the dark – started penning down my symptoms, day today experiences, my cravings, names for my lil munchkin, parenting, labor, about my growing belly. I recorded the experiences sacrosanct.

Bonding Time – I used to place my hand on my belly & gently massage, feel her & start talking to her – about almost anything! As days grow, I started feeling movements whenever I start talking to her. Such is the magic of our bonding time.

Bliss – Gone were those days where we would literally wait for hours together in the scan center to watch the tiny little toes that would make those hours worthy of! Thud Thud – First kick – Oh my god! I’ve heard people talking about butterfly effect & that’s the first time felt it – out of world feel.

Household chores – Initially was feeling guilty blowing off the household chores. As the body started signaling more rest, it has become the norm. My hub took over & started his culinary journey – guinea pig being ‘me’! Since I was handling a new project, there were lot of pressure at office & thank god – I only had to tackle the work pressure & nothing at home! He insisted to hone in on what’s really needed to prepare for a healthy pregnancy, normal labor, healthy baby & a smooth transition into the motherhood!

Natural birth – My hospital organized a Pre-natal exercise class & I was all excited. I was given a food chart which seemed next to impossible to consume all of it in a day while I was continuously throwing up! Whenever I’m hesitant – I would remember my lil munchkin – immediately will grab a morsel of food & have it mouthful! Learnt some good exercises to tone & strengthen the pelvic muscles. Right from that day, I religiously followed those postures & movements along with 45 minutes of brisk walk – with my mind filled with only one goal – Natural birth! Everyone at home took turns to accompany me during the 45 mins walk – A walk to remember!

Maternity Photoshoot & baby shower – My hub & I tried shooting some eventful shots that would go into my pregnancy book! A grand baby shower was organized with all my family & friends – quite a happy moment!

Yay or Nay – While in the process, even a stranger passing by would shower with the do’s & no-nos of pregnancy – some were sensible, some were blown out of proportion & some were utter nonsense! Wondered ‘which position I should sleep? Amidst sleep that I barely get – Should I getup & then turn to the other side? Should I eat for two? I think it’s a boy – your stomach doesn’t show up at all’… huh.. I freaked out! Did I talk about the terrifying delivery stories I heard – My labor pain was for 2 days, I was crying in the labor room for hours together, I did not have labor pain at all – Again I did not know what’s going to be my state!

Labor Class – The day when I & my hub attended the labor class conducted by the hospital made a full stop to all my freaky thoughts. An eye opening session. The thought that really eased me was when the doctor said your husband should accompany you in the labor room (strictly!) during the labor. I was told – ‘Relax & don’t panic’, breathing technique & being hydrated – magic mantra for natural easy birth! I started feeling positive as I breathed in the mantra.

Actual Labor – It was the Big Day! Previous day was eventful as I watched my first movie in theatre during my pregnancy days – my favorite one actually. While relishing those thoughts to cover up the restlessness & uneasiness – my night was yet another sleepless night. Early morning 5’o clock – I had my first contraction. Just waited myself to see a pattern & bingo – had my next contraction in the next 8 minutes. I woke up my hub & together we monitored the pattern to finally conclude it was labor pain & it was 6 AM by the time! Thank God – my maternity bag was packed & I only had to put through the labor pain & not the pain of packing! The labor pain was similar to the menstrual pain but with high intensity! I remembered my mantra & prayed for a while – was pretty relaxed, breathe in breathe out, sipped in good amounts of water throughout the travel towards hospital. By the time, I reached hospital, it was 7’o clock & my cervix was 7cm dilated already. Doctor with a smile on her face said – ‘Ramya, if you cooperate, you will deliver in next 15 minutes’! With my hub next to me I breathed out my lil munchkin, apple of my eye, my darling daughter sharp at 7:48 AM. I & my hub exchanged a soulful smile with tears rolling out – as the little one was lying on me for the first time… I was smitten at that very moment – Love at first sight!! Though I had to put up with pain – the mantra that my doctor taught actually helped to ease the whole process & let me enjoy amidst the pain!

Motherhood – It all started from holding the baby in my arms for the first time and watching my baby’s first smile. It’s a rollercoaster ride with lots of laughter, mood swings – and some surprise tears! That’s my journey of pregnancy to the state of elated bliss!