The Only 6 Words You Need to Say to A New Mom (or All Moms For That Matter)




Everybody likes to give gyaan to a new mommy - friends, family, neighbours, maid, driver, stranger et al. We give her unsolicited advice about how to manage motherhood (which by the way had just hit her like a truck barging on an unsuspecting pedestrian), judge about her breastfeeding choices, lament her for wanting to sleep much or her baby not sleeping enough.

I so often find myself doing that too, though I try my best to limit it to only sharing the information sought.

I also don't know if it is an Indian cultural thing or is the norm everywhere else in the world too but we always like to point out what this new mom is not doing right or not doing enough or how she can do better when it comes to taking care of her child.

But have we ever taken a moment to wonder what it is that the lady in question must really want to know? 

All a new mom actually needs to hear is -

"You are doing a great job." 

Yes, as simple as that.

Even if you see her energy maxed out in old clothes reeking of baby spit, hair unwashed for the second week, eyes encircled in dark hollow hopelessness, trying to soothe her crying baby or head full of contrasting complex thoughts of despair, fear and self-doubt., even if she's falling, failing and almost giving up, let her know that she is doing a great job. Because by God, there has never been a woman who has not given her all and then some more to make it work, to keep her baby healthy and happy and alive! Because just 'being' a mother is not easy. And to try to give it her best makes her a warrior already.

So next time you see a new mom or any mom whatsoever, tell her she is doing a great job.

Because I was blessed enough to have someone say that to me and it has made a world of difference.

(Photo by Alex Pasarelu on Unsplash)

A Very Funny Weekend Incident

Hi all! Hope you had a good weekend. I had one too, except for this accidental hilarious incident that happened:

So, I have  this Whatsapp group of a special set of friends from college days who have stuck together for more than a decade now. All of us have interesting work profiles, are married with kids and settled in different parts of the globe. This is my go-to group for all the advice, support and help I need on anything related to my existence or my family's. Needless to say,  we also know how to have fun with each other.

So a couple of months ago, out of utter boredom and exhaustion our lives had become, I decided to share one shirtless photo of a male celebrity every night before bedtime (Indian Standard Time). Surprisingly (and not so surprisingly), it was enthusiastically received by all with free flow of thirst comments from all the ladies in the group . Haha! It continued for a while and everybody loved it so much so that if I ever got late in sharing a pic, they would message me that they were waiting and asking to share 'pic of the day'. ;)

But eventually, life and travel took over and I stopped sharing the pics. Until last Friday at midnight (technically Saturday) when I suddenly remembered our little ritual out of the blue, scoured this picture of Shawn Mendes and shared on the group with the caption, 

"Wassup ma ladies?!! Miss me much? :-P ).



Little did I realize that midnight in India meant morning in the US, where this Friday, my friend V was in the middle of giving a presentation where she was pitching her company’s latest mobile app to the clients and she was doing this using her own phone which she had connected to the screen.

Guess who’s whatsapp message popped up on the big screen for all to see?

Yes, yours truly.

So V happened to click on the notification by mistake and our very sexy shirtless (and pantless dare I say) Shawn Mendes shone brightly on the big presentation screen!

Everyone started to laugh out loud and the ladies in the meeting said, “Sold, we are buying this app!”.

Needless to say, I have sent across my bank details to V to deposit my commission cheque ;)

Also, she is the butt of all jokes in her office these days.

Sorry V! But I’m sure her employer (and the client) is loving it! ;)


Has anything funny happened to you lately?

x

(Picture credit: Calvin Klein. For the full length NSFW picture click here.)



Weekend Links




Hello hello! How have you all been this week? I've been good and the bub has been naughtier than ever! So our week has just been him running around and me running behind him! Haha! Anyway, here are a couple of interesting, funny, awe-inspiring links that have caught my attention this week. Hope you enjoy browsing them as well!

Sports Ministry's historic all-women list for Padma Awards. Bravo!

An eye-opening article on pregnancy.

The B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L living room of Boman Irani. That wall colour - wow!

How cute are these lipsticks!

A new way to travel after baby - child-free solo holiday. Sign me up!

Looking forward to the Prime show Modern Love. I've already been a fan of this NYT series!

This lady is giving me travel feels. Check out her recent Namibia trip.

Currently reading this book and loving it!


Have a good weekend!


(Photo by guy stevens on Unsplash)

Our Kashmir Trip : A Photo Diary


In middle of June, the bub and I left for Kashmir to spend time with the Soldier. We had to take two flights to reach Srinagar - the first one was horrible as the bub was active and super cranky while the second was a breeze as he slept through the journey (Quick tip - Try to plan flight bookings around your baby's sleep schedule!).



We finally reached Srinagar on a balmy, rainy afternoon and immediately took a cab to our destination where we were reunited with the Soldier and some old friends!



After a couple of days of rest and recoup, we started exploring the neighbourhood whenever the weather would allow it.


 


Despite it being so-called peak summer, the sun would be out just a couple of hours in the morning while the rest of the day would be mostly rainy and cold with frequent hailstorms, confining us mostly to indoor play!





We were out in the sun every chance we could get!




The pool table in the Mess was the bub's firm favourite...



...closely followed by the dining area.




A few weeks in, my parents visited us and we went to see Pahalgam and Srinagar with them.

pahalgam aru valley kashmir


We visited Chandanwadi which is where the Amarnath Yatra starts from, Pahalgam (and the famous Betaab Valley), Ashmuqam and the beautiful Aru Valley where I wish to go again but I don't really have pictures from that day because I was sick whole day and rarely wanted to get out of the cab. :(

The next day we went to Srinagar where our first stop was the famous Nishat Bagh.


My parents, the garden aficionado they are, decided to take a tour around while I just lazed with the bub under a tree!



Next on our list was boating in the famous Dal Lake and if you follow me on Instagram, you know my mom made me do this -



The bub though, loved playing with the water throughout the tour.



The same day, we travelled to Gulmarg, Bollywood's favourite destination in Kashmir! After a rest day, we went to experience the famous Gulmarg Gondola to Mt. Apharwat which happens to be one of the world' highest cable car rides! That's the Gulmarg 'bowl' you see from high up.





And this is how the top of the mountain Apharwat looked like. Of course, I don't have any pictures here because as soon as we reached, the bub decided to breastfeed and go to sleep the whole time we were there!




Rest of the days were spent just chilling around and soaking up all that nature had to offer, something not found in the city life.










And then after about two months, we returned home.




We got stuck here because of the incessant rains and then a major bout of cough and cold for both the bub and me. We are doing fine now but still not adjusted completely and miss the Soldier big time. We loved our time with him and the beauty of the place and hope and pray for all good things for everyone there. Kashmir will forever have a special place in our hearts.




Where have you traveled lately?

My Three Best Travel Shoes


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Since the last couple of years, I have been looking to pare my travel baggage as much as possible to the bare minimum. I’ve been on the lookout for clothes that require least maintenance and space as well as multipurpose beauty options. One item that I’ve always struggled with is shoes.

See, before marriage, I could go backpacking to a whole country in just one pair of sneakers. But age and being married to an Army officer means I have to cater to the ‘lady’ occasions and having a baby results in an altogether different ballgame wherein I have to not only find something decent looking but which also check  the boxes of comfort (gotta run behind the toddler ALL the time), ease of wear (no time for complicated buckles and laces!) and low maintenance (you never know when the baby will puke/pee/poop on it) and requiring less space (because now baby items occupy more space in your bag).

I think I have finally figured out a solution to this complex mom problem and the following are the three shoes I am travelling with currently and super-duper happy with. I think this I what I am going to stick to for a while:

Reebok Sneakers: My husband bought these as the exercise/walking shoes for me when I got pregnant two years ago. They are extremely comfortable, comparatively lightweight and of course, quality shoes, so last long. The mesh outer layer makes it breathable and hence, comfortable even in the summer months. I always wear these when I undertake travel that requires long-distance walking with a baby (esp. airports) and now that I am in a hilly area, I wear them when we go for walks/hikes. (Linked similar one).

Vans Palisades SF Sneakers: Ah, Vans! My forever favourite!  I have loved Vans shoes since even before they had launched in India a few years ago. I had bought my first classic Vans about 4 years ago when I was recovering from a fractured foot and needed something sturdy yet stylish for everyday wear. I knew I had made the right choice when I overcame the tiny limp I had in my walk which the doctor said I would never recover from. I have been a Vans loyal every since. But here’ the thing - Vans are pricey. So
, always, always be on the lookout for sale. These particular model are the perfect mom shoes – slip on, washable, good rubber sole and so so sturdy and still so chic!. I literally wear them like all the time – on jeans, on trousers, dresses and kurti-leggings – everything. These are my wardrobe staple and a must buy. If you are not too much into black, they also come in some cute pastels.

Bata Ballerina: I bought these shoes while transiting from Delhi and boy, I’m glad! These are ballet flat with a suede outer body and tiny studded stones in same black colour meaning a perfect balance of bling but not too obvious, making it the ideal understated party wear for a busy mom. Easy to maintain and how we all know black goes with everything! In fact, all 3 of my above shoes are black!

Just these three shoes get me through a lot of walking, running behind a toddler (all the time!), hiking, parties, sightseeing, date evenings and everything in between! In all, these shoes have been one of my best travel finds so far and unless I am going on an occasion-specific trip (like weddings) I am pretty much going to stick to them.



What are your favourite travel shoes?