Friday, July 3, 2009

The day it rained….I lived my day


I have been lately trying to live my life. I have been into extensive reading, investing a lot on books, enjoying instead of cribbing when my husband travelled, practising Reiki, meditating, taking in more students, making plans for my brother in law’s wedding which is later this year, taking a vacation amidst my son’s school, listening to music and communicating instead of talking to my son. I would say, I am pretty much on the track of finding a happier me.

Pune has been touch and go with rains for the past quite some time. Everyone has been wishing for rains, including me. Every day is breezy, cool and inviting but rains would just refuse to come down. When I got up today morning, the clouds had already covered the skies, and I thought it must rain today. Like they say, the day one washes the clothes during the rainy season, it rains. So, I took my chance; I put the clothes for a wash and after packing my son to school, I sat and did some writing. Cool breeze was blowing, my curtains were flowing all over the room, I played my favourite music, made a light sandwich for myself. I was humming to myself, when I could hear drizzling. I rushed to the balcony, and woah!! It was RAINING….nicely. I quickly rushed to pull in the clothes, and looked around. Most of my neighbours were out, with smiles on their faces, and ready to mingle. We all had a small chat from our balconies, and that’s when I noticed my plants. All of them were wet and greener in colour. They were distinctively happy and relieved, swaying from one side to other. I secretly spoke with them for some time and smiled to myself. The next track which came up was my favourite one and I could truly feel the happiness around me.

The latest book which I read was “The Secret” which says that Happiness attracts more happiness. And it really does. I have realised this over a short period of time. When I am happy I find everyone and everything bright and happy. So I choose to be happy. Ofcourse there are days, when there are reasons for me to be less than happy, thats when I have to remind myself that there are ways ahead of me, and I just have to look out for them. And if I have to attract them, I need to be happy and smile. Just like the skies smiled today….and I lived my day.

Choosing to be a full time mother: The decision came straight from my heart


I had always been ambitious and wanted a corporate job. As a management student, I had always been clear about the kind of organisation I wanted to work for. After my MBA, I gave couple of competitive examinations, out of which I cleared SEBI (Securities Exchange Board of India) and The South Indian Bank. But I could not take both up, because I was meant to do something else I guess..and I have no regrets. After my marriage, I was working full time for 1 year, and that is when I conceived. Because of some initial hiccups during my pregnancy, I resigned from my job, and enjoyed my pregnancy in every way.
Having my son was something way out of this world. I was quite prepared for it, because unlike many new mothers, I wanted to do everything for him by myself. The very day he was born, he had scratched his cheeks with his long fingernails. The same day, I got a small nail cutter and cut his nails. My mother was freaking out asking me to be doubly careful, and I was this so very confident mommy who cut a new born baby’s nails with extra ease. I made my grandmother teach me everything about bathing and taking care of my son. And being a nuclear family, I did all that was needed as soon as he turned 1 month old, without any extra help. That’s the latest I could wait to lay my hands on my son!!
The initial few months went by, and then started the boredom. I was having the “Empty mind makes it a devil’s workshop” syndrome. I wanted to start working and began to attend interviews. But each time I came back after cracking the interviews, I would have this heavy feeling within me, which would stop me from taking up the job. I did not realise it then, but I was refusing every good job coming my way, under some pretext or the other. The frustration was building up and so was the tension within me. My husband asked me to sit and think what exactly I wanted to do.
And think I did…and I did. I realised that coming from a childhood, in which my parents both were working, had made some marks within me. I have always wanted my mother to be around me, and was seemingly jealous of all my friends who had their mothers around them. I remembered as a little girl, how I used to keep telling myself that I would always be there for my kids physically and emotionally. But of course during the process of growing up, I forgot all about it. But strangely all of this had got registered within my psyche, and I guess I had prayed a bit too hard during my childhood. God really wanted to make that childhood wish come true. The realisation struck hard, and I made my choice.
I am today a full time mother and a part time teacher who takes Economics and Secretarial Practice coaching for undergraduates and graduates students. I took this decision when my son was 7 months old, and slowly the pattern was set. I use my weekends and the time my son (now a 3.5 yrs old) goes to school, for teaching, blogging and writing.
My son comes back to a home which is not locked and has a mother waiting to hear all that he wants to just go on and on about. I believe very strongly that parenting is not just about quality time but also about quantity time. When the child wants to talk about something, and if no family member is around, how is it justified that the child is told that the matter will be discussed later. The need of the hour is “now”, then how is it justified that the so called “quality time” is given “later”??
My decision came from a conscious thought process that we are a nuclear family and I did not want my son to grow under a maid or a day care. I wanted my son to come back to a home which is not vacant. It came from a thought process which said that when I am low or have had a tough day, I would love to come back to a house which is welcoming and the door is opened by a person who cares for me. That feeling itself is so cushioning that I had to give the same to my son.
And for the same old question, “You are so educated, and you wasted that!?” I have just one answer, “Education is never wasted. Whatever I learnt is used to make my son a very smart kid. It is used to take wise decisions, become an informed and a confident mother, and of course an excellent teacher. (…in my case)
Being a full time mother does not mean killing one’s own desires and giving time only to kids. It just means setting the priorities right. One can still have friends, a social circle, do what the heart wants, work part time and the list goes on and on. Being a full time mother just means being available for your child at the right time, right place and for the right reasons.

Kider Brook: A foundation truly worth your pre-schooler

Being knowledgeable and informative is defintely a boon, but it also makes the person difficult to please. It holds true in my case. From the moment I conceived till date, I have always chosen to be an informed parent in every aspect. So when my son turned 2.5, I wanted to enrol him in a Pre-school. I was looking for a place where he would be nourished physically, mentally and socially. I had couple of issues to handle like an initial wrong choice of a preschool which turned my otherwise school loving son into a child, who did not want to go to school. My son was just out of a bad year of recurrent cold and viral infections. So basically I was very wary of pre school advertisements which claimed to be the best. And the fact that Viman Nagar (Pune) was booming with pre schools at every nook and corner, did not help much.

Frankly speaking Kider Brook was an original choice for our son, but for some reasons we had settled for another pre school, which turned out to be a disaster. So, going by my instinct, we went to Kider Brook (Viman Nagar branch) to check out the school. We were pleasantly welcomed by a teacher, who helped us through the school and its activities. My son who usually takes time to leave our side, left us the minute he saw the colourful walls and the welcoming “maushis”. After taking down the basic information about the school, we set back home. The positive vibe came when our son said, “Mama, I want to go to this school, I like it!” I personally feel that a child is more intuitive than us, and we took the call of getting his admission there.

From the day one, its been a pleasure for us and our son being with Kider Brook. He never cried a single day at school. Infact he used to cry when there were holidays or the school was over! (yeah, seriously!) The school is run by Mrs Vanita Dogra, who has 18 years of experience with kids and professionally she is a qualified teacher as well as a child psychologist. She has made a very good effort to choose the right teachers and maids who take excellent care of the kids. I have not seen a single staff, including the watchman and the van driver, who does not know how to bond with kids. The school lives upto their motto of “Each child is special and should be happy”. There are a total of 23 teachers with 2 branches, one in Kalyani Nagar (started in 2005) and other in Viman Nagar (started in 2007). Each teacher is trained by Mrs Vanita Dogra, so each teacher is absorbed with the basic values of teaching toddlers. Another fact which I was very comfortable with was that this was not a franchisee run pre school, because from what I have seen, franchisees tend to get very money minded over a period of time, and every franchisee is run differently.

The school also has a day care, and is handled very well with an appropriate number of maids and under the supervision of a teacher who are clean, neat, loving to the core. Apart from the full day care, there is hourly day care too. I am relaxed, because next time my husband and I have a movie to catch up on; we have the right place for our son!
The methodology of teaching is unconventional. Every child is given his/her own pace to catch up. Playgroup is totally fun based learning. Nursery’s first term (June – November) is based on the fact that the child needs to be familiar with the fact that he/she has to start writing. So concentration is on motor development, hand-eye co-ordination, recognising alphabets etc. It is only in the second term (November- May) that the child actually starts writing. By that time the child tends to be very comfortable with the pencil and writing. The school has number of activities within and as well as parents, regular evaluations and interactions with parents.
In all, every activity is done keeping in mind that it’s a foundation for the child to learn something new and good.
The school is reachable on web at: www.kiderbrook.org.in

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