Its never too late to reinvent yourself

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

Its never too late to reinvent yourself: This has to be by favorite quote and I keep on quoting this always when people ask me to write something crisp in my bio or introduction.

In India its a common perception that most people, especially women, cannot or should not do certain things after a certain age or being in a certain bracket (wife, mother). Growing up, I had seen the same where people would stick to the age old monotonous ways of living life. They would be scared or reluctant to reinvent or try out new things.

First thing that I reinvented was parenting. As a first-time parent with no references around, I had stuck to the old school parenting methods of being too strict or too “parenty!” But as my child grew, I as a mother also started growing up. I realized that times have changed and parenting also needs reinvention. I tweaked and reinvented myself as a mother being a “parent” but at the same time being a friend to my children. I adapted to the changing times and now I can proudly say that I am a buddy to my teenage kids and my kids’ friends find me as an understanding and “cool” mom. It was a gradual process and took time but I succeeded as I had decided to reinvent.

I have always tried to keep myself updated in terms of my thought process, the way I present myself, my ideas. I am in my 40s now and I try to learn something new from my teen kids and their generation. Not everything that the new generation does is bad! I try to pick up new interests and try to imbibe positive things from others.

Gone are the days when women had to “retire” post 40s or dress up or “behave” as per their “age”. Life is very short. Live your dreams, be happy and positive, and always remember to reinvent yourself.

Do not procrastinate being happy

India is at #139 among 149 countries when it comes to happiness. That’s not surprising actually. I see 7/10 around me unhappy. It can be because of various reasons; Education, money, marriage, long work hours, getting peanuts in the name of salary, trying to keep everyone happy (women mostly), corruption, too many dos and donts in the name of “culture”, neglecting mental health issues and so on. These are the more serious issues.

Apart from that, most people wait for something big to happen to be happy. People hold grudges and make themselves unhappy. People wait for bigger occasions to celebrate. People plan for the next 10-20 years and procrastinate things which can make them happy at that very moment.

Live the moment, work towards your own happiness, try to spread happiness. Do not procrastinate being happy..

Admire her ambitions..

A girl is ambitious, studies hard throughout her life to achieve her dreams. She slogs in the male-dominated world and carves a niche for herself. She is financially independent, strong, happy, has set more goals for herself in her career. She is extremely successful and in a happy place professionally, which she had always aspired for.

“Now, she needs to get married.” “When is she getting married?” “When is she getting settled down?” “She is already 28 and her biological clock is ticking.” “As parents its our duty and we will get her married off whether or not she is interested.”

Nobody appreciates her hard work, her ambitions, her success, her focus, everything boils down to domesticity and marriage eventually.

Parents, society, please show enthusiasm and happiness for her success and next time when you meet her, simply ask her, “So, what’s your next goal instead of when are you getting married?”

Trusting the children

It was a little late yesterday and one of my son’s friend asked him to “sneak out” of the house for a drive (the boy has a licence). My son came and honestly told me about this. I gave him permission for half an hour to go out for the drive and that too only in our area. He agreed and returned home dot on time. I appreciated him for being honest.

My son is an adult and could have easily gone out without telling me, but I have reiterated it to my kids many times to be honest with me and their father. We should know about their whereabouts since its for their own safety and also to not take their freedom for granted.I gave my son some leeway yesterday and he kept his promise too.

Trusting children and open communication helped yet again.

Life skills: The earlier we start the better..

Times are changing and many moms of my generation are teaching the basic life skill of cooking and cleaning to their sons from a very young age. I often see comments like “your son’s wife is going to be very lucky.” Well..its not only about the wife, its about him too.

Cooking is a life skill which will help the guys not just to share workload with their future wife, it will also help them, their parents and siblings too! I have gone to tend to my sick parents leaving behind my kids with my husband and never ever worried about what they are going to eat, simply because my husband knows how to cook. My kids have been helping their dad and me out from a very young age and they understand that its a life skill for both the genders. Last month I left my kids for 10 days all on their own (my husband is currently abroad) and both of them managed pretty well. Both kids shared work. My son is the older child and he cooked dinner, kept utensils in place, managed the leftovers. I mention him here as he is an 18-year-old teen and isn’t brash. Both my kids along with my husband shared housework during lock-down period. They did it even before lock-down.

My husband could share workload and cooking with me all these years because he did the same with his mother. That’s how it should be for everyone. Tomorrow when our kids go out to study, for job they should not be dependent on others for basic food or managing home. The earlier we start this the better. This also instills a sense of gender equality very early on in the children.

Let’s bring the change…

Stop the false applause!

I am done with the glorification of women doing “sacrifice” and being applauded.

Recently saw posts where an IAS officer and a lady constable were carrying their babies to their workplace and being applauded; mothers slogging in the kitchen relentlessly being applauded; women multitasking 24 hours without rest being applauded; girls and women trying to please their families in the name of culture and honor being applauded; etc. etc.

Stop glorifying lack of help, overwork, stress, no rest and calling women “superwomen”. This has set a bad example for many girls and women for generations. They are made to feel guilty or labeled as selfish if they decide to prioritize themselves. Instead of lauding women as superwomen and epitome of sacrifice this Women’s Day and the other days, its time to introspect and dump this thought process.

Time for women to be happy in the real sense.

Newfound adulthood

Yesterday my son went to meet few of his college friends face to face for the first time, since they have met only virtually since the college hasn’t opened due to Covid. A classmate of theirs specially came down from a small town in Gujarat. When my son and his classmates reached the venue that guy didn’t turn up. Coincidentally, he was just in a club in the vicinity.My son and his friends went to meet him up in that club. My son said that that guy was sloshed and could barely walk properly. There was a girl with him who had also come down from his town and she was also sloshed and was not in her senses. They both were awestruck by Mumbai and its club and the freedom. I wonder who took care of the kids and took them back to their hotel/home as both were drunk.

I don’t know about their family background or how conservative or liberal their parents are and I won’t judge them either. The only thing that I keep on reiterating to my adult son is that “You should be aware of your surroundings and also the decisions.”

As recently grown-up adults, its very easy for the kids to be swayed by the newfound freedom and get carried away. Its very important for the parents to communicate well their children and rather than imposing too many restrictions or being too ignorant, they should keep the communication channel open.

This is another phase of parenting again!

The backbenchers..

#backbenchersnotlosers When I go back to my school and college time, I remember how teachers would rebuke the back-benchers of the class. Most of them didn’t pay attention to what was being taught, would always do mischief and end up being punished. There were many who couldn’t even speak English or express themselves properly.

Decades later now, I see many of them doing extremely well in life. They are not great conversationalists, street smart, globetrotters, and pretty successful in life. I am envious of many of them as I missed out on the last bench masti and carefree attitude as a child since I was a good student and the conventional “good girl.”

One should never judge a child by where he sits in the class or how well he/she can converse or how well he/she scores in the class. The child as a grown up can be successful if he strives hard for it and has the street smartness and the capability to groom himself/herself. Also, since neither the parents or the society have any expectations from them, they are more at ease to make their own destiny. The back-benchers are often the more successful ones in do not label them as losers when they are kids..

This year..go easy..

Imagine you are asked to attend a webinar everyday for 6-7 hours daily, have to pay attention, have to be present, cannot show displeasure, cannot be anxious, cannot be bored; how would you, as an adult, feel?

So, when our kids for the past 1 year are attending the online classes, staring at their screens, missing the human touch, their friends, their classrooms, playground, teachers, activities; how are they not supposed to feel worn out or bored or anxious? I see many parents getting worked up, parents of nursery and class 1 and 2 students, scolding their kids and getting worried about their future.

Be a little more lenient this year. Its okay if their performance is not up to your expectations. Take a note of the circumstances. The kids are not supposed to live this life. Go lenient on yourself as a parent; you are managing multiple things together and it has not been an easy year for you as well. Let a little normalcy prevail (no not the new normal). Go easy on days, just play and talk. It will relax both you and your children. Higher classes will as such cause tension and stress.

But for now…relax a little..

Don’t wait to celebrate..

This January 23rd would have been my parents’ 49th wedding anniversary. Every year I send cake and flowers to my parents on their special days. This year since I was traveling abroad my mother thought they would miss their anniversary cake and flowers. Hence, I had decided to surprise them and had placed the order for the cake and flowers before leaving. But life had other plans and my father left for heavenly abode 20 days prior to their anniversary. With a heavy heart, I had to cancel the order.

When parents start ageing you realize that the days are counted. Every year when I send my parents flowers and cake on their birthdays, anniversary, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, I tick it as one more year when I could make the day special for my parents. It’s nothing, just cake and flowers or an FB post wishing them and they would be happy just with that.

Everyday is special, but there is nothing wrong in making the “special” days special. It might be just a call, just an FB wish, just a WhatsApp wish, but its good to remember that occasion, celebrate it, cherish it.

Tomorrow, might be the person whom you wish might no longer be there, tomorrow I might no longer be there…so better cherish all the celebrations..kya pata kal ho na ho..