Ten things my mom’s generation didn’t face!

This is an era of social media with loads of information thrust on our face daily!  There are tons of women and parenting forums out there.  A lot of information is available but sometimes I feel the overload of information and “gyaan” gets onto the nerves.

My mom’s generation had no exposure of this kind.  Though I sometimes feel, they missed out on a few things because of this, at the same time I feel they were a lot less burdened due to the lack of exposure.  Don’t believe me?

  1.  The war of stay-at-home moms (SAHM) versus working moms.  Women in the bygone era also had working women and SAHM but I guess they did what they did without justification or fighting.  Nowadays the choices are questioned, ridiculed, judged..
  2. Normal delivery versus cesarean section.  The rate of C-section has increased a lot over the years, but this is mainly because of more awareness, medical advancement, and facilities.  Still the war continues.  I always believe ultimately a safe delivery is what matters.
  3. Breastfeeding versus formula feeding.  I am done with the number of posts I have read about this!  Our mom’s generation also did both feeds, may be few nosy neighbors or aunts must have given them “gyaan” but now its thrust on the face daily!  New moms are literally made to feel guilty..
  4. Somewhere because of social media along with awareness the spontaneity and mother’s instinct of the moms gets challenged.  Everything is made to be scary; be it food, school, learning to walk and what not!
  5. Any and everything causes cancer!  I am seriously appalled to see these fake, unauthentic posts.  Agreed that things are not as pure as they used to be but throwing the word cancer just like that is totally uncalled for.
  6. Confusing naughtiness of a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  A toddler will be naughty but moms using the word hyperactive casually is something that I don’t get.  Our mom’s generation didn’t know about ADHD and brought us up the typical Indian way!
  7. Instilling scare in the moms.  I read posts and blogs where moms are made to believe that scolding or punishing the child causes psychological problems or detachment in the children.  I believe every mom knows her limit and she wouldn’t punish or scold her child to make him/her a psychological wreck!  I guess we grew up to a lot more scoldings and sometimes spanking (I don’t support beating the child), but we didn’t start hating our parents or becoming psychologically affected.
  8. Make special dishes for the kids.  We were served whatever was made and we ate it quietly.  Special dishes were made only on special days.  I believe our generation kids were a lot more non-fussy in terms of food.
  9. Be content with life.  Our moms’ generation didn’t have a lot of luxuries like we do.  But still they were content.  Today thanks to social media we tend to compare our life with others.  We compare the materialistic possessions, holidays, kids’ schools and growth, clothes, etc. and start feeling jealous or inferior.
  10. Feminism.  Though feminism is a very good thing for women emancipation, sometimes I feel women going overboard and distorting feminism.  There were women in the past generation who believed in feminism and gender equality, but did it in their own subtle way.

Reinventing yourself post 35..

Gone are the days when post 35 people started feeling old and worthless.  Now times are such that there is no age for reinventing oneself.  The more you reinvent the lesser depressed you are. It keeps happier and productive.

We are blessed to be at an era of social media where there is so much of exposure.  We can learn so much, follow so many things.

Here are few tips of reinventing oneself post 35:

  1.  By the time one is 35, he/she is already at a mid level of their work.  Sometimes it gets monotonous, sometimes tiring.  One can always learn new things.  Join a course which might help you in furthering your career ahead.
  2.  Nowadays many people, specially women who have taken a sabbatical or looking to do something of their own, are interested in becoming entrepreneurs.  Entrepreneurship is not as easy as it seems to be.  First of all, be sure to face the hurdles, struggles and disappointments in the early days.  Skill and equip yourself in the area of interest of your entrepreneurship.  Don’t just become an entrepreneur just because others are taking the plunge!
  3. If you are a homemaker, instead of lamenting and self-pitying, renew your skills and hobbies.  Start doing what you always loved to do but didn’t have the time for.  Join a hobby class of your interest.  Learn something new.  Its never too late to learn anything.  Create your own world which is only yours, without husband, kids and extended family.
  4. Take care of your health.  Post 35 energy levels are not the same as in the 20s.  Also health issues do crop up.  Get a regular health checkup.  Take it easy if need be.  Take care of your diet, exercise after consulting with a doctor.
  5. Don’t shy away from learning from the youngsters.  In certain areas nowadays the youngsters are more knowledgeable.  Ask them, talk to them, believe me you will learn a lot!
  6. Get a makeover!  Its not self-obsession, its boosts confidence immensely.  No need to spend loads of money.  A simple wardrobe overhaul, haircut, or change in look will do wonders!
  7. Learn to forget and forgive.  Be more positive.  Learn to let go off few things.  I believe that’s what maturity is all about.  Don’t be the one whom youngsters would find very rigid!  Learn to adapt to changes. Stop sulking over the past and holding grudges.  If you don’t like someone, simply stop interacting or be extremely formal!
  8. Go out, attend events of your liking, meet new people.  I have met so many wonderful people at such events who are doing such awesome and different things.  Its really so motivating.
  9. Start living for yourself too.  Stop bothering about what others think about you.  You can’t please everyone.  This is the phase where you are mature yet not too old!
  10. Spend time with your family.  Your kids are growing up, your spouse is growing older.  Enjoy each day with them.

Ageing is beyond our control, but ageing gracefully and learning everyday is something which is in our control.  So folks, don’t stop reinventing..

Women..so easy to be shamed.

In lieu of the recent Padmavati controversy, groups have been threatening to chop off Deepika Padukone’s nose.  They have been calling her a “cheap” woman who dances for money and what not.  Vidya Balan despite being an actress par excellence has been questioned about her weight, made fun of, has been given unmentionable adjectives in social media by some unscrupulous men.  Kangna Ranaut was also not spared when she spoke her mind.  Ace sportsperson like Sania Mirza, Mithali Raj who have done India proud have been trolled and shamed because of what they wore!

These are only examples of few female celebrities who despite their achievements have been shamed.  Why is it that women, be it celebrities or a common one, are easily targeted and slut shamed or body shamed?  Do we see men being shamed so much?  When there is a bold scene in a movie, I have always seen the actress being shamed and not the actor.  Why?

This is because the thought process of our society is such.  Times are changing, women are reaching greater heights, speaking their mind and the more they are achieving and speaking up the more they are shamed!  A set of people in the society still believe that women should “behave” in the conventionally docile and submissive manner.  They should be in their “limits.”

Society in general wants a girl to behave and dress up in a certain fashion. If any untoward incident happens, fingers are always pointed towards the girl.  Well..”boys will be boys” logic should be thrown out of the window now! High time..

The fact that these celebrities give it back angers such sect of people even more.  How dare a woman retaliate or not get affected?  Haven’t we seen women being given rape threats?  Why is that acid attack, domestic violence, sexual violence victims are 95% times women?

Stop shaming the women!  If you have guts come and have a conversation with them like a civilized society.

A Letter To Her-Don’t Go Back..

#ALetterToHer

Dear Her,

Do you remember the time our class teacher had humiliated you in front of the whole class for not submitting your homework on time?  You had told me, your friend, that you will never give her another chance to insult you again and you never did!  Then what happened 20 years later my friend?

I remember when you were dating your boyfriend, now your husband, once you didn’t reach your meeting place on time and he abused you publicly by calling you a “filthy late bitch.”  You were shocked and cried on my lap.  I had told you to immediately break up with him.  But you were so madly in love with him that you forgave him the very next day when he said sorry.

You were so excited and participated in all your marriage festivities with fervor.  On your mehendi night, he called you up and cursed your family and you as he and his family felt you people didn’t match up to their standards of wedding preparations.  Even the marriage was a big drama with him and his parents insulting you and your parents at every step.  Every time you forgave him because you loved him.

On your first night, his mother had asked you to hand over all your ornaments to her and you refused.  I still can’t forget the black mark beneath your eye and your swollen bruised lips the next day when you came for “pag phera” at your parents’ place.  This became a daily routine for you.  His violent outbursts, abusive language, thrashings, rape, etc.  He wouldn’t allow you to speak with your parents, would never let your parents visit you.  The demands kept on increasing.

My pretty friend, you became pale and lifeless.  You wanted to come back but your parents feared “log kya kahenge” and asked you to adjust.  Amidst all these, you discovered that you were pregnant.  You felt your husband and in-laws would change now.  But you were so wrong.  They kept insisting that you bear a son; chromosomes be damned!

I still remember the day your beautiful little daughter was born.  Your husband slapped you in that delicate stage.  He didn’t take his own daughter in his arms; he didn’t even look at the angel.  Your in-laws didn’t come to visit you.

Now your daughter is 2 months old and you are contemplating going back.  Your parents are willing to “seek forgiveness” for a fault that you haven’t committed; the fault that is your daughter.

My friend, don’t go back!  Be the girl you were 20 years back when you had promised that our teacher wouldn’t insult you again.  A father who hasn’t seen his darling daughter’s face, a husband who has slapped his just postpartum wife doesn’t deserve your forgiveness any more.  Even if you go back, can you fathom what will be your and your daughter’s condition there?  You have tolerated all the abuse and violence for all these years thinking your husband would some day mend his ways.  But now do you want your daughter to go through the same ordeal as you?  Would you want her to give a life of humiliation and unacceptability?  You are the one whom she recognizes now, trusts blindly, and will always depend on, look up to you to protect her, give her strength.  Don’t repeat the mistake that your parents are committing now, of not supporting you.  You know how much it hurts.  The very people who are supposed to protect you, love you; your parents and husband, are nowhere in your support.

But my friend, you are a strong girl.  Don’t go back.  Your education and inner strength will help you.  Of course, the road isn’t going to be easy.  But at least you will lead a life of dignity and freedom.  You have to gear up for another battle; divorce, societal pressure, parental pressure, hurtful remarks.  But remember, nobody is in your shoes.  You have had enough, now protect yourself and your daughter.  Make yourself strong and resilient, make your daughter strong and bold.

A marriage is a happy one only when there is a bond, not bondage.

Much love and strength to you.

Your friend,

Note:  I went through Meena Kandasamy’s blog in this Sunday’s Times of India and was very impressed by her honesty and her fearlessness.  Her decision to walk out of an abusive marriage is not a step that still many educated women take till date.  That’s why I want to read her inspiring story, When I Hit You,

Way to go ladies!

Women have always been enterprising and great multitaskers but sometimes due to family restrictions or constraints their talent goes unnoticed.  Also, not women want to come out of their “comfort zone.”

Times are changing though!  In the last few years I have come across unbelievable number of women who are breaking all the barriers and taking risks.  Some women have left their cushy, well-paying corporate jobs to try out new ventures, risk venturing in start-ups.  There are innumerable women who felt suffocated in their monotonous jobs and hence decided to be entrepreneurs.  There are homemakers who want to take risks and do something productive.   Daily I read and come across women who are itching to do something creative, carve a niche for themselves.  These women don’t want to compromise on their children’s upbringing yet want to explore new zones.

Women who as girls had dreams and which remained unfulfilled want to tap their hidden potential.  It is not easy at all, juggling home, kids, and their dreams.

It is big risk and a tough journey.  Any new venture, start-up is a big risk!  It might work, it might not!  It takes loads of patience, perseverance, and a lot of faith in self to keep things going.  Its a struggle of few years and eventually it works!  I have seen so many women start from the scratch and then succeed within a span of few years.

There are women who are working as entrepreneurs, tutors, writers, bloggers, home chefs, travel experts, beauticians, etc., etc.

So, what keeps these strong women going?  Its the desire to follow their passion that keeps the fire within burning.  Its the desire to fulfill their dreams that gives them motivation.  I am myself in a dilemma sometimes whether I should go back to a full-time, decently paying job or keep writing, which is my passion!  I know its not easy to carve a niche so easily!

There are days when I have doubts but the examples of all these wonderful women keep me motivated.

Way to go ladies..

Respect Women!

So..when the fearless and strong-headed women decided to “break” the rules and got their right to worship in a “banned” temple, the so-called religious people started to play with the superstitious mind of people!  They blamed the drought and rapes because of women worshipping God!  How low can people stoop and play with serious issues such as drought and rape; of course they don’t care about the sanctity or respect either God or women!