Tag Archives: Mommy Rage

The Weight Loss

We all know it’s hard. So, that I am not going to say.

What I will say is that what’s harder than losing weight, is keeping it off.

The weird thing is, and I am not sure if this is true of other women too, but it is for me, that once I am past that one week where I’ve been to the gym and eaten right, I seem to be on a roll and it gets easy from there. You need to see that initial 500 gram loss on your machine to feel, “gosh this is working, so am not going to slip back this time”. But, you do. Of course, you do. You take a break from the gym and somehow, and this is the really weird part, you even start to eat wrong again. So, it’s a double whammy. No exercise, more food – bam! the inches are back. Aaaggghhhh.

So, what you have to accept, first, before you even start to lose the weight, is that losing weight is like marriage, it needs constant work, you slip a little and the effects start to be visible almost right away.

Earlier this year I told myself that enough was enough, I had to get the lard off. And, I also told myself that nothing comes easy in life, nothing, so stop trying to look for magic and move your ass, literally. I did.

I can tell you, it’s a glorious feeling. You fit back into your old jeans (ok it’s not hanging around your waist like it used to) but you can stuff yourself into them, even that is an amazing feeling. Before long, that too changes; they start to fit better. Then come the compliments. “How did you do this?” asks someone and you feel like you’ve climbed the Everest and start to narrate the ordeals of the gym and eating right.

So far so good. The trouble, however, is to keep this going. That, truly, is the most challenging part. Not impossible, though, far from it. But you need to work on yourself, your mind especially.

For most women this is how it goes:

You put on the inches over the years.
You hide behind loose clothes.
You go on like this for a while. A long while
Your mother tells you to get hold of yourself.
That’s never going to make you do it. You eat more.
Then, one day, something, on its own, snaps.
You wake up with this I-am-going-to-catch-the-bull-by-its-horns feeling. And you do.
Food does not matter the way it did before.
You put yourself on auto-pilot and hit the gym
You loose weight.
People notice and comment.
All goes well, for a while.
Then, you take a break from the daily gym routine. Maybe a holiday.
Routine broken. Domino effect.
You tell yourself – I need a break.
Comfort food again.
Bang, the weight is back.

This has happened with me a few times before, so how am I so sure that this time it’s different. Not sure, actually. Just taking one day at a time and not thinking about the future too much.

I feel good. Am not the size I really want to be yet, but, hopefully, I’ll get there. Am not in a tearing hurry. And that’s the other thing, you can’t, and shouldn’t rush it. Don’t look for magical solutions. It takes time, but you should do this the right way. I am not one for diets, never worked for me and know many friends who got into them, only gain more when they stopped. And you do stop, unless you’re Gandhi.

So, in short, what worked for me was gym four days a week and a little control in eating, meaning, not snacking, staying off the fried goodies, stuff like that.

Weekends, by the way are not for any of this. You gotta have a life! Don’t be too hard on yourself, because if you are, chances are you’ll have a reaction someday and go into reverse gear.

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A confused mind.

I think it’s mid life (no, not going to say crisis, yet). It must be something to do with mid life, because I am confused, stressed, angry, frustrated, and yet, quite happy with life, in general I mean. It’s possible. Didn’t think these mix of emotions can go together, but, apparently, they can!

I think about getting back to work, or to some sort of work. The twins will start school this spring and my older one will have a full day at school. So, I probably can do something, not a whole lot (what between picking, dropping, tennis, homework and the doctor visits thrown in for good measure) But, I can, if I try hard (and I do want to) have some sort of a work, freelance life.

The trouble is, what do I do? One day I wake up, ready to write that book that I’ve been writing in my head for the last ten years, or longer. My thoughts are lucid and I get a high thinking about it. This usually happens when I’ve had little sleep and returned from the gym, all charged up. By mid-day I run out of steam and my who-am-I-kidding mood drapes itself over me like a wet blanket. By the evening, I’ve given up that plan altogether.

Till, another day arrives with optimism, and I think about a neat business idea that I would love to work on and in my mind it all gets worked out – do-able I feel. I think about all the women who took the off beaten path and then made it somehow, against all odds, et all. Again, I get all excited about it, but, after the initial giddy excitement of having found what I want to do wanes a little, I start to see the holes in my so-called great idea and before long, poof! that’s abandoned too.

This happens over and over again. One day I am all set to go be a teacher at my daughter’s school. The other day I want to write, then I want to start a small business. Gosh. This is mid life, it better to be. Either that, or I am losing it, finally.

Between all these spasms I manage, and don’t ask me how, to actually do some freelance work. Some writing here, some design there, etc etc. A friend wants something done, I oblige; like that.

What I , however, do regularly, and this I am proud of, is go to the gym. Yup, started it earlier this year. Not crazy about it, but I do it and it’s shown results. A good feeling.

More on this in my next post..

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Been busy. And still not doing all that I want to do..

Is it me? Is it me who has no (real) answer to the question “what’s up?” or “What’ve you been up to?”. I seem to not have a moment in the day (my sister is livid with me that I don’t answer my phone, ever). And I am not working, yet. And still when I think about what it is I’ve been doing, I have to wonder. I know I am busy with the kids, (the plumber, the electrician, et all) but that’s pretty much it. So how do I answer that question? “Been good, busy, you know with the kids”. I get a nod, mostly a I-hear-ya kind of one. One (almost) six year old and two two year olds. That’s enough to take up my day.

Then, I talk to my mom. Now she had three kids too, and not half the help that I have, and of course she achieved much more than I have! Humph. She still works. And I spend my day in pajamas (ok, tracks) running after the kids. Double humph.

I am not organized enough, I don’t manage my time well, it seems (mother says). True, maybe, but does one like to hear that? Not really. So I tell my mum, come help me with my kids and I’ll get back to work, be the super mom et all. Right, she says.

So my point is, how will I ever have the time to do all that I think I will – I mean I do believe that one day I will work, that I’ll organize all the photographs that’ve ever been clicked and put them chronologically in custom made albums, that I will sort out all my papers and have everything filed away in impressive formats, that I will organize my drawers, that I will read to my kids and play games with them that add inches to their grey matter, that I will take time and visit my parents (and not lose patience with them), that I will read the books I buy, or the one’s sitting on my bookshelf bleating at me, that I will have a perfect garden with seasonal plants planted well in time, that I will watch all the films I want, that I will go for the occasional play or book reading . And yes, one more thing, that I will bake (well).

When will I do this all? I don’t know. But I know I will . Oh, one more thing, that book I want to write (now it’s a script, btw) that’s got to squeeze its way into my life too.

Someone give me more hours in the day. I could use them.

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The clingy stage, all over again, and this time, it’s double trouble!!

My five year old is just about getting out of the really clingy stage (still demanding, don’t get me wrong, that’s not going to change – mommy must do everything!) But, she’s past that I-am-going-to-stick-to-your-leg-do-what-you-can state. So that’s something of a relief. (She’s developed other somewhat distressing habits, like the sulking and moodiness of a teenager, but, more on that later – another post). For now I am happy that she’s not hanging around me like a rope, on most days.

However, the twins, now one and a half, are right there! Clingy does not quite define their behavior right now. They are gluey to the point that I cannot even escape to the bathroom without them pounding on the door beseeching me to come out.  And that makes me wonder if this is so extreme because I’ve done/am doing something wrong!

The only thing I can think of is that, at night, I don’t put them to bed. I  leave the room because they drink milk (still on the bottle!) before sleeping and I can’t put two of them in my lap and feed them, so I leave them to their maids, something they were OK with till recently, but now they scream and shout and want me in the room. The problem, however, is that if I do try and put them to bed, they fight over who has to be in my lap, pushing the other out. It leads to much shouting and crying, with both of them saying “both babies!!” or “Mama, I want your lap!”.

It’s now kind of become a vicious circle – I flee because they fight each other for me, and no matter which one I pick up, I feel bad for the other. I leave because then, at least, they know that I’ve not picked one over the other. I don’t know if it’s the right thing to do. I do know that, because I leave, they get clingier. I did try once to lie down next to them and pat them both, didn’t work. They both wanted to climb all over me and fought sleep.

Maybe I need to do this a few times to make them believe that I am not going to leave them at sleep time. But then, I get tired by the end of the day and look forward to a little bit of downtime before I go to bed. And that’s what I am going to have to give up if I have to put them to bed too.  I have no time in the evenings to myself, none at all.  My older one has to be fed and put to bed by 8:00 – 8:20, on school nights, so once we come back from the park, I am on a fast track to get her all set for the night. Then we eat dinner (mostly, I eat with the twins taking turns to sit on my lap while I try and eat!). Then I play with them for about forty minutes, till the maids eat and wrap up. So, by the time it’s time for them to sleep, I am out of steam (and patience).  That’s when I want a bit of time to unwind, talk to my husband (seems like that never happens nowadays – a gap’s developing that I don’t like). The kids sleep with us at night, and the twins still wake up a lot, so I don’t get even one uninterrupted night’s sleep – they sometimes wake up at the same time and in their sleep they cry for mommy. That’s the hardest part, because they are sleepy and not in a mood for sharing their mother and I am not my best at that time either.

What am I doing wrong? Do all mothers of twins go through this?

I have so much to write, but, I need to sleep now. It’s late and something keeps telling me to stop blogging and sleep while the kids are sleeping too. Wonder what tonight will be like..

To bed now.

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Patience. I need patience.

I tell myself everyday, literally every night when I sleep, that I shall be more patient. It does not happen.

My four year old daughter returns from school and throws a tantrum. Everyday. I think it’s a phase and I try and be calm, but  I am not a patient person by nature (when you are a parent, that is one quality you must have. Unfortunately, I lack it). But,  I try. She does not want to eat, does not want this and that, everything is an issue. I know why she is doing this and it’s only normal. Her life has changed after my twins (now a year old) were born. She does not get her mother as much as she used to, even though I spend more time with her than with the babies. Also, she’s tired and hungry by the time she gets home and, being a four year old, can’t deal with it, so she just generally screams and flails her arms and legs about – something, it seems, most four year olds love to do. It’s a preferred way of expressing their will.

I have little time at lunchtime – the babies need to be fed too and they cry if they hear her scream and shout. So here I have a clingy four year old, wrapped snake-like around my legs, wailing, and a set of twins crawling their way to me to seek security. Within minutes of entering the house, after picking her up from the bus stand, I find myself holding three kids, all of whom want the other to leave the mommy. Patience. I tell myself. Patience..

There are, of course, good days too, but, it seems, that right now, those are few and far between. I understand the older one’s clingyness and do feel bad that I don’t handle her better, but I feel tired (and sleep deprived) and the screaming just blows some fuse in my head. She was not like this before and, even now, she treats the babies really well and accepts that I am their mommy too. But when she is tired, which she is when she returns from school, she lets it get the better of her and that just starts this snowball effect – she screams, I lose it, the babies cry, I get angry, she cries more, the babies get even more upset, I try and calm everyone down, then – somehow – we make up, she tells me that I upset her, that makes me feel like a worm, I hug and kiss her, and then we eat lunch! Phew.

I know it will get better and, like I said, it’s not like this all the time. So, I am hoping it will pass. And I am working on my patience levels.

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Call me a cranky old crone..

Recently went for a birthday party of a five year old girl, Hawaiian theme. Mini wedding, really, that’s what it was and it irritated me. Actually, it did more than that, it made me sick. No, not the scale of things, or the fact that it was a theme party (I gave in to my four year old and had a princess theme earlier this year, so no, that was not an issue; lots of other things were), but the fact that the mother felt the need to have this tawdry, lavish affair that looked good but lacked substance. For one, there was a lucky draw where all the kids were given numbers and then some of those got prizes. Can you imagine a bunch of four year old’s waving their numbers to get a gift and then the disappointment after that?  As I was walking towards the bouncy, I heard one mother console a little girl about not getting a gift. I know that we must be able to train our kids to handle disappointments and tell them that it’s ok if they don’t win and all that good stuff, I do tell my daughter that, but, still I don’t think it’s a really good idea to have a lucky draw at a birthday party, which, for me, is more about the kids having a good time and going home happy.

But more than anything else, what I absolutely despised, was the pinata, or, what we in India call the “khoi bag” – absolutely despicable stuff, I hate it, hate it, hate it.  At least the way it’s done at birthday parties here in India. In theory it may have been a good idea – have a bag full of goodies, burst it and have the kids collect them all, happy happy. Except, not really. It’s just one of those things that do not translate well in reality. At all. Basically the way it’s done here is that the bag is filled with goodies, elevated and then burst, leading to absolute chaos and mayhem as kids scramble, push, trample over each other to collect the booty. It brings out the worst in human behaviour, and with this all-is-fair-in-looting-khoi-bag kind of culture there is such jostling that my daughter gets extremely disturbed, and yet wants to reap the goodies. As a result, she begs me to help, as do many other kids and there is much gnashing of teeth and maids, mothers, kids (ranging from ages four to fifteen), compete for Ben Ten pencils, Hannah Montana stickers, candies, assorted Disney nic-nacks, bubble bottles etc etc.  And the funny thing is that once we get the stuff, my daughter, much like the rest of the kids, does not truly care about it and it all gets lost in the brimming-with-toys Ikea baskets in her play room. Yet, at that moment, she wants it and wants to reap as much as possible. Like I said, it brings out the distasteful side of human behaviour and can be well avoided.

Then, there was the Shakiraesque Hawaiin dress that this five year old was wearing, or rather not wearing. Come on mother, take a look at your kid when you dress her. There is a fine line between cute and cheap, very fine at times, but you have to watch it. You make a five year old wear a bra like pink satin halter top and a skirt under the navel for a birthday? Jesus, is that your idea of cute? Then when she’ll be sixteen and want to wear the same stuff, you’d have a problem with it.

It was a boring party where a lot of money had been spent (upwards of $1500) , a LOT of money in India, and the result was that kids didn’t have much to do, with no games to engage them.  I miss the good old days when birthday parties meant treasure hunts and home made sandwiches. I didn’t do that for my four year old but did do it for my twins this year, as they turned one. And I can tell you, (at the risk of  blowing my own trumpet) it was a great party, the kids had a blast and the mommies (daddies are exempt from these affairs!) sat around chatting and picking on finger food..yes, that is what birthday parties are meant to be like and if my older daughter didn’t want to invite half the world and more for her birthday, I’d do hers at home too..

I know I am in the minority here, because most parties I attend are lavish, over-the-top affairs. It’s amazing how much money a certain segment of people have in India and how they are willing to spend it. Another birthday bash (four year old again) I went for was eerily similar to the Hawaiin theme one, where the birthday girl (all of four) was dressed top-to-toe, much like her mother, aunt and assorted clone-like female relatives, in designer stuff. When her grandmother commented on her dress she chirped “it’s Burberry” and ran off, while the granny went weak in the knees recounting the retort to anyone who was patient enough to listen, like she was some child prodigy who had  recited a line from ‘The Merchant of Venice!’.

I could  go on, but I think I’ll stop. I’ve vented enough and I feel better. I do. Plus, babies are asleep and I’d better turn in too..

Blogging helps and I should do it more often. Sooooo therapeutic!

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The Trade Off…

We’ve been taught to believe that we must, mostly, live by the choices we make. By and large, I try and follow this belief. But when you’ve made a choice between two paths in life (mommies, you know what I am talking about), both of which you wanted, then it is quite impossible not to feel regret, even if in passing or once in a while.

Yes, I made the choice to be at home with the kids, yes I did want more than one kid and had them fully knowing that getting back to work would only become more difficult. But I still did it. Why? Because I wanted to. I wanted this more than a life in the corporate world, no matter how fulfilling. True. Does that then disqualify me from any thoughts about the world I abandoned?  I don’t think so. Many men, however, disagree. Their reasoning is, you chose it , so now live with it and be happy. How easy it is to say this when you have never had to make that difficult decision.

Before I go on, I must add that not all men think this way, that this thinking is not restricted to men only and there are men who have decided to be at home and let their wives keep the home fires burning. But all of these are exceptions. I am talking general here.

So where was I? Yes, the choice. I made the choice, and would do the same again if I could turn back time. But, does that mean that I don’t think about the time my boss called me and offered me a position I would have given my left arm for if I didn’t have children? Of course I do! And here’s the thing; thinking is not without its repercussions. It gets reflected in your mood, in your attitude, your talks. It does for me. But, it passes and soon one gets submerged into domestic life that gives immense joy, which is what you made the trade off for.

Till, you meet someone who asks you what you do. This, for me, is the most uncomfortable part, and I cannot understand why because I am not ashamed to be at home with my kids; but it is. I say housewife (homemaker, if you want to be politically correct, the same thing really, what’s in a name? beats me). The conversation stalls for a minute, then you start talking school, maids, parks, how-smart-today’s’-kids-are, parenting problems, and finally, the weather. Conversation ends, you go home. On the way out you overhear bits and pieces of other conversations in the room that give you a little peep into how different some women’s lives are;  some babe talking about her new, glitzy project, or another go-getter recounting tales of her recent business trip to New York (it’s always New York, sigh, the city I love, the city where I spent many carefree years..), or, for good measure, you also overhear someone talking about her fulfilling work with an NGO in rural India, where, thanks to the indefatigable efforts of her great team, many girls now live a happier life and the village in question has clean drinking water.

It makes me think.  What if? I know my capabilities and am no different really from these women (don’t mean to brag) so what if I’d taken the other path. Where would I be today? Hard to tell I know, but yet, I cannot help but wonder. Then I look at my kids and I these thoughts recede into some deep crevice in my mind, only to surface later, and to be suppressed yet again. It does not, I must add here, lead to discontent, if that’s what it sounds like. It does, however, lead to some restlessness.

I know why I made the trade off, and, like I said, I’d do it again. But I do wish it didn’t have to be that way. I wish there was a way to do both, some lucky women have managed it. I did my bit to try when I had my first child to do this “flexi-timing” thing. Didn’t work. I spoke to my boss, told him that I would deliver my bit, do more than my share, if he’d let me work, partly, from home. He said he loved my work, but could not allow me this,  it would, he was afraid, “set a bad precedent”.

So here I am four years and a two more kids (twins) later, still thinking about the trade off. But when I talk to my sister, who spends her day at the office, she regrets not being there for her daughter, now almost a teenager, who now does not need her as much and has her own life, that’s when I feel good about the choice I made. My evenings are not spent stuck in traffic wondering and pining for my kids, they are spent in the park running around with them. That’s therapeutic.

And not that I’ve given up hope about working again. I may not get a great job after such a long break, that I am quite aware of. But I’ll do something, I keep telling myself (and my mom) that. Someday I’ll strike that wonderful balance between work and home. My education, someday, will be put to good use.

Till then, diapers it is..

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