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Parenting ————

This single word has so much weight and depth to it. We all have our own parenting styles. I’m still learning each day on parenting two young girls.

I read on article on how to raise happy, healthy children.
The article laid out a few things parents can do to light up their children life.
As I went over them in my head, i decided to do a self check.

Here they are, read through them and perform a self check yourself.

  • If you do all the below things, you are on right track and your kids are lucky.
    If you do some of them and not consistent , now is the time to rethink and work on it.
    If you do none of these, please take an immeidate action to change your style.

1.Tell them you love them every day:

“I love you” – the power of these 3 words is boundless. Never let a day slip by without saying these words to your kids.
Letting your kids know of your love every day boosts their security and confidence level.

2.Tell them you are glad to be their parents :

Reiterating positive words does bring an amazing personality change. At times, kids get overwhelmed and they undergo a rough time with their activities.
Their confidence soar high when we let them know they are valued. Expect a smile and may be “Iam glad to be your kid” from them.

3.Be an example:

I’m sure this is not easy. We all lose the fact that kids mirror us most of the times. We yell at them asking them to be quiet. We give them mixed results. We confuse them.
We expect them to be disciplined while we are not. Show them how you can be a better yourself in everything you do. It’s very true we learn and we change with our kids.

4.Laugh with them :

One simple thing my husband and i do is to watch curious george or kids shows with my kids and laugh with them.
Try to laugh at their jokes even if they are not funny. Teach them the value of being fun and taking things lighter.
Sometimes, acting funny will ease up a power struggle or conflict with your kids.

5.Hug them:

A parental hug is priceless. Hug them all the time to appreciate, to assure, to cherish and to love.

6. Be there for them:

It’s not about the toys, clothes, the money you spend for them. It’s about being there for your kids when they are sick, when they are happy, when they are sad and when they need you.
Sit down and have a moment with them. The ability to count on you will take your child a long way in life.

7.Listen to them:

This is again the toughest one. Most of the times, kids complain “You never listen to me”, “You always want to talk first”.
As we want our kids to listen to us, it becomes important for us to listen.
It’s always better to start a converstaion with “You go first” step.
They will learn to listen as we give them the priority to talk first.
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As an immigrant, we always get overjoyed traveling to India for summer vacation.Looking back at my 10 yrs in US, my visit to India was almost every year with family.
I had traveled with my husband and my kids all these years. Being married early and having my first daughter at the age of 22 had never left me alone for a second.

My visit to india in may 2010 was for 2 weeks and alone. After the tearful departure at the airport, I found myself settling in the waiting seat . I have no words to describe the emotions I had at the moment I became aware of being alone. I was surrounded by a huge crowd in the airport. I felt pin drop silence in spite of the noices.I took out my kindle(my birthday gift from my husband) and tried to focus and read . I had no constant distractions from my kids , I had no restroom visits to take care of at the last moment, I had no sibling fights to handle. I had time to read a book. I was all by myself. I couldn’t focus. My eyes were wet and my hands searched for my cell phone. I typed a miss you text to my husband’s cell number. I waited gazing at the phone. My heart beeped at the sms reply from him. I looked at the family picture in my cell . I was staring at my kids faces and for some reason I felt guilty.

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Anytime people invent, question arises on both it’s benefits and impacts. Comparing our lives to the lives of the  people before the revolution , technology does look like a boon.
The lifestyles,the infant mortality rates, the ability to travel, the ability to communicate around the world, the ability to gain knowledge quicker,housing conditions,variety of food,quality of life, the medical revolution … the list goes on.

Can you imagine a world now with no emails, internet and cell phones? Pagers,black berries, laptops – working people have the flexibility now to work anytime, anywhere with no barriers of distance , time
and travel.The luxury of getting hold of people is more in this modern era. The words are not going up in the air anymore. You can save the words,replay and capture memories digitally.
It’s technology everywhere. With a tiny webcam, people all around the world are connected virtually .We work virtually. I can relate to this working style of no more in person conference meetings.
WebEx and Instant meetings occur all around the world every single minute connecting people. Kids are even taught via webex nowadays. A teacher in boston tutors a kid in new york. World is changing.

If you think about it, the freedom of speech and expression had gone beyond imagination. Blogging is the most popular trend now.
Every single person can blog about his/her interests, hobbies and share with like-minded people.
The different innovations had taken today’s life to a level of comfort and convenience.
In every field we see man-made miracles making our lives easier.

True,true this technology evolution is mind-blowing .
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In every form of relationship, the struggle for power becomes part of it at some point.
The relationships can vary from work, family and emotional relationships. We try to control other’s lives
and sell our point. If you think about it, every problem begins with this feeling to win a situation.

Be it our life partner , our children or colleagues, we try to outsmart them, dominate them with our ideas and values. We don’t think they have a mind of their own. Sometimes we become the victim and sometimes we make others the victim. When we become the abuser , we get a pleasure in gaining control over other’s actions. When we are the abused , we tend to remain silent and make the scars worse than intended.

Let’s take our kids. As parents we have the expectations from our kids to obey us all the time.

It becomes a pattern and habit by nature. We tend to decide it all for our kids. Yes it does make sense until our kids are old enough. But sometimes we go overboard. I have heard time to time from my friends and family on the struggles with their kids.

“He doesn’t listen to me. He is always stuck to the computers”

“She keeps wearing weird outfits. It’s a daily battle with her outfits”

When the power struggles happen quiet frequently, it’s time to take action. Look at the patterns of the occurrence. Negotiation, choices and some flexibility will help in a win-win situation. Say yes to your kids once and make them accountable for a compromise. Give and take always works well than abide by rules logic with kids.

I have seen many couples trying to control their partners with a sense of pride. The companionship is lost in such households and you can notice at least one couple with the power struggle around you. It takes a lot of effort to understand , it’s us versus me when it comes to a successful marriage. Many marriages end in courtrooms with no room for a conversation. When bad situations occur, we tend to choose the easy route of blaming our partners . We don’t take the time to improve the situation rather we complain and empathize with the situation. The serious issue with our relationships is that we never let go of our previous experiences. We hang on to the ghosts in our closet and bring it back every time we get into an argument.

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I’m feeling rather philosophical today. I came across an article in my favorite magazine Prevention.
The author discusses about happiness and positive thinking. It made me think about our personal happiness.
All of our beliefs and feelings are based on our inner thoughts,both conscious and sub conscious.
When it comes to how happy or unhappy we are, we are the boss. Have we ever thought about what makes us happy?

Most of the time, we let situations beyond our control rule our lives. People will do selfish and dumb things and sometimes things may be just unfair, but the worst damage that anyone can do to you is what you allow them to.You may end up with a broken heart because a best friend lets you down or frustrated with not much recognition at work/personal life, but why stress yourself paying for their mistake?

Our happiness is our personal choice. It’s our life and the only one who can really ruin our life is us.
Accepting another individual is not an easy task. It takes lot of courage and insight . If you don’t like someone, make a questionnaire in your inner mind. Ask yourself if it’s the specific action that makes you mad. Bring that person’s positive qualities upfront. Think about all the good qualities he/she has. When you zoom in the positive, the negatives will become minimized.

This rule can be applied both at work and personal life. Hatred towards someone is one of the top rankers in depriving someone’s happiness. A positive outlook of people and every aspect of life will sure bring back the enthusiasm and drive out the unhappiness we feel at times.
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I am not an athletic person.
Right from school days until now i am not into any physically challenging sports.
But here’s the funny thing.When i got into sixth grade, i somehow ended up on the long jump competition.
My first effort in long jump ended up with a sprained back. My sports story wrapped up as soon as it began.

As you know , in India sports teachers never minded kids with no athletic drive. I was more into activities like music, writing etc.
Fitness and health had no place in my dictionary.
As many sedentary people – I gained weight. I was plump and round since my childhood and didn’t find a reason to lose weight.Marriage , kids and my job added more weight. My weight became part of my life.

After all these years,I’ve found something “athletic” I enjoy. Yes I started my walking routine 2 years back. The urge to get up and start walking came up as a result of my job. My job required me to spend a lot of time sitting . Unfortunately, I know that sitting all day isn’t going to help me lead a long, healthy life. I’m lucky that i have a switch in my head i can turn on to make me do things.
Turning on is the challenge. Once I turn on , I’m good in sticking to it. I turned it on 2 yrs back.

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Manage_Time

To be a successful working mom, the key is “being organized”. This key ingredient makes work/life balance happy and stress free. Getting up early (even if it’s just 10 minutes) will make a big difference in our day to day life.

These are some simple ways to be efficient working mom:

  1. Prioritize your work and act accordingly. It’s not that you have to cook everyday a full fledged meal, make sure your feeding your family and yourself nutritious and balanced food.
  2.  Always keep in touch with your kids teachers through emails, this will help you to keep up with the happenings in school, I always request my kids teacher to schedule the parent teachers conference at 6.45 am (that is, if you get a flexible teacher). That way I never missed a single conference.
  3. I also make to-do list for the entire week and update my calendar. I never missed any event in my kids school whether it’s a international potluck dinner or reading under stars, pajama day, be a mystery reader in the classroom and help to take them AR test. I will always be there.
  4. Once you prove yourself a dedicated worker, you will surely be rewarded with the flexible timing schedule at your work. I can’t stay at work after 4.00 pm, my mind will start to think how fast I can catch the train and pick my kid from the daycare. They do know that I will always login after 8.30 pm and complete my work.

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WorkingMom's Journey

Working mom – Just say this word once to yourself and see how u feel.

Forget about guilt for a minute and ask this question to you.

If you are getting introduced to some new people, what you will do?…… share the name, where u r from? How many kids? ….and what’s the next question? Are u working? When you answer this question, how do u feel? Be honest.

When I married and came to this country, almost most of the time people hit me with this question.

I was like….what did I do? Why did I got married? Is my life end up being a homemaker (now at least I’m matured enough to say this word)? If this is the case why my dad spend so much lakhs for my college, ecommerce, java and oracle courses… But seriously my dad did make a good choice by giving my hand to this wonderful person……of course I’m talking about my husband(duhh!)
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HappyMomMom – This word has so much power and strength in itself. Isn’t it? Look at your mom, your grand ma – the older generation moms. They have no life of their own. When you are young, you are called as someone’s daughter. You get married , you are called someone’s wife. You give birth to a child and you are someone’s mom. Your identity keeps changing. It becomes complete when you become a Mom.
Along the long run, you turn back and look at your life. It’s filled with a lot except YOU.

Moms live their life for their children. Their first priority is always their kids. You eat after they eat, you sleep after they sleep. Your mind is filled with your kids issues, homework, activities, rehearsals, events and what not? Do you take a moment to pause and think about YOU?

Not many of us have that liberty and time. Do you know this lack of me time creeps in your inner mind and makes you depressed at times? Do you know the reason behind your blues and hysteric outbursts at times? We don’t realize we are building up volcanoes within ourselves .

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There is a fine line between being confident and aggressive. I have witnessed in my own career and come across many articles where confident, strong women are often perceived as overbearing and bitchy.

It is unfortunate that women don’t support each other as men seem to.
Today’s young women leaders face opposition from the older women generation at work. Instead of being mentors , the older women give negative reactions to their younger counterparts hindering their growth.

I’m sure every one of us would have faced this challenge at work. There is a scarcity of women leaders and I honestly believe we should network better and support each other.

To be tough and strong is required for some job skill sets. There will be wrong perceptions at times of your leadership. Never step back . Step ahead with confidence and one day you will be accepted .

What is your challenge at work? Are you called bossy at times?

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