Motherhood might be my religion, but I am more than just a mother

There’s so much more to me than just being a mother!

Now that Mother’s Day is just around the corner this post perfectly sums up my one-and-a-half-year journey as a mother so far. Earlier I used to celebrate Mother’s Day as a daughter, but after becoming a mother myself celebrating Mother’s day as a mother has been quite something. Being a mother to my little man is perhaps the greatest thing I’ll ever do in my entire life. Motherhood has changed me inside out.

But did you hear the news?

Motherhood is the new religion.

And I am a follower. Yes for me motherhood is not just a feeling, a sentiment or an emotion, but a religion, a calling.

Why do I say it’s a religion?

Of course, motherhood can’t be a hobby since we don’t collect babies because we find them cute or we are bored. But motherhood for me is definitely a religion because the amount of faith, belief, and sanctity that goes in it is comparable to any other religion of the world. Motherhood holds a distinct sacred place in a person’s life and influences and shapes her personality. This religion called motherhood is mostly moulded by the beliefs our own mothers followed and those that we have faith in. And just like any religion, though motherhood is extremely personal and mothers differ in their style of parenting, it amazes me how motherhood forms a common belief, a common faith that ties and unites all mothers across the globe.

I love being a mother and there’s no doubt about that. Since the day I became a mother, I have been striving to provide the best in my ability for my baby and to be the best mother for him that I could ever be. But not long ago I started noticing that in my attempt to wing this entire ‘mom-role’ I somehow started to lose myself along the way. I was beginning to lose my identity. And the feeling of not being able to recognize myself was awful. But I am happy that it didn’t take me long to come to this realization and I was spared from being trapped in the dreadful feeling of lost identity. Because I have realized that the deeper and longer I let myself into the situation the harder it would have been recovering from it.

I have spent my entire time as a mother thinking, searching and creating ways to make a perfect world for my baby to live and grow in. I have been putting great thought, effort and time in choosing the right kind of toy and activity for him that could aid the most in his development along with the fun and enjoyment. There have been countless hours spent with my toddler enacting rhymes and poems, calling and talking to animals and plants, dancing our butts out on some random commercial on the television and telling him instantly woven imaginary stories. Though the activities I do with him are never planned but yes the effort that goes in devising them are definitely careful and deliberate.

It’s true that being a mother takes up most of my time, but it’s not just that. This wonderfully gracious title given by my baby goes beyond just my time, it spans my space as well – space in my mind, space in my heart and space in my life. It has been so consuming that I had almost forgotten that before being a mother I was a good athlete, an avid reader, occasional diary writer, music lover, hobby singer and an art and craft enthusiast. My friends envied me for having such diverse talent and that Shaarav could learn so much from me. But since his birth, I’ve rarely had the time to follow my passion and pursue my hobbies. My time is so full and my schedule so jam-packed in creating a perfect world for my kid that I have forgotten about the things that once made my world bright.

Just a few days back, suddenly my eyes wandered over to my old diary that sat there on one corner of my desk. It once used to be an old friend back in the days and has seen through my every thick and thin. A little dust had settled on it since it had gone without being used for so long. As I began dusting it off so many memories attached to it came flashing back. A smile lit up my face and a sense of satisfaction rippled through my body as I began turning through the yellow-turned pages. At that moment I rediscovered myself and I made a promise to myself that I will introduce my son to all those shades of my personality which enriched me but was long forgotten. I made a promise that I will rediscover myself again, but this time with my son. Because my son needs to know who I am, not just as his mother, but also as a human who walks on the face of this earth with many other shades of her personality.

Yet I questioned myself. Should I feel guilty for taking my time away from my baby and wanting more from my life? Don’t I have the right to find more satisfaction from my life just because I am a mother now? As of now, my entire existence revolves around my baby and my entire being is wrapped around him. But should I let that be the reason why I can’t feed my passions? I love my baby with every piece of my heart and though motherhood might be my religion, I am ‘more than just a mother’. And just as I am not a blind follower of any other religion, I am going to keep my eyes open for motherhood as well.  I don’t want to get so consumed, besotted or obsessed with motherhood and my baby that there’s no space in my life for anything else. I don’t want to hold any regrets later in my life just because in my constant focus on my baby I lowered my sight for myself and let my aspirations slip away. I don’t want to let the dreams and visions I’m passionate about getting lulled and lost because I dimmed in my own mind what I thought I was capable of. Instead, I want to be that mother for my kid who inspires him to do more out of his life and to be more, despite the hardships.

It’s difficult to juggle different roles and find a balance between being a mother, being a wife and being an individual person with my own identity. But it’s important that I hold onto these different roles not just to have my sanity but also to make my son remember me not ‘just as a mother’ but also as a person who has passion, purpose, and personality. I want him to know me as a person who enjoys other things too just as she enjoys being a mother, and teaches him to do the same. I want him to know how he helped my heart to grow and make me a better person. And wanting to rediscover my own self and my own identity isn’t going to change my love for my son and the fact that I am his mother.

All this while I had let myself lose amidst my endeavour to provide a perfect world for my son. I had forgotten about the little pleasures and relishes that I found in life before he was born. I had let myself get lost in the shuffle of life. But now it’s time to step back and have my own identity. It’s time to reclaim my passions that I had set aside for some tomorrow. It’s time for me to remember I am so much ‘more than just a mother’. It’s time to re-learn and rediscover ‘myself’.

“Because though motherhood might be my religion, but I am more than just a mother!’

Mothers are special creatures and should be celebrated in a special way. Wishing all the lovely mothers and mothers-to-be out there a very happy and blessed Mother’s Day! Read my other posts on motherhood bliss here: “If this isn’t bliss, then I’m not sure what is!” and “Motherhood bliss: Dream vs reality – Reading between the lines“. You can also read a wonderful article on 5 qualities of a good mother that can be inculcated by Deepshikha and Being Too Harsh On Ourselves – A Perspective of Motherhood by Udita Saklani.


Mrs. Sunshine

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Pregnancy Planning – Are you thinking about having a baby?

Pregnancy Planning

Planning for a baby and getting ready for pregnancy is perhaps the biggest life-changing step you are ever going to make. If you have a baby on the mind, then it probably means you are at the stage in your marriage and life where you are ready to take the plunge. You are thinking about starting a family soon, then it probably also means that you are mentally prepared to take your life and relationship to a whole new level. But now that you are mentally prepared is your body really prepared to take the big step? Let me tell you this while the decision of having a baby can be frightening overwhelming, having the right information can save you from a bumpy ride and make the journey rather smooth.

Creating and growing a life inside you takes a great deal of responsibility on the mother’s part. A mother needs to provide the unborn baby with a healthy environment required for its healthy growth and development. So let me share with you how I prepared myself and embarked on this beautiful journey.

Getting ready for a baby!

The 3 key steps in planning for a pregnancy involve:

1) Preparing your mind for pregnancy

As I already said, being ready mentally marks the first and the biggest step towards starting a family. Having a child, without a doubt, is a lifetime commitment and calls for responsibility on the part of both the partners. So it’s time you thought it through. If either of the partners is unsure or having second thoughts about it, it’s important to reconsider your decision. Having a baby should be a mutual decision involving the consent of both the partners and both should be equally committed to being parents. Therefore, it is very important to have an honest discussion and be open about each other’s thoughts on having a child. Neither should you force or get pressurized yourself or even resort to emotional blackmailing and stuff. If both partners aren’t unanimous over the decision, it is best to hold it off for some time.

2) Preparing yourself financially

Starting a family also calls for considering your money matters. Prenatal checkups, prenatal vitamins, medicines, tests, procedures and other medical bills can account for a major part of your salary. So it is best to be prepared for it beforehand so as not to put an unnecessary delay on anything. Opting for a good health insurance (if not already) is always a good bet to cover your prenatal expenses and lift some of the financial load off your shoulders.

3) Preparing your body for pregnancy

So now that you are mentally and financially ready, it’s time to take the next big step which is getting your body ready for the life that you are going to grow inside you. Here’s how you can do that:

(a) Scheduling a pre-conception visit

Visiting a good gynaecologist from the very beginning is a good idea to start a healthy pregnancy. A pre-conception check-up involves reviewing your personal and family medical history by your doctor. The practitioner will take a detailed account of your personal health, any kind of medication you’re taking which may be unsafe for the pregnancy and also about any unhealthy habit you have, such as smoking, drinking, etc. She would discuss with you about the tests and immunization which need to be done and also recommend you prenatal vitamins. Choosing a good and trusting doctor plays a key role in planning for a baby because only a good and experienced doctor can make you at ease and guide you properly through your journey.

(b) Starting on prenatal vitamins

Ideally, it’s said that starting on a folic acid supplement of 400 micrograms (mcg) a day, 6 months before you plan on conceiving is very crucial to carry a healthy pregnancy. But if not started earlier, at least 1 month prior to conceiving is a must. This not only prepares your body for conception but also prevents your baby from having certain birth defects, including a neural-tube defect like spina bifida to a great extent.

(c) Following a healthy lifestyle

Since you are trying to conceive and nurture a life inside you it is utmost important that you maintain a healthy lifestyle. It’s time you stopped your unhealthy habits such as smoking or drinking, cut short your caffeine intake, and check binging on junk food. Instead, it would be great if you started making healthy and nutritious food choices very early in your journey so that your body gets packed with the necessary nutrients you need to sustain a healthy pregnancy. Try to incorporate a balanced amount of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and milk and milk products in your diet. If you are a non-vegetarian intake of eggs, poultry, meat and fish are also a great choice. But it should be borne in mind that milk, meat and fish should come from a pasteurized source, disease-free animals and non-contaminated water respectively. You should also give doing yoga and/or moderate exercise a thought for a well-rounded fitness and a healthy body. You should also avoid working in a hazardous and unhygienic environment to avoid infections.

(d) Trying actively and tracking your cycles

If you are on birth control pills it’s time to stop those and bid adieu to any other kind of contraception you might have been using, and actively try (meaning every other day). Women on pills may take a month or two before they start ovulating again. Although some would prefer a more calculated approach of keeping a track of the ovulation dates and fertile window, I suggest it’s best to actively involve every other day if your cycles are sporadic just like mine. While keeping a record of your cycles is equally important to get a clear picture of your fertility days, doing it every other day increases your chances of conceiving. But it does not mean you have to mechanically do it. It should involve love and passion and you should enjoy it. It isn’t called “lovemaking” for no reason.

(e) Aiming for a healthy weight

Women with a higher or lower body mass index (BMI) may find it a little difficult to conceive. Starting off with a healthy weight right from the beginning not only helps you in conceiving more easily, but it also helps you to avoid weight-related complications in pregnancy and prevent you from delivering a premature or an underweight baby. Women with higher weight are also associated with risks of high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, etc. So weight goals should be kept at aim right from the start.

(f) Keeping updated on immunization and vaccinations

It would be a plus point if you are updated on your immunization of flu shots, chicken pox, rubella (German measles) etc. It would help to avoid any complications during pregnancy which might lead to miscarriage, birth defects or stillbirth.

So these are some of my experiences and learning which I am happy to share in the hope to guide you and prove helpful in your journey towards a happy and healthy pregnancy. Making a right start at the right time can help you get the right results. But make sure to follow and maintain the same healthy lifestyle during as well as post-pregnancy. This is the second post of my pregnancy series. Don’t forget to read my previous post on Discovering being pregnant with those “two pink lines”.


Mrs. Sunshine

Do you have a baby in mind?

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This day that year – Discovering being pregnant with those “two pink lines”!

Those “Two Pink Lines” – Discovering I was pregnant!

It was 24th March of the year 2016. It was Holi – the Indian festival of colours and this time I was to celebrate the festival with Mr. Husband after 2 years. But I wasn’t sure if I was keen for the celebrations because, since past few days I had not quite been feeling normal with fuller achy breasts, bloated tummy and the urge to urinate frequently. These are the typical pregnancy symptoms, right? But these symptoms had long ceased to interest me over the years of countless failed attempts to get pregnant.

Very early in the morning, when Mr. Husband was still sound asleep, I sat up and mechanically taking a home pregnancy test from the drawer I sneaked my way into the toilet. I very distinctly remember that historic day. It was very early in the morning, the sun hadn’t risen yet. There was just the pink sky before the sunrise and the morning birds had only begun to chirp. For the years that I had been trying, I had watched the urine reach the other end without batting an eyelid, waiting eagerly for the result – each time more hopeful and excited than the previous. But this time, as I sat on the toilet pan, unmindful of the process, the last 4 years of struggle, hope and faith started to unfold and flash before my eyes.

For the past 4 years, it had become a routine that whenever we were together and I missed my periods, even for 2 days, I would religiously take a home pregnancy test in the hope that this time it comes positive. I would keep looking at the test with my eyes wide open until the test completed only to see the white evaporation line each time, and that solid pink control line mocking me. But unfortunately in our 4 years of marriage, and amidst I don’t know how many pregnancy tests (I had lost count of), I hadn’t had one single test positive. It wasn’t that we were trying throughout, but we weren’t “not trying” either. Initially, my mother would just give hidden cues, but now even she had started to talk about it openly and directly. It had been so long now that not only people, but even I had begun to question my fertility and almost convinced that something was definitely wrong with me. Many a time even the thought of adopting a child had crossed my mind.

I had watched close friends who married after we did become parents. Some of them became parents even before they celebrated their first marriage anniversary. Nobody had ever pressurized me about the matter, not even my in-laws. Mr. Husband had also been understanding and supportive throughout, but his silence spoke volumes about his desire and disappointment. It had all begun to grow on me and I was becoming desperate. So much so, that I spent most of my time endlessly reading pregnancy related articles on the internet, obsessively tracking my cycles keeping tabs of my fertile window and active days, and absently wishing to be pregnant. And the pressure inside me kept building.

Being a Virgo I have a habit of planning everything beforehand, and even before I got married, I already had a list of names of babies with me. I had even thought about the innovative ways I would break the news with family, friends and Mr. Husband, of course – a different way for each one. I had planned it all. Now all I needed was to be pregnant, and that was the one thing that wasn’t happening for us. Pregnancy still remained a lost dream.

My periods have always been irregular so tracking didn’t help much; but still, I kept on tracking it to maintain my sanity intact and in the hope that I might be lucky to get one cycle right. So, though I was more than a week late and was feeling a bit off I did not suspect a thing. And looking at my past record of several negatives how could I? It had now become more of a routine.

Suddenly, with a thud sound, I was brought back to the present. As I came to my senses I realized it was the newspaper boy throwing the newspaper roll in the balcony. Without much interest, I carelessly looked back at the test that lay there at my foot waiting to be read. And as I looked at the test my eyes started to widen in amazement and I could feel my nervous heartbeats thumping hard against my chest. I rubbed my eyes to get a clearer look at it as I stood there with trembling hands and legs, gaping at the pale faint pink line, shimmering and dancing beside the dark pink of the control in front of my eyes. For an instant I was numb. I don’t know how long I stood there staring at it in surprise or shock (I still don’t recall). I was totally bewildered at the unexpected and unbelievable result. The sight of those “two pink lines” which seemed to smile at me exhilarated me to the core. I felt so alive on the spur of the moment that it couldn’t be described in words.

I was so thrilled that I remember even pinching myself to be sure if it was for real or I was having a dream. I wouldn’t have been shocked if it were a dream because getting pregnant had become so consuming that it had begun to haunt me. But not this time. I was so used to seeing the white nothingness of an evaporated line that those “two pink lines” amused me immeasurably. My happiness knew no bounds and it was getting difficult for me to control my emotions. After all those sleepless nights of wetting the pillow with silent tears and I don’t know after how many earnest prayers God had finally decided to shower us with His blessings.

I quickly gathered myself, washed my hands and joyously went to wake Mr. Husband up who was blissfully asleep, snoring away, still unaware of how our lives were going to change course. I had always imagined for this moment, devising several ways to surprise Mr. Husband with the “good news” and all I could do was wake him up to show him those “two pink lines” and say “Hey! You’re going to become a Dad!” (How cliché! I know). But in that glorious moment words did not matter, only feelings did. And it was overwhelmingly emotional. We hugged and rejoiced. Our lives were going to change forever, we knew it, only yet to discover it how.

And all of a sudden I was eager to celebrate Holi – the festival of colours because we got our “bundle of joy” as Holi gift. And as colourful this beautiful festival of colours is, we knew instantly that in a similar manner he is going to colour our lives with his amazing baby colours and give our lives a new meaning. And since that instant, our life canvas has been getting painted with the prettiest colours there could ever be.

This piece of writing marks the beginning and is the first in the series of pregnancy-related posts where I am going to share my pregnancy journey. Keep watching the space for more updates and interesting pieces.


Mrs. Sunshine

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Motherhood Bliss: Dream Vs Reality – Reading between the lines

Motherhood Bliss – The myth of the bliss or the bliss in the myth

In one of earlier posts, I wrote how my motherhood has been bliss – If this isn’t bliss, then I’m not sure what is!”. Oh, it sure is. But I forgot to ask you to read between the lines. Since time immemorial, motherhood has been made out to be this state of eternal bliss of some kind, which obviously it is not. It’s time truth be told and myths be busted. Is motherhood bliss a truth or a big lie? Let’s find out.

There will be days when your world will be full of love and laughter, while on some days you might even regret having decided to have a child. Motherhood does come in seasons after all. Some seasons will be full of festivities and celebrations while others might be passing by in hope and wait for the festival. Life can seem pretty difficult when it feels to be tangled in knots that can’t be undone.

Motherhood bliss – The Dream

Sometimes I even find myself wondering and questioning if motherhood bliss is even real. Before being a mother, I had read and heard people talk endlessly about it in plenty, and that was one of the reasons why I was eager to become a mother, rather I was desperate to become one. I mean, who doesn’t go gaga over those chubby cheeks, want to coo over those rosy lips and tiny fingers or snuggle and cuddle those cute little bundles of softness. Well, I wanted to, to have my own to hold and love. Not wanting and having children is still not a thought Indian women are familiar with and is considered distinctly odd even for the Western women. But, hold your thought right there, I certainly do not need a child to fulfil my womanhood. I am complete the way I am. Read my take on feminism here.

Motherhood bliss – The Reality

I delivered this miraculous baby love for whom had been building the instant I knew I was carrying him. And I can’t emphasize how much I love him. But, it was after the initial cooing and giggles subsided that my eyes opened to this less talked about side of motherhood – the downside – the physical draining, sleep deprivation, whacky-frenzy hormones, postpartum blues, anxiety, sadness, irritability and crying incessantly for no apparent reason.

But I could not find a single person who could soothe my worried soul and put rest to that dull lingering feeling of sadness that ran on the back of my mind. Nobody talks about these. Even my friends pretended motherhood to be fabulous. But, I don’t know of one new mother who sleeps peacefully even for a couple of hours, let alone for long hours. It’s been 16 months I haven’t been able to sleep for a stretch of 4 hours straight. Sleep is probably the first sacrifice that a mother needs to do for her baby. Talking about hormones, my feminine hormones have been pretty much whacky since the time I entered into womanhood, then the pregnancy hormones wreaked havoc and again postpartum mood swings were the final blow. And who had to take the brunt of it all – poor Mr. Husband (Read my letter of gratitude to him here). I am not going to lie, there have been days when breastfeeding hurt and left me whimpering in agony and feeling terrible. Those days I kept reminding myself of the beautiful pictures and the wonderful feelings of motherhood that I had read about and imagined during my entire pregnancy. It’s tough not being starry-eyed with all the picture-perfect images you see on Instagram and Facebook, but, I have come to realize how impossible it is to visualize and imagine what motherhood is actually like until you delve into it.

Motherhood bliss – The road less travelled

Shaarav is a happy toddler, I absolutely adore him and never in my entire journey of motherhood have I ever wished I hadn’t had him. But when he was little, I did use to wish, that I got some off days and didn’t have to look after him all the time. Sometimes, I do it even today when all of it seems a lot to contain, even if it is just a fleeting thought, to stop everything for a bit. I like to be open about my experiences since I feel it not only helps me vent out my feelings but at the same time might even be helpful to plenty of other moms-to-be and new moms who are struggling and overwhelmed with their newfound responsibility. How I wish I could get the road of motherhood all mapped by the mothers who happened to forage the road ahead of me.

Motherhood bliss – The Acceptance

I so wish there were an apprenticeship for motherhood because at times the tending gets converted into toiling which becomes torture and leaves you frustrated. The sleepless nights of the demanding baby, day after day, was driving me berserk. And if I am being completely honest, some days were hell. My thoughts and feelings came as a shock to me as well and it made my heart swell with a sense of guilt for having a thought like that, even if it was momentarily. But I prefer to be rather open and talk about it than being demure.

Motherhood bliss – The myth of the bliss or the bliss in the myth

I do not deny the fact that I am in total awe and utter love of the magic that has been transforming my life into something that I could never have imagined was even possible. And here I am spending my days just staring at my baby sleeping peacefully; blissfully unaware of the turmoil my life has turned into. I love my son to bits and not in my dreams do I want to miss out on the tiniest minuscule moment of watching him grow, but, it would be wrong if I say I am lustily obsessed with him. Somewhere in the deepest corners of my heart, I do feel the slightest glimmer of sadness emerging from time to time for how my life has taken a drastic turn- how the things that were my top priorities once do not even make it to the list now. My bookshelves which consisted of romantic novels are filled these days with books of Eric Carle and Peppa Pig. Do you see what I am trying to get at? Some would argue that I could still keep those books, oh yes I can, but where do I find time to indulge in the luxury of reading my own books when my booklover son wants me to read the book where “the very hungry caterpillar turns into a beautiful butterfly” a hundredth time? So what if it has begun to get boring? Those looks of spark and twinkle in my kid’s eyes make me read to him once again. It makes me wonder where I lost the old me and sometimes even question if it even existed.

Motherhood bliss – The Challenge

Privacy has become the thing of the past. I consider myself lucky if I get my 2 minutes in the loo without my toddler peeping from below, banging the door, sticking out his leg inside the door or inserting whatever toy he finds from below. Forget about enjoying those long leisurely baths I once used to do. Most of the time I am busy planning and plotting for finding or devising ways to sneak in and out of the loo without getting noticed by my all-the-time-alert toddler. But all in vain (sigh)! I have become so busy that I don’t even find time to grieve for the things that once used to give meaning and definition to my being. They now exist just in memories. But yes, this lurking sadness is definitely undeniable and pops its head every once in a while. Many choose not to talk about it, but I, on the other hand, choose to acknowledge it and be vocal about it.

Motherhood bliss – The Realization

Here, I am not questioning “motherhood bliss”, but, as a matter of fact, I am trying to portray its true meaning and what it actually encompasses. I am not afraid of admitting my fear and apprehensions thinking they make me any less of a mother. I am ready to embrace the true motherhood bliss with all its seasons, including the tending and the toiling, and to delve deeper into the motherhood bliss unwrapping the cornucopia of things it has to offer. I have come to understand that it is okay to miss the old me, but, not get too overwhelmed with it. I have also come to the realization that rather than ignoring the drastic identity makeover, acknowledging the unfathomed loss and embracing the profound meaning of motherhood brought me closer to myself and my baby. It made me love motherhood more and that too, guilt-free. If it gives you some relief, just know that every mother has to go through these challenges only some are candid about it though. You are not alone in this and I hope I could be of some help.

Let’s observe this International Women’s Day by celebrating the change rather than ignoring it and enjoy the true spirit of motherhood the way it was intended to be – “a little more of privilege and a little less of sacrifice!”


Mrs. Sunshine

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If this isn’t bliss, then I’m not sure what is!

Motherhood is bliss!

Motherhood fills your days and night with magical moments of utter bliss, leaving you feeling astounded and thinking how did you ever lived so ignorant and missed the eyes for the beauty of life’s little big moments – so precious, so lovely!

For me bliss is:

That moment when the first time my baby boy was brought to me and I couldn’t help crying and smiling at the same time looking at his cute little angelic face.

That moment when he held on to my finger almost like we had known each other since long before we first-in-person met as if we had known each other for time immemorial. I knew instantly there was no other place I’d rather be.

That incredibly dreamy moment when he latched right on, and suckled happily without any hesitation whatsoever and kept snuggling into me as if he too had completely accepted me just as I had accepted him.

That defining moment when I was both exhilarated and overwhelmed with my new-found motherly feeling that I never knew existed within me.

Those moments of sheer delight when he used to go all berserk during the feeding sessions just looking at the breasts.

That hilarious instance, when Mr. Husband became the perfect victim of one of his poop explosions and was covered all over poop. Poor soul!

That moment when I first watched his elusive smile and totally got lost in it.

All those moments when I would smile brighter because he did.

All those times when I went gaga over his cuteness and just couldn’t take my eyes off him.

That first time when he began cooing and making all sorts of gurgling noises and how enchanting it was to hear that sweet sound.

Those times when he would spend hours together just watching and studying his newly-discovered hands and tiny fingers.

That moment when I witnessed his first laughter while he unknowingly played with his own reflection in the mirror.

Those precious moments when Mr. Husband looks at him like he put the stars in the sky.

Those moments when he kept amazing us each day by adding new sounds to his repertoire.

Those moments when he generously gave away his goggling beaming smiles on seeing someone he recognized.

That moment when he learned to blow bubbles by putting his tongue between his lips and kept practicing it tirelessly.

That moment when he gave the most triumphant of smiles as he figured out how to roll after umpteen failed attempts at it.

Those moments when I would be content just to watch him sleep peacefully and swell feeling proud of the magic I have created.

That first time when he learned to crawl after all the countless wiggling and bum-shuffling sequences.

That look of determination and a will so strong which I could see in his eyes the first time he stood with support and without it.

The first time he said “Papa” and I was filled with mixed emotions of happiness and jealousy all at the same time.

The unfathomable love and pride I felt hearing the first time he said “Mummy”. I’m sure my heart skipped a beat.

The first time he took his baby steps all by himself and I could watch my heart walking out of my body.

The way his face lights up to see me after a short time when I’m away and the look that he has as if saying, “Where were you all this time, I missed you so much,” and come running up to me to give me the biggest bear hug.

The mischievous look in his eyes when he is up to doing the thing which I asked him not to do a 100th time.

The innocence of him waking in the middle of the night searching for me and keep snuggling closer to me.

The look of wisdom in his eyes that is still unsullied by the world.

Having him look at me at my ugly best and still feel I’m the most beautiful woman in the whole universe.

Watching both my boys play together, whispering god knows what into each other’s ears and giggling away merrily.

Gazing at him in amazement and getting those fleeting glimpses of what an incredible human being he will become.

Those moments of tickling him playfully until he can hardly breathe from laughing so hard.

The moments when he looks at me for approval while he is up to something mischievous.

The way I love him, insanely, just almost irrationally, without any reservation.

Watching him soundly asleep at night in some weird position in a tumble of bedding and messy hair.

The relentless smiles that he gives away when we lock looks and exchange glances.

“If this isn’t bliss, then I’m not sure what is!”

It is those moments that exude pure love, transcending any other kind I’ve ever known, that I so wish I could turn into gems, freeze them in time and keep them for eternity. I’m looking forward to more of such uncounted moments together to have and to cherish – that only motherhood is capable of giving!


Mrs. Sunshine

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Surviving the Loss of Your Mother while Pregnant

A Mother is the “Best Gift” of all!

Mr. Husband’s Viewpoint

“A mother is someone who we’ve known longer than we’ve known ourselves.” I lost my mother when I was 20, but got another in the form of my mother-in-law when I married my wife. I could talk to her freely for hours about anything and never get bored of it. She used to tell me stories about how my wife was as a child and how she had grown to be the woman she now is. In the 4th year of our marriage, she had started dropping us hints that she wanted a grandchild and that we should start a family soon. She wanted us to have a baby more than anything in the world.

And then Shaarav happened. Our bonding had grown so strong that I used to call her up to ask her every bit about what my wife could eat and what not. I used to ask her what if my wife wanted to binge on junk food at this stage of her, and my mother-in-law was more than glad to tell. She was very proud of me and she sort of “kept flaunting me” among friends and relatives.

The Untimely Loss

But unfortunately, when we were into the 16th week of our pregnancy, she too left us for the heavenly abode due to a heart condition. She had a major heart surgery and she succumbed to it. My wife was devastated to hear the news and cried and cried and cried inconsolably. She was my wife’s rock. My wife never even got to say goodbye as she wasn’t allowed to travel at the time. I was devastated too, but I had to stay strong for her. I had to stay strong for our unborn baby.

My wife had so wanted to share the news of the pregnancy with her friends once she completed 4 months, but now she couldn’t without talking about her mother and controlling her sobs. She wanted to grieve, but she was too frightened it would harm the baby. She felt guilty for even having a life growing inside her when her mother’s life was taken, and this guilt was consuming her. Some days were like she couldn’t breathe, she cried so much. She still hoped it to be a dream – a bad dream.

From Being a Motherless Daughter to Being a Motherless Mother

We are well aware of the fact that a woman needs her own mother the most when she becomes a mother herself. But that was not going to happen for us.

She was now a “motherless daughter” who was soon to become a “motherless mother”.

The entire pregnancy she missed her dreadfully, she misses her still and she just wants her back, she just wants her here with her, for her. She wanted to share with her mother all that was happening to her, wanted to ask her about the things she was experiencing and the emotional stuff she was going through and the names she had picked for the baby. But the reality was harsh. She was no more with us and her absence is massive.

Time is a great healer they say. And not a day goes by reminding of her, but now my wife has made peace with the situation and takes comfort from the fact that though her mother isn’t here with her now, she has taught her everything about being a good mother just by her example.

I try to convince my wife that at least she knew about him, knew he existed, but it’s never going to be the same. Yet, we like to think that she is looking down on him, on us, and we try to look after ourselves as best we can, bringing this brand new life into the world. We believe “she is our son’s guardian angel”.

After Shaarav was born there have been some very sad days where my wife would just wish that she could talk to her and get some advice or even just a hug. And whenever I think of her I couldn’t help myself thinking how, despite my wife’s every word of caution, I still couldn’t resist myself spilling the beans and she was the first person whom I told about. And I very vividly remember how excited she was about the baby.

Finding Ways to Pay Tribute to Her

And now about a year and a half later, my wife finds ways to pay tribute to her. My wife tells Shaarav how much his “Naani” loved him even though he wasn’t born and shows him pictures of her. My wife uses this as an opportunity to bring her to life again through her stories, morals and all the wonderful things my wife grew up learning, and to pass on to him the same heritage. Best of all, she tells him about the ways in which she can see her mother’s characteristics and qualities reflected in him. The sadness never goes away, but this way it seems to get easier to cope with. But deep within, she has this gutted feeling that Shaarav would never really know his “Naani” and would have to settle for her memories.

In the whole turn up of events I have had to stay strong for my wife, for the baby, and more than anything for us, knowing that I am the next shoulder she would lean on. I had to become her next rock and I will always be.

Coping with the loss

Going through the loss of your mother while you are going to be a mother yourself can be the most dreadful thing to happen to anybody. Coping with such a great loss can be the toughest thing to do. But, it becomes a lot easier if there’s someone to provide with the right kind of support.

I lost my mother when I was 4 months pregnant. She was the most cherished soul and still is. Mr. Husband was very fond of her too. But till date I kept shut about it, never sharing a word of how I felt with anyone, not even Mr. Husband. Feelings kept building but I didn’t find a way to express it until today when I started writing my own blog.

Thoughts and feelings are many, yet, I find myself writing about her so consuming that I feel choked with emotions. It’s easier for me to express from Mr. Husband’s point of view than writing from my own without crying again. Mr. Husband is the kindest soul I’ve ever known. He has been an unfaltering source of my strength this entire time. I feel privileged and proud for having him stand by me, supporting me in every endeavour of mine, giving wind to my wings. Nonetheless, someday I wish to be able to share my feelings from my own point of view when it’s a lot less hurting to express.


Mrs. Sunshine

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How Mr. Husband sees me being a Stay-at-home Mother?

I’m proud of her regardless of her being a stay-at-home mother or a working mother.

I am a stay-at-home mother as of now and definitely a proud one (Check out my previous post for more on being a stay-at-home mom). Our son is still small and there’s no one to look after him if I decide to go to work and leave him behind. Moreover, I have trust issues about keeping a nanny to look after my kid while I’m gone. So the situation demands of me to be a stay-at-home mom and I’m doing it happily. Yet, sometimes, in doing the same mundane activities day in and day out, I find my own identity rather lost in this new role.

Mr. Husband has been very supportive of my new role throughout and thinks very highly of me. He is not very expressive of his feelings but when he does he makes it a point to be stark clear. Here is what he thinks of me being a stay-at-home mother.

Stay-at-home mother vs Working mother

My wife is a stay-at-home mother as of now. We conceived when it was the peak time for her to be working and fulfilling her ambitions. But she decided to give her career aspirations a rest to start a family and bring this tiny human being to life which has become our whole world. But at the time, none of us had the slightest idea what we were signing up for.

Even one year after delivering she has had to put her dreams on hold to tend to this little life that we’ve created. Not that she is complaining or she isn’t proud of her new role as a stay-at-home mother, trust me we both truly are. I would have been equally proud had she been working, but we also can’t deny the fact that she did have to make sacrifices and change her priorities to take up this new role.

Not me, but her.

And then, on the other hand, there are also mothers who choose or have to work feeling guilty for having to leave their babies behind. It’s very difficult to choose one over the other, knowing that between the two there’s no such thing called a perfect choice, or even a good or a bad choice for that matter. And though neither of the decisions comes easy and both the decisions demand immense courage, strength, sacrifice, and bravery, it should be welcomed wholeheartedly and appropriately lauded.

Did you just read bravery? Oh yes, you read it right. It is, as a matter of fact, an act of bravery that we must give due credit to.

Why this constant debate about a stay-at-home mother and a working mother?

I feel it’s very shameful for us to even have this constant debate and categorize motherhood into stay-at-home mothers and working mothers. It’s rather pitiful how some of us look down at stay-at-home mothers and secretly diss on them, at the same time judge working mothers for being heartless and make them feel guilty for leaving their babies behind.

We should understand that there’s more to motherhood than what seemingly meets the eye. Motherhood is one true empowering spirit in itself and it doesn’t really matter if she’s a stay-at-home mom or a working one. It’s the feeling, emotions, and sentiments with which she enjoys motherhood and which makes her happy is what really matters in the true sense. Because after all, she’s the centre of everything, she’s the axis on which our lives revolve, men’s as well as the kids’. In my words,

“Children might be the heart of the family, Dads might be the body, but Moms are definitely the soul of the family.”

So let’s not put them in any category, rather just celebrate them for the beautiful souls that they are.
We really need more husbands to think like this. I’m thankful that I’ve got support and encouragement because somedays as a stay-at-home mom can get really overwhelming.


Mrs. Sunshine

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Stay-at-home mom – a Need, a Compromise or a Choice?

Being a stay-at-home mom has its own perks.

I am a stay-at-home mom to our tiny-but-loud handful of a toddler who is my life and also my overtime job. Raising a toddler can be very difficult at times and our 14-month old, sometimes, can test my patience to the limits where I’m forced to shout at him. Yelling, though, is not a guarantee that it is going to make him listen to me. I know it’s not a very healthy way of raising a child and I instantly feel a sense of guilt surge through me soon after, but it is a way to vent out my frustration and anger.

Lately, not long since my tiny man turned one, there’s a storm of emotions building inside of me, which is constantly keeping me angry and frustrated; and making me snap at my little one for literally no reason.

But why was I angry all the time?

I couldn’t understand where all this anger and frustration was coming from. Once a happy-go-lucky girl I had changed into someone who wasn’t enjoyable to be around anymore.

What had gone wrong; and where?

I paused to introspect. And I realized that the reason behind me not being happy was none other than “me”. Clearly, I was not happy with the circumstance I was in. But was I unhappy? No, I wasn’t necessarily unhappy either. So what exactly was I feeling? You see, there’s a fine line between “being unhappy” and “not being happy” (am I making sense?). I wasn’t sad being a stay-at-home mom, but I wasn’t happy either. And I wasn’t pretending otherwise.

Striving at a thankless job.

But why exactly wasn’t I happy?

With a deeper contemplation, I realized that I wasn’t happy with myself because I was getting so consumed with my role as a stay-at-home mom that I was beginning to lose my identity. I was losing my sense of self. This wasn’t what I had dreamt my life to be. I kind of felt trapped in the situation, anxiously trying to come out of it but not knowing how to.

I’ve never been very ambitious about my career aspirations. But not being able to do something about it despite having a doctorate degree killed me from inside, slowly, piece by piece, bit by bit. Even people around me had led me to believe that I was wasting my hard earned education staying at home when many others with a lot lesser qualifications were doing so well at their jobs. I had begun to feel cooped in the house letting people get the better of me.

I have always been a meritorious student and dreamt of being independent and having a lucrative career. But the reality of the matter was, I was totally dependent on Mr. Husband for the tiniest of things. It’s not easy to give up the control of your life to someone else. I admit that Mr. Husband is a generous soul who believes in equality, but it is I who feel disappointed in me. I had high expectations for myself and, so far, I’ve been a complete let down to my own expectations.

I constantly strive to make the best out of the worst of things. I try to find happiness in the boring day-to-day most trivial of things. But it had started to feel that my life missed its purpose and staying at home was a complete waste of my education.

Life isn’t perfect for anyone and I am no exception. And for a stay-at-home mom like me, it can feel quite discouraged at trying so hard at a job that apparently has very little thanks to offer. People have been saying for ages that having and raising kids is hard. I plunged into it knowing the truth. And yet I was struggling to work through these “long days” of making life happen, day after day, every day.

You are the reason for my being.

But does that mean I look down upon stay-at-home moms? No, I don’t. In fact, I have the highest regards for all the stay-at-home moms around the globe knowing how stressful life can be parenting these tiny humans. I have friends who are happy and content raising their kids staying at home. But the thing is I couldn’t picture myself in those shoes. I was having a hard time visualizing me just being a stay-at-home mom, and many a time I found myself thinking I was too smart to be simply that.

Getting tugged by conflicting feelings

Yet, I found questioning myself again. But don’t I enjoy seeing my son growing up? Don’t I love being a mother? Don’t I love watching him stand on the window babbling away calling out at chicken, pigs, cattle, and goats? Don’t I love being his “home?” And could I stand the idea of leaving him with a nanny and letting him get raised by a total stranger?

I was awfully restless as my thoughts and emotions began flooding and getting entangled in total disarray, making me more uncomfortable.

And it was then, amidst these conflicting feelings and vulnerable emotions, and amidst the perfectly-making-sense of “being unhappy” and “not being happy”, suddenly everything started to fall into place.

The existence of pain doesn’t always mean something’s wrong. It may at times mean that something’s right. Love doesn’t always call for us to follow the easy path or do the selfish thing; it asks us to do the right, the courageous, and the beautiful.

Finding gratitude in a thankless job

Motherhood is definitely a privilege that demands responsibility, but it never asks you to kill your sense of self. Shaarav is the most beautiful thing to have happened to me. He is the reason I wake up to every day. He gives me meaning and I love him with my life. I love being his mother and the fact that the life of this little soul depends on me. I am unquestionably privileged to have a miraculous baby to raise.

Motherhood asks for sacrifice!

And the seemingly thankless job as a stay-at-home mom isn’t so thankless after all when those tiny hands hold me close to plant a kiss on the cheek, and I find myself reciprocating to them with my own gratefulness. Today I have the gratitude for life and these are emphatically the best years of my life.

It dawned on me that once these years go by they are not coming back. I realized that some things can wait while others can’t. Only I, as his mother, can mould and shape my child to become the best version of him he possibly can, letting him explore his passion and gifting.

The realization

I realized that my hopes and dreams can wait, but as a mother, I need to put my child’s needs above mine to raise a bright and smart kid who can make a difference. I understood that he was never on my way, rather he is the way. My child’s future depends on me, on the decision that I take today. And, his dependence on me has built the courage I need to make this decision.

Yes, I want to savour life’s precious fleeting moments with my child. Yes, I want to stay home for my kid. Because I want to be able to be content knowing that he is getting his mother to raise him and not a complete stranger. And my precious child is definitely worth wasting anything on.

The Takeaway

So me being a stay-at-home mom is never a compromise. It is not even just a need. In the very wake of the hour, it is definitely a “conscious choice” that I make today for me, my kid and my family. And if I’m not happy now, I never will be.


Mrs. Sunshine

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My Mess-monster is Learning and Getting Smarter the Messy Way – Stop fretting about the mess!

My little Picasso aka My mess-monster!

I am a neat freak, I have always been so. I just cannot stand a mess. You must believe me when I say I become a maniac when I am on one of my weekly cleaning sprees, and by that I mean literally. According to Mr. Husband, I become this crazed woman and boss him around when he forgets to make the bed in the morning or wipe the floor after taking a shower.

The Lost Cause

But after the birth of our little 14-month old mess-monster Shaarav, I’m forced to, though reluctantly, let go of this habit of mine as now I am beginning to understand that trying to keep the house neat when you have a baby around is more or less like a lost cause. Well, that’s the thing; you can’t boss a baby (wink wink). Babies are meant to be messy, delving into their surroundings with gusto as they explore and discover the world the only way they know how.

Being a mother of a toddler can be a tough job, and more so when you have a handful one as my kiddo Shaarav. My little one surely knows the trick to create maximum mayhem in minimum time; he has got this exceptional talent which sometimes makes me wonder if he’s purposely trying to drive me crazy.

When Shaarav first began having semi-solids after completing his 6 months, I would jump up to clean each time he would spill or drop his food. But now I’m about ready to let go of this habit of mine and there’s a rather beautiful and one-of-a-kind story behind it.

The Story

Of whatever little time I get off of him, I use it to pursue my hobby of painting, crafts, DIYs, etc. Painting my heart out really acts as a stress buster. One fine morning when I had washed him up and he had finally dozed off after a thorough massage, I began painting. Shaarav at the time was about 7 and half months old and had still not begun to crawl. So we had safely assumed that he’s among those who would skip crawling and move directly to standing and walking.

Suddenly halfway between and still keeping things at a safe distance I had to go away to attend to a visitor at the door. I was away for about half an hour and when I returned what I saw not only did amuse me it changed me for good.

The Learning

Shaarav had crawled and reached for my colours and had created a colourful mess staining his clothing and toys. He had paint all over himself. Now coming to the interesting part, despite giving him various stimuli he would still not crawl, but the colours gave him the exact motivation he needed for making him crawl. Shaarav never fails to amaze us and though I had a long day cleaning the mess he had created, one thing I learned from the incident is that by not letting him get messy I was depriving him of a wonderful learning and sensory experience. So from that day onward, we let him hands-on allowing him to drop, roll, splatter the food and explore the different textures, colors, and flavours.

So people stop fretting about the mess and embrace the mess, you never know your kid just might be getting smarter in the process.


Mrs. Sunshine

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Are you ready for a new perspective in relationship goals?

“Us” together

When we talk of parenthood, the role of a mother has always been given an edge over the role of a father. None of us can really deny the fact that mothers are the ones to devote more amounts of time and energy in raising a baby than the fathers too.

Over the years there has been much written about how contrastingly a mother’s life changes after coming of the baby as compared to how it was before the baby. But, not many of us talk about how a father’s life changes after a baby come into the picture. So here’s a Husband and New Dad’s perspective on relationships.

How a Husband and New Dad looks into this new role:

When we first planned on starting a family, we had a pretty clear picture that the baby was going to change the present dynamics of our marriage. But just when the romantic flirty messages changed into the grocery list, the intellectual chat changed into pee & poop talk and the birthday & anniversary reminders changed into vaccination reminders, I am still clueless.

Nobody warned us about the plummeting our relationship had taken and the chaos the rest of our lives had fallen into.

During the initial months everything seemed so exciting and gala, but soon after I found myself lamenting how our love for the baby had usurped our very own love story. Despite the fact that our happiness knew no bounds – she was happy and I was happy, but together our happy “we” times went missing from the picture.

We now have more pictures of us with the baby than we have of just the two of us!

And as determined as I was not to save our “us” for some day in the future, or pause our romance for tomorrow or even wait for the weekly off to hold a kiss for that matter, I also didn’t want to rush her into it either. I understood she needed time to recover & heal. But I also couldn’t shy away from the fact that her drive kept on taking a reverse gear whenever I tried to reconnect. I had been trying very badly to be the people who once met, married, fell in love and had a miraculous baby. But, our love story seemed to be lost somewhere underneath those soiled diapers and laundry piles.

How Sex and Intimacy went down the drain:

Who wouldn’t agree when I say that intimacy is like the glue in a marriage? So exactly how was I supposed to react if she chose sleep over sex? And even when, after a long, challenging day she tried to pry her tired and sleepy eyes open to tend to “us” because that might be our only chance during the entire day, I felt it was selfish of me to make her go through this. I did understand that “us” time would be the last thing on her mind with all the tiredness & exhaustion and over-touching from those tiny hands and feet climbing and clinging to her all day. And as much as I would hate to admit – it did feel like I was not wanted, I was not cared for, when all I had wanted was a sense of belongingness, even if the thought crossed my mind just for the millionth of a second.

How reality struck hard:

Did they tell you before having the baby that life will be more beautiful and lovely with the baby?

Reality check!

They sure forgot to tell you how different that love and life you probably imagined before having the baby could be when you are sleep-deprived parents to a highly active toddler. I knew beforehand, life couldn’t be the same and I was definitely geared up for this, but I so wanted more of her, I so wanted more of “us”. Reality struck me hard when one day, on hearing my wife calling, “Hey handsome” I jumped in all excited only to find that it was for the baby and not me (sigh)! He sure is my baby too and he’s handsome. But ouch! That hurt, and so much.

How I started looking at our relationship in a new light:

But amidst all that chaos we still tried to laugh while cooking or cleaning, appreciate each other, exchanged gifts, even when they didn’t seem to be enough.

And just when I was beginning to think our relationship had lost its lustre, our marriage was far from being over, not even close. In all the drama going on in my life, I somehow missed seeing the bigger picture. This time around, she was the one to reach out. I’m glad I had the patience to wait and I didn’t rush her into it.

It was then I was able to witness how with each one of these challenging days passing by, we had been inching closer to each other gaining in trust, establishing mutual respect and building on faith. I had missed seeing how we kept fuelling on hope, enkindling belongingness and growing even deeper a love, all along the way, silently.

It just took me a little while to see how our relationship had metamorphosed and transformed into a more beautiful form, just as a butterfly does from a caterpillar, giving more meaning and depth to the relationship that we already had. Only my eyes were long clouded to realize how a whole new dimension of my psyche was born, as we lovers had morphed into something more.

We were morphed into parents.

Our “us” today is definitely different than what it used to be, and not always a “good different,” but I love this life we’ve created and how we’ve grown as a family. And I have never been this sure how this phase of my life has shaped my personality and given me a deeper perspective on love and sacrifice.

The morphed parents enjoying some “us” time.

Our relationship is definitely the most cherished aspects of my life, but the look of unconditional love that I see in those tiny eyes of my one-year-old who calls me “Papa“, and how my heart fills up with gratitude, love, and pride is beyond any word can describe and I wouldn’t change a thing about it.


Mrs. Sunshine

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