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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Breastfeeding: the Best and the Worst Advice

Breastfeeding advice: the Best and the Worst!

Breastfeeding, is by far, the closest you can get to motherhood. And although not being able to breastfeed doesn’t make a woman any less of a mother, there’s no denying that there couldn’t exist any closer, emotional and timeless a bond between a mother and her baby than breastfeeding.

By breastfeeding, a mother is not only providing her baby with the best nutrition possible, but she’s also building a remarkable emotional bond, an amazing nurturing relationship and a sense of love, comfort, and security that no words can describe. Mother’s milk isn’t referred to as a “complete food” for the baby for no reason.

When I see my little one all cuddled, snuggling up to me when hungry and I nurse him gazing into those tiny hypnotic twinkling eyes clearly reciprocating and giving away the feeling of contentment and belonging, is sheer bliss. And when you can harbour such a feeling only by looking at it, it’s needless to say how living it makes you feel.

Sometimes it really makes Mr. Husband kind of jealous when Shaarav wants to be only with me when he’s hungry or sleepy or needs to be comforted. That indescribable experience only and only breastfeeding can give, and no matter how marvelous an experience breastfeeding indeed is, it sure comes with its own set of perks and challenges.

It’s really funny how we Indians consider it our birthright when it comes to giving away free advice; not only when asked but also when not asked, and also about things that don’t even concern us. When we first embarked on our journey to parenthood, there were tons and tons of advice coming our way from family, friends, well-meaning relatives and even total strangers, and plenty of them were also on breastfeeding.

Here I will be sharing just the best and the worst ones and the reason I reckon them so.

BEST ADVICE: “Take the baby off the breast at letdown, let the forceful milk flow into a burp towel and then latch him back on, and let him nurse when it calms down a bit.”

Despite some people’s popular belief that I wouldn’t be able to produce enough milk to meet my baby due to my smaller breast size, I defied all myths by producing such an oversupply of milk that it constantly led to engorged breasts and overactive let-down.

Now, engorged breasts alone can be a very uncomfortable state to be, and on top of it feeling sharp stabbing pains from the letdown can actually be really hurting.

Mr. Husband admits how pained and frightened he used to be watching me bite my lips and curl my toes in anticipation of the pain I was going to feel as I began nursing.

Yet, it was nothing compared to what we felt when we saw our little one gag, cough, strangle, choke, sputter, gulp, and gasp due to the forceful letdown as he tried to suckle.

Engorged breasts are difficult for both mother and baby.

Engorged breasts itself were discomforting for both me and the baby and the letdown would only make it worse as Shaarav constantly got sprayed with milk in the face (on top of all the choking and gagging). And as he gulped a lot of air in the process, he remained forever gassy and constantly suffering from gas pains. It was hard on both of us and breastfeeding the baby was nothing short of a challenge for me in the beginning.

And then came along this great piece of advice which made the breastfeeding extremely enjoyable and a cherishing experience. The above advice completely changed our lives. It was not only a great way of easing baby’s discomfort, but it also made the nursing time pleasant for both of us. Later, as my baby grew a little older, side lying position of nursing has also helped as the baby can easily dribble extra milk out of his mouth in this position.

WORST ADVICE: “Never ever breastfeed in public.”

Honestly, how lame is that? I mean, really?

But I’m not going to lie; we have followed it for some time only to get restricted on our outings and missing out on spending quality time with friends and family. I also refused to breastfeed in public as I was also afraid of people glaring in disgust and judging me for something as natural and poignant as breastfeeding (even with a cover, let alone without it) in the way it’s intended.

Let’s be honest, when it comes to our baby, the most precious thing in our lives, we sometimes fail to act rationally and follow blindly only to fall prey to this unending taboo of “body shaming” or “mommy shaming”.

But a very close friend of ours explained how it’s silly and stupid of us to feel ashamed of an act so natural. And it was then that we realized that breastfeeding in public shouldn’t either be something to be embarrassed or belittled about, or something to boast about deeming it to be an act of bravery and heroism.

Rather, it should be a personal choice depending on an individual’s comfort level and never up to somebody for approving or disapproving. It’s definitely inappropriate to judge and body shame mothers for nursing in a public setting. And it’s up to us to ignite the minds to get rid of such taboos and be supportive of breastfeeding in public as well.

I personally have never breastfed in public and don’t prefer doing so, but, I do not support people who look down at women who do so. It’s completely a personal choice and to each his own.


Mrs. Sunshine

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