“I promise to be SMITTEN and fall in love with you over and over again.”
With this vow, we promise to always stay in love and keep rekindling the flame of love and keep reminding us why we fell in love with each other in the first place.
What does the vow mean?
A dictionary defines smitten as a feeling or emotion marked by foolish or unreasoning fondness. Being smitten means when you’ve head over heels fallen in love with someone which cannot be questioned or reasoned. But, in a marriage, being smitten means that you are willing to stay in love with each other beyond reason.
Why do we need to be SMITTEN with our spouse for a healthy and long-lasting marriage?
Neither of us dreamt a fairytale love and romance before getting married. But here we are, even with six and a half years of marriage we’re utterly smitten with each other and we’re not ashamed to express our love for one another at every opportunity we get throughout the day. Though we both refrain from public display of affection and find it too cheeky we love to get clicked unabashedly for cosy pictures for our keepsake. Ours is not a very ecstatic marriage but a more pragmatic one. It’s not a very dazzling marriage but a more comfortable one where we endure and embrace each other’s flaws and imperfections and still manage to stay in love. You can get a fair idea from the fact that we sometimes call each “just to say a little I love you.”
So, when I say “I promise to be smitten” it means we are willing to strive to achieve a more stable and amicable relationship with love and endurance and keep the flame of love rekindled from time to time.
Being smitten helps us to revisit the time and reasons why we fell in love with each other and help us stay in love. Staying in love and being smitten is very important if we wish to have a long-lasting relationship and a healthy marriage. It not only helps to focus on what matters during an argument but it also helps to forgive easily.
So when I say “I promise to be smitten” I also mean that we are willing to cultivate unconditional and self-sacrificing love, and always put each other before us and believing in endurance and patience.
Keep watching the space for the next vow with alphabet T. You can find the opening post to the vows “What marriage means to me?”here and the previous vow with alphabet R here.
I am a stay-at-home mother and trust me it is extremely difficult to be one. It can get overly lonely, isolating and depressing at times. Being a stay-at-home mom is difficult and the never-ending responsibilities can feel like growing on you. There are high expectations of being a stay-at-home mom. Not just from the little human dependent on me, but also from Mr. Husband and people around me, but mostly the expectations are self-inflicted by my skewed views of myself and how I dreamt and envisioned my life to be. And being a Virgo I have a habit of being overcritical of things and in particular myself. I tend to over-analyze stuff and get worried needlessly. There was once a point in my life when I had lost all sense of self-worth and didn’t value myself. I constantly sought acceptance and approval of somebody for the most trivial things. I was at my lowest best and I had begun to harbour negative emotions, not for anybody else but for myself.
And then I came across this very inspiring song by Meghan Trainor “I Love Me.” There never have been more self-empowering words than these.
I’m sure I loved myself. But did I actually?
It hit me where it hurt the most. But before I could truly love myself I needed to discover the real me. I needed to identify who the real me was. When I started introspecting I became very vulnerable to my own thoughts and feelings. The guards which I had been putting up for so long were suddenly brought down. It made me confront with my own unknown and unfathomed emotions enlightening those uncharted regions of my heart. And I had to face my own deepest fears and apprehensions. But, when I came to acknowledge those unsounded emotions, I felt the power to transform those fears into something more positive and more creative. It helped me to contemplate and express myself without any reservation leaving me feeling empowered.
It was then I found a world of freedom – freedom of thoughts, freedom of expression and freedom of personality. I discovered a sense of liberation from hypocrisy. I found my individuality – letting me make mistakes, letting me learn from them and giving me the gift of experience. I could believe in myself and my dreams – to be myself. Not only did the song inspired me to stand for the values and beliefs that I hold true, but it also helped me discover the real me – the “me” that was lost somewhere. And then it finally happened! I was in love – with me!
I might be a “work in progress” learning to celebrate myself appreciating and honouring “me” for my gifts and talents along with all my flaws and shortcomings but I still, “I love me.”
I might be a “work in progress” growing in confidence and as a person and even when it does seem daunting and confusing at the same time figuring out my truest essence but still, “I love me.”
I might be a “work in progress” identifying, exploring and expressing my individuality and uniqueness. But I believe in my authenticity and originality. I represent my own style, character, and opinion and “I love me” for it.
I might be a “work in progress” still trying to come to terms with the true perception of who I am and testing my newfound courage and freedom but still, “I love me” for it.
And I have realized that loving me is the best I can do at loving others. I mean, how I could love someone else before loving myself. Today I feel closer to myself I have ever been. Because I not only love me when everybody does, but I also love me when nobody does.
And amidst all the chaos of finding and getting found, it suddenly dawned on me that there might be all these ideals about what is perfect and what is beautiful and what is smart, but the most appealing thing is, that which is “me” is nobody else. I am “special” indeed in my own way and I am going to live that way. I am happy loving me because it has made my life more enlightening, meaningful and fulfilling. And this blog, my friends, is the result of discovering my true self, where I truly embody my truest essence, setting myself free, feeling liberated, loving myself and spreading the word.
Ever since “I love me” more each day and this song has become my go-to motto and even now whenever I feel blue or need self-esteem boost I simply put the song on the speaker to get my groove back!
This post is a part of the #UnapologeticGirlz Blogathon Train hosted by Preetjyot, Jasmeet, and Charu. It brings me immense pleasure to share that I, along with 30 other bloggers are celebrating Women’s Day with a twist. I would like to thank Ravijot Kaur for introducing me. Ravijot is a strong single mother who is courageously raising her daughter. She shares the journey of her life with multifarious interests at Shining Shower. Read her take on the prompt “Self-love” here. I would like to introduce Revati Bhushan. A fellow stay-at-home mom she was a Soft Skills Trainer in the corporate world when motherhood happened. She now shares her parenting journey at Mommy Musings. I’m sure you will enjoy reading her take on the prompt here. Please check out other wonderful posts on the theme by other boarders as well. Here comes the train! Choo Choo!
A “happy” stay-at-home mom might come as a myth to many. Why you ask? Because statistically speaking, the stay-at-home moms are the ones prone to boredom, anxiety, depression, and aggression owing to their demanding, exhausting and isolating nature of work that can be too taxing on their mental wellbeing.
I’m a doctoral degree holder and I have been a meritorious student all my student life. But presently I’m “just” a stay-at-home mom. Did you get offended when I said “just” a stay-at-home mom? Yeah! Even I was among those who didn’t feel proud of my “not-so-job-like job” as a stay-at-home mom. And trust me; the pride that I am taking today in being one didn’t come overnight. It has gradually grown with time simultaneously with my son. And today, after more than two years into it, I cannot emphasize enough how proud and thankful I feel for the opportunity.
So, does it even cross my mind even for a second that I’m wasting my hard earned education?
Never! Never ever!
My education is being put to good use. It’s just that having a career is not one of them at the moment. So what if I don’t get accolades and recognition for what I do. So what if I don’t draw a handsome paycheque for the time and energy I invest in my little man. Instead of leaves I get unannounced wet kisses, smothered all over my face. No employer can be so generous I’m sure. Instead of appraisals, I get plenty of “I love you, mommy” in a single day. How about that? Instead of health coverage I am asked, “What’s wrong or All OK?” several times during the day. Can any job in the whole wide world be so satisfying? It’s surreal!
True happiness comes from satisfaction, right? And being happy is what I choose every day. So how exactly I’m a “happy” stay-at-home mom?
1) I’m happy by making sense out of nonsense
It was sleep time for my son. My toddler doesn’t go to sleep without his favourite blanket. And I have to wash it and get it dried in a single day for it to be available for him. So on one such day when he asked me about it, I said, “It’s right there. Let me bring it.” And I went and brought it to him. But he started to cry saying he wants to bring it. So I went and kept it back for him to bring. But again, he started to cry, saying, “Mummy will bring.” I brought it again, but he again wanted to bring it by himself. This continued for a good 15 minutes in a loop when I finally gave up and yelled at him for being so unreasonable. The poor soul started to cry again, yet, he came up to me, climbed on my lap and snuggled into my arms only to fall asleep within minutes even when I was the one at fault to hurt his feelings. And it was then that it perfectly made sense. Sometimes you derive happiness from the most nonsensical and illogical things. I will always be his happy place and that makes me so happy. No matter what, he will come to me for both comfort when he’s in distress and for rejoicing when he’s happy. So does it matter if just a second before I was scratching my head in complete confusion, unable to comprehend his behaviour? My toddler is unpredictable and his actions unexplainable but with him, I’m learning to make sense out of the nonsense.
2) I am happy by finding music in noise
Even if you have read several books on parenting I’m sure you would have been confronted with occasions when none of the parenting mantras work. At some point or the other, you must have felt clueless without a sense of direction. Are you nodding in approval? Because children come with all sorts of hues and shades of moods and which shade becomes their current favourite is very difficult to guess. And, there’s no such thing as universal parenting, which can suit every child. So even when Shaarav’s terrible twos have barely begun I still get meltdowns every now and then. There are screaming and howling directed towards me for literally no reason. But when I pick him up and hold him close he hugs me tightly. And in the moments for which the hug lasts, I feel his heart-beat in sync with mine that beat together in unison. When I am about to lose it all I rather choose to stay calm. I am learning to find music in noise because if I cannot tame my own temper how am I going to help him in expressing his feelings and emotions? This way I’m better in rhythm with his moods and feelings.
3) I’m happy by hearing what’s not spoken
My child is my best critic. I mean he’s the only one who gives me feedbacks that are unbiased and far from being formal. I ask him, “Did you eat your tiffin?” and he’d say, “Finished” and I check his lunch box only to find it untouched. And I take a mental note for not sending sautéed French beans for his tiffin again. I ask him, “I’m preparing oats for dinner. Is it OK?” and he’d say, “No” only to find him finishing off his plate within minutes. And I again take a mental note that he likes oats. Some days he says stuff he means it, while on other days he says one thing but means entirely the other thing. But the mommy in me is learning to hear what’s not spoken and I feel happy when I ace it.
4) I’m happy by taking what’s not given
My toddler finds immense happiness in dancing in my arms, jumping on my back, pulling my hair and tickling me, which I find extremely annoying. But I understand that this is his way of reminding me that all he wants is me – to be beside me and explore the world with me. I understand that even if I have no chance at winning myself “the best employee of the year award” I’ll still have my son as my biggest true fan. And while I don’t get to throw parties for big success at work I’m happy to celebrate my little accomplishments with Pizza party. I’m still learning to take what’s not given.
5) I’m happy by staying fixed even when I’m broken
And for all the above-mentioned reasons, even when I struggle through the day to not get upset and unleash my temper on my toddler because he unfolded the laundry the eighth time I folded it back, I still prepare his favourite Soyabean chilly for lunch. Because I’m happy to watch that spark in his eyes and that big grin on his face when he sees his favourite food on the plate. I’m learning to keep it together even when I’m on the verge of breaking loose.
True womanhood is about identifying the real you. It is about chasing your dreams and making them come true. It is about empowerment and what makes you happy. Motherhood is a truly empowering spirit and I have realized that if you’re unhappy with the choices you’ve made you can never really enjoy the exceptionally rewarding experience and joy that motherhood has to offer. And happiness comes from the satisfaction.
A “happy” stay-at-home mom is not a myth. Actually, the reality is far from it and I’m a living example. Because when being a mom itself is hard, being a working mom or a stay-at-home mom is definitely harder. But happiness is a choice that I choose every day despite all sorts of challenges and setbacks that I face time and again. Because it is not happy people who are thankful but it is thankful people who are happy. And I’m thankfully happy to be blessed with the opportunity and privilege to pour and invest myself and my time in raising my son. Even though it is exhausting and I’m left feeling burned out I am happy watching my son grow into an intelligent, kind and compassionate little man. And I have immense satisfaction in knowing that being a “happy” stay-at-home mom, I have the privilege to be a part of my child’s life and to be happily present for him physically and emotionally, be it tending or toiling.
This post is a part of the #MomsSpeakUp Blog Train hosted by Prisha and Nayantara. I would like to thank Ravijot Kaur for introducing me. Read their take on the prompt here. I would like to introduce Anoushka Singhal. I’m sure you will enjoy reading her take on the prompt here. Please check out other wonderful posts on the theme by other boarders as well. Here comes the train! Choo Choo!
It’s not even been a month since I joined this amazing community of bloggers and I have been nominated for the much coveted Liebster Award 2018. I feel so privileged and honoured for the love and appreciation that I am receiving and owe it to the readers for accepting me as a part the blogosphere. I am really happy with the way my blog is blossoming, slowly but steadily. My heart fills with pride and happiness to see my “baby” getting appreciation and accolades. I thank all my readers for all the support and motivation and hope that my posts continue to mesmerize you and keep you coming back.
Cloud and Sunshine is the abode where my heart dwells and where my emotions form words, taking shape of stories and tales and even advice and suggestions. It’s the place where I pour my heart to paint vivid pictures with my words and spark imagination. Cloud and Sunshine is where I relish being when I am not busy mothering my 15-month-old. I started Cloud and Sunshine as a canvas where I could paint pictures and embroider stories from my rendezvous with life and parenthood. (If you want to know more about me visit my “About” page.)
I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Jena Pendarvis for finding my blog worthy enough for the nomination. Thank you very much, Jena! Jena is a lovely soul, a new mom and a wonderful writer who untangles the knots of her artistic thoughts through her blog posts. Her blog is the reflection of her artistic talent which she uses to showcase, beautifully, through her writings and expressions. From whatever little I have come to know about her through her posts, it has left me awed and wanting for more. The challenges she has faced and the battles she has won make her the strong woman she is today. I would request you to take a peek into her life and amazing content by visiting her blog and be truly inspired.
What makes me passionate about blog posting?
Upsurges of uncharted emotions that I feel as my newfound motherhood, inspires me to document it for my son to know and learn from it. I feel it’s not the destination, but the journey that makes it more interesting and worthwhile. As I sail through my journey of parenthood, the challenges I face and the (mis)adventures I stumble across enriches my life. And, it is the urge to share my experiences and learning that I gather as I go, with the world by way of my life stories and tales is what makes me passionate about blog posting.
10 Random Facts About Me
1) I hate pets but would like a cute dog as a pet for my son.
2) I am a Virgo and strongly believe in sun signs.
3) I had an arranged marriage, but because of our chemistry people often confuse it to be a love marriage.
4) I take out time to write for my blog either when my kid sleeps or by staying awake every alternate night.
5) I do the major part of my shopping online from the comfort of my home.
6) I am a neat freak and go crazy when I find my things out of place.
7) I am an emotionally challenged person who usually doesn’t know how to react to a particular situation, where I might show a different reaction while I am feeling an altogether different one.
8) I am not fond of jewellery as much as I am fond of gadgets and technology.
9) I strongly dislike people who don’t value time and money.
10) I was so huge when pregnant that people often asked me if I were carrying twins.
Answering the questions I have been asked:
1) Would you rather be someone’s sun or moon and why?
The Sun is unquestionably the brightest star of our galaxy and the ultimate source of our energy. It illuminates our lives with its sunshine and provides heat and warmth. But as much as I might be inclined to be someone’s sun and spread sunshine in their lives, yet I choose to be their moon so that I can brighten their world during their darkest hour when their sun isn’t hanging around to provide the light.
2) Which would you rather watch, the sunrise or sunset?
Both sunrise and sunset are beautiful, exotic and magical in their own aspect. While both of them are breathtaking still the sunset hues with its vibrancy of colours and embedded romantic notes is far more captivating and stunning. But I’d rather choose to watch the sunrise, as it comes to me with a ray of hope – a hope of a fresh new day, a hope of new beginnings and a thankful heart for being alive to live another beautiful day. The serenity of the sunrise for me marks the dawn of exciting possibilities for a brand new day and opens a plethora of prospects for spending the day and being grateful for having been granted it.
3) What is your ritual to begin creating/writing?
Being an overtime mom to an all-time-charged-up toddler, it really makes it impossible for me to stick to any particular ritual and religiously follow it. I don’t have any particular routine to begin my writing, yet I am open to fresh perspective all the time. I always keep my desk ready for productivity so that I do not have to spend the little time I get in prepping my desk. Whenever I come to my desk, I mean business and pour my thoughts incessantly. And while I’m away from my desk and some inspiration, ideas or thoughts do happen to pop up, I just type them out on my phone and store them for later use and build around them once I get time.
4) What/who inspires you in life the most?
I find my inspiration for writing in the day-to-day things which strike a chord in my heart and ignite a response – be it happiness, sadness, anger or excitement.
5) What movie genre would you consider to be your personality?
Though I like romantic and action movies as well, I am a diehard fan of good horror movies, those with the likes of The Conjuring and Insidious.
6) If you could grow a garden, would it have flowers or fruit/veggies?
I believe growing a fruit/veggies garden is what I want for myself since, even though flowers carry with them their beauty and fragrance it is the food that I want more. What could be better than a home produce of fresh fruits and vegetables right from your home kitchen garden, free of toxic pesticides and chemical fertilizers!
7) Would you rather cook or bake?
I, honestly, am clueless about baking so it is cooking for me.
8) If you could have one wish what would it be?
If I were granted one wish it would be to have a second child. Only this time around I wish it were my husband who conceived, carried and gave birth. (Sometimes, I truly feel that way. No offence!)
9) What artist would you want to see in a live concert?
So I am a big fan of music and I myself can sing fairly well. I love listening to the old classics of Kishore Kumar but he has been long dead. I would definitely want to hear him perform live.
10) What’s the youngest memory you have of your past?
Brace yourself, this one’s going to be interesting. So my sister is two years younger to me. When I was five I was allowed to go out of the house alone, but my sister being younger had never stepped foot outside the house alone.
One day being a good elder sister and feeling responsible for her I decided to take her out to play. While I was busy playing I completely forgot about her. When I finished playing and it was time to return home, I turned to take her, but she was not there where I had left her. I searched everywhere, but she was nowhere to be found. Then crying and sobbing inconsolably, I returned home to inform about it to my mom feeling dreadful of the repercussion.
To my utter shock what I see is that she is busy enjoying her evening snack merrily sitting on my mother’s lap. And then I heaved a sigh of relief. So it had so happened that while I was busy playing she had found her way back to home all by herself. And I am still clueless when she learned to do that. In a nutshell, I had a fortunate escape from what could have turned into a good thrashing session for me. Thank God she returned home safe. That was the most dreaded I have ever felt in my entire life as long and as far as I can remember.
1) If given the power to time-travel would you rather go into the past or the future? Give your reasons.
2) If you were to choose to be born with one disability (choose from blind, deaf and dumb) what would it be and why?
3) Have you ever watched the cloud and imagined it to form some shape?
4) Which Disney character do you relate to and why?
5) If given a second chance what would you do differently?
6) What is your idea of God and spirituality?
7) Which comics fan are you Marvel’s or DC’s and why?
8) What is the story behind your blog and how did it get its name?
9) Do you need to have a baby to feel complete and if you were unable to give birth yourself, would you rather have a baby by surrogacy or adoption? Give reasons.
10) Among the 7 wonders of the world which one do you find the most deserving and why? (Additionally, you could also rank them according to your choice.)
11) What does true love mean to you?
Rules of the Liebster Award 2018
1) Thank the person who nominated you, and put a link to their blog on your blog. Try to include a little promotion for the person who nominated you.
2) Display the award on your blog.
3) Write a small post about what makes you passionate about blog posting.
4) Provide 10 random facts about yourself.
5) Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel would enjoy blogging about this award.
6) List these rules in your post.
7) Inform the people/blogs that you nominated.
For more detailed information on the Liebster Award 2018 visit here.
If you choose to accept the nomination answer my questions, remember to tag me and inform me about your post by leaving a comment here for me to have a look at your answers. Hope you enjoy answering my questions. And don’t forget to nominate other bloggers to discover, connect and support the blogging community.
It was Valentine’s Day a few days ago and I so wanted to write this for Valentine’s Day. But then I decided against it and saved it for a later date. And more than anything, it was long overdue and I needed to pen it down.
Because, as an exhausted stay-at-home mom all my days are full of the daily mundane activities from which I consciously try to steal those little moments of romantic love. So in a way, all my days are special and every day is a Valentine’s Day. And it couldn’t come at an opportune time to pay tribute to the man of my life for all his earnest efforts, firm support and understanding throughout the time we have known each other.
My life, today, is all about my 15-month-old and most of the time my role as a mom gets in the way of my role as a wife. Yes, I am guilty of neglecting your needs, because often I need to choose our kid before you. Because sometimes, caring for our kid’s needs means putting his needs before yours. As a mom, this is the most difficult place to be in and as much as I hate this I find myself in the same spot again and again. And it is easier to be a mom than be a wife.
It is like snuggling into you cosily under a blanket and wanting to completely be in the moment with you enjoying it, but yet finding myself peeping over your shoulder from time to time to see if the baby is sleeping peacefully. No matter what, our baby will always be my first priority.
But it doesn’t imply that I don’t hold you up in my heart the way I once did. Oh, absolutely not. But yes, it does mean that the moment we decided to bring this innocent life on earth, it got decided by default that I am always going to choose him before you. It means putting our needs as a couple and as individuals temporarily on hold.
Bringing a baby into the world is unquestionably a life-altering decision, and no matter how much you think you are prepared you are never really prepared for it. “Because the twists and turns your life are going to get is never really mapped until you embark on the journey.” But having a companion to share the challenges and the adventure along the way truly makes it worthwhile. And my heart is forever going to remain grateful and indebted to my companion for life – to you Mr. Husband.
I thank you deeply for the epitome of patience you have been, since the moment we became pregnant till this day when we are raising together this super energetic, never-staying-still toddler. I thank you for holding patience all along our pregnancy and bearing my sporadic mood swings. So yes, life is pretty different from when we first started – from a carefree life as the newlyweds to the overcautious life as the new parents. And amidst all the melodrama that my life has turned into, the wife in me takes a backseat as the mom in me takes charge.
I admit it is exciting, but it is difficult too.
I agree it is fulfilling, but it is exhausting as well.
This journey, so far, has been one hell of a ride, but I honestly miss those carefree days when we could do just what we wanted without having to bother about this tiny soul whose life now depends on us. I miss being able to express and reciprocate to you as much as I want to and as profoundly I feel about it. Sometimes I just want to rewind my life once again and be that slaphappy 25-year old that could live life as a freewheeler. I sincerely miss those times when we could go anywhere, just on a random whim and return home whenever we felt like, and when eating out meant enjoying a romantic elaborate dinner leisurely. I miss those long drives listening from our “curated playlist” and those “insightful conversations” over coffee. I miss indulging in those long, freewheeling shopping sprees without having to bother about the finances.
I miss “us” and our happy “us-time” together.
I try to be happy in my own skin, and yet desperately trying to fit back into my old clothes. I want my energy levels back and also my flawless skin. I know you say I still look beautiful to you, but sometimes with dishevelled milk stained, food smeared and poop sullied clothes and wild unkempt hair it is hard to be convinced. I know you say you still love me, but I find it hard to believe when most of our conversations are about our precious son which start and end with him. I am honestly grateful that you still find me attractive, yet, the c-section scar, the bulging belly, and the diminished energy levels still bother me. I miss being the athlete I once was who was able to play all types of outdoor sports.
I miss the old “me”.
Life is different. Life is good. I am happy.
But life with the baby is so different. We are busier than ever and we never seem to find time to do things that we enjoy doing. There’s always a lack of time and shortage of money. With only one earning member and three mouths to feed the budget seems only tighter. All our money is spent keeping our baby well fed and comfortably clothed. Today eating out is more trouble than it is deserved and the so-called date nights frequently involves a cranky baby and food splatters and smears on our clothes.
Life is a lot more different than what we expected it to be. I do not mean to imply I’m unhappy with my life. Oh sure, we are the happiest we have ever been. But looking back at those countless exhausted and sleep-deprived nights it reminds me how difficult it has been and still, we have managed to do it all. And I wouldn’t have been able to do it without you.
“Of course, nobody comes out of parenthood unscathed and I am not sure if every parent is candid about it. But I am pretty sure that these are the scars I want to don. And not just don but to also flaunt it proudly.”
Because it has been a privilege to bring this tiny human into the world and I am having the best time of my life. I am the happiest I have ever been and I would not change a thing about it. Neither would I want to do it any differently. And all thanks to you for standing by my side always being this unwavering and unfaltering source of support and motivation.
Life is so good, but at the same time so consuming. But I am hopeful. I am hopeful that life won’t be like this always and one day this will all be over. One day. One fine day there will only be us, again. Yet, it won’t be the same us, as parenthood has changed us inside out. The change is undeniable. And undeniable is the love that we feel for each other which has only grown deeper as we get stronger through these challenges. Though we can’t be those naively free-spirited wanderers anymore my love for you has grown only deeper watching you in your “Dad-shoes”. It’s a treat to watch you with the baby, being so gentle and handling the baby with tenderness despite your macho persona.
Someday it will be over
Life is emphatically better with our tiny human with us. But one day it won’t remain difficult to be a wife than being a mom. One day when our little man is all grown up and busy with his life we will again find us, still standing beside each other that we once chose to overlook feeling burdened with our parenting responsibilities. One day when cleaning up the spilled milk, changing the soiled diapers and doing the laundry will be a distant past. One day there won’t be a runny nose to wipe, pounding headaches from sleepless nights and tiny hands to scatter things around. One day we will rediscover each other holding hands and be patting our backs on how well we did in raising our baby to become a kind human being.
You will always be the person I’ll keep on taking for granted. You will always be the person I will lean on when I need a shoulder to cry. You will always be the person I need to guide me through when I can’t find the light. You will always be the person who brings a smile to my face and brightens my day.
I feel lucky to be sharing my life with you. The way you have maintained your patience and calm speaks volumes about your inner strength and shows how much you love me. I feel obligated towards you for being so understanding and loving me looking past my flaws. I am horrible at expressing myself when it comes to showing my feelings for you. I’ll just say that I love you dearly and I’m glad for having you by my side. Life is uncertain and unpredictable, but with you standing by me, I am ready to take on life as it comes.
“For me, love and happiness prevail where you are.”
Valentine’s Day is up and you might be reminiscing those times when cupid struck you and your heart was filled with unfathomable love for your spouse. But when you thought your heart was already filled with so much love, you got hit with the cupid yet again, and this time with a breathtakingly amazing little miracle that you made. Having a baby in the picture definitely changes the whole dimension of the love that you already knew giving it a new meaning, definition, and perspective.
Valentine’s Day as a new parent is a great opportunity and the perfect excuse to pause, unwind and rekindle the lost romance. But romance might be the last thing on your mind from the exhaustion of caring for the baby and tending to their needs. But behold! This Valentine’s Day is more special because it’s not just the romantic love that you are celebrating, but also the eternal love that you feel for your little one. And only because you feel exhausted just by the thought of going out or you don’t have time to plan anything lavish, or you have a tight budget, it shouldn’t stop you from spicing up the day and putting the romance back into your relationship.
Here’s a list of Valentine’s Day ideas for new parents just like me to make this day special and memorable not just for you, but also for the baby in the comfort of your home:
Now, who doesn’t like gifts? I’m sure all of us do. But you don’t need to go overboard to show your love and make it special. A gift need not be a very high priced stuff and cost a fortune. The idea is to remind your spouse that he is loved and cared for. So a thoughtful present instead should be more appropriate. You can be creative by involving the baby and use the baby to make some amazing gifts for both of you with minimum effort. You can try moulding dough, clay or ceramic to prepare a keepsake for both of you and commemorate the day by imprinting your baby’s handprints and footprints. It can be a fun and enjoyable experience and a perfect gift for Valentine’s Day. What better way to gift each other something by your little fellow and from your little fellow?
Who said Valentine’s Day couldn’t involve the baby? Valentine’s Day may seem cliché to some, but it’s the perfect opportunity to click some candid photographs with the baby and give your relationship a new boost. You can be innovative and creative with your ideas to get some amazing shots with the baby, which you can add to your collection and make memories. If you are down on ideas, taking ideas from the internet can be a good option.
We all have been on dates before having the baby, but a date after the baby might seem a far-fetched idea. Rest assured, you can still make it happen with a little effort. You can elevate the fun by cooking your favourite foods together after the baby falls asleep and enjoy each other’s company. But if you do not want it to be elaborate instead of cooking you can still order some take-away from your favourite restaurant and have a candle-lit dinner. Just a change of lighting and some soothing, romantic music can set the mood for the night.
I am sure it must have been a while since you watched a movie together. With a baby in the picture and all the sleep deprivation the idea of a movie can seem a bit elusive and be getting a good night’s sleep can be more alluring. But it is Valentine’s Day guys and it’s your first Valentine’s Day as a new parent; give your relationship a little spice up by playing this little game. Both of you can write 5 movies each on small chits (movies can be new releases, all-time favourites, romance classics etc.). Now fold the chits and mix them up. Toss a coin to decide who gets to pick the chit. Now when you have a movie chosen, settle in for a cosy movie date snuggling under a blanket with a bowl of popcorn, piping hot coffee and maybe some chocolates.
Talk and Reconnect
Even if you don’t have the time and patience to go through a whole movie you can still add a little love and tenderness to the day by just having a heartfelt conversation with your spouse. With the endless nights of sleep deprivation the daunting new responsibilities as a new parent, it can be quite frustrating and you might end up adding stress to your relationship. You can take this day as a chance to reconnect with your spouse by getting cosy and speaking your hearts out. You can appreciate each other, talk about your future together with the baby and about your relationship and personal goals. You can also travel down the memory to your first date or even plan your next vacation. The idea is to reignite the lost spark.
So here’s my list of Valentine’s Day ideas for all the busy, sleep deprived and exhausted new parents out there. Having a baby shouldn’t come in the way of celebrating love. In fact, a baby gives you all the more reasons to celebrate than you already had. Now, I’m not going to choose from these ideas above, rather I’ll put to use all these ideas to make my day more interesting and special. What are your ideas for celebrating Valentine’s Day as a new parent?
How does it feel when the nurse hands you a bundle wrapped in new responsibilities? Congratulations, you’re a Dad! “Overwhelmed” couldn’t even begin to describe the mixed bag of emotions a New Dad feels. It doesn’t matter if the baby was planned or “accidental”, the truth is, the first few weeks of bringing home a newborn is daunting at both physical and emotional levels. Parenting is a daunting task and more so for the first time parents. New Dads are typically bewildered and confused, and find it difficult to process that they are actually a father, even after an eternal nine-month long wait. The news usually takes time to sink in.
Mr. Husband was in a state of utter bewilderment when our tiny human was handed to him. One can fairly get an idea of the extent of Mr. Husband’s bewilderment from the fact that each time when someone asked him how old the baby was, he would look towards me, pleadingly, asking to save him from embarrassment. Because, precisely, my man here doesn’t exactly know how old our baby is; leave alone expecting of him to remember baby’s vaccination schedule. Poor soul! How he wished the baby came with a user manual.
While to new moms parenting comes rather instinctive and intuitive since they are said to be “programmed” for this, for clueless puzzled New Dads it’s more of an on-the-job-training. Mr. Husband had to learn the basics, step-by-step.
So while Mr. Husband was uninformed and unsure about the whole parenting thing, it actually helps to make a difference by being a know-it-all-Dad. Here I’m listing 5 pieces of the solved puzzle from the firsthand experience of fatherhood from a New Dad.
New Dad Puzzle No. 1: Why don’t I feel love for my newborn?
It’s said that motherly love is mostly instinctive whereas fatherly love is a learned behaviour. Mothers feel instant love for their newborns since they have been growing and nurturing them in their womb for nine months. But a New Dad may not feel the connection instantly. Though it’s common, to some New Dads it doesn’t come naturally. They find it difficult to admit and comprehend the lack of emotion and find themselves wondering if something’s wrong with them. Some New Dads even find themselves drowned in guilt and self-pity for not doing it right. But there’s no shame in admitting if a New Dad has problems bonding with the baby.
For us, Mr. Husband felt that instant connection with our baby when he first saw Shaarav. They hit it off instantly. His bond to Shaarav is even stronger than mine. All thanks to me that I kept asking him to talk and sing to the baby bump throughout the pregnancy. He felt the connection built for the first time when he felt Shaarav kick in the womb. Shaarav had been responding to his Papa’s voice ever since. He would respond with an immediate kick or nudge whenever his Papa talked to him. Mr. Husband couldn’t thank me enough for this. But still, at times I could see hesitancy and puzzled expressions on his face which he needed little guidance with.
New Dad Tip No. 1:
Don’t despair if that instant love doesn’t happen. You can totally give a rest to the societal pressure of immediately falling in love with the baby as soon as you look at or hold the baby. Sometimes it doesn’t happen. In order to foster bonding with your little one, the physical touch and skin-to-skin contact is the most important. Talking and singing to the baby making eye contacts, particularly helps in a good bonding experience. The love gradually develops as you become an involved father engaging yourself in burping the baby, changing diapers, and rocking the baby to sleep. You are eventually, very certainly, going to fall for their cute angelic face, those bright, twinkling eyes and, boy oh boy, those perfect toothless smiles. And it won’t be late when you will find yourself basking in the glory of your own “masterpiece”.
New Dad Puzzle No. 2: How to hold these tiny creatures?
Holding these tiny human beings can be utterly terrifying and extremely intimidating. They are so tiny when they are born and in a couple of days, they shrink even more, and more so when the baby has a low birth weight baby or is born prematurely. Newborns have a soft and delicate head with no control on their neck whatsoever and need constant support to avoid injury.
Though Shaarav was a big baby compared to others, in spite of it, Mr. Husband was petrified to hold him. When the nurse tried to hand over the baby to Mr. Husband, he froze and just stood there for some good 10-15 seconds gaping at the nurse with his mouth wide open. I believe his jaws could have touched the floor had he not come to his senses in another 5 seconds or so. He had this bewildered look on his face as if saying they were committing a sin by asking him to hold this fragile thing. How could they? It was quite a scene and though my stitches hurt, I still had a hearty laugh. It was hilarious. I remember he had difficulty picking up the baby. And when the baby was handed to him, he would first take positions (deciding which side he wanted the baby’s the head to be) but after that, he would be just fine. Once he mastered the art, rest is history.
New Dad Tip No. 2:
The most important thing in holding a newborn is to cradle the neck and head in a comfortable position to give them support. Just don’t shake, throw or drop the baby. Put your common sense to use. Rest you must be fine and live to see another day and tell another story!
New Dad Puzzle No. 3: How to soothe a crying baby?
Newborns can cry for various reasons and crying is the only way they know of to communicate and express them. So if they are hungry, or feel sleepy, or need to be changed or are tired or are sick, they are going to communicate by crying (read howling). Small babies can be quite a howler.
Shaarav was a howler when he needed a change and Mr. Husband would wake up from sleep with a pounding headache all confused and annoyed. God bless him! But Shaarav has always been a very calm and happy baby and he seldom cried even as a baby. But on occasions that he did, he was difficult to calm and Mr. Husband, unable to comfort him, would just hand him to me to soothe. You see babies are intelligent creatures. They are brilliant at picking up emotions and sensing your fear. Babies are able to “mirror you” as they spend a large amount of the little time that they are awake in studying faces and expressions, especially their parents’. Babies use all their senses to identify and differentiate other people from their caregivers.
New Dad Tip No. 3:
Don’t take it personally when your baby begins to cry just looking at you or the instant you hold him. While it’s a good idea if you want to hoard on earplugs, it’s even better to know the tips and tricks of calming a cranky and crying baby. You need to show them that you’re confident, even when you’re not. Babies particularly begin to relax once they begin to feel your growing confidence. You might as well try rocking them gently as most babies love motion. Shaarav would also feel comfort from tenderly talking and enjoy the “one-sided” conversations.
New Dad Puzzle No. 4: How to change those dirty diapers?
For the first three months, there will be poop, lots and lots of it – in different colours, in different textures, in different smells, also in different quantities and probably in different sizes too. It’s always good to be prepared and stock up on diapers if that’s what you are going to use. Now changing diapers or even nappies for that matter can be really tricky when you have a squirmy and wriggly baby in hand. It might get messy if you are not careful. They can sweep their hands whenever and wherever they like.
Since I had a c-section and was on analgesic I could not move. Each time the baby pooped Mr. Husband would run to call the nurse on the charge to clean him up. Alas! The nurse had enough and gave him a good scold (giggle)! She challenged his fatherhood and he took that as a challenge to master the messy art. There was once this very famous incident when as soon as Mr. Husband opened Shaarav’s diapers for changing him, Shaarav let out a massive poop-explosion and Mr. Husband was all covered in poop. That was epic! I’m sure he has lots of poop stories to share with Shaarav when he grows up!
New Dad Tip No. 4:
So to avoid all the mess, before changing the diaper don’t forget to place a changing mat beneath as you never know just when you are busy cleaning up the puddles you can get a downpour. Give your baby something sensory to hold, such as a musical toy, lighting toy or pacifier so that his hands are busy while you change without messing up. Trust me on this.
New Dad Puzzle No. 5: How to make a newborn sleep?
Newborns spend about 16-18 hours sleeping. But yet it can be quite an uphill task to get an over-stimulated baby to sleep. Babies can both be heavy and light sleepers. Babies are used to living in close and dark quarters of the womb, and imitating the same helps them to relax and aid in making them sleep.
I don’t understand what it is with Shaarav and Mr. Husband that they enjoy each other’s company a lot. I mean “a lot”. Although Shaarav is a light sleeper and tends to wake up at the slightest noise, he still manages to sleep peacefully beside Mr. Husband despite him being a heavy snorer. Take note, when I say a heavy snorer I really mean a really heavy one. I have countless pictures of them sleeping skin-on-skin on his chest. Shaarav loved being rocked though, but hated being swaddled and wanted his hands free at all times.
New Dad Tip No. 5:
Shaarav typically found comfort in the warmth and closeness and motion. He snuggled up cozily as he relaxed. So it would be a good idea to gently rock the baby to sleep while cuddling them as close to yourself as possible. Swaddling the right way can also come handy for those babies who like being swaddled. Creating white noise also helps as babies are used to hearing the humdrum of the heart and other organs working during their stay in the womb.
Gear up guys! Fathering a newborn is definitely the most gruelling, demanding and messiest task you will ever do. You can only find solace from the fact that the adventure of fatherhood has just begun and the best is yet to come. Just remember, everyone has some bad days and that shouldn’t stop you from being the amazing dad that you are. It doesn’t mean you are a bad parent and there’s something wrong with your parenting. You are the Best Dad your child could ever have and nobody else can do this any better for your kid. Be proud! The time you spend with your little one enduring sleepless nights, changing smelly diapers, and rocking them to sleep truly defines and demonstrates a Dad’s love at its best. Be prepared to fall only to rise stronger. And enjoy every moment you can, including the bad ones, because whatever you do, you can never bring back this time once they are gone! And if this comforts you any, just so you know, you are not alone!
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!
It’s been five years together. Can you believe it? Isn’t that an accomplishment?
Wow! What a journey it has been!
I can’t stop smiling, knowing that we have been married this long. And look how far we have come, from being total strangers to become engaged, to become lovers, to become spouses and now, to become parents to this already handsome tiny human being.
I can’t believe how quickly time has flown by. But it still feels it was only yesterday when we used to talk on the phone for hours together at length with all those flirty messages.
Five years ago, you made me fall in love with you; slowly, but steadily. Times have changed since.
And so has our ways of expressing our love for each other. But what hasn’t changed in all these years is the love we share. Welcoming Shaarav in our lives has taken our relationship to a whole new level altogether.
I know our marriage is far from being perfect. Sure, we have had our tough times and our set of challenges. And I do not lie when I say there have been days when I’ve felt difficult to continue any longer. There have been days when I could take no more and so desperately wanted to call it quits. But the way we have worked on them with empathy and grace, and overcome our differences has made us the person that we are; better than we have ever been. And it has only made us strong, bringing us all the more close.
We fight, we cry, we annoy each other to the core and we even don’t talk to each other for a day or two. But we also love, respect and care for each other. I have watched you change for better and grow as a person over the years. Sometimes it surprises me how you have come a long way from being a couch potato to being this best hands-on dad I’ve ever known. This shows how you truly care. You have made what mattered to me, matter to you garnering my respect for you all the more. Watching you make conscious efforts, day after day, to be a better dad and an even better husband makes me so impressed and proud.
I might not express what I feel for you, every day. I don’t tell you this as often and as much as I should, but these have been the most amazing and fullest five years of my life. It’s been one interesting ride, full of fun, surprises and more than anything, adventurous. I wouldn’t in my dreams trade what we have for anything in the world. What we have is nothing short of being magical. So I particularly take this day to thank you for making this all so beautiful and cherished.
So, on this special day, a cheesy, cliche hearty love letter to you for our five years of togetherness is totally worth it.
Thank you for investing in our marriage every single day. I feel this sense of unfailing gratitude and love for you for finding me the light whenever it was far away, for cheering me up, for supporting and encouraging me in whatever I do and enkindling in me the very energy to keep me going.
No matter how sullen and grumpy I might be, you always manage to bring a smile to my face.
Thank you for appreciating me and accepting me with all my flaws and shortcomings with an open heart. I am certainly not the most lovable person, but looking into your eyes I can see how loved and cherished I am.
Thank you for putting up with my hormone-crazed pregnancy and post-pregnancy days. Thank you for bearing with my mood swings, emotional breakdowns and tantrums, and being so patient with me, that only you could have done. I know how difficult I can be at times. You and you alone can put up with me and my shenanigans and still manage to maintain your sanity.
Thank you for Shaarav. He is magic. He is a wonder. He is out of this world. He is a gift. He is you, only a smaller version. He is totally your replica – in looks, in habits, in everything, and in every way. And I am still jealous of it so that you know.
Thank you for being my rock. Thank you for being the shoulder I can lean on. You have been the biggest source of my strength and comfort through all my thick and thin. I feel beyond blessed to have you in my life to share my life with you.
You complete me.
The story we share and the journey we’ve had so far makes me believe that we are here to stay; that we are meant to be. We are going to stick together just the way we have done in the past. But I won’t make any promises because I don’t know how much of it I can keep. Yet, I can assure you that I will definitely make the journey worthwhile. I love you from the deepest reaches of my heart and I honestly can’t imagine my life without you. I love you more today than yesterday, and I will love you even more tomorrow than today.
It fills my heart with utter wonder to know that the best is right now and still yet to come. So cheers to all the laughs and tears we have shared and cheers to the rest of our lives that I look forward to annoying you and growing old together.