For My Daughter, My Pride and Joy!

GRACE, Happy Birthday.

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Oh, how the years fly.

It seems like yesterday when I first held your tiny hands in mine.

I was totally enraptured by you and my life found a new purpose.

Ten years now since you gave me a title and a new name, MOM.

You are a blessing and a constant reminder of God’s all encompassing GRACE.

 

You have taught me patience and self control.

I can now boast of being an efficient manager (with time and money).

I have learned that it’s not always about me.  In fact, it has never been about me.

In many ways, I was forced to give up many selfish tendencies, not that I am complaining.

I am a better person because of you.

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May God grant us a long time together so that I may watch you grow to be the beautiful, intelligent and God-fearing woman I know you will be.

I hope to become your friend through the different seasons (in triumph and in failure, in joy and in sadness) that you will no doubt encounter in life.

I will not always agree with your decisions, but I promise that I will respect and support you in any way I can.

And I hope you know that you can count on me no matter what.  After all, I am your greatest fan.

I love and cherish you today and always!

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Love,

Mom.

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Crossroads: Children, Work and Financial Freedom

fam image “For me, nothing has ever taken precedence over being a mother and having a family and a home.” – Jessica Lange

Before I got married, I had this dream of the ‘picture perfect’ home.  I would have it all –   a husband who adored me, beautiful and bright children, a paid up house and a career that I loved.  It is Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel who said, “A family can develop only with a loving woman as its center”, and I was determined to be that loving woman.  In retrospect, I must have imagined myself to be ‘superwoman’.

You make plans and life has its own way.  On the positive side, I did get a loving husband and two beautiful and wonderfully gifted children (for whom I do thank God daily) but I am still waiting on the career.  That ‘paid up house’; well, still in the pipeline though it seems more and more like a dream with every passing day.  As good as having my own house or a meaningful career would be, these are not my greatest concerns nowadays.  I am facing a different kind of challenge and it all boils down to good/responsible parenting, or at least what I perceive it to be.

It is something that every working mother faces from time to time.  Do you continue working outside the home or do you stay at home and look after your children?  As a mother, it’s always difficult being away from your young ones for so long, not to mention the guilt that comes with the decision to work.  Sometimes, it feels like a no-win kind of situation especially where there are financial considerations.  Do you choose putting a meal on the table or being there when your child arrives home in the evening from school?

My personal situation is made worse by the hours I have to keep.  I have to be out of the house very early in the morning in order to beat the perennial traffic jams and have to spend more than three hours in the evening going back.  In fact, I spend a little over nine hours in my house during normal working days.  What this actually means is that I spend a maximum of one hour daily with my daughters hardly enough for daily updates let alone EVERYTHING else!

In the words of C.S. Lewis, “The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only – and that is to support the ultimate career”.  I am sure many women (including countless career women), would love to take on the role of a homemaker.  It is the most unappreciated career and yet the most fulfilling.  For me, being a ‘stay-at-home’ mom would be the perfect solution – not just for my children but also for my health (not the greatest these days, no surprise there!) – except for one little problem, how do I replace the income that I would definitely be losing should I choose this route?  It is a problem that has been foremost on my thoughts since the beginning of the year but which, unfortunately, I have not been able to find a solution to.

Abdul Kalam, an Indian scientist, administrator and the 11th President of India (2002 to 2007) once said, “If a country is to be corruption free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three key societal members who can make a difference. They are the father, the mother and the teacher.”  Frankly, I believe that there is a relationship between the declining moral fabric of the society and ‘parental absenteeism’.  It is what happens when instead of children learning values from their parents they are taught by TV sitcoms and serial dramas with absolutely no morals.  Needless to say, these are real problems which cannot just be wished away.  I may not be able to do much but I have personally given myself till the end of the year to find a solution.  After all is said and done, my children MUST come first.
I draw strength from the fact that I am not alone in my struggles and neither is my story unique.  Millions of women have traveled down this road before, many of them with great success.

What is your experience? Please share and let’s learn from one another.

Blessings!

She was eight months and still curled her feet inwards every time I tried to make her stand. A plethora of emotions engulfed me as I tried one more time to make her stand up on my lap. As I held her tiny hands and looked at her beautiful face, I could feel the tears burning at the corner of my eyes.  ‘You have to be stronger than this’, I silently admonished myself as I laid her back down on my lap.  Her innocent smile told me that she was more comfortable lying down than being forced to stand up which she obviously did not want to do.

Though I was not a first time mother, I felt inept at handling the situation.  My first born had spared me to a large extent from the normal worries a mother goes through with a newborn.  She had always been favored with great health – never having contracted even a cold – and an intelligence beyond her age.  In fact, all she had ever appeared to need was to be fed after which she always seemed content to be left alone.  My second born, on the other hand, was a parallel experience.

About three months earlier, I had started working for a company that offered therapeutic massage services for free as a way of demonstrating its products’ efficacy with the ultimate aim of making sales.  As a rule, I had to learn about the principles behind the product that included massage, moxibustion, far infrared heat, etc.  It was from this premise  that I thought of putting to practice what I had learnt about massage and its benefits.  I would make her lie down on her tummy and gently massage her back, concentrating on her lower back after every bath.  In no time, she started straightening out her legs though at first, they were weak and would not hold her up and in under two months, she could stand by herself.

To learn more about the benefits of massage, visit: http://escapenycmassage.com/242-2/

My daughter turned five years this past June and has the most beautiful, strong legs ever.  As a mother,  seeing her always fills me with joy but every time I remember the early days, I am filled with gratitude.  Her story could have unfolded in a million ways and I am sure I would have loved her no matter.  Still, the fact that her problem was solved with a few sessions of massage,  fills me with hope that there is more to this life than we can see with our eyes.

I have no doubt that there are so many riches just waiting to be discovered by the inquisitive mind and everyday I wake up in expectation of what the universe has in store for me.