How motherhood has changed me? or has it evolved me?

When Pooja from themumandbabies.com invited me to join the blog train comprising of 41 moms across the globe who will share their stories about how motherhood has changed them, I felt this post will be a cakewalk for me. Afterall, I have been a mom for 27 months now!

For the past few days, I have gone back and forth wondering how I have changed or in fact if I have changed at all. I concluded – I haven’t, but I feel I have evolved.

I think my journey began even before I had Kenisha – in June 2013 when we got a Moose home. Back then, we were a newly married carefree couple busy with our work over weekdays and recklessly lazing around or exploring places over the weekend.

Moose was just 35 days old when he arrived home, but I guess he might have been separated from his mom and siblings much earlier. It sank in rather quick that little guy looked up to me to take care of him from this moment onwards. So began the role of a mother – feed, sleep, clean his litter, repeat.

Siddhant and I are dog lovers but Moose became the first dog that we actually got home. Clearly, with no real experience, we were on a roller coaster ride. Sid was busy at work while I managed my business from home.

Suddenly I had a lot more to do than I wanted to. Feeding a pup 5 times, clearing up afterward, constant petting and reassuring, running down from 11th floor for potty training after each meal, discipline training sessions, vaccination follow-ups and what not! Motherhood sure kicked in early.

But in return, I found a companion for those long hours of work alone at home. I had someone to cuddle with and enjoy long runs and walks every evening. I loved this feeling and it reassured me of my capability to take care of a little human in future. Our family had begun!

moose and cherry

Cherry joins the gang

Then in September 2014, we came across a post in one of the groups calling for volunteers to foster an abandoned female Labrador. We named her Cherry.

It took us two months to get her health back on track. And by then we realized how well she got along with Moose.So we finally took a call for adopting her. Now I had 2 babies.

 

June 2015, I was blessed with a baby girl. Life took a 360-degree turn like it does for every mom. Nonetheless, I felt at ease. I knew this. I was expecting this. I was ready.

motherhood

My little angel

My daughter is my biggest strength today. She has helped me face my biggest demons with a smile, pushed me out of my comfort zone, made me a responsible and a mature woman, helped me prioritize and be less stressed when I mess up, seek joy in the smallest things and above all made me a much happier person!

The C-sec scars heal and the post-pregnancy weight also bids farewell. But this precious tiny human helps a woman realize her true potential.

Motherhood

Our beautiful family

I am more patient, more loving. Not just to my own child but towards all children I meet. I respect my mom a million times over and all the other beautiful moms who are doing the best in their ability to raise a beautiful and responsible human. I judge less and I accept more.

My traveling partner

Motherhood has helped me let go of perfection and accept the fact that I cannot control it all. It has made me real and accepting of my flaws. But it has given me the strength to also stand up to new challenges. Today, I want to be fit and healthy. I want to prove to my daughter that women can do a lot more than what’s set for them traditionally. Even though in the past I have been a marketing professional as well as a businesswoman woman, today if I chose to give it up to enjoy these extra days with her I also got the opportunity to blog and share my experience with all you wonderful moms. So yes motherhood has evolved me into my new Avatar and I absolutely love it!

I am part of this blog train started by Pooja Kawatra of Mums & Babies and she has networked to bring together 41 moms across the GLOBE. (Meet the 41 moms here.) Pooja has also shared her own perspective on this here.

motherhood

Mums and Babies Blog Train

 

Next on this blog train is a beautiful mama Misha, mom of twins. 

motherhood

Misha freestyle blogger is a fashion postgraduate and has worked as a designer in her initial career years.

Post marriage and kids she entered the blogging world with her 2 different blogs.

Fashion Narssicist that was a fashion and beauty Blog and resulted in her all organic hair n skincare brand – Ang-Tatva 

Freshly Baked Head where she freely expresses and talk about the life, experiences, and product reviews

 

Happy Reading!!

 

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Ironman Triathlon – An IronWife’s perspective

Dedicated to my IronMan and all the IronSpouses around the world

Ironman Triathlon

Sid at Ironman Nice

Exactly 2 months ago my husband earned the title of his first Ironman at Nice, France. Meet my husband Siddhant – a wonderful man of few words with a crazy sense of humor and works as a corporate communications professional.

If you are wondering, aIronman Triathlon is one of a series of long-distance triathlon races organized by the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC), consisting of a 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim, a 112-mile (180.25 km) bicycle ride and a marathon 26.22-mile (42.20 km) run, raced in that order.

Yes, it’s extreme and it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. I could have never imagined Sid to ever consider something like this. Though he used to play basketball for his state during school days, pursuing triathlons was not something on his radar. But now this is his way of life, his passion, his dream and my household is mixed with new fitness goals, crazy diet, and endless training hours week after week!

Having zero idea about what a Triathlon is, let alone the devastating effect the training part will bring about in our relationship, I was up for a big surprise.

So if you are a Ironman’s Spouse, Hi-five! I feel you and I understand that keeping our house together was never such a big question, until now. Today I have a love hate relationship with a Triathlon for taking our spouses away from us for hours, but let’s face it – we are proud Ironwives!

Ironman - an Ironwife's perpective

Specially printed to support the Ironman!

 

While everyone focuses on the pride, sense of accomplishment and joy triathlons bring, there is another side that rarely gets the due attention

The husband is Tri but wife Tries harder!!

Triathlons, like other endurance races, have a structured training regime and it eats up a lot of time an athlete that he could otherwise spend with his family. Especially training for an Ironman event can take up 12-20 hours in a week, where you can be spending 4-6 hours on a bike and 3-4 hours long run and and hour or two in the pool. Pre-race peak weeks are the worst!

To be honest there was a point when I almost felt abandoned in a funny way. I hardly saw Sid or had a chance to talk to him, as he would be just too exhausted. I would often joke – Looks like this isn’t your house but a PG for you. We never had so many arguments and I would often feel like a single parent managing a baby, 2 dogs, and a house alone! And then I read this.

Triathlon has been called the “divorce sport” because the commitment it takes to complete one of these run-bike-swim events can leave the non-competitive partner feeling neglected, and perhaps even abandoned

The unexpected shock

Sid’s journey began in 2013 with an outdoor fitness group, where with some practice he decided to participate in a half marathon in 2014. One thing led to another. Soon he bought a MTB (Mountain Training Bike) and was training on this new cycle, participating in races, events and what not. Meanwhile, we were blessed with a baby girl in June, 2015.

He had an interest in triathlon but didn’t have the confidence to do one as running was his weak spot. But post his second half marathon in 2015, he finally made up his mind that he should stat training for one. He would talk endlessly about triathlons and show me videos and honestly, it looked very inspiring to me. It’s funny that I actually thought he was joking then. Nope. Sid – who didn’t step into the pool for 20 years since his school days, now got his swimming pass made to practice in the society pool! Face Palm!

Ironman Triathlon

IronBaby supporting her dad!

Triathlon training and relationships

His regime only got stronger and difficult. Little did I know that our weekends would mean a missing husband at 4-5 am, only to return too tired to enjoy the leftover hours of the day with family. I was too busy with a little baby, so somehow I made peace with it. We hardly got any time together over the days, weeks and months. Slowly I broke apart. I stopped talking or trying to talk. But it made it worse for me. I had never felt this lonely for the longest time in my married life.

Initially, I had loved his new found craze for fitness but now somewhere I was resenting this whole new concept of how it was taking more of his “family “time. Don’t get me wrong, I was very proud of him always. I think he didn’t realize it for the longest time that I was just trying to work around his schedule waiting for a window when he was available – and – was not ‘tired with training’ or stressed with his ‘full-time corporate job’. Nonetheless, I continued to support him, like he always supported me to pursue my dreams. Maybe I thought it will get better? But I had no clue how to make it better.

Finally, in 2016 August Sid completed his first Ironman 70.3 at Bintan and went on to finish his full Ironman at Nice this year! I am super proud of him and I can brag about it for years to come. And as I write this I can’t wait for him to better his timing in his next attempt!

Let’s make this work!

Lets face it. Marriage is hard work. It more than just love. It means sacrifice, selflessness and takes a lot more effort to trudge two individuals with different life goals along, trying to do a lifetime together. Being side by side in the good and bad is harder than just talks. There are difficult talks and times and some outbursts and cries. But in the end, it’s all worth it!

I wish we had talked about this whole concept of training and how it would affect our family life. I have learned and accepted this new life with him. The training. The fatigue. The time away from us. It will continue as he signs up for his next event to get closer to his goals, which he had very clearly chalked out before getting into it. All we have done is, changed our perspectives to help each other to handle it maturely and look forward to a new Ironman adventure!

My expectations are now practical. If he has long workouts, I plan play dates with my friends or we go out. We try and spare an hour to watch our favorite series once miss K is asleep or chat up at dinner about what’s new. Our social life is limited but the first chance we get to go out, we grab it! We have come a long way.

But then there are cookie points. We have been able to enjoy 2 international trips where we clubbed the event with a small vacation. This was a fabulous way to celebrate the Ironman event as a family and also enjoy some much-needed family time! Time to check the map to see where we can go next!

Ironman Triathlon

Triathlon training can make marriage as tough as an Ironman event

What is new? A new healthy lifestyle, that Sid has inspired me to take up. I did my first 3 km run at Pinkathon (more on that later) and trust me I hate running! but I did it! I love that I am already on a weight loss journey and quite close to a pre-pregnancy weight 😀

So to all the spouses out there. Let you’re your husband’s pursue their dreams and hobbies.  It’s their outlet – to release all the stress and workload. Being a mom is tough but so is being a husband and daddy. It’s hard, it’s never-ending, it’s tough! So encourage your man if he finds his dream or a hobby and push him over the edge. As long as we keep the sensitivity to the timing and family it will all end well. Nothing like having role models for your kids right at home!

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Temper Tantrums – A parents guide to keep peace

Temper tantrums are not a result of poor parenting or of a spoiled child. Tantrums are a way for toddlers to express themselves

Understanding Temper Tantrums

We all feel angry and frustrated as humans but children have primitive vocal skills and high emotional went ups at this stage and hence they might express with hitting, pushing or even biting when they need that extra cookie, a diaper change or that toy lying there. We call this a temper Tantrum or a meltdown.

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My Name Quest – Personalized coloring Storybook for kids- Review and Giveaway!

As a papercraft artist, I am an ardent fan of adding a personal touch to all the gifts and cards I make. The generic store bought ones are so passé. Don’t you agree? Thankfully, we now live in an era where everything can be customized and personalized. But did you ever imagine having storybooks that are personalized for kids?

My name quest

The Treasure box of goodies you should expect

 

When the team at My Name Quest approached me a few months ago to review their book along with Kenisha I was very excited. Read on to know about our experience and also how you can win this for your child!

 

What is My Name Quest

My name quest is a personalized coloring storybook based on your child’s name. It makes your child the protagonist who embarks an exciting quest to find his missing alphabets of his name. The hero then sets off to find his name with his pack of crayon box. The story is unique as with each name the quest has a different set of characters who help the hero by sharing a letter of the name. But to receive the letter of their name, the child must help the characters with a color they need and that’s when the coloring fun begins! Every alternate page offers a coloring space.

Not Just a Story Book!

When we received the parcel by My Name Quest, I was honestly expecting a simple colorful storybook but it was more than that. The parcel was beautifully packed with a personal note with Kenisha’s name. I opened up a little tressure. It had so many wonderful additions that I think I did a little happy dance out of excitement. Goodies you can expect from you’re My Name Quest parcel.

 

My Name Quest

Art and Craft Activities along with a sun personalized book

 

A well-illustrated A4 size coloring storybook. Good quality thick pages with an option to add a personal note for the receiver. This makes it a perfect gift for birthdays and baby showers as well as an excellent return gist option.

A pack of 20 gorgeous wax crayons. Each book will have a unique story and different creatures and elements of nature to be coloured. All of which will be available in your crayon box.

 

DIY Name banner art and craft activity. Pre cut alphabets of the child’s name along with beautiful printed and solid banner and a ribbon to make the name banner that complements the story. A fun activity for kids to enjoy.

Trivia fun CardsA pack of color psychology trivia card about facts about all the elements in the book. It’s fun for both kids and adults

chalkboard on packaging

Just when you think that’s all this wonderful parcel, just flip the lower box to reveal a fun chalkboard for the child to practice writing their name! Love when the packaging is so well thought through. A chalk piece would be added already in each box to get you started!

Our Review – My Name Quest

There are so many things to love about this book.

  1. Firstly the concept –  a story about you. Every Kid loves to feel special and this book does just that.
  2. Not just a storybook but an interactive activity book that lets children color it as they read along and make them a part of creating their own storybook. A fun way to learn about colors and alphabets.
  3. The additional DIY activity of making a name banner which can then be displayed in your Childs room is such a wonderful idea! Children love DIY as its original and unique and the joy of making something with their own hands tops it all.
  4.  As you flip the book you will see how the story talks about helping, caring, determination courage and many more positive reinforcements.
  5. Addition of a beautiful packaging converting into a chalkboard. It’s a perfect gift to a little star!

Though the book is more suitable for a 3-year plus, my 2.3-year-old had equal fun trying to color her own book and enjoy the beautiful story.

Check more details and place your order for your own copy at – www.mynamequest.com

Priced at – Rs.1450 

Ships worldwide

Make DIY Name Banner

How about winning My Name Quest for your Litte one?

I am pretty sure that our review would leave you wanting to have this beautiful keepsake for your little one so along with My Name quest we are going to give away 1 Lucky winner the chance to win their own personalized book! Follow the simple steps.

1. Follow Name Place Animal Thing on Facebook and Twitter. Follow me on Instagram

2. Follow My Name Quest on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

3. Subscribe to my blog Via Email

4. Add your name to the lucky draw below and comment mentioning your participation

The giveaway ends on 22nd Sep and the winner will be announced on 23rd September. 

 

Disclaimer : This is not a sponsored post. I was offered the book for my review.  I only recommend products are services that I use and love myself and have not been compensated for my reviews. Thank you for understanding

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Top 10 books for Toddlers 1-2 years

We love reading since my daughter was barely few months old and the love of books has only grown many folds. Reading is our way to bond and enjoys some warm happy cuddles, giggles and extra hugs. I cannot emphasize how much vocabulary she developed just through our reading time. With so many choices available, selecting and finding right books for your young reader can be a daunting task.

top 10 books for 1-2 year old

During the tender age of 1- 2, kids have a short attention span and they will not sit through long reading sessions. So I would suggest sticking with picture books, with few words, with ideas/emotions they can relate to and which is easy to memorize. I strongly recommend to buy board books as not only they can stand the test of time but as your toddler tries to be more independent he would love to flip it on his own.

By the time they approach the 2 year mark you can slowly move to reading the short story in the book and she even remembers the emotion/story line by the page. Soon they will pick words, emotions, mimic you and respond with expression. Wait for them to sit in the corner, focused and flipping through these wonderful books

 

Not yet started reading? Raise a book lover with these tips

10 TOP TIPS FOR READING TO YOUR BABIES AND TODDLERS

 

With so many choices available, selecting and finding right books for your young reader can be a daunting task. I have put together our favorite reads for you. And most are available at Amazon at best prices too.

 


Dear Zoo – By Rod Campbell  

This is a 25 years old classic and it’s hard to miss! We loved this simple book about a boy who writes to the zoo to send him a pet but hilarity ensues as he receives different animals in crates or packing. each flap lifted per page reveals an animal with a specific character to teach the child. And each animal is sent back for a reason except the last one! Repetitive sentences and first person narration make it perfect for little babies. Great way to introduce animals too.

 

 

 


The Very Hungry Caterpillar –  Eric Carle.

Our first book was the touch and Feel Hungry Caterpillar when Baby K was just 2.5 months old. So getting this senior version was a perfect thing to do. It’s a timeless classic and we love it. A very hungry caterpillar eats its way through a wide variety of foods, teaching children how to count, and the days of the week, while doing so which is great for toddlers I feel. I bet the punched holes are super exciting for little kids, I myself was fascinated by them! Kenisha loves to put her fingers in each hole as we flip. The ending is beautiful

 

 


Where’s Teddy? By Rod Campbell

The creator of the famous Dear zoo, this search-and-find, a lift-the-flap book has been a super hit with K. Buster and Teddy go everywhere together and each double page shows them doing a new activity like shopping in the supermarket, cleaning the house and teddy is hidden somewhere on every page. It’s a delight for young children to spot the teddy in each scene. It ends with a lift the flap where Teddy is snuggled in bed with Buster.

 

 


Monkey Puzzle by Julia Donaldson and Alex Scheffler

We love all animal books, you see. I saw the review by @thelittlereadingclub and knew we needed to add this to our library.  It rhymes beautifully and follows a clever story about a Monkey who’s lost his mum. A Butterfly goes on a mission to help him find her. They come across many different animals along the way. I find the story fun and educational at the same time. It had my little girl attention instantly. It’s a little Donaldson classic and a must have for tiny readers

 

Spot Goes to School -Eric Hill

A lovely book about a favorite character Spot and his adventures on the first day at school. It’s a great book for parents to help their toddlers to prepare for their first day at the school. It talks about the fun they will have and things to do at a school. A great way to encourage them to wander and explore and not be afraid. Each page has a lift the flap where spot is up to something new.

 

Oh Dear! -by Rod Campbell

Since K loves animals and their noises I picked this one. Young buster is sent by his Grandma to look for eggs for his breakfast and “Oh Dear” is his response each time his search ends incorrectly. The book offers a lovely pattern while Buster looks for the eggs in the Barn, sty or the pond. This book provides lots of opportunities for guessing which animal will be under the next flap and what noise they will make. Great for early learning. At las, Buster remembers the hen who is hiding the breakfast eggs. I improvised a bit of the telling of the story adding words here and there which the book gives room to do. And the way Kenisha repeats “Oh dear” is absolutely adorable.

 


Colours (My first Gruffalo) by Julia Donaldson and Alex Scheffler

It’s a great way to introduce the Gruffalo series and also colour concept. It features all the favorite characters from the Deep Dark Wood with 5 full colored pages! Kenisha learned a great deal about Colours with the Gruffalo in this bold, bright and chunky board book.

 

 


Goodnight Moon by Margret Wise – This is little Kenisha’s new favourite bed time story. Mainly on account of the fact that she loves the moon. Also, her vocabulary has now developed to the stage where she can follow the story and say goodnight to the moon, ‘the cow jumping over the moon’ and everything else inside the ‘great green room’. This is a beautiful, old fashioned book with a sing song lullaby intonation which works perfectly at bed time. It is easy to see why this classic children’s book has retained its popularity. We are in love!

 

 


Hug by Jez Alborough

This one is a Keeper!! It just has one word through the book “hug”! The story is about a baby chimp Bobo looking for his mom during which he meets several mom and baby animals cuddling and hugging. This makes him miss his mom even more and when the Elephant mommy helps him find him mumma there is a happy celebration at the end and of course lots of hugs! Fair warning, your child would want to hug you with each page turning ? Perfect for bedtime too!

 

 Farm 1 2 3 – By Rod Campbell

Yes, another addition by our favourite author Rod Campbell is a wonderful flip flap book with counting farm animals. Each flap reveals a hiding animal as you count. The last page is a revision section. We love it for the beautiful interactive pages and also because it counts from 1-10!

What are some of your favorite books for one and two-year-olds? Let us know in the comments below?

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*Disclaimer : This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a referral commission if you make a purchase using these links. I only recommend products and services that I use and love myself and have not been compensated for my reviews. Thank you for understanding