text

SUPER MOM Naomi George

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share

naomi

Love yourself, says Naomi George, first time author of Mum-Me and our supermom of the month. Possibly, the best advice for all of us mums who tend to put ourselves last. And Naomi tells us just how to do that through her book, after battling through the universal motherhood trials. She works, juggles two kids, exercises, parties and stresses on the need for some romance time. Yes, absolutely possible. It is all in the book!

Naomi George has done it all—from discovering that breastfeeding does not necessarily mean maternal bliss to stalking her daughter in playschool to finding the perfect job—before she learnt to find the right balance between being a mother and being a woman. She offers tips from hard-won experience on how best to express milk, sleep-train a baby, handle sibling conflict and choose the best pre-nursery. More importantly, she tells you how to fight self-doubt and baby blues, and focus on a life other than mothering. Eat right, find time to get back your flat tummy and slim legs, take short breaks to romance with your husband: these are the things that will make you healthier and happier.

IMG-20141201-WA0001

A book on motherhood and life around it. Tell us how it has changed your life.

I have learned to love myself and not apologize for it. When I do things for myself, including going to work, fitting in a yoga class in the day or meeting friends on a Saturday night; and my children want me to stay at home and do none of the above, I do feel guilt. But I’ve learned to manage the guilt and acknowledge that I need to take care of the ‘me’ within to be functioning at my best for both my children and myself.

2. What got you thinking about writing it all down?

The book was inspired by my mummy-blog which I began when my daughter Tamara was about 5-months old. It was all about my experiences and feelings as a new-mum and began as an outlet or even release for myself. However as women began to respond, sharing their feelings and frustrations in the process, I realised that we’re all telling the same story.  That raising babies and toddlers does take a toll on a woman’s sense of self because she is so busy trying to be that perfect mum!

I know other women face the same dilemmas and frustrations that I do as a mother and through Mum-Me I wanted them to know that they are not alone in what they are experiencing. That it is absolutely natural and indeed healthy to want to do something for oneself separate from children and home.

The blog and the response to it from mothers led me to the idea of a concise self-help book that would provide handy hints and information on raising babies and toddlers, but written with an empathy towards the woman within.  I have learnt that living solely for children is not healthy, and that while nurturing our babies is a given, women must also nurture themselves.

3. How different would a typical Naomi George day be from everyone else?

Well as a mother I am sure it is no different than any other mothers –juggling, planning and attempting to stay on top of the roller-coaster mummy-ride is just about any mum’s life, especially those in the toddler/baby category.

Personally, I always make time for fitness (three times a week, and as far as possible I don’t take lifts – I climb stairs. I eat consciously, keeping indulgence for those times when it is worth it like the weekend or special nights with friends/ my husband.  Fitness and a trim body are important to me and I manage my habits/routine accordingly.

And I am a sunscreen fan – too much according to my husband, who is convinced I have vitamin-D deficiency, but so far so good!

4. A self-help book for moms, but how can we help the dads? Any tips for them?

Dads should read the book so they realize just what motherhood entails and that it is not without challenges.  When a woman says she is hormonal there is a reason for it, baby-blues and PND are linked to hormonal changes in the body as it changes from pregnancy mode to one that facilitates breast-feeding.

Being mother takes an emotional and physical toll on a woman and if men realized that , it would help them to support their wives better.  Women and men need to help each other out as parents. Working together also helps to strengthen the relationship between partners and lessen feelings of isolation that a woman or man may experience when babies arrive because they can be all-consuming.

When both parents pitch in and help to shoulder the physical and emotional demands of parenting,  then each has the right to ask the other to understand and give importance to their individual or personal needs.

5. As someone who has lived outside of India and then back home, what advantages does parenting in India have?

Well the obvious ones are that in Indian domestic help is a huge help.  Maids and cooks to help with the cleaning, cooking of a house takes a massive load of any mother’s shoulders.

In India the social fabric is strong and so dropping in at a friends’ houses or asking them for help with baby-sitting or just to step out with you to get a cup of coffee and a chat is a whole lot more spontaneous than it can ever be in the West, where the onus of parenting, managing homes and careers are solely on the parents, albeit with help from grandparents.

In that regard I feel it is possible to have a social and subsequently personal life even when one has babies/toddlers as opposed to the West where a life other than that of the families or work is difficult and doesn’t happen without considerable advance planning.

6. A supermom tip?

I am not too much in favour of this term because it implies that mums are prefect and we can never go wrong. We should each knowledge to ourselves that we are human and fallible, and it is okay if we don’t get it right, things go wrong and the days goes completely off our carefully charted plans.  Let’s cut ourselves some slack!

No supermom tip other than what would apply to all mums –  to prioritize the needs of the day or the week and take it from there. Effective planning and putting in place structure helps to get that task-list done!

Naomi George has done it all—from discovering that breastfeeding does not necessarily mean maternal bliss to stalking her daughter in playschool to finding the perfect job—before she learnt to find the right balance between being a mother and being a woman. She offers tips from hard-won experience on how best to express milk, sleep-train a baby, handle sibling conflict and choose the best pre-nursery. More importantly, she tells you how to fight self-doubt and baby blues, and focus on a life other than mothering. Eat right, find time to get back your flat tummy and slim legs, take short breaks to romance with your husband: these are the things that will make you healthier and happier.

text

SIBLING RIVALRY, how it manifests and ways it can be handled!

 

sibling2

‘It was meant to be an eagerly awaited moment, something that had been told to me a hundred times over and one that I was looking forward to. I was ecstatic when I saw her, my little sister, someone I believed I could play with, and take along in my own little journey, someone who would become my own little playmate. Yet, as the days passed, I could feel a gradual anger building up, a resentment that I could not put a finger to. It may have been because of the attention meant for me that was not coming my way or the fact that it was assumed I would do chores that I had never done before. Whatever the case, I was sad and angry and totally unable to cope’. These words by a 40 something dad conveys how real SIBLING RIVALRY really is, and how deep-rooted it can become if not handled properly. Also, it tells us how it can carry on lifelong, filling the person with pain and resentment and difficulty in expressing.

Rivalry among siblings is normal, happens in most families and generally tends to resolve as the children grow. Much of it though depends on when it is identified, how it is handled by parents and other family and what measures are taken to give the children involved that sense of security and understanding.

Some siblings react with words, lashing out at the other. This is done most often by the physically weaker one, while the stronger sibling reacts with physical beating.

As psychotherapist Philip Hodson says, “Siblings fight because one has displaced another. Both become aware that Charles Darwin was right. They have entered an evolutionary struggle for the milk supply (also known as the love supply) and a contest for endorsement. Underneath all this is the fear of being rejected or abandoned by their parents so that the most desperate youngsters remain relentlessly hostile – and a nightmare to live with.”

Sibling Rivalry can be mild or severe and is most often displayed among toddlers and pre-schoolers in the below behaviour;

  • Attention seeking – Shouting, Interrupting, Throwing toys
  • Aggressive behaviour – Hitting, Biting
  • Regressive behaviour – Clinging, wetting their pants even though toilet trained for many months.

Although a child might have been told about the new arrival, it is difficult for them to understand the situation until their sister/brother actually arrives. The younger they are, it gets tough for them to handle the changes at home and cope with it.

Girl Jealous of Mother and Sister

There are some other potential sibling rivalry behaviours that can be be seen on the arrival of a baby which include;

  • Throwing tantrums, showing anger and aggression
  • Ignoring the new arrival
  • Refusing to use the toilet, wanting nappies or to be bottle-fed
  • Disinterest in activities once enjoyed
  • Unbelievably difficult behaviour
  • Excessive demands
  • Very withdrawn and more clingy
  • Waking up in the middle of the night and sometimes even bed wetting
  • Change in sleeping patterns & wanting to sleep with parents

The arrival of a baby is life-altering for parents, but even more so for a child. There are some things though, can be done to prepare your toddler or pre-schooler well in advance. These include;

  • Getting your toddler or pre-schooler to interact with very young babies
  • Read story books about babies or pretend-play with baby dolls
  • Take your toddler and pre-schooler to pre-natal and antenatal visits
  • Allow the child to help you organize the baby’s bed and other material
  • Start the child on a regular school routine much before the new arrival
  • Treat the arrival of the baby as a shared excitement, involving the older kid in almost everything. Don’t get overly excited though, since children are not accustomed to it and may react negatively

sibling1

Besides the pre-delivery phase, it is important to manage the child even during the delivery. Handling the situation well, ensures the child feels safe and secure even during this period of upheaval.

  • Inform your child before going to hospital, even if required in the middle of the night. Disappearing without warning may cause sleep problems in the future.
  • Cuddle your older child and shower him with attention before introducing the new member
  • Make the older child visit you regularly even if he has to leave you at the end of it
  • Involve the older one in anything to do with the baby. Ask him to guess what the new sibling is feeling (hungry, happy, cold). This helps in bonding and ensures the older child treats his sibling as someone with feelings.
  • Constant reassurance that mommy loves both the kids despite sharing time between them can help displace feelings of insecurity.
  • Regular, although brief periods of bodily contact like hugs and cuddles also lessens the insecurity.
  • Remember to gradually increase the work that you start to expect from the older ones. The arrival of a new baby can be a very confusing for them and they tend to be unprepared for it.
  • Reinforce positive behaviour by praising for a job well done
  • Involve the older child in caring for the new arrival, making them fetch things, practicing supervised play, etc.
  • Keep aside some amount of special uninterrupted time for each child
  • Consistency from both parents in using family rules is very important
  • Set a daily routine for the older child. He will feel safe and know what to expect
  • Always keep up your promises
  • Remind people; family and friends discreetly to acknowledge both children when they visit.
  • End each day with special time for the older kid and always on a positive note, focusing on positive behaviour displayed through the day

text

CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE- If you don’t stop it, who will??

CSA

An issue which we do not like to discuss or even think about, CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE (CSA), is alarmingly common in India and around the world. As recent news reports have brought to our attention, the majority of abusers are someone known to the child, or in a position of trust and responsibility.

KEEPING OUR CHILDREN SAFE

Good communication is important. Listening to our children allows them to share their feelings and concerns with us.

Childhood should be a carefree time and we don’t want to worry our children, but we need to give them some guidelines on keeping safe, in a way that is appropriate for their age and understanding. Try adding simple conversations into your normal routine about staying safe.

The UK charity NSPCC has developed The Underwear (or P.A.N.T.S) rule as a guideline for talking to your child.

CSA

 

TELLING WHETHER A CHILD IS AT RISK

The majority of children do not report abuse. They may fear they will not believed or have been threatened by their abuser not to tell anyone.

Changes in a child’s behaviour may be the first sign that something is wrong.

One or two of the following changes may be a normal part of development but more should raise suspicion of possible abuse:

  • Nightmares or sleeping problems
  • Becoming withdrawn or unusually clingy
  • Changes in personality, become more insecure
  • Problems with studies or missing school
  • Excessive anger
  • Sexual language or behaviour (inappropriate for the child’s age)
  • Going back to younger behaviours such as thumb sucking or bed-wetting
  • Sudden changes in eating habits
  • Become secretive, not talking
  • Shows signs of fear of, or avoids being alone with, a particular adult.

SHARING THEIR CONCERNS WITH YOU

It takes a lot of courage for a child to confide in someone. Even then they may not be able to tell exactly what has happened. If the adult does not believe the child, or makes them feel ashamed, they may never risk telling anyone again and the abuse will continue.

For example, a child may say, “I don’t like that Uncle.”

If the adult replies “How can you speak like that, don’t be so rude!” the child will feel scared and not give any further information.

However, if the adult responds, “I see, what happened?” the child is able to reveal the reason, which may, or may not arouse suspicion.
An abused child wants two things:

  • to be believed
  • for the abuse to stop

If a child confides in you about abuse

  • Acknowledge the child’s feelings and praise them for having the courage to come and tell you.
  • Tell the child it is not his or her fault. Do not blame or accuse the child, even if they did not report the abuse when it started – the abuser is the one at fault.
  • Do not ask the child to “forgive” “forget” or “adjust”
  • Do not confront the alleged abuser – it may give them an opportunity to silence, confuse or threaten the child about speaking out. It may also place the child in danger.
  • Tell the child that you would like to take the help of other trusted adults (close family members, child welfare services, medical professionals or police) to help, with the child’s permission.

Childline has a national toll-free number – 1098 – which an adult who is concerned about a child can call for help and advice.

 Toll

 

In Bangalore, 3 new Collaborative Child Response Units have recently been set up at M.S. Ramaiah Hospital, Bangalore Baptist Hospital and KIMS Hospital. They liaise between children, their families, doctors and other authorities to provide medical, psycho-social and legal assistance. More CCRU’s are to be set up in other districts of Karnataka. It is possible to contact the CCRU’s directly, but they also receive referrals from the police, Child Welfare Services and Childline.

THIS ARTICLE HAS BEEN WRITTEN BY MOMMY BLOGGER, VIVIENNE MENDONCA

text

EGG ROLLS, they wouldn’t stop at just one!

 Egg Rolls

Finger foods and kids, they go so well together. Besides these foods being delicious, they are no mess and can be rustled up quickly. Make these delicious EGG ROLLS for your child’s lunch box and see . All it needs is Chickpeas to be prepped the previous day and everything else just comes together in a jiffy. Whats more, the way they look can get even the most stubborn eater hooked :)

INGREDIENTS-

  • 4 hard – boiled eggs
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 tbsp. Very finely sliced green beans
  • 4 tbsp. grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp. corn starch
  • 2 slices bread – ground in a mixture to get one cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • ½ tbsp. salt, ½ tbsp. pepper
  • ½ tbsp. prepared mustard or 1 tbsp. mustard powder, 2 tbsp. tomato ketchup
  • Oil for frying

eggrolls1

METHOD-

  1. Begin by grating the boiled eggs in a small bowl. Add in the onions, green beans, cheese, corn starch, salt, pepper, ketchup and mustard and finally add the breadcrumbs.
  2. Mix the mixture thoroughly and shape it into oblong rolls. When done, keep it aside.
  3. Heat oil in a pan and fry rolls, few at a time, on medium heat, till the rolls turn golden brown. Finally, drain them on absorbent paper.
  4. Serve these Egg Rolls as an evening snack with some sauce on the side.

These delicious tasty Egg Rolls make for a quick and healthy snack option for the kids evening tea. When you make them, we’d love to see what you do. Share with us photos on your version of these rolls on our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/kidsdirectorybangalore

This recipe is a part of the LEARNING TIME series of 12 cookbooks that cover cuisines from all over the world. To win this complete set worth 4k, just answer 5 simple questions at http://kidsdirectorybangalore.in/learning-time-contest/

 

text

Gives us the heebi-jeebies, this ILLUMINATED GHOST GARLAND for sure!

It’s the Halloween Week and this year that falls on a Friday. If that doesn’t spook you enough, this DIY craft definitely well.

4

If costumes haven’t taken much of your time or there isn’t anything else you would like to do, then making these ILLUMINATED GHOST GARLAND is a sure way to scare off any people dropping in for the day. Get down on the floor with the materials and have fun with your kids, scaring the daylights out of people who visit.

Detailed pictorial instructions mentioned below;

Materials Needed

  • Strand of White Lantern Lights
  • 2 meters White Cotton Fabric
  • White String
  • Scissors
  • Black Sharpie
Materials Needed

Materials Needed

 

Step 1

Step 1- 4

 

Step 5 - 8

Step 5 – 8

5

Gives us the shivers, this Ghost Garland for sure!

Source- http://designdininganddiapers.com