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Whatever else we can do for our children, spending time one on one focused on each other is the best gift we can give them.
They say motherhood comes naturally to a woman. I beg to differ. Birthing may be a natural process. But mothering a child, just like parenting, requires a strong will to change oneself and calls for investment of a lot of efforts to do right by them.
Neither of this comes automatically unless one is already very giving and nurturing at the core of their natural selves. I wasn’t. While I gave birth to my baby biologically, becoming a mother took me some time. And today, 3.5 years later, when I look back, I can clearly see that I didn’t fall in love with my child at first sight, I worked my way up wooing her, as did she with me!
And all we gave each other, was time.
It all began with her massages. When looking at my 2-month-old one day, I decided it was high time, pushed the maids and family members aside and sat down with that bottle of oil to massage my child all by myself.
That was our first ritual together. Just the two of us, looking into each other’s eyes, feeling and enjoying our touch. Sure, I had been breastfeeding her all through. But while that was one-sided, with me leaving her mostly undisturbed, this love here was reciprocal. It was the start of a joyous journey of time spent together.
Then came nap times. As my child grew older and became more and more expressive, nap times became times for great connection. To this date, every night before we sleep it’s time for fun, for retrospection, for introspection, for life lessons, for confessions, for prayers of togetherness and for final forgiveness before our heads hit the pillows.
To me as a mother, this is the favourite time of my day. This is the time when I glimpse into the soul of the little girl I call my child, and let her take a glimpse into the vulnerabilities of the woman she calls Mother. This is also the time when I value the physical intimacy I share with my child. The bond that is inspired by touch for a parent and child can be replaced by none! As she sleeps with her head resting on my shoulder and her nose buried into my neck, we close the day with a feeling of deep contentment.
Time is of so much essence particularly for a growing child. With toddlers, their world revolves around that of their parents and family. When I joined back work after motherhood, I found myself fully immersed into it from 10 am in the morning till 7 pm in the evening with no time at all for her. As a result, when I stepped out of my office space each evening, I would be greeted with a bucketload of love for sure, but also severe longing. That’s when I decided that every evening of my day would be dedicated solely to her.
Each evening we do a wide array of activities till bedtime arrives. She loves to sing and dance, and we can often be found dancing away to madness with Alexa blaring her favourites at the loudest, and my little one matching up its volume with her own! She loves art and more often that not we sit down with her box of assorted paints, a mug of water and lots of books and papers to paint on. Her recent ability is of gluing things together by herself, and for this skill too she looks upto me for company, which she undoubtedly receives! There are books to read, games to play, homework to be done, doodles to be scribbled, drives to go on, long walks to take in the apartment…this time of the evening has so much to offer her, and we grab at everything with both our hearts!
Every instant that my daughter calls for me, I ask myself who else could be her best friend at this time if not for me (and her father). And so, I devote my time and my wholehearted focus onto her. Very honestly, I cannot decide which of us enjoys it more!
Having a daughter changed my life in more ways than I could have even imagined. But never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that spending time with a little girl would be highest on my list, not because she wanted it but because I enjoyed it too! Every moment spent with her is a teaching moment, and one for learning too. And that kind of a privilege doesn’t come from birthing, that can only come from being a present parent, and giving them the time they always deserve!
Image source: ziprashantzi on Getty Images Free for Canva Pro
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An IT Consultant by profession and a writer by passion, I love sharing my thoughts on women, feminism, parenting, food, travel, books & life. My personal blog is @ www.sharanyamisra.com. read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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"I chose to go out into the remote, wild, unknown, and make it home," says entrepreneur Kiranjeet Ahluwalia Chaturvedi, who owns Birdsong & Beyond.
The story of my mountain home Birdsong & Beyond started taking shape in 2009, on the internet, the way many stories do these days.
My childhood fascination for a life in the Himalayas led to an internship with a central Himalayan NGO instead of a much prized corporate assignment. But when they offered me a full-time job, I refused. I was overcome by fear and a lack of confidence.
My other longings pulled me away – the longing to fit in, to earn validation from others. By my mid-30s, with all the trappings of a middle-class urban life in place, the call of the snows couldn’t be ignored anymore. So I got to work on it with clearer intentions and a stronger sense of what I needed for myself, and why.
Many Indian elderly are firm believers in enslaving a daughter-in-law in the name of tradition which is actually a tradition of oppression and not of religious faith.
Albeit, the popular culture has interpreted scriptures as suggesting that Kanyadaan is the supreme form of donation given to someone, the connotation that the word donation alludes to definitely objectifies the girl.
Even when the exegesis justify the act of giving away the daughter, considering it a ritual to mark the initiation of the daughter into her husband’s gotra and her becoming the part of his family tree.
There is no denial of the fact that this initiation is not required on the part of the groom thereby formally denoting the end of the filial ties with the daughter as it was popularly instructed to the bride during the Vidai ceremonies:
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