“You’ve No Time For Us!” : Friends say I have changed after motherhood

How much does your relationship with friends change post a baby. Are you the same any more?

The perfect mom – isn’t that what it always is about? The ‘perfect’ is everywhere you look; the pressure to be perfect is in every aspect of life. But is ‘perfect’ real? Is the photo of the mom who’s rocking her baby, her beautiful curly hair flowing in the wind, both baby and mom smiling at each other, silhouetted against a setting sun, amid a field filled with gorgeous daisies – is that photo real?

Here:

(a) I have not washed my hair in the past 4 days, (it is a new grunge look I am sporting; goes well with my crumpled tees), and
(b) There are no daisy fields around me.

So, I am guessing that photo is not real and all it does is make me feel bad. Truth is, motherhood is the most blissful period of my life but it is the toughest too! It is a juggling act wherein you are constantly trying to keep all the balls in the air and the balls have a mind of their own. As new mothers, we read a lot, are advised a lot, prepare a lot… but nothing can actually make us ready for what is in store. You go in with a lot of preparation, yet you actually learn on the job.

Once you become a mother, your relationships change too. The most important person in your life now is a small human, who does not come with an instruction manual, is very unpredictable, and mostly sleeps but for short periods of time. After becoming a mother my priorities and my capabilities changed. My friends felt that I was changing, and yes I was. I was no longer the perfectly turned out, fashionably dressed girl with the latest designer bag in hand (one within my budget), ready to go out on a moment’s notice in my ridiculously high heels…

The perfectly turned out feature was lost somewhere in my third trimester when my transition from human to waddling penguin was complete. The fashionable dresses changed to clothes that would fit me now, would be easy to wear, and could survive constant spit ups, and a lot of wiggling and pulling. Oh, I have tried wearing fashionable blouses, with frills, boat necks, layered ones…But trust me, it gets really difficult when you have a toddler who thinks it is absolutely normal to hang from and pull down mom’s dresses necklines! Now I stick to tees and yoga pants almost entirely. The designer bag is filled with sanitisers, diapers, wipes and snacks with an odd toy or two. And heels, you say?

So what about going out with, or talking to, friends? Do I get to do it?

Read it further  On WOM, were I originally wrote this :

Real Moms Real Stories

How to decorate a toddler’s play room without spending a ton; some DIY ideas 

This is baby A’s play room. When we moved to this new place and I had a spare room, I was super happy as I knew I could turn it into a play room exclusively for baby A. But since he is very young yet, we don’t need any proper furniture really for him,( table chairs, beds etc) as we co-sleep. So, I had to come up with some DIY ideas to decorate his room. So here is what all went in decorating his room:

on the walls : Danglers. I did danglers on baby A’s birthday with photos from each month of his first year. Photos from each month along with a little small write up about that month, are part of each dangler. And then i used ribbons to weave them together. Some glitter paper and number cutouts make them cuter and these are a permanent keepsake that now adorn the walls and make the memories easy to cherish


Decals on the walls : I found some really cute decals on @amazonindia . I bought some Animal decals and train decals as both are baby A’s fav. He loves pointing out to all the animals and to the train pictures. He can now correctly point out all the animals when asked, including butterflies 😊, thus these turned out to be a great way to teach him animals too 😊Here is a link to the decal I bought from Amazon : http://www.amazon.in/gp/aw/d/B00OPYNS88/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1491332020&sr=8-2&pi=AC_SX118_SY170_QL70&keywords=animal+decal&dpPl=1&dpID=51zlncRMofL&ref=plSrch


The shelf on the floor which has his toys, is made out of cardboard boxes, colourful wrapping paper and a hot glue gun. How I made these DIY Shelves are on my other blog post , you can chexk it out at this link; 

Once done, I used wicker baskets to store his toys on the shelves. I spent less than 100 Rs in total and had a great handmade shelf ready which is the perfect place to store his toys. And i did not need to invest in another piece of furniture / shelf for it. Win win. Point to note, I had to use a separate round cardboard cylindrical pipe in the middle of each shelf to reinforce the shelves else they would collapse in the middle. You can see it if you look closely. 

Tip: where to find such cylindrical cardboard pipes 😳? I used the hollow pipes that came with the decals I ordered and cut them according to my need. 💃. It was good they came packaged like that . 


A floor bed makes the room complete for baby to sit on and play, ( he doesn’t sit though) as also a place for all his teddies to lounge on. 

⏺I have also kept his play pen in the room, which he loves. He loves playing inside it and sometimes just takes his toys and sits inside the playpen. He also loves his rocker which I have kept in his room and sits on it with a book in hand when he feels like it. 

Here are a few ideas to deck up a toddler’s play room.

 1) Baby proof :  the area, cover up sockets, corners, edges, remove unstable furniture, it should be safe for baby. 

2) Decide on the type of decor you want, keep a lot of floor area free, just put a mattress / play mat for baby to play on. You can also put in a low bed or a baby cot.

3) Photos of baby: they are the best idea to deck up a baby’s room, frame them, hang them with a tape, hang them weaved on a string, whatever you want. These will brighten the room instantly and are a great way to cherish all those baby memories 

4) Fancy yet low cost deco : some low cost things you can use to brighten up the room are fairy lights, shimmer / net cloth/ dupatta / stole pieces, make sure that they are away from baby though and do not pose a hazard for her, hang these high and fix them properly.

 5) Wall Art : Get on the net and download some cute pics, depending on your theme, eg disney characters for a princess theme, animals for a safari theme, print these and paste on cardboard / foam, and paste these on the wall with a double sided tape. Cover them first with cling sheets,  if you want longevity, else you can also easily get decals online.

 6) Wicker baskets/ storage boxes : Get some baskets Or make a shelf like I did to store baby’s toys. You need to keep the toys organised and for that yoh will need boxes

7) Play Mat : get a play mat too, but it is not needed if you want to put in a mattress, with play mat the room will be easier to clean though. Be sure to leave as much of floor area as possible for baby to play around, no use cramming the place with too many furnitures. 

 8) Glitter Foam sheets : get it from a stationery shop. These are glittery sheets made of thin rubber foam. These are cheap and easily available in many colours and you can use these to cut out baby’s name, or to frame the pictures you want to hang, or just cut out few cute big hearts out of these and hang them around the room 

9) Pom Poms / Banners : buy some Crepe paper sheets and make big poms poms out of them, tie together a bunch of these and hang from the ceiling. Make two such bunches and that is enough to liven up the room. Cut out some banners and hang them across the room, these two things are fairly easy to make and are so low cost, yet these are a favourite decoration essential. You can find a pompom and banner making tutorial online easily.

10) Colours : I preferred using as many colours as possible for a baby’s room, as I don’t believe in the blue and pink divide, but please do keep the colour scheme as one if you like doing that.

Patience : Another lesson learnt through motherhood 


Motherhood teaches you many things, things you never knew you were capable of. It makes you realise how strong you are, yet so weak. It teaches you to be so organised, yet so care free. It teaches you to be so powerful, yet so overwhelmed. One thing that it definitely has taught me is patience. And it has come slowly, with each passing day. 

I was not as calm,composed & patient a person from day one, as I would have liked to be. In fact, it took me a lot of time to adjust and learn to be patient, and not to be stressed and frustrated with so many things happening around me, so many things which were out of my control, things around my life which I could not keep organised; try as I might. 
Truth is, as a new mom, it ended up making me frustrated and impatient very easily. I have always been a busy person, always trying to get out the most of my day. Always rushing and trying to keep myself one step ahead of my day. Trying to keep everything and all the things around me, as organised as possible. Suffice to say I was not a person who liked to waste time much. I did relax and unwind too, but was busier most of the times. And When you have a baby, the work increases ten fold. You have a hundred more things to do, and babies dont run as per timetables. Result is you are more stressed and loosing your shit within a year of new mommyhood. But then, right in the middle of your predicament, you learn to find peace, you learn to be patient and relax. The tiny, disorganised, pooping, spitting tot teaches you that, he teaches you to sit back and laugh at giggles for no reason, he teaches you to kiss away your blues, he teaches you to relax even when the world around you is not that perfect anymore, your clothes don’t fit anymore 🙄, your hair is never clean anymore. 
Baby A has taught me patience, I thought I was a patient person before, But, then again I also used to think I was tired before 😂, I had no bloody idea about the truth. It was him who taught me that it is ok to relax, ok to live in the giggles & tears, to stop and smell the roses in real. 
He is the one who has taught me that it is so important to stand at the window and just look out at the world, though it is the same everyday and yet learn to enjoy it and its mundane ways. So just stand at the window for some time, today, everyday. 

Confessions of an #avgmom

Raising a #toddler #parenting stories 

Project : 50 Toddler snacks by an #avgmom No.7 : Banana, Spinach, Whole wheat & Yoghurt Muffins 

Hello, Today I want to share with you guys the recipe of a super healthy muffin. One which uses banana, spinach, curd and whole wheat, I mean it doesnot get healthier than this. And as weird as the combination may sound, the muffins taste very nice, trust me on this one. They are mildly sweet and you will really love the taste of these. Infact, hubby man, who is the bigger child around the house, loved these muffins too, and he absolutely hates vegetables. Yeah, tell me about it, I have my work cut out for me. Infact when I first met him, the only thing he used to eat were potatoes. Though they are very good too, but avoiding other vegetables completely is not good at all. Well he is much changed now and does eat a lot of greens. But when he saw me putting spinach into muffins he literally started making faces 😂  and cried “why are you putting spinach in muffins, spare those at least.” 

But once these were done, he did have a change of heart and actually ate two, and then told me that had he not seen the spinach he would not have guessed it was in there. Yo hoo. 

I am quite late in posting the recipe, and if you have followed me on my insta feed you will know we have been pretty busy with baby A starting daycare and all other stuff. Here is a link to my instagram account https://www.instagram.com/theavgmom/

In between I have made these muffin three times already and it comes out awesome each time. Another great thing about this muffin is that you can refrigrate a few from the batch and use them as tiffin or snack over a couple of days. It stays good.

Ohh and by the way I have made a video of it this time. Yay me. But unable to put text in the videos yet. I have to learn that. But if you want to check it out, here is the link ;

Do follow and subscribe to my account if you want me to post more video recipes. Coz, then I will do some research and stuff and will learn how to make better videos with texts and subtitles etc 😜

Here is the recipe: 

Prep Time : 15 mins

Cooking Time : 20 mins + cooling time

Makes 15 muffins approx 

Ingredients: 

* Whole wheat flour – 2 cups 

* Baby spinach leaves – 2 cups 

* Medium ripe bananas – 2

* Plain yogurt (or Greek yogurt) – 1/2 cup

*Baking powder – 2 tsp

* Baking soda – 1/2 tsp

* Eggs – 2 

* Granulated Sugar – 1/2 cup

* Salt – 1 pinch

* Olive or canola oil – 1/4 cup

* zest of lemon – 1

* vanilla – 1 tsp


Method

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Combine the dry ingredients, the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

3. Whisk the eggs until fluffy and then add in sugar

4. Add the oil, yogurt, lemon zest and vanilla into the eggs

5. Mash the banana with a spoon and add to the wet mixture.

6. Wash and Blend the spinach leaves in a food processor or chop them extremely fine. 

7. Add to the wet mixture and mix well.

8. Add the wet mixture to the dry and fold it all in until combined. Don’t over mix.

9. Buter a muffin tin or moulds.

10. Put the batter into the cups,  filling them upto the top.

11. Bake at 350 degree Celcius for 20 minutes


12. Insert a toothpick into the center to see if it comes out clean.

13. Remove  and let cool. 

Baby A loves these and I love to see him bite into one of these with his small teeth. He likes these and it is a perfect evening snack for him. In fact you can use it as a tiffin snack too. These are nutritious and power packed. And I love these too, because it is absolutely guilt free. Give them a try, I am sure you will love them. And if you like my recipes, please do subscribe to my blog, else you can follow my fb page too, where I update all my recipes. 

http://www.facebook.com/avgmom/

Confessions of an #avgmom

Raising a #toddler 

Confessions of an #avgmom

Raising a #toddler 

Project:50 Toddler snacks by #avgmom No.5: Spinach & Carrot Soup

#50toddlersnacks #spinachcarrotsoup #avgmom

As you all know by now that I am on this journey to incorporate as much variety as possible in my little one’s plate and in the meantime keep it as healthy and far away from processed food as possible. The main problem with a toddler’s meal is that they loose interest very very soon. He may like something one day and completely reject it the next day. Well it kinda makes sense to me, they also like variety. So here comes the catch,  to keep those little taste buds interested yoy have to try and create as many different combinations as possible for them. So is this attempt of mine to create as many tastes as possible and keep it as healthy as possible for my toddler.

At the same time, with a toddler around, who thinks that whenver mommy is in the kitchen he should hang on her legs. Cooking elaborate meals is out of the question. Those only happen when hubby is on full baby duty. Else I am always trying to put something together as quickly as possible. It is pretty hard to try and cook with a toddler either hanging onto your legs or trying to pull out and scatter all pots and pans and grocery boxes available. It is a constant battle with him trying to empty something or the other onto the floor, and me snatching it out of his hands. And whoever said that chores could be finished while the baby naps needs to meet my baby. Or get kicked by me, if they dare say this in front of me. My baby naps for 45 mins in a day, if at all. What the hell am I supposed to achieve in that time frame!!! Who am I freaking Super Woman? I spend that time felling jet lagged , you know, recovering from baby duty run. And I don’t have a time turner either. Sucks. So yeah I will stick to these easy peasy recipes for the time being.

One of the best snack time meals or even dinner time meals is soup. I find that I can add so many good ingredients in a soup and it turns out so yummy too. Also, more often than not the soups I make  turn into the dinner for the whole family and not only baby. 

Below is my recipe for a carrot Spinach  soup which is extremely tasty. It is not very filling though as my earlier mushroom soup recipe so, you may want to add some crackers as a side dish for the baby. And some bread rolls for the adults. Last time I soft boiled some eggs on the side along with these and it turned into a full meal with the soup. For the baby I only gave him one egg as I am yet to give him any more than that in a day.

This is a very tasty and healthy soup. The recipe is as below:

Prep time : 10 mins

Cooking time : 20 mins 

Ingredients 

1 cup Carrot; cubed 

1 cup Baby Spinach; shredded

2 stalks of spring onion; chopped finely

1 cup whole milk / fresh coconut milk

8 Garlic cloves; finely chopped 

Salt to taste


Saute the garlic in 1 tsp of olive oil 

Add the spring onion bulbs

Add the carrots and spinach

Cook for 3 mins 

Transfer to a pressure cooker or a wide bottomed pan and boil till the veggies are competely cooked 

Take off heat, strain the veggies and transfer to a blender 

Retain the water

Blend the veggies 

Now transfer to a wide bottomed pan or to the same vessel you boiled the veggies in and add the milk or the coconut milk

Both work well, I use whatever is available with me at the moment

Sprinkle a pinch of salt, chopped spring onion leaves 

Keep on heat for another minute and then take off

Done! Serve warm to baby, you can choose to add a dollop of butter too

I do that and sprinkle a bit of pepper powder for the adults (us)

Yummy in my tummy 😋 

Simple as anything yet tasty. Yay! three cheers  for this one. Another win 


Hope you like this recipe, if you like my recipes, you can follow my blog at https://smitasangle.wordpress.com or follow my Facebook Page at The Average Mom

You can also follow our daily parenting journey , a learning path for me with my daily fails, which I try to see with a bit of humour on instagram @smitapalsinha

Mommy confessions of an #avg mom ; Dedicated to all the dads 


Dedicated to all fathers

These two can spend hours together; I don’t know what they do together. I flee the spot the moment hubby man takes over the baby duty. I do not stand around idling, for fear, lest I may get called upon to provide assistance. You know, get the wipes, get water, toys, clothes, any help. I run away and hide before hubster could as much as say ‘Hey’ 😂😂😂

But truth is, as much as I behave like a free bird just out of her cage, I do come crawling back, to take a peek and just stand there and watch them laughing and giggling and jostling with each other. I stand there mesmerised and from time to time let out screams, coz I am always scared the baby will fall while they are playing. They run and roll around so carelessly. But he never does fall. 😊

It is true that a mother’s love is the most beautiful thing in the world. It is so thick and deep you can almost touch a mother’s love. It is so much present. But a father’s love is equally beautiful. A father may not carry the baby in his womb, neither does he have the extremely sharp mother’s intuition or the protectiveness of a tigress that she has, but his love is different. His love is anxious when he watches the baby scans for the first time, it is scared when holding the hand of the screaming woman in labour, afraid when holding the tiny human for the first time in his hands, vulnerable when holding and rocking a crying infant all night, melting when those tiny lips smile up to him for the first time, showing him that those little eyes recognise him too, proud when he sees the baby walk for the first time, fulfilled when the baby calls him ‘dada’ for the first time and holds his hands, happy when the little bundle waits by the door and jumps in his lap the moment he walks in. His love is different than the soft giggles and whispers shared with the mother, it is a loud boisterous laughter, a jump high in the air, a run from the tickle monster. But, it is permeating and all the more beautiful. A father’s love is not so much talked about coz it is mostly overshadowed by the mother’s love, which has a lot more expression. But, it is the glue which holds these moments together. Thankful for it always…

Project : 50 toddler snacks by #avgmom No 3. Instant meal for the road 

#instantmueslimix #50toddlersnacks

After having a baby, travelling becomes quite different. It is one thing taking care of bub at home, but when you are out on the road, it becomes a lot more challenging. You have to be prepared and plan before venturing out of the home with baby.

New parents seem to carry around their whole house with them when they head out of the house. Same is the case with us. Even a trip to the supermarket means we pack the way Noah may have packed supplies for his arc. Diapers, sanitisers, hot water, sippers, bottles, wash clothes, change of clothes etc etc.

But the most important of all is the food for the baby. As long as baby A was breastfed this was not a problem, as I myself was food, thank you. So, we were set in that area. But post 6 months, once he started solids, going out meant that we had to have baby’s food prepared and ready before we leave the house. Walking out of the house with the baby, to even have dinner was not that easy anymore. 

As a personal choice, we decided against giving him any instant infant cereals, not that there is any harm in it, but we wanted to give him only normal home food. Also any infant cereal has a lot of added sugar etc which I want to avoid as much as possible.

So I always carry my Philips Blender and Steamer for baby food . It is quite easy to carry along and i just pop the vegetables with some cooked rice or some fruits in it and it steams and blends within 20 mins. Thus, even when we were staying at any hotel, i just had to ask for boiled rice, fresh fruits and veggies could be bought at any nearest store and I was set with baby’s food. This way I have been able to avoid giving any prepackaged or instant food to baby.

But, this time we planned for a long road journey and this got me a lot worried as without a decent stoppage, using the blender was not possible. Since it was a long journey, carrying all his meals, prepared from home, was also not a possibility. Small A is now almost eating what we eat but still we could not hope to give him the roadside hotel food. I knew that once we reach our destination, I could ask the hotel staff to make plain Rice and pulses porridge ( Khichdi) for him and that would be enough along with whatever food he eats with us. 

The problem was the road journey and his three meals en route. 

That is when this idea came to me and I am glad it worked. I ground muesli into a powder and used this as an instant cereal for him. I buy only plain muesli with no added sugars which has oats, millets, raisins, dried nuts, dried fruits and grains. It is less on added artificial sugars than other cereals. 

We carried this mix along and also boiled milk in bottle in the ice box. 

Wherever we stopped I just had to ask the restaurant staff to warm up the milk, mix it in my instant muesli mix, leave covered for a couple of minutes and voila! Meal was ready. Small A enjoyed it and ate it thankfully. 

This made our life so much more easier, only it is a bit husky in taste, wish I could change that, but it tastes good and is very filling too. So there you go, do give this a try when you have to travel and need to have baby food handy which doesn’t need cooking.

Also, whenever travelling with baby, do keep a lot of snacks handy. Homemade cookies, bananas, etc are a few options which you can keep in your hand bag. 

Hope this helps you while travelling.

The Avg Mommy’s Confessions #119 ; Laundry and the big bag of guilt

Laundry and a bag of guilt.


Somedays it feels like laundry is trying to take over my world. As if, the world has come to an end and all that is left everywhere is Laundry. Does not help either that I also found a charger and a mouldy, half eaten piece of garlic bread inside the laundry basket.  

Motherhood is a full time job and it comes with its own bag of mixed feelings of helplessness, exhaustion, being overwhelmed and a huge huge huge side serving of guilt in almost everything. And yet there are times when I end up feeling completely useless, that is how it is for me. There are episodes of too much chores, laundry, food, cleaning, and in between all that sudden attacks of extreme laziness. I mean the blues get me so bad that I can literally spend the whole day under covers doing nothing, but that also does not happen. So the result is me dragging my feet around the house whole day and furtively looking at the door at times, plotting about ways on how to run away. Yes, run away from my life. I do get these blues from time to time. I don’t know how it is for others, but some days are like that for me. Luckily, not all days are like that. And it helps that hub understands and really goes out of his way to make me feel comfortable. But the guilt thing even finds a way to sneak in there. So I end up feeling guilty that why do I not try more to understand what he is also going through? Rather always just dump all my baggage on him. Hah. See there is no way to win from this ever present guilt. So there it is, the bag of laundry is akin to my bag of guilt. 

Thankfully, hub has motivated me enough to find an hour of me time everyday. Free from everything. This one hour is an hour in the evening at the gym currently. And I am grateful for that hour. It does not take away my feelings of restlessness, neither does it take aways any of the thousands of stressful thoughts that are always running around in my head, but it does make me feel lighter, both in body and mind and I am thankful for it truly. 

Mommy Confessions 118 ; who sleeps first?

One of the biggest challenges of parenting is,  not falling asleep, before the sleepy baby, whom you are trying to rock to sleep is finally asleep. 

Husband man regularly fails in that.

So we have a snoring papa bear and beside him an excited toddler still doing his somersaults on the bed way past midnight.