Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Peeing like a Big Person

I thought my little one was toilet trained and have been pretty free with her at home. Obviously, we have an agreement that she wear pull-ups when we are away from the home turf for more than an hour. She's fine with this since she hates public toilets and I'm paranoid about UTI (urinary tract infection) from using public toilets. Plus I have no intention of going diaper free at night till she's three and can get up in the middle of the night to pee. Apart from this she's toilet trained and hasn't even worn diapers to play-school for the past 6 months.

About two days back she did her usual "mummy pee" shout and I went rushing to get her to the potty on time. What I found, was her proudly hanging on to the proper toilet (with both hands) and standing in a puddle of pee. She gave me a big smile and said, "see mummy, I peed like a big person"!

Apparently, she saw my 6 year old nephew (I guess 6 looks big when you're two) peeing and thought she would prove herself in the same way. I obviously have a lot of explaining to do on 'how' and 'why' boy-girl peeing methods are different.

For the moment I just applauded and then explained to her that if we sit on the toilet we only have to wash our hands and not our whole body, so we save a lot of playtime. (Imagine, if she did the same in a public toilet! I wouldn't even know how to start cleaning those little hands.)

Any tips on how to tackle this? I definitely did not anticipate this stuff during parenting 101.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Should I Work with My Husband

The basis for today's post is an article I read in an entrepreneurial magazine titled "Should You Go Into Business with Your Spouse?" If you look at my previous entry on what working with my husband is like you'll see how this article hit the right note with me. The writer had quite a few relevant, noteworthy points. I decided to put my own spin on these points and share them with people who are thinking about partnering outside the house.

So try and answer these before you take the leap:
  • Is this what you really want and is it right for you?: I think this is the most important question to answer, since a lot of people do things for different reasons even when their instinct is not to go ahead with something. A strong factor to consider is the nature of your relationship, is it a case of opposites attract, peas in a pod or something entirely different. This analysis will let you know what to expect in a working relationship.
  • Why are you starting a business?: The reason you are getting into a business may change as you and the business grow over time. However, when starting you need to know if this is something you want to incorporate into your life for the foreseeable future or if you want to build a brand and sell it in the long run. 
  • Who's vision is it?: Both partners need to be on the same page when it comes to how and in which direction you want your business to head. Have you both agreed on the nature of the business and the method of operation? Do you share a common vision for your future business? If this isn't out of the way right at the beginning (at least on an outline basis) it could cause a bit of strife.
  • Are your expectations of work-life balance the same?: This is a potentially explosive area. It starts right from your concept of work ethics (can we check personal mail during working hours, can we work flexible hours) to who handles what responsibilities on the home front and how will you manage personal emergencies.
  • Map out areas of management and responsibility: This point may seem simple, since it's self-explanatory. However, when you have people joining your business as employees they will need clarity on the reporting hierarchy.
  • Can your relationship handle this arrangement?: The crucial question, obviously. Look at it this way, a lot of people have a baby to try and strengthen a relationship that may not be working. A new business s the same. Have a frank discussion on whether your relationship balance and status will withstand being combined with a working relationship.
Let me know what you make of this exercise. Was it useful? Do you have anything to add?

Next up:
  • Part 3 - My personal answers to these questions
  • Part 4 - Guidelines on establishing a working relationship with your spouse
 If you find this series too boring, let me know and I'll add an alert at the beginning of such posts.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Title of Substance

This was the third post I wrote on this blog. It was the first time I used a title that distilled the gist of what I was trying to convey (or at least I thought so). Most of my titles are pretty subject focused rather than substance focused (if that makes any sense). I hope I've piqued your interest enough to get you to read on.

"Wrong Shoes Mummy"

My mornings seem to be unbelievably busy, though all I do is feed my daughter breakfast and make her use the potty (my husband does this on my yoga mornings) before getting both of us ready. The rush is despite the fact that I organize all our clothes and other stuff the previous night.

I invariably lose my cool, when my daughter starts choosing what footwear she wants to wear to school. I mean she just turned 2 in April, isn't it too early for her to have a fashion sense? Anyway, this crazy morning rush was what caused one of my most uncomfortable days at work (since we started our own business).

It was a usual weekday morning and I had just about managed to get everyone in the car (we drop our daughter off at school on the way to work). The little one kept saying "Mummy, wrong shoes, wrong shoes". I shushed her with a "behave yourself" as I tried to feed her the cereal she had refused to eat at home. When we finally got to school she gave my husband a big hug and kiss before getting off. While I walked her to the gate, she had a last try "Mummy, your shoes are wrong" (she often gets mine and yours mixed-up). I ignored her comments and hugged her, she in turn gave me a kiss and a confused stare before heading indoors with her favorite teacher.

Half an hour later, I was holding my first discussion of the day in the corridor of our office, even before I reached my desk, when my accountant walked past and gave me a quizzical look. I smiled at her and continued the conversation. Throughout the day I kept getting these confused stares from people and couldn't figure them out. I finally found out why when I bent down to retrieve a fallen bill. Horror of horrors, I had worn my water-proof house-slippers, the variety with a red and black floral design to work!

While I was busy shushing her, my poor little baby was trying to save me from embarrassing myself at work. Now, I pay a lot more attention to her morning comments and try and stop myself from shushing her in general. I've realized one thing, she is totally focused on the moment, unlike her preoccupied mom.

I have a lot to learn from you my sweetheart.

Does the title suit the post? What title would you have used for this entry?

*Thank you to the SITS girls and their wonderful sponsors, sponsors, Standards of Excellence, Westar Kitchen and Bath, and Florida Builder Appliances for getting me out of a blogging slump with this challenge.

This is Special. Care to Share?

As the second challenge of the Back to Blogging exercise by the girls at SITS, we were asked to chose one post which we wish more people had read. Well, for me there was no hesitation here. This is my favorite post to date and one I really want to share with a lot more people. So here it is again.

Doing It All Over Again

Today's is my little brother's 26th birthday and I miss being with him. Even though I'm married with a baby, I can't believe my little brother is in his twenties, a successful trader who I see once in three to six months. I've always considered him my first child and still call him baby within our family circle (he would never live it down if I called him that in public).

We always were and are very close and both of us never imagined that we would live apart. In fact not very long ago, probably about 10 years back, we used to have animated discussions over what our shared grown-up flat would be like. We both share a love of books, and the only arguments we have ever had are over who would read the latest Wilbur Smith first, though we are very different in other aspects. My relationship with this baby of mine has been a defining constant throughout my life. First, I was his second mommy, then his friend and sister and now we are semi-equals (he still listens to me) taking and giving each other advice, support and love.

This unconditional love of a sibling is what I want for my daughter. This is the reason that, even though we can't afford another child now, financially or otherwise (in terms of time), I feel strongly that we need to have at least one more. The best gift my parents ever gave me was my brother and my child deserves the same sort of support and companionship. This in my mind has way more value than any other inheritance I can ever give her. Even after we are gone, she will have family to love her and for her to love, an unbreakable lifelong bond.

So though this entry has gotten a little mushy, I have come to a conclusion. However, tough it's going to be to go through the nursing, sleepless nights, potty-training and time management exercises again, I want to do it. This is truly the best gift I can give my baby girl.

Happy birthday my darling first baby, you are in my thoughts always. I heavenly you.

As you can see I wrote this post from the heart. Though this is true with a lot of bloggers, for me it goes two ways. I may feel strongly about something, however my writing style can also be objective rather than subject if the topic is not a personal one.

Anyway, back to the topic of my favorite post. What do you feel? Am I an exception in this generation or the norm.

*I'd like to thank the generous sponsors of this challenge,   Standards of Excellence,Westar, and Florida Builder Appliances.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

At the beginning again

"Why did I start blogging?" it's something I ask myself when I'm stressed out and don't have enough time to dedicate to 'me' activities like blogging. The situation I am in (usually) when I voice the question is precisely why. I wanted to know that I'm not alone in struggling to reach my goals (on my tough days) and to share my triumphs on my good days. So with that little preamble here's my first ever post on this blog:

I'm The Working Mummy

Writing has always been my chosen form of self-expression. Up until I became a mom, writing in my diary was satisfying enough. But when I entered this new phase of life, I realized that I wanted to connect with other people who were going through the same stuff. And that's what I hope to do through this blog, make a whole bunch of new friends who can guide me or at the minimum commensurate and celebrate with me. 

Being a mummmy is by far the toughest thing I have ever had to do. I have a gorgeous and sweet-tempered baby, however I absolutely hated the first year of being a mom (more about that in another entry). I don't think my daughter is to blame for this, it's totally because of the kind of person I am:

- I love spending time on my own - reading, painting (you don't get much of this when you have a baby or toddler attached to you). Even after I got married, if my husband was busy I would happily take off to go have lunch at a coffee shop with just my book for company.

- I have to 'do' something fun or exciting everyday, or at least every weekend. I can't stand having one day be exactly like the next.

- I love working. I just can't be a housewife or a stay at home mom. I tried being a housewife for three months, during my first year of marriage. I drove my husband crazy and he begged me to go do whatever makes me happy.

Am I a freak or are there other mummy's out there like me? Can you love your baby with all your heart and still want to go to work, leaving her behind everyday. Because if I'm honest, though I need to work for the financial comfort it gives me, I also want to work (even though my husband is willing to be the sole breadwinner).

There you go, the real, naive me laid bare. I published this on the 23rd of April this year, so it's probably too early to analyze if I've grown as a writer. I did realize one thing, I use 'Mom' and Mum' interchangeably, what does that say about me?

I want to let you in on a little secret, the first EVER post that I have written was not on this blog. It's a private blog but I'm going to share it with you. The entry doesn't even have a title, it's just an outpouring of thoughts. Depending on the response to this, I just may continue with that blog. So her's the entry I wrote on 18th November 2009:

Don't you sometimes wish, the world could be a little dreamily blurred around the edges. I know we have to live with reality and I'm fine with that but there are moments when you want all the realism to recede a bit. Dreams don't have to be unrealistic, just a nicer life option that you could be striving towards. Take my dream job for example; I would be running a book store cum cafe, where we would have a story-telling corner, book clubs, neighbours dropping in for their morning caffeine fix and yummy mummies coming in for their weekly meet-ups(maybe I'll add on a play area for toddlers!). The everyday steps of working towards this dream job are not so dreamy. For now hubby and I have quit our jobs and are working on our healthcare start-up. We've always wanted to run a socially responsible business and this is our chance. So before I embark on my cafe owning business, we first need to make a success of our start-up company. Luckily, I enjoy running this business way more than my previous 9 to 5 (or rather 9 to 9) job.

The modern day dreamer's refuge seems to be the neighbourhood coffee shop. Why? Though my home is my sanctuary,it's more so during the evening, when my daughter's in bed reading a bedtime story with her daddy, I'm sipping on a cup of Moroccon Mint with a chick-lit novel and the whole world is getting ready to slip into the world of dreams. During the day, it's more of to-do lists, interacting with the in-laws and rushing of to work - the practicalities of living. At a coffee shop, you have soothing music being piped in, a calmish atmosphere and time to just enjoy the moment with your favourite beverage. I rest my case.

*I have the girls at SITS to thank for this 'back to blogging post'. This challenge is sponsored by Standards of Excellence, Westar Kitchen and Bath, and Florida Builder Appliances.