Posted in Family, Memories, Women

16 things I learned in ‘16

As you might know, the stork visited me and Junior had popped out by the end of 2015. So 2016 was a year of learning and laughter, trials and triumphs, growth and goof-ups, you get the picture..

Here’s what I discovered on my journey of motherhood so far

  1. Everyone is winging it. Parenting is like MBA exams – there are no wrong answers, you know some concepts, you learn others and ignore the rest
  2. We like babies not because they’re cute and such, but because they bring us back to our childhood
  3. It takes a lot of effort to not inflict stories of your baby’s cuteness/antics/habits/poop routine on people around you. Resist the urge. Do not show them pics unless they ask for. Hell, don’t even share their name if not asked
  4. Speaking of, here are 2 ways to deal with unsolicited suggestions on naming your spawn. a) Say “we’ll take this under advisement”, or “hmm, that’s interesting” b) Say you’ve decided the name –Princess Consuela Banana Hammock or Crapbag
  5. No one will care years from now how you delivered your child – just STFU and take the damn epidural/ C-section/ whatever is medically the best option for both of you
  6. Breast-feeding is like a serious workout routine – you need stamina, commitment, will-power and supporters. P.S. It also burns calories like mad
  7. Your body – it is awesome. Media will bombard you with images of the yummy mummy, friends and family might nudge you to take up weight loss regimes, but know this – you took a tiny cell in your body and created a whole new person out of it. And right now, the only thing you need to do is be wholesome, happy and healthy.
  8. Post natal blues – it is real. Depression/anxiety/mood swings/whatever, no need to deal with it alone. Talking to supportive people helps and time heals
  9. Glowing blissful moms shown in baby stuff ads:: Men in Axe commercials getting all the action – marketing fuelled hyperbole to make money
  10. You learn to make up silly games, funny noises and nonsense stories – seriously, my crow, sheep and parrot impressions are spot on. Stupid annoying songs will start to grow on you because she dances to them
  11. You should not listen to elders
  12. You need to consult with elders from time to time
  13. The sight of a man holding his tiny new-born and gazing at her will render you a puddle of mush
  14. Parenting is a team sport. An example: Try giving medicine to a kicking and screaming baby
  15. A baby can be used as the perfect excuse to get out of irksome tasks – you don’t believe it? Ask N who encourages me to have fun shopping on my own, while he takes care of baby ( aka playing catch-me-if-you-can, inventing new ways to make her giggle and lounging in tatty comfortable clothes)
  16. The performance pressure starts way early – What was the baby’s birth weight? When did she roll over? Does she stand up yet? How many words does she say? Can we enrol her in IIT coaching? If you don’t watch it, you’ll end up stuffing your child full of pani puris, shaving her head and pushing her into a mud pit to win the Commonwealth Games
Posted in feminism, Women

But …you’re a girl..

Ayn Rand quote

I don’t remember the first time I heard these words.. (usually followed by – “You should/shouldn’t/can/can’t”). Conveyed mostly with self-righteous zeal, often with a smug tone, a smidgeon of ‘concern’ and always always unsolicited. “You’re a girl” has been suffixed with many a gem of patriarchal wisdom and, of course, “Indian culture”. J

Some absolute winners I (and girls I know) have heard over the years:

  • You’re a girl.. you should know how to cook
  • You’re a girl, you can’t use ‘bad words’
  • You’re a girl, don’t argue with (obnoxious) elders
  • You’re a girl, no sleepovers for you (said a dad to his 21-year-old daughter)
  • You’re a girl, why are your parents spending so much on your education?
  • You’re a girl, you smoke/drink? I thought you’re “decent” (said the guy on his second drink)
  • You’re a girl, are you allowed to wear skirts or dresses?
  • You’re a girl, of course you need not do the karwa chauth, just ask if your in-laws are ok with it
  • You’re a girl.. brilliant career or fulfilling family –pick one
  • You’re a girl.. I don’t care if you have exams tomorrow, get started on dinner
  • You’re the girl, why’re you making your husband do the dishes?
  • You’re a girl.. here, let me explain this investment plan to your dad/husband

As corporates, HR departments and greeting card companies all over the world celebrate Women’s Day this year, various platitudes will be composed to pay homage to “the strength of a woman”. Resolutions will be taken to honour, protect and respect her.

All I ask is, please, for f&*k’s sake, STOP SAYING “You’re a girl”. I will not do/say things BECAUSE I am a girl. But just because I AM .