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The Joys and Travails of Parenting

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Parenting, Pain, Pleasure

You want it, you don’t want it.

It is either too early for it and you plan assiduously, or it is too late and you pray vehemently.

And when it happens…

One moment it is the most gratifying gift on planet earth, the next you feel weighed down by the sheer relentlessness of the demands it makes on you.

You start out as a novice and discover that you are one for life.

It looks like you have bagged the most unique offer in the world and then you are repeatedly stung by the competitive bug- has she got a better deal than me?

And so on.

The pains and pleasures of parenting, sigh…the craziest roller-coaster ride in life! You want it all inside out when you are downside up.

Nothing seems more precious than that evading silence and sleep in the night (forget daytime!) after you have so lovingly brought home the bundle of joy. You like the cute smile the baby has learnt to bestow on you but you count the hours to his next bout of (hopefully sound) sleep. She is all you and yours- the doll!- with her bright eyes and curly hair but you would like someone (preferably mummy) to raise her for you. Her first words are divine but you want someone else to tutor her to preschool asap. You have till now stifled yawns gleaning over articles about parental pressure and what not but now that Tinu is 2, you cannot afford to let society sideline her. She must do a dance number in the New Year program. Or wield the fairy’s wand in the fancy dress competition. Phew! 4 hours spent sticking the damn silver foil on the stick while Tinu in diapers is busy applying toothpaste all over herself, blissfully unaware of her filial duties! Drop her at the summer camp, it will build her character. No way, she can barely take care of herself, I am her father and I do not want all this new-fangled nonsense in my home. Safety first, you hear? Hear? Nothing is heard especially not the voice of the spouse or that of reason.

And thus the endless loops of the roller-coaster accelerate…expectations, competitions, comparisons, anxieties, hopes and so on till it is time to step down the roller-coaster, arthritic knees et al. Hopefully the fairy of yesteryear, fortified by her summer camp experiences and her mother’s push and father’s pull is in society’s limelight, with her degree and her worldly wisdom and a plum place(ment) where it matters. The pay packet speaks it all. For all.

You may be basking in the overseas sun, adapting to new values of new generations.  You may be wiping off a tear under your thick glasses, looking at that dog-earred photo of the chubby fairy for the hundredth time. In the solitude of the retirement home.

Call it a good roll of the dice. Call it sound investment. Call it a great learning experience which shaped YOUR character like life was one unending summer camp!

Or maybe it was an all-guzzling ordeal which drove you bankrupt-emotionally, financially.

Professional hazards, you see, of defining parenting!

But as Khalil Gibran so eloquently puts it

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

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About Meera

Meera is a contributing member of Indusladies. To see Meera's community profile, go here.

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Obvious Questions

1. At the movies: When you meet acquaintances/friends...
Stupid Question:-
Hey, what are you doing here?
Answer:-
Don't you know, I sell tickets in black over here..

2. In the bus: A heavy lady wearing pointed high-heeled shoes steps on your feet...
Stupid Question:-
Sorry, did that hurt?
Answer:-
No, not at all, I'm on local anesthesia.....why don't you try again?

3. At a funeral: One of the teary-eyed people ask...
Stupid Question:-
Why, why him, of all people?
Answer:-
Why? Would it rather have been you?

4. At a restaurant: When you ask continue reading...


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Thought for the day!

“If you’ve heard this story before, don’t stop me, because Id like to hear it again.”


-Groucho Marx

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Friday, October 24th, 2014
What's in store for you today?
Choose your fortune cookie to find out!
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Your Fortune For Today
Friday, October 24th, 2014

This can be a frustrating day. You may feel you’re standing still and waiting for things to get moving again. All the same, you’ll do your best to be your usually reliable and sensible self. This is a great day to do research to improve your health and fitness.

This is one of those days in which you’re better able to stand back and look at your emotions intellectually. Your freedom-loving nature isn’t built to deal with heavy emotional baggage and turmoil, so don’t bother trying. Be especially wary of those who seem to plop a problem in front of you and expect you to deal with it.

This can be a very exciting day. You may be feeling a greater desire to find ways to express your creative vision in practical or material ways. It is a time when you can make important contributions to your community. Accept invitations from friends to get out and have fun.

You are particularly inspired by and sensitive to crisis situations. What that means is that you can’t stand to see other people suffer. Sometimes even you suffer because you don’t allow yourself to do the things you like best and the things that help you feel fulfilled as a person. Why don’t you think about going easier on yourself, just for today? Try it – you might like it!

Unfortunately, this isn’t a day for fun and games. In fact, you might feel an annoying emotional weightiness, making you feel less energetic than usual. There’s a sober tone that’s asking you to take a hard-nosed look at reality and make some decisions regarding goals and plans. You could feel like the timer buzzer is about to go off. The minute hand is ticking away and there are many more adventures in store.

Friends are a positive influence. The more reasons you find to laugh, the better you’ll feel. Say yes to anything that inspires your imagination. This is a positive time to make changes at work. Older people may need more attention, and here again, laughter is good medicine.

Communication with those closest to you might prove difficult today. You might end up playing endless phone tag. This can be a bit distressing, because you’re feeling especially warm and loving toward them right now. You might even worry that perhaps they’re angry and don’t want to talk to you. This isn’t the case. Keep trying. You’ll eventually reach them and receive the response you want.

Today should bring pleasant and profitable communications with women, possibly some new friends. Social invitations may arrive, although perhaps more than you can realistically handle. Be careful not to commit to too many activities. You could end up spreading yourself too thin. Travel to faraway lands may seem tempting at this time, but don’t make definite plans now. Relax and enjoy the company for now.

This isn’t a good day to travel, especially by air. Long lines at the ticket counter, endless delays, and lost luggage could be the result. This may not even be a good day to plan a trip, although you can consider your options. If you must fly today, get to the airport early, travel light, and take something good to read. That will make it bearable.

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