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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?
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Your Fortune For Today
Friday, October 24th, 2014

You might pick up some rather disturbing thoughts from a friend, neighbour, or relative. This person could be upset over something and not communicating his or her feelings. It isn’t appropriate to try to coax this person into sharing with you now. They aren’t upset with you, but they might be if you push! Back off and let this person come to terms with the problem. Your friend will talk the time is right.

Optimism can open doors today. Avoid being judgmental about past disappointments. Trust yourself. This is the time to take action and speak up for any idea close to your heart. The future is being born now. You have the determination and willingness to do work that will make things better.

This is a powerful day to organize, evaluate your life, and plan for the future. Turn your sensible and conservative ways to issues concerning family finances. The more you simplify your lifestyle, the better. Expect some stress if you float new ideas with the family – there may be resistance at first.

You may feel particularly in the mood to play pranks today as the inner clown in you takes hold. However, make sure that your practical jokes are in good taste or you may end up in someone’s bad books.

Travel arrangements may have to be put off because of unexpected developments that keep you where you are. You may be worried about the consequences, but don’t waste your energy. You’ll be able to make the necessary trip, and accomplish whatever you’re hoping to do – just not today. Worry will only stress you out. The only productive way to deal with this is to keep moving.

Your financial affairs could look especially rosy now. Some benefits are definitely coming your way, although everything isn’t quite as promising as it seems. You could well find yourself with less than you were hoping for. Think of whatever gain may be coming as something extra, but don’t count on it. That way, whatever comes will be a welcome bonus rather than an irritating disappointment.

You might be expecting some visitors to your home and looking forward to it. However, your plans could be frustrated in some way through miscommunication, undelivered messages, delays due to traffic, or other obstacles. Don’t let this dim your enthusiasm. Whatever you’re trying to do will eventually come to fruition in spite of temporary frustrations. Don’t give up. Enjoy your evening.

A desire to do some redecorating, perhaps in anticipation of hosting a social event, might prove frustrating today. You probably have some definite ideas, but can’t find the materials you need to produce the results you want. Whatever you’re planning, it might be a good idea to phone around in advance and see what resources are available. It could save you some frustration.

Today you might decide to participate in community activities involving children. Field trips either for pleasure or educational purposes may take place, and you could enjoy it as much as the kids. Letters and phone calls could bring good news from far away, which you’ll almost certainly want to pass on to others. Tonight, curl up with the latest mystery. Intrigue should be especially appealing now.

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