I was a solo parent for a week, and we survived!

This week was a first: my husband was across the pond and I had a daddy obsessed toddler to deal with. My first instinct was to call my parents in India for a trip but I decided to wear my big girl pants and bravely go where I have not gone before: be a solo parent for a week! I wanted to share my tips and realizations as this experiment draws to a successful end.

To prepare for this daunting undertaking, I started preparing by reading blogs to find some hacks. While I am no expert, one tip that were hugely helpful was to prepare in advance- I stocked up on groceries, prepared a few meals for the week, and sorted out laundry. Our toddler is a terrible sleeper so I knew I will be tired, so anything that can simplify the week.

The other tip I loved was to wake up a bit earlier so I could take a shower and have my coffee before her day starts. Getting a good start helped me tackle the day.

I planned a few play dates and it was a wonderful distraction for both of us. We also did a grocery run everyday around the time dad comes home, just to get her mind off it. And the tv nanny time gave me a few minutes so I could eat dinner, do the dishes, and clean up the toy war zone!

A realization that helped tackle the tough days was to accept that things won’t go smoothly and that’s ok. On the second day, my toddler woke up at midnight and suddenly missed daddy, so we had a night of screaming from 12-3am. We were both tired the next day, and then the Chromecast refused to cast nursery rhymes making it feel like a never ending day. Accepting that such tough days will happen helped me be calm and patient.

I also planned a few treats for me, like a threading appointment or a quiet breakfast after the nursery drop off. That’s my takeaway from my osteopath: you need to slow down and breathe to let your body catch up!

It was still challenging week: my toddler was unsettled and looking for daddy. She talked about him all day, and seeing him on FaceTime wasn’t enough. She also got more clingy with me- followed me everywhere and would break into tears every time I stepped away for a second. It was stressful especially when you are doing small tasks like draw up her bath, or heat dinner. I felt terrible telling her off because I know she is just confused, but the crying does get exhausting.

I learnt a lot over the week- the first big one was I realized how incredibly amazing solo parents are- it’s not an easy job, and they deserve so much credit. Even when you are tired and cranky, you don’t have anyone to pick up the slack. Hats off to you!

I have a new found appreciation for my husband- I realized my husband does more than I give him credit for. He does the bath and bed time routine, but I realized most mornings he gets our daughter ready which gives me a bit of quiet to shower and have breakfast.

As I ready for my husband’s return tomorrow, I feel a mix of relief and sense of achievement- I didn’t think I could, but I did it! This week was an eye opener for me and a real confidence booster. At the end of each day, we went to bed with a feeling of accomplishment and for a few minutes, like a supermom. I am excited to get the family unit back together, to get some me time, and a tall glass of wine 🙂 !


I am one today- guest blog by my daughter

I wrote when I was at the half way point, and now I that I have completed one full year of being a little person, I figured I must write again. It’s been a whirlwind, I have been so busy. Here are some highlights of my extremely busy year:

  • Mamma and appa are the center of my world- I see them everywhere and thank god for that. They wear many hats- personal chefs, transporters, entertainers, and the best pillow in the world. 
  • I see both sets of grandparents all the time- they are my partners in crime, always playing with me, taking me for walks, and singing. 
  • I have my own gang of friends- sure I can’t actually recognize them but we play and pull hair, grab each other’s toys- you know the fun stuff! 
  • Mamma and appa took me around all the time, we met so many friends and family. My favorite place is india- I love the ceiling fan and bright colors, neon signs on roads, the bikes, trucks, and all the excitement while driving around.
  • I am recently very mobile- I crawl everywhere and fast and I can walk holding furniture. Life is just so much fun this way! I can now reach phones, remotes, and coffee cups, I can run up the stairs before mamma catches me. Oh the joy! 
  • Food is more adventurous- I have pasta, pulao, sambar but my favorite dish is yogurt. Mamma says my tambram genes are strong, not sure what that means! 
  • I enjoy my snack time too- bread and butter are my new favorite along with apple and pear Porridge (fruit kesari). 
  • I still love swimming and my newly discovered favorite place is the playground. I love the swing, the feeling when the wind hits my face 🙂 
  • I still don’t like to sleep- such a waste of time. And when I do sleep, I would love to sleep on mamma or appa, who needs crib or their bed, when you have the best pillow 🙂
  • I want to be a part of conversations so I am talking all day long! Not sure if anyone understands, but sometimes they repeat what I say so it does look like they do! 

As I round up the month of celebrations, I am glad for everything around me. Thanks for reading! 

Remembering my favorite person- my grandpa

Happy July 4th!

July 4th was always special to me, way before I moved to USA- it is the birthday of one of the biggest influences of my life- my grandfather. As I faced my first July 4th without him, I wanted to pen my feelings- which like his personality are full of joy and laughter…

My grandfather (thatha in Tamil) was a force of nature- he was born in a village, but always had big plans. He married my grandmother (his niece- this was normal in the 1940s) in his teens, moved to Bombay alone to build a better future for them- all with the will and determination that was like second nature to him. He slept on the streets, lived in huts but always found a way to make his life better. He worked 3 jobs at a time, and raised 3 amazing people, including my mom. His life story is an inspiration to me!

But the more personal memories are how he was the glue for all of us- I remember as kids I sometimes disliked being forced to Sunday lunch instead of being allowed to watch movies, but the Sunday lunch is the reason I love my cousins. Every birthday was a family celebration and my grandfather was always there (even though with his weak digestion, he couldn’t eat all that much!). Thatha was the life of the conversation, with witty one liners and jokes, he always wanted to know what was the trend. I remember when I was 13, thatha asked me what was the fuss for February 14th- when I explained to him, he asked my grandmother whether she would like to go on a date, much to her embarrassment!

Thatha taught me a lot growing up- he taught me to read the paper and would teach me about politics when I was 5, he taught me trump (a popular card game) and always called me affectionate pet names like German lady, etc. When we were kids and he would visit us, he would enthrall us with stories of his childhood and starting days in Bombay. As I got older, whenever I am in India, he used to call me every day to hear my voice. He was the only one who pulled my cheeks every time we met, loved debating politics, and enjoyed listening for all our stories.

Thatha is a creature of habit, his daily schedule was fixed: coffee, Tamil news, yoga, then breakfast of dosa at 9.30am, and so on. The world can come and go, but the schedule was fixed. I admired that always, because it’s easy to make and excuse give up on things like yoga but the discipline is rewarding!

Anyone who knows Thatha will tell you that he is stubborn and won’t budge. One particularly funny incident I remember was last year after his surgery. I was in the hospital with him, and the doctor told me and my aunt that he needs to be on a strict diet of mostly semi solids and sent a dietitian in to build a list of what he can and cannot eat. The dietitian walked in and we braced for the worst because he loved his routine food list and everything the dietitian was suggesting were things he won’t even try! But he was exceptionally agreeable, and we were thrilled! As soon as the dietitian left, I was arranging for soups and juices, when he said “why are you listening to her? Poor girl was so young so I didn’t want to give her a hard time. I want my dosa!”

The quality I hope I can learn from him is to be content. Every time anyone asked him how he was as he got older, Thatha always said “I have everything I need, I am very fortunate”. All he wanted was newspaper, Bengay, and his wife for company! 🙂

I miss Thatha most when I imagine not having him around to share the small and big events in my life. He is always the first person I call after my parents to share because his reaction is pure joy!

Miss you Thatha! We think of you everyday….

#1- Amazing parents

I am grateful to have the parents in the world. My parents raised me to believe in the power of hard work, honesty, and to value relationships. They gave me everything that I could wish for, even in tough times. My parents always love me, spoil me, understand me, are friends to me, and most of all, they are my biggest inspiration!

my inspiration=my brother

I have been thinking a lot about motivations and inspirations, and I have been thinking about people who inspire me. One of the people who inspire me is my brother. We don’t have a big age gap, so he is more like a buddy to me. And the reasons for him being an inspiration aren’t because he is my brother, but because he is that impressive.

If he had a choice, he would major in everything and work in all the industries! He is positive and optimistic, almost to an extreme–we call it think the impossible! He has this thirst for knowledge, he wants to know everything, and he will work overtime, giving up sleep to learn as much as possible.

He is there for everyone, he goes out of his way to help people, and money is no object. He is the resource for getting advice on education and jobs, the person to turn to when you move to a new city and want to travel, he is the friend who always has room in his house to crash! This sometimes worries me sometimes because I don’t want people taking advantage of him. He is a nurturer, every one in his family and friends circles can vouch for that.

He has a passion for non-profit- he is involved in so many circles to find ways to make the world a better place, from volunteering, to fundraising, and more.

I have never met anyone else who is as intelligent, ambitious, affectionate or generous as my brother, Shreenath. You are my star! Go on, win the world!