Surviving a traveling Dad!

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I learned to juggle when I was younger but never got an edge in it until now. Now i know, i can juggle really well !

Few questions for all the mommies out there, do you have times when your husband is out of town and you’re alone with the kid? Do you get overwhelmed by all that needs to be done? Do you wonder how you’ll ever survive?

I’m here to tell you that being on your own can be doable… even enjoyable!

My husband often go out of town on official trips for a week or even more. This is not an uncommon occurrence in our household; he travels at least two and sometimes three weeks out of the month. But, just because it’s common doesn’t mean it’s not hard, though. The burden usually shared by two is carried by my shoulders alone—being “on” from very early until very late, handling every request and need, squeezing in my own work wherever it fits, not an easy task… Most nights I’m a zombie by 9 p.m. but i have to be nice and loving as bedtime story is still waiting on the card.

While the stress of it all is significant, something about anticipating it makes its load more bearable. I know it’s going to be hard—but I’m ready for it. After doing this routine for six months, I feel I have a grasp on what to do during these periods that my husband is away.

Here are few tips to keep sane while your husband is away…

1. Plan your meal/involve kid as well

(Cooking his breakfast…)

I always plan my meals beforehand but when my husband is away, I try to plan really simple, easy to prepare meals. Involve your kid in cooking, be it washing vegetables or anything easy for them.

2. Do the grocery shopping before your husband leaves.Running for grocery shopping with kid is a nightmare so make sure you stock your refrigerator and cupboard with all the groceries before. Make sure you even have a supply of those necessities that you should require if someone gets sick.

3. Go out in Sun, breathe the freshness

(Out in sun/playing in sand)

This is especially important if you’re a stay-at-home mom. You don’t want to be cope up all day, every day, and every night with your children. Take them to your community park or take them out for ice cream. The change of scenery will do all of you good.

4. Make some plan

(Prakhar making bird house)

It’s always nice for you and your children to look forward to a play date with friends, a trip to the zoo, a movie night or even a lunch date for mommy and the kid. Planning craft activities is also a good idea. If the weather isn’t cooperative, you’ll be thankful you had the foresight to gather some supplies for a few art activities!

5. Keep some toys in reserve

New toys will keep your kid busy and entertained for hours or even days. so keep few toys in reserve.

6. Don’t be cleanliness obsessed

Even if you absolutely LOVE a clean house, this is not the time to obsess over it being spotless. Let go of some of your regular chores and conserve the energy for dealing with your children.

7. Take care of yourself

It may feel like there’s no time to take care of yourself but this is critical. When the children are sleeping, do some Yoga, sip some tea, and/or read some book. Do anything that will relax your mind. Do not rush to clean house, just relax and have some ‘Me time’.

8. Do what you love to do

(Photography is something I love to spend time in…)

Make a list of things you want to do while your hubby is away. Is there a TV series that he refuses to watch? Pop some corn and watch it without him! Dedicate time to a craft or your own creation on canvas.

So,you don’t have to dread the time that your husband is away. With some initial planning (and a little bit of grace), your time alone with the kids can be enjoyable. You may even come to look forward to it!!!

The Nav-Durga in every Woman

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Durga, goddess of power, eternity and tranquility. Goddess who lead us to the path of wisdom and galore.

During my childhood days, Durga puja was the most awaited festival. It was the time when my whole family use to go for puja pandal (temporary shed) hopping. From one pandal to another admiring the decoration, the scintillating lights, the giant image of goddess, the flower works etc. As a child I used to jump up to the fence surrounding the awe image of Durga and used to look intently at her benevolent face. The colourful and huge backdrop, baskets full of colourful flowers and fruits, plate full of red, orange and yellow sindoor (silica powder), hypnotic sound of gong and the festive hum of the crowd each adding a different colour to my trans state. The great spear held in her raised hand and the demon being slaughtered, looked frightening. Yet,the divinity in the eye of the goddess was something that has always made me feel happy, safe and invincible. How lustrous and omnipresent she looked, her aura, her dark hair cascading in waves, her ten arms raised with effortless power and the calmness in her eyes, everything is mesmerising.

Sneak-peek into Mythology

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In mythology, what happened with Mahishasura is a clear example of how men have discounted women and thus faced fatal consequences. Demon Mahishasura being vain, sought immunity only from men and gods, never ever considering the existance of women. When every other god failed to defeat Mahishasura, goddess Durga battled him single-handedly for continuous nine days and on the final day, she slit his throat with her trident. Such was the valour of the almighty Durga and the victory is till date celebrated as Dussehra across India. Dussehra depicts the power of women when every other power has failed to fight.

Then Vs now

The god did not consider themselves small in seeking help from a female (goddess Durga) or acknowledging her strengths. When god were willing to accept the incredible strength that a women has, why we could not? Why have women been labelled as weak? Why do people have so much trouble accepting the power women? Why women today are striving to get an equal level as that of men, when they already are?

Ironically, today Durga is worshiped with pomp and splendor but women are considered weak and less competent. People try their best to make goddess happy during these nine days but take the women around them for granted. Why indulge in the hypocrisy of worshiping the female form?

History testifies the fact that a women if challenged, can be fiercest creature you will ever see. There are hundred of times in a women’s life when she has been the emblem of courage and determination, that ray of hope and the ultimate resolve when all seems lost. If you talk about physical strength, child-birth is the prime example among others. Look around you, your mother, sister, wife, teacher, maid and every single female you know has fought a battle, battle of strength, battle of emotion and a battle of existance. But does not even wear the scars.

The Nav-durga in every Woman

Each of the nine days of Navratri is associated with one of the innumerable forms of the supreme goddess that bears great resonance with different stages of a woman’s life and her position in the society.

The first three forms depicts the transformation of a young girl whose identity depends on her parents, to an adolescent who perseveres to fulfill her desire and then to a grown up woman who has stepped into her new role of matrimony with finesse.

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The first day is dedicated to Shailputri, the daughter of the mountains. The purity, the innocence on the face of Shailputri is like that of a child, the untouched and unadulterated heart. That is unaware of the demands and greed of the world. Shailputri is the first stage of every woman, when she is what her parents are. Pure at heart and leading the world with her innocence and tenderness.

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The second form is Brahmacharini. It is that stage of a woman life when she remains devoted to her career her studies. Every girl has a dream, a dream to succeed, to win, to face challenges, to fly and with the help of her parents, a girl devotes this part of their life to achieve all these dreams.

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Third day of Navratri is dedicated to Chandraghanta, the goddess who is married and ride a tiger, carrying the weapons. She is believed to reward people with grace, bravery and courage. This form of goddess Durga depicts a woman in the stage when she is married. When she starts an all new phase of her life leaving a family that belong to her from the day she came into existnace. A woman does that with a grace. Being accepted in a new family is a daunting task and a woman remains in her cocoon for long. Searching for the same mulberry leaves as she had earlier is what every woman strives for. Everyone considers them strong and happy but truth lies far beyond. Like Chandraghanta, in this phase of woman’s life, her third eye remained open to see all odds and to tackle every situation with calmness and divinity on face.

The next three forms – Kushmanda, Skandamata and Katyayani of the goddess reflects three facets of a woman’s social persona.

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Kushmanda, the goddess of fourth day, wears an enigmatic smile and shines with the splendour of the sun. She is the woman who has gradually mastered the ways of the world and is not only thriving but also sharing her magnificence with the entire creation. The stage when she finally decide to shine, to shine on everything that comes her way, to light up others and the path she walk upon. This is the phase of a woman’s life when she has fought her initial challenge post marriage and is sparkling again. Ready to face the world and shine upon.

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The fifth form of Skandamata shows the goddess as the nurturer, holding her infant son Skanda (Kartikey) in her lap, devoid of any weapons, yet riding a fierce lion. The stage of woman life, when she is blessed with a child. Birth of child gives tremendous power and strength to a woman. The strength to tackle everything and anything that comes in the way of her child and family. She is furious at one moment and calm on another. Every mother has the power to fight the world without any weapon just like Skandamata.

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The sixth form of Katyayani is associated with something momentous. She is the one who appeared as Durga to destroy the demon Mahishasura and her victory is the most depicted view in all Durga puja pandals. It highlights the inherent potential inside a woman- she is not just equal to men but is in fact superior. This is the stage of a woman’s life when she bears the power to care for her family and manages her professional life as well. Maa Katyayani symbolises the inner power every women posses.

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The seventh depiction is Kalratri, She is dark, threatening and has blood dripping from her fangs. Parvati, the beautiful wife who expertly balances her personal and professional life is transformed into dark destroyer Kali who does not give a hoot about how she looks or what social obligation she has to fulfil. She reveals she can become the destroyer for every demon that comes in her way. She can be fiercest if her family is at stake. She can go to any level to protect her family.

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Kalratri returns to benign aspect of Mahagauri, the goddess of eighth day. Bringing respite to a bewildered world, she ride the bull that is the vehicle of her husband and holds his trident, once again showing the world that Shakti and Shiva are two different halves of the same whole. Incomplete with just one half.

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The final form of ninth day is that of Shiddhidatri. She holds the conch, lotus, club and discus in her four hands. She is the final form that has come gradually through evolution from a daughter to a lover to a wife to a mother to a wildling. She is the epitome of divine feminine carying with her the power to create and destroy.

The Nav-durga, therefore depicts the stages of woman’s divinity and none of them is inferior to the other. Just as a woman taking care of her family is no less than the one who frequents the corporate boardrooms.

My generous words

This Durga puja lets take a pledge to not only worship the goddess Durga but also accept the incredible strength of Nav-Durga in every woman around us.