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Slow down day (and life)

Importance of spending time with kidsThis blog post has been contributed by Aparna Sanjay.
My son was sick today, running a high temperature in the afternoon. Towards the evening, I wasn’t feeling too great myself and so we two sick-birds were thrown together while my husband took charge of our daughter, took her to the park, bathed and fed her etc. Since my son could not go down to play, I kept him amused by reading a few books together and doing a couple of crosswords. We also retired to bed early and spent a lot of time in the darkness while lying in bed, talking about this and that.
He was talking about his friends in school and all the class ‘politics’ (!) and I was reminiscing about my school days and how we would have to copy the day’s notes from a classmate if we were sick and absent from school (how long ago those days seem, definitely in another life!). As the two of us were chatting, it dawned on me, that because he was ill, today I had been more solicitous, more patient, more present and more caring with him. In short, I had been the kind of mom I strive to be every single day (a task at which I fail spectacularly on so many of those days), and I hadn’t even tried all that hard!
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Sigh. Now I can’t wish that my child falls ill so that I can feel great about my mothering, can I? :( I’m the kind of parent who tries so hard to do a good job that sometimes I don’t enjoy what I’m doing.  I get so focussed on the nitty-gritties of day-to-day parenting that I lose sight of the nurturing and ‘mothering’ aspect. As they say, the journey is the destination. Today, a sick child reminded me of all the reasons why I stay at home with my kids. The companionship, the conversations, the closeness, that should be a part of our everyday lives and ever so often, isn’t. Because I am too busy washing dishes or folding clothes or making sure the maid has dusted properly. When kids fall ill (yes, when mothers fall ill too!), life slows down. It’s good when that happens :)


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ParentEdge is a bi-monthly magazine for discerning Indian parents who would like to actively contribute to their children’s education, intellectual enrichment and stimulation. The magazine’s premise is that learning is a continuous process, and needs to happen both in and outside of school; thus parents have an important role to play in shaping their children’s interests and intellect.

4 thoughts on “Slow down day (and life)

  1. aparajita

    Very, very true, Aparna! I’m also reminded about how when I fell sick during my childhood days, my cautious Granny didn’t take a chance (since my parents stayed far away) and made me have tablets by stuffing them inside small pieces of banana, so that I could gobble them down without any hassle! And not so long ago(4 yrs back), when my son fell sick and I sometimes HAD to attend office, how guiltily each hour passed at my desk, for my heart lay with my sick son lying ill (of course, in the care of one set of grandparents) at home! Now I’m a stay-at-home mom, luckily able to be at the bedside of my children, when any of them falls sick, and even though I get tense at times when the sickness aggravates, I feel blessed that I can afford to be there with my sick child. In fact, after one such occasion, I was spurred on to write a piece which I posted as “Two sick children with three trees and music” as a blog under 24×7 Parent dated 8th July. Maybe you could read it and put in your comments!

  2. Sudha Kumar

    Aparna, really appreciate your candour! Ir reminds me so much of myself, and I am sure there are many others out there who would also relate to this. Yes, in our quest for doing the best, we do sometimes overlook the “chilling out” aspect, as my kids keep pointing out to me now. One other thing that also helps I think is setting aside time for ourselves. Hard as it may seem, it does help!

  3. Aruna Ram Kumar

    Now that the blog helps all of us to figure how we can be better moms, aren’t we pleased Aparna? :)


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