Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Hopscotch.in Review

Like every mom, I always keep finding some unique stuff for my kid. I stumbled upon this online shopping site hopscotch.in and boy....what a great site design it is. The stuff looked unique and the photos of products were extremely good. You really feel tempted to order multiple items however I decided to order one item to check how it works as they clearly mention on their site that they sell major American brands and shipments directly arrive from international warehouse. After a 4 week long wait I was pretty disappointed. And worst part they don't have feature to add product reviews on their site. So I had to actually pull out some time from my busy schedule to write this blog.  

What I ordered from the site was this.

The product description says that:
  1. It is a 3-piece suit
  2. The brand is ASL
  3. Pre-order Delivery in 5-6 weeks(which may lead to our assumption that the product will arrive from USA)
When I received the order I received the following:

What I found was:
  1. The material was very cheap govt school uniform material
  2. The brand was Vogue and not ASL 
  3. The invoice had Bhiwandi Thane office name on it

 A closer look at the brand name:


As the site stated that it will take around a months time for delivery, they updated the order tracking as follows:

In this you can see that the order arrived at Global center and description as Shipped to international warehouse. When you mean to say international warehouse, you certainly don't mean Bhiwandi.

When I checked the tracking details using AWB number on Delhivery site I found this:

There is no update from 8th Dec 2016, the day on which I placed my order till 25th Dec 2016. If on 13th Dec 2016 the order had reached international warehouse, why was it manifested on 25th Dec 2016 from Bhiwandi? And if they had to ship a local stuff from Bhiwandi to Pune why do they need 5-6 weeks for that? If they claim that they have products which are pre-order from USA, why don't they have international shipping policy, customs etc defined on their site?

I have read very negative reviews on mouthshut.com and other consumer forum sites for hopscotch.in. What I understood was that they have a good website, packaging etc. but the products they are using are extremely cheap in quality and most of the time they sell local stuff naming them international brands. Let me know in comments your experiences of buying from this site.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Career advice to a working mom

I work in an industry where staying in one company for long term gives a negative impact on your resume. We have to constantly upgrade ourselves in terms of knowledge, technology and of course annual compensation package wise. Most of the job hoppings happen in early stages of your career. As time passes by you get married and job gets a lower priority. You try to just stick to whatever is happening instead of trying to find some new good opportunities. Then once you become a mom, you feel as if you have achieved a great feat even if you are able to continue your career. 

I have gone through all of these phases and even today I feel guilty that I am not in a position where I should be. I deserve much more than this, but considering my family commitments it is me who keeps dragging myself behind and not trying for the opportunities that I deserve just because I don't want to go beyond my comfort zone. And to make it feel better I keep comparing myself to random women that at least I am doing better than them. Every working mom that I have met in my field shares the same feeling. 

I once met my friend who has a 2 year old daughter and asked about her job. She works in Analytics which has huge demand, she had many offers in hand but still she doesn't want to quit her old job because she fears that she will be out of her comfort zone. She might not be able to give time to her daughter. What if she doesn't get a good manager. Many women go through these feelings and it is natural to be apprehensive at first thoughts. The other type of mom is one who will get an opportunity but settle for a lower position and not take the plunge of a challenging role. The bottom line is we keep on underestimating ourselves unnecessarily.

My advice to all these moms is don't overthink. Now a days all companies offer flexibility to working moms, you can always choose a company based on this. 
  1. Choose a job which is closer to your home.
  2. Let your employer know that you have kid to look after and you cannot stay beyond certain hours. This might reduce the chances of getting selected in certain companies, but it is always better to be at a safer side than to take role where you require to stay beyond the creche timings. 
  3. Look for Work from home facility 
  4. Don't underestimate yourself.
  5. Always looks for a backup resource to fill your position in case you have to go on unplanned leave for your kids illness
  6. Always remember you can scale up in your career graph even after having a kid so first believe in yourself and only then the world will believe in you.

Happy Parenting!!!

Friday, 25 November 2016

Thumbsucking in kids

My cousin's daughter used to suck her thumb and I gave them every piece of advice stating how can you curb the habit. People judged them maybe they are not that hard on her otherwise she would have stopped the habit. Fastforwad to Aarush, at 6 months of age he started sucking his index finger and now was time to use all the experiences that I was watching while raising my niece. What I observed was the more I opposed him sucking his thumb, the more he started sucking. Also, as he grew up he knew that mom hates thumbsucking so whenever I avoid his tantrums, he starts thumsucking just to make me mad. He is 2 years old and still sucking his index finger, I have tried many unsuccessful ways to avoid thumbsucking and I am going to share it with you hoping one of it might help your child.

I have consulted many doctors for thumbsucking and all are of opinion that it is a normal activity any kid performs. They say that kids start sucking their thumb when they are in their mother's womb. If the kid sucks the thumb of right hand then the kid is going to be right handed and same vice versa. Doctors asked me to be patient as eventually when he will start going to school he will stop the habit. So thumb sucking is an extremely normal activity and I don't need to panic. Thumbsucking acts as a natural pacifier and helps soothe the kid. Now there are some side effects of thumb sucking which scares me more than actual thumbsucking. The side effects includes teeth deformation, thumb skin turning pale, and sucking untidy thumbs can introduce pathogens in your kid's tummy.  

Here's the list of ways you can try to avoid thumb sucking in your kids:

1)Engage in activities: Keep your kids hands engaged in activities that include holding ball, throwing balls, scribbling

2)Use positive reinforcement: This works as a reverse psychology, praise him if he is not sucking his thumb

3)Use pacifier: A pacifier will soothe your baby without the need of thumbsucking

4)Cover the thumb: You can find thumb covers in retail outlets. You can also use hand gloves.

5)Talk to you child: Engage your child in the understanding why he needs to stop thumb sucking. 

6)Apply bitter liquids on thumb: There are some liquids which we can get in medical stores you can apply them on kids thumb. Or you can rub karela and other sour/bitter/spicy substances.

Patience is the only solution for breaking this habit. Just don't be too harsh on your child. Always remember he is not going to suck his thumbs his entire life.

Happy Parenting !!!

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

How to throw an awesome birthday party for your kid!!!

Birthday parties during my childhood involved calling all my friends living in neighborhood, cutting cake and having fun. In our colony we had laid strict rules that no one will bring gifts and no one will give return gifts. What parents really wanted was all kids should enjoy, eat and have fun. Since we had bigger homes we could accommodate all neighborhood kids and terrace could be used for playing games. I really miss my old days. Yesterday was my son's second birthday. Gosh, I can't believe how 2 years passed. It seemed like yesterday I was holding him in my hands and now he is all grown up.

These days theme based birthday parties are in trends which includes elaborate celebration and entertainment options. Also, owing to our hectic schedules, birthdays which fall on weekdays have time constraints as most of the guests join after office hours. In metro cities travelling through traffic to the event location drains half of you energy and time. This article is about planning a birthday party for parents staying in metro cities.

Birthday party business is a fastest growing business. Banquet parties, big guest lists, entertainment options are the only hot topics in birthdays. I have seen middle class parents spending 1-2 lakhs on the kids first birthday. I understand the hullabaloo around the first birthday and even I am of an opinion that yes first birthday's should be grand but I want to make parents rethink when they spend so much amount on their kid's first birthday.

My advice is to keep the celebrations short. If you are planning to throw a party in a party hall/banquet hall choose the one which is closest to your house. Don't go looking for that perfect venue, which is at far end of the city especially if the birthday falls on weekdays. These days event management groups provide you different packages like theme celebrations, clown, dancing groups etc. Before splurging money on all these packages rethink what is really required. Check the age group of kids which are going to be a part of guests and only then invest in stand-up comedians or clowns etc.

It is observed that parents overdress their children for their first birthday. Costumes are as per themes so sometimes they are not comfortable for your kid. Choose an outfit as per your kid's comfort. Bear in mind that your kid is going to spend few hours in that dress, so it should not restrict your child's movements. In order to get the perfect shot by the professional photographer you have hired, we put restrictions on child's activities. If your child is not ready to pose for photos till you get perfect shot, let him go. Make sure the place you choose for venue is child-proofed and has no hazards.

To sum up all the above suggestions:
1)Choose a convenient venue.
2)Keep the guest list short
3)Choose a menu which is kid friendly
4)Child proof the venue
5)Dont overdress your kids, let them be in comfortable clothes
6)Keep entertainment options like clown, activity games based on kids interest

Happy Parenting!!!

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Spending Quality time with kids

Sometimes, I don't understand if weekdays are more hectic or weekends. Every Monday after coming to office I keep wondering how these two days passed away without much of any utilization. Mostly my weekends are meant to be doing all the pending house hold works. I do have a full-time maid to support me for my daily chores but that still requires supervision. I usually buy vegetables weekly, so some of my time goes in buying veggies. I have to make sure all groceries are in place. Weekdays I don't cook meals, so I make sure that I cook meals on weekends this ensures that I have not lost touch of cooking, I am able to feed my son meals that are cooked by me. Though I have a maid for cleaning house and doing laundry, there is lot of cleaning which is not done by the maid and I have to take care of it, such as cleaning wardrobes, kitchen trolleys.

As a working mom, I stay away from home on weekdays for around 12-15 hrs. Hence, I have very little time to spend with my son on weekdays. So I think I will catch up with him on weekends but I have noticed that I am not able to give him much time on weekends as I may not have any office work but the house work is pending and I need to do complete all that work before Monday arrives. So technically working mommies don't have any holidays as weekdays we have office and weekend home is also like an office where house hold works needs to be completed. After some of the interactions with my son, I felt I am not spending quality time with him. By quality time, I don't mean watching TV together and being together at home. It means you both should connect with each other and have each others undivided attention.

Spending quality time together doesn't mean that you have to arrange for expensive dine outs or take vacations to Disneyland. It can be as simple as cooking together, having long strolls in parks. Doing things that you both like. One more important point is to listen. You have to listen what your child has to say. He may tell you about his day, or a story which is just babbling and doesn't have any logic in it. Listen what your child has to say, it will give him confidence that though my mom is not with me, she is always there when I have to say something and I can easily connect with her. Even if you get a call when you are in office and your child feels that he wants to talk with you, let him call you and speak with him for sometime.

Other option is you can plan a dine out. I usually don't like this option as I like to cook myself instead of planning a dine out at McDonalds. But occasional trips to restaurants are not bad and it will give your child an exposure to public places. If you are planning to cook delicious meals at home instead of taking kids out for dinner, setup a restaurant like experience in home. Use special dishes for serving, create a good ambiance and ask you child what he wants to eat and take his views for setting up the ambiance. You also need to identify what is it that your child is interested in and accordingly plan a quality time event with him. I will list out few quality time activities for reference but bear in mind you have to chose an activity on your child's interest.

1)Road Trips
2)Plan a dine out
3)Go to Parks
4)Play games
5)Listen to their stories

As weekend arrives, make sure you keep some time aside for this quality time activity. For two days you have to plan something that only you and your child are going to do for that time. This might mean that you have to postpone few errands. Try doing things together but make a slot for quality time a part of you weekend schedule.

Happy Parenting!!!

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

How to choose the right clothes for your kid !!!

A baby's skin is delicate and sensitive. It needs to be taken care. This is the reason why traditionally newborns are always made to wear used clothes. As used clothes are washed multiple times they tend to be softer on baby's skin. New clothes can sometimes be stiff and harsh on baby's skin. However, now a days, we don't get used baby clothes so easily so my tip is buy new infant clothes, wash them multiple times and then use on your baby.

Make sure you choose 100% cotton clothes for you baby. India being a tropical country cotton suits best to all of us and it is organic. If you don't find pure cotton clothes then go for Cotton/Polyester Blends. The material used in vest is also good on baby skin and is blend of Cotton and Spandex which gives comfort of cotton and elasticity of spandex. In winters, you can choose sweaters having fleece, baby wool or acrylic material. I would advise to invest in one or two pieces of winter wear as our winters are not that harsh and your baby will grow in size by the time next winter arrives.

Sometimes festive clothes which we get in market are very glittery and have heavy seams. Especially frocks for girls look super cute with all the laces and stone work but they might be uncomfortable for the child. One day my mom was traveling by bus and a baby was crying too much and the parents were not able to calm the baby. The frock that the baby was wearing was having lot of stone work, unfinished hems and laces and my mom asked to change baby into something comfortable. The moment the baby wore pajamas she stopped crying. So avoid all these clothes and even during festivities try to buy some comfortable festive clothes.

The elastic which is used while designing clothes for Indian baby market is of very low quality. When you buy socks or pajamas or trousers make sure that the elastic is not too tight for you child's skin. Try to avoid tight clothes for the baby which will hamper his movements. Also, the accessories used while designing frocks should not cause choking hazards for the kid. So to sum up all the above thoughts.

1)Choose the right kind of fabric for you child
2)Avoid unfinished hems/ seams
3)The clothes should not be too tight
4)The accessories used while designing clothes should not cause choking hazards.

Happy Parenting!!! 

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Save the girl child !!!

I used to always wonder why in India so much importance is attached to a male progeny? As a girl, I pondered over this question when people saw girl child as a burden and a boy child as hope. Over the years I have found that there are two types of parents, one who are honest about wanting boy child and other who will say all sorts of equality stuff but secretly wish for a boy child. The alarming drop in female: male ratio clearly states that women empowerment, dowry ban and various other laws have failed to check this gap. What is the root of this psyche and how can we uproot it? There has been already said so much but still no visible signs of changes.

I have tried to dissect this mentality. It is said that the son will support the family,he will always stay with his parents even if he gets married, he will take care of parents in old age blah blah. Now consider this scenario, parents are working in one city, son is working in another how the hell this fact assures that boys will always stay with parents?There are times when children get settled in another country so visiting parents becomes even more difficult after that, so the first myth is busted.

The second concern is growing crime against women makes parents worried about the girl child's safety. As we hear increasing number of cases against women we feel the girl child as a responsibility. In order to ensure her safety, we start having curfew after evening. I remember my mother used to stay awake till I reach my destination if I am going on an overnight journey to other place. My point is, if you have a son don't you think he can also get victimised? He can also be prone to abuse and any kind of abuse. So the second myth is busted and be a boy or girl parents are always concerned about their safety.

The third issue is parents of a girl have to invest in her education. They have to raise her, make her independent and economically self reliant. However, this doesn't assure that the marriage expenses will be shared or the dowry amount is reduced or abolished. They have to save for her education, her marriage, her dowry, buy gold for her, so somewhere economically, they are under burden. And to add to the woes, our society doesn't look favourably if a girls parents take financial support from her. Hence, for a girl child its only give and no take.

Thus, to avoid all this pain, they want son. However, a boy child means he has to work and we expect him to be the prime bread winner of family. In no case can a boy be a house-husband. The responsibility of buying a home, setting up home, managing family expenses lays on a boy. A woman can think of staying at home, but for boys this is not the option. So all in all, everything is on same level. Be it a boy or girl, you have to make all sacrifices take efforts and bear expenses as parents so the last myth is busted.

So what is it that makes people so happy by a boy's birth and a girl's birth is frowned? The psyche of Indians is deeply rooted with prejudices. So much that they don't get the other side of the coin, that is having a boy child doesn't guarantee, you can sleep peacefully without worrying about his safety or future. Believe me, a child is a child, no one should discriminate it on basis of the gender. I have been extremely lucky that I have such a wonderful set of parents who have always given me the freedom, education and good values. And I feel even more lucky when my in-laws are also like my parents when it comes to giving me all the freedom and support to pursue my career. But, we need a great paradigm shift in our thinking and only then can we achieve a truly equal world.

Save the girl child!!! 

Monday, 19 September 2016

How to choose the right toy for your kid

We, Indians mostly choose to buy any merchandise based on its cost. Those who tend to save money will go for cheaper version, those who tend to show off will buy costly just to exaggerate the price. This same concept applies to choosing toys for your kids. We tend to neglect even basic facts which are to be considered while buying the right toy for your kid. It is observed that the quality of toys is below par when it comes to making toys for Indian market, however if you consider in terms of cost, even buying costly toys will not guarantee that you have chosen the right quality of toy for your kid.

Every toy package contains some instructions written on it. Some toys are designed for a certain age limit. If the toy states that it is not meant for child under 3 years, you should not buy for your infant as it may have high sound or it might be too flashy for a one year old. So choose the toy based on your child's age. If your baby puts every single toy in his mouth, then you need to check if, it can cause choking hazards. If the label of toy says so, try avoiding those toys.

The most important part is choosing the right kind of plastic. Try to avoid toys which contain phthalates. Also check if teethers are BPA- free or non-PVC. When buying toys like cars or other stuff to play, choose a sturdy plastic so that it doesnt easily break and pose a hazard for your baby. The normal swings which come in market are not that sturdy to balance a baby and it doesnt even have much safety measures like seat belt. Try to avoid such swings and go for the ones which has a proper seat belt and the latch firmly holds your child in position.

Here's a quick list to follow while buying a toy:
1)Check the age group for which the toy is designed
2)Check if the child can play independently or parental guidance is advised
3)While buying any toy make sure it will not cause any safety hazard to your kid
4)Choose the right kind of plastic that is used in the toy
5)Avoid small toys as they can cause choking hazards

Besides all this toys, my son likes to play with empty boxes. The joy he gets by banging spoon and bowls is way more than playing with any costly toy. After all, there are some things which money cant buy.

Happy Parenting !!!

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Traveling tips with kids

Gone are the days when I used to go on unplanned trips. I was an impulsive backpacker, traveling with bare minimum essentials. Weekend trips to home started immediately after office hours on Friday evenings. Now everything is different. Traveling with a kid requires lot of planning and patience. It also depends on how your kid reacts to traveling, if he likes it he will be lot easy to manage, if not you may have a hard time to engage him.

Our first trip with my son was to Mahabaleshwar in a car. He was 9 months old. I had piled up all flours, cereals, whole grains and on the day of journey I had prepared 3-4 meals and put them in small tiffin boxes. I had stocked up on his diapers, clothes and also few medicines for emergency. On the second day, we used to stop at roadside stalls and requested them to use their kitchen and cook small amounts of food for my son, feed him and then move on. I must say that roadside vendors are so supportive when it comes for kids. Nobody charged me for using their stove, everyone offered me milk and other required spices which you usually don't carry. I was really touched by their gestures. Even the hotel in which we were staying let us use the kitchen. I made sure that my son's feeding and sleeping routine was not affected by any means.

However, I had to skip few sightseeings as they collided with my son's sleeping time. At one spot, he felt cold even after all layering of woolen clothes so I stayed back in car and kept him warm. As a traveler, I dont think I have explored anything much as I was more a mom than a traveler. But I truly feel that kids should be exposed to traveling as they are open to new cultures, new people. One may say that they are small and they wont understand anything, but let them accompany you.

Traveling tips for parents:

1)Make sure your child is fit and can cope up with traveling.
2)Stock up with as many food items as possible.
3)Carry small utensils and spoon if you are traveling for a considerable time and you may need take a halt on road and cook for you kid.
4)Cough/cold medicines can be handy when you dont have any medical around
5)If your travel involves lot of walking, carry baby carriers, carry cot, strollers.
6)Your diaper bag must contain
       a)Feeding bottle/food
       b)some toys to engage your kid
       c)diapers and wipes
       d)set of clothes
       e)water bottle
       f)bedsheet/fleece blanket
       h)emergency medicine

Before starting for the trip, google some doctors or hospitals from the place you are visiting. If you are going on a bike road trip or any adventure trip try to avoid going with your kid. Ultimately, it depends of how your kids cooperate while traveling. I have read that some parents have even traveled the world with their 10 week old baby, but it all depends on how the baby adjusts.

Happy traveling!!!

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Slow Down Mommy

When I was applying for maternity leave, I was so looking forward for the break. The last long vacation which I had was during college days and afterwards it used to be hardly a week off. I made a list of books I wanted to read, my hobbies which I wanted to pursue and other list of to-dos which I was not able to do due to lack of time. Now I feel that I was so naive that I completely mistook a maternity leave as a vacation. With the arrival of baby everything changed. First three months he kept crying, I was stuck in a never ending cycle of feeding, soothing, rocking my baby. Forget about reading novels and pursuing hobbies, I felt like I have achieved a great feat if I am able to complete my daily chores along with my baby.

After re-joining work everything was becoming more and more difficult. My house looked like a complete mess. Leaving for office itself felt like a job as you have to get ready and make your kid ready. Already it was a tightly packed schedule and now add one more member to that schedule. By the time I made it to office, I used to be completely drained. After coming from office you have to catch up all the lost time with your baby, check on dinner, plan for next day's tiffin and various other tasks. You end up lost in all other works that you actually don't have time for yourself. The stylish, well dressed diva is lost in this process and you start seeing visible changes, I was not like this before. Add to this, is the guilt of not giving enough time to your child and you feel completely heart broken.

Where am I getting wrong?I can see all super moms in the advertisements, commercials. All of them well dressed, their houses clean and they are so perfect in all their roles be it as an employee, as a mother, as a daughter in law. You feel like introspecting yourself, and try to imitate that super mom from the commercials. You start comparing all aspects of your life with hers and try to master every single role of your life. Eventually, it takes a toll on you and you give up and then you wonder whats wrong with me, is it that difficult? Can't I have it all, a clean house, well behaved kids and excellent performance at job?

The answer is No. You can't have it all. The super moms in the commercial are in a hypothetical situations where no real mom has ever been. You don't have to be part of a race where you are trying to prove everyone that you are the best at your role. Yes, you are going to make mistakes as a mom. You are going to clean your house for the nth time till your toddler again makes it a mess just before any guests arrive. No need to plead guilty, its ok if your house is not in good shape just tell people the interiors are designed by your child. Its ok if you cannot make ten different dishes a day and end up making dal - roti even for your guests. Its ok if your toddler paints your wall with his doodles. Its ok if you dont stay back late at office and you dont get the best performance rating. Give you best and let the rest of it work out. Dont push yourself harder on anything. Slow down.....take your own time. You are not a part of any race. You are a wonderful woman and you are honestly doing your job well.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Paternity Leave - A necessity !!!

After a welcome change in Maternity benefit Act, questions were raised about paternity leave to Women and Child development minister Maneka Gandhi.  As quoted by her,  “Paternity leave can be considered only if, once the woman goes back to work after her 26 weeks of leave, we find that men are availing their sick leave for a month to take care of the child. Let me see how many men do that. I will be happy to give it but for a man, it will be just a holiday, he won’t do anything.”

Our earlier generation had this norm that raising a child was completely a woman's responsibility. In fact, as women were confined to house, it did not give men a chance to participate in raising a child. However, the current scenario is different. When my son was born, my husband was very keen in taking up responsibilities of my son. He stayed awake to soothe him, changed his nappies and he did this because he wanted to be a part of all this things. My gynaecologist, was so impressed and she actually told me that now a days all fathers want to perform their duties of shared parenting.

As most of us stay in nuclear families, fathers now a days have to take their share of parenting. In my case my husband's company offers work from home option and mine do not, so whenever my son is ill, it is my husband who works from home and takes his care, as I should not deplete my leaves. Now a days, some companies in private sector do offer paternity leave but the duration of leave and other benefits as a working father are at par. Adding to this, if a minister has an opinion that Paternity leave will be just a holiday for men, it is quite disheartening.

Maybe what I am talking is an urban scenario and things might be different in rural India. But we need to change the society's attitude. We have to drop any assumptions that imply men don't care about parenting duties. A mandatory paternity leave is the first step to inculcate this change. Yes fathers are equally responsible for child care and when we talk about equality lets give them their fair share of privileges.

Happy Shared Parenting !!!

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Maternity Benefit Act- A welcome change!!!

The new Maternity Benefit Act would help to curb the women workforce dropout of organizations. This brings a welcome change to all the new mothers who truly want to work after having a kid.

Lets discuss first what this Act talks about.

1)26 weeks of paid maternity leave instead of 12 weeks
2)Provision of work from home for 12 weeks for nursing mothers
3)Organizations should have creche facility within 500ms of distance from office

It is observed that only 26% of women return to work after maternity leave. 12 weeks of leave was very small as you cannot leave a baby at such age and pursue your career. Adding to it absence of quality child care, held back new mothers from rejoining work. Around 29% of the women workforce who join at entry level at any organization, drop out sharply when they reach middle management level and almost negligible stay when it comes to CEO level.

Lets take a case study of an expecting mother who is working in an organization, the year when she is about to go on maternity leave, she is not taken seriously by her peers. If the organization is giving you a sufficient period of Loss of Pay leaves, she chooses to be on a  year long leave, that year is wasted in terms of performance. When she rejoins office after maternity leave, that year is wasted in terms of performance. This scenario may vary as per maternity leave's duration or organization you are working but most of the policies fail to bridge this gap and women are thrown back in the race.

If you are talking about women empowerment and more women in top positions of workforce, organizations have to rethink of their policies. This may include, providing quality child care facilities within campus, introducing flexible working hours for nursing mothers and work from home options. As women hold responsibility for raising a child, she ought to be provided with an amicable environment at her workplace.

Friday, 12 August 2016

Vaccinations and Immunization

When I was a kid my parents don't even remember spending thousands of rupees on vaccines of many unknown diseases. Now its different, you have to allocate a separate budget for your kids vaccination even before he/she is born. When my son was born, I consulted a reputed doctor from my native place, and began his vaccination cycle as per their charts. When I landed in my husband's native I again consulted a reputed doctor from that place and he dismissed the vaccination chart of my previous doctor and gave me a fresh vaccination chart and repeated few of the vaccines which were already given to my son.

Now here is the crux of the problem, most of the new parents are not aware of the number of vaccinations which are compulsory and which are optional. Every pediatric has his own chart of compulsory and optional vaccines. Adding to this, every place has a different chart of the kind of vaccines which are compulsory or optional. For eg. Swine Flu vaccine comes in compulsory category(not mandated by government but Pune has more cases for Swine Flu) in Pune and suburbs but is not mandatory in any of our natives.

As a new parent, I was confused and afraid, as I felt that I am not fulfilling my sole child's responsibility and my ignorance of missing vaccines might land my child(god forbid) into diseases which I can't even pronounce. This is where some pediatrics(I won't say all) take  your advantage and then all the optional vaccines become compulsory as it is your only child, you can afford and why take risk.

My take for all the new parents is as follows:

1)Vaccination chart study: If you come in my category, start studying vaccination charts of your native place and the city in which you are going to stay. Consult a well-known pediatric and stick to one pediatric throughout  your child's vaccination schedule.List out which optional vaccines you really want your child to have, based on your family history of diseases and which diseases have high occurrences at the place where you stay. Stick to the list which you are going to follow.If you have good knowledge of this, no doctor can budge you by making you pay for unknown optional vaccines.

2)Study the various brands of vaccines: For a single vaccine there are many brands, and ignorance of these brands can either land you in a position where you end up giving same vaccine to your child multiple times in case of booster dose. And you also lose on your valuable money as these vaccines are very costly. If you have given your child first dose of a specific brand and the doctor is giving booster dose of another brand for same vaccine, insist him to give the booster dose of the brand which was given first.

3)Vaccination chart for parents going abroad with the kids: Currently there are many families staying in cities which come in my category. The records of which vaccines are actually given to the child is stored in 2-3 different files and are not consolidated. The parents who are planning to go for a long term onsite assignment with their kids are supposed to store these records as these records are asked by the country you will be visiting.It also depends on which country you will be staying, but once your child has completed all the vaccines as per scheduled, keep all these files for further references.

Tips for Working moms:
The vaccines which are supposed to be given can come on a weekday. You may not be able to take holiday for every vaccine, so no need to panic. You can shift the day when the vaccine should be given to the nearest weekend(consult doctor on this). My tip is give the vaccine on Friday evening or Saturday morning as in case your child has any reaction for the vaccine or becomes ill, you have Sunday to take care of him/her.

Vaccination is a very vast topic, but I have tried to highlight the basics of it. My only aim is to increase awareness among parents regarding the diseases, and what vaccines are being given to your child. In a generation where we have only one/two progeny, we should be aware of what vaccines are induced to him/her.

Happy Parenting!!!

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Three options for childcare post joining work

You hold your little bundle of joy in your arms and suddenly you realize that a mother is born. All this time you were someone who is extremely focused on yourself and suddenly you don't have time to look in the mirror. As a working mom you look forward for the maternity break but only after delivery you realize that this is not how I planned my leave to be. You go through the endless cycle of feeding, cleaning poop, soothing a crying baby. Time flies and you are expected to report to office.

Many women get torn between these two important phases of their lives. Being in IT industry or any such industry where you have demanding working hours, it becomes difficult to manage a kid and a career. Some say goodbye to their career and some try to find a way through it. Here I would like to help the moms who are stuck in this dilemma. No matter what is your situation I would advise to go for work.

Many researches have shown that  kids raised by a working mom tend to succeed more likely than their other counterparts. If not possible full time do engage yourself in some activity. Financial independence always works for you. So go for it.

Where to keep your child when you are away at work:

Being in a city you have plethora of options.

1. Invite your in-laws to stay with you: This is the best option, When you have someone from your immediate family taking care of your kid, you tend to concentrate more on your work.

2.Creche/Day care: You have various options in choosing a day care. You can go for a day care which is closer to your office so you can visit your baby in your breaks

3.Hire a Babysitter: Before going for this option make sure that you have done a thorough background check of the lady who is going to babysit your kid at your home. My suggestion is do install CCTV's in home if you are leaving your baby at home with babysitter. Ask your neighbors to at least be aware that your kid is alone with a babysitter and keep tabs on her.

The biggest breaks in a woman's career comes in two forms. First is marriage and second is motherhood. If you have successfully passed the first phase, you can definitely pass the second one.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Welcome to my blog

Hi all,

Throughout our life we keep on thinking of doing something different but in turn end up doing the same. I am Kiran, I am a techie at a leading software company at the same time I am Kiran the mother of one year old. At some point of time I had started believing that women can't have it all. Yes we are the jugglers and juggling becomes way more difficult when you have a demanding job and a kid. The trick is not to let fall any of it out of its place.

Being a techie has its own perks, you get a steady salary but at some point of time you feel the work monotonous. However my inner self always wanted to do something different. This blog will serve as a platform for unleashing my hidden passions. I don't have an exact subject for this blog so I will share all my experiences while raising a child, handling work pressure and many other things. Welcome to my blog !!!