Tuesday, 26 January 2016

How to Fix the Mother in Me?


To Be or Not to Be That is the Question

Every night in the lame attempts of falling asleep, the same chain of thoughts start to cripple my head. We all have failed at some point of time in our lives; failed as a person, as a professional or a student. But how would it be to feel like a failure as a mother? This is the one thing in the world which makes every woman feel divine. Since childhood we are taught, by our society and movies, how great a mother is. But I often end up asking myself, is motherhood divine or a duty?

The common mistake we make as a society is to postulate that just by giving birth to a child, one has achieved great heights as human-being. Truly a woman undergoes lot of physical and psychological changes from the day she conceives, and it needs courage. But did the child force you to bring her to the world? No. Having a child was a choice that we made as adults. We knew what we are getting into. There is nothing divine in taking that decision. What we do afterwards in raising our child that makes all the difference.

Like most of the middle class families, I thought staying at home when I and my husband both can work is to cut down our income in half and that gave me a sense of financial crunch. I resumed work after maternity leave, but soon realized that the corporate world doesn’t give a balance between work and family life. Each passing day I got lesser time for my kid. Then we moved to a foreign country for the career advancement of my husband. Here the working hours are even more stringent. I got a full-time helper. But back in our hometown when I was working, my kid had her grandparents looking after her along with the nanny. I can’t rely just on a stranger with my kid. So the divine mother lets go the extra income for her offspring! But what happens after that?

I have always been a working woman. My mind is a monster when it has no professional work to do. Staying at home made me realize that children can make any task, as simple as getting them dressed, looks like a rocket science. They seek attention and how! Listening their nonstop blabbering, taking care of their endless needs, giving them undivided attention, and taking their tantrums is not a child’s play. But isn’t that something I got myself committed to when I decided to go for a child? I have this realization but yet I fail everyday in giving what it takes. I remember the instances when I scolded my daughter badly instead of talking her into understanding my point, or when I was rough with her just because I have nothing mindful to do in the whole day. I promise myself to be more patient tomorrow. But the next day when she gives me a hard time, in other words behaves like a child, I again lose my patience.

Good Enough Mother

I know the change has to come within me. I need to be a mother. I won’t say “a good mother,” because I believe there is nothing like a good or a bad mother. Being a mother itself means giving unconditional love and nurturance to your child. I don’t commit to being an extremely patient mother or a super human which I am not. You don’t fail because you scold you child; you fail when you don’t give them the time and efforts they deserve. Children always reflect the mood we are in. If you are annoyed, be prepared for your child to give you the toughest time. So what do I do? I take baby steps. I started by giving her one dedicated hour a day apart from the time I give for her daily cores. During this one hour, I read her stories, play with her like a child and talk to her. Even a tiniest improvement in the right direction is a success. And believe me, your child will recognize your efforts and it will show in his/her behavior too.


Ode to Motherhood 

So let’s start! Join me in the journey if the shoe hurts you at the same place. Or even if I am alone in the world who feels this way, I am fine. Motherhood was never meant to be teamwork. Because there can be no mother to your child except you. :-)

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

3 Things Every Reader Should Do

3 Things Every Reader Should Do

I have been a meticulous reader since the time I remember myself. I read books. I read magazines. I read blogs. I read sign board on road and advertisement hoardings if I don’t have anything else to read. Reading to me is like brushing teeth. If I don’t read any given day, I feel unhygienic.

And yet, till recent past, I didn’t write reviews or comments when I would read something. It’s only after I wrote my first novel and started interacting with readers I learnt how much an author values honest feedback.

Feedbacks are the backbone of writer-reader interaction. I love to hear from my readers and I want to know what they think about my work. It’s not narcissism. Quite the contrary! I hear even more intently if someone tells me something negative about my work. The reason is simple; writers live in their mind for most of the time. They shut out their system to the outside world to create a world that smells, touches, sounds, tastes, and looks real to the readers. And when they come out in the sunshine of real world it almost blinds their eyesight. They don’t know if the would they created is making sense or not.

It’s not just about fiction writing. A writing of any nature requires certain amount of introversion and mindfulness. It’s the demand of the craft. Even at this moment when I am writing this post, I have to shut out myself from the stimulants of my environment to figure out what exactly I need to be conveyed in this post and if I am able to do the task properly or not.
And here comes the role of the reader, if you are reading something, be interactive about your liking or disliking. Be communicative!

3 Things Every Reader Must Do:
  • Write review of every book you read
  • Write comment on the blogs you read 
  • If you are reading a book and you find something really good—a quote or a line or dialogue—tweet it and tag the author

The feedback of reader is more valuable to an author than the reader assumes it to be. Today I say this as an author :)

Other Posts:
Kaizen and Art of Success for Authors
Madness of Monkey Dance
6 Things That Make Me Feel Alive 

Kirtida Gautam is a clinical psychologist and an author. 
Follow her on Twitter @KirtidaGautam 
Facebook: Kirtida Gautam 

Monday, 11 January 2016

Kaizen and Art of Success as an Author

One sign of the fact that you are NOT ready for success is that you would not be able to see someone at the success level where you aspire to reach. If you feel jealousy when you see someone where you want to go—it’s a RED FLAG. It means you are yet not ready to BE THERE.

Do the following mental exercise:
  • Read more about the authors whose SUCCESS you want to imitate.
  • Watch video and interview of these authors
  • Goes without saying, READ THEIR WORK 

Now, imitate their behavior, which you learnt from all these information that you gathered. You are not there, but you are so on your way.

I always say- First learn the MATH and MUSIC will follow.

When you will be there, you are bound to be original and experience your own emotions around the event, but till that doesn’t happen- take the vicarious pleasure in the success and happiness of these authors.


Don't pretend to be happy for them, rather, learn to BE HAPPY for them. They are two different things. 

At first, it will feel difficult. The sere act of watching the video interviews of successful authors might feel too much of pain. 
One of the first feelings would be-

Imagine that you have gone for hiking. You are standing at the feet of a hill. It looks beautiful but you imagine in your head that the uphill walk will put your calf muscles on fire. It looks difficult. And then, you see some people standing at the top of the hill. You think, “Oh, there are real people like me who walked the distance and reached there. Let me pull up the socks and reach there.”
Feel the same thing when you see success of others.
Success is a MENTAL ART.

Practice it.

Other Posts by Kirtida Gautam
6 Things That Make Me Feel Alive
Madness of Monkey Dance

Kirtida Gautam is a clinical psychologist and the author of the novel #IAm16ICanRape: The War Against Rape Culture. 
Follow her on Twitter @KirtidaGautam