Don’t Get Lost in the Sauce

Whenever I go on vacation I come back refreshed and ready to take on the world in a whole different light. The Hawaiian way of life is something to be emulated, something we can all learn from. The people of Hawaii (both native and immigrant) know how to really rejoice in the beauty of simply being alive. Everyone’s step is a little bit lighter and smile a little bit brighter. Maybe it’s the year round sunshine. Maybe it’s the cultural and deep familial connection amongst the community.

But it’s something we can all stand to learn from, it’s something we all need to adopt into our own way of life.

I know it’s not easy – and of course when things are generally more mellow and go with the flow you’re going to be more relaxed and happier. And I know it can be easy to lose yourself when your day to day means you have so many various demands.

Especially when being a woman, a woman of colour – can sometimes mean you have to be a jack of all trades. It’s expected for you to cook, clean, tend to the children, engage in extra-curricular activities (for both you and the kids), and have a career as well – all while keeping your family and husband’s family happy.

Some people do it all, and make it look easy too. But if you’re like me, (and the majority) – then sometimes it can just become all too much and you have to know when and where to dial back.

First and foremost, learn what bits of yourself you’re willing to give, and what pieces to keep to yourself. If your life situation is that of having high familial obligations (you’re a wife, mother, daughter, and daughter-in-law) then by definition you are more what they need to be, and less of what you need to be for yourself. But you can still hold on to what makes you you and check all the boxes of what’s required of you.

Take time out of each day to just meditate. To dwell on where you’re at in life, and where you want to be. If it doesn’t add up, if you’re not happy with things – then begin to make small, subtle changes that’ll take you the direction you want to go.

For example, if you feel you’re constantly devoting most of you time to making others happy, begin allocating certain times throughout the day to do what makes YOU happy. Read, write, take a bath, or just be still, but just BE in the way that makes YOU happy, not anyone else.

Second, be aware of what makes you tick. A series of events or actions that irritate you or cause frustration on the daily will eventually add up and contribute to the essence of your vibe. You put out what you receive and vice versa. So if there’s things that bother you in your life – change them. Don’t let them take over the forefront of your mind; and turn you into this scary angry moMster.

For me, messiness grinds my gears. I literally can’t breathe in a dirty house. If the jackets, shoes, and bags aren’t tucked away – my muscles tense, my eyebrow furrows, and I just can’t hear my own thoughts or breathe easy.

So what do I do? I clean. I get up everyday and tidy up and put things in their place because I find when my mind races, my hands move just as quick – and to begin my day with the accomplishment of cleaning and setting things right – helps me feel like I CAN control my environment and how I allow it to make me feel.

Third – go easy on yourself and keep perspective. I used to have this knee jerk reaction of getting way too wrapped up in the fine print. I focused so much on the here and now that I forgot that life is forever changing. And if you don’t stop to take a step back and examine things from a different perspective you’ll never actually get anywhere.

Sometimes I get frustrated with the smallest thing, my daughter didn’t finish her bottle – well you know what she’ll drink more the next time around. My son watched way too much tv today – it’s okay we’ll have a park date tomorrow. My husband has to cancel or reschedule our plans – that’ll just make our time spent together all that much more meaningful.

There’s always a way to look at things in a more positive light – if you just allow yourself to draw back from the details, you’ll be able to see the big picture in all its glory.

Life’s short. Put yourself, your kids, and what makes you happy first. Leave your doubts and worries behind. Feel the moment but don’t let it consume you. And last but not least – don’t let the opinion of others dictate how you see yourself. Any time is the perfect time to change things up – all you have to do is decide when enough is enough and that you won’t be a victim of your circumstances anymore. Let go of what’s holding you back and get where you want to be because there’s no better time than right now to actually start living.

Perhaps then we can bring that Maui sun into our life even on the rainiest of days.

A Mother’s Love

To have a child is to get another chance at loving yourself
They’re the summary of all the things you never knew you could be
They’re the part of you that you never even knew you had
You suddenly have this all encompassing strength and resilence to keep pushing forward
Things get pushed into the corners of the right perspective
Everything that used to matter doesn’t anymore
It’s a new reality, a new life
A second chance at it all
A time to get it right and even if you don’t
They’ll still always be right by your side
Looking up at you & reaching out,
Into the depths of the most giving parts of your soul

Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems 

The other night my husband and I decided to do something we rarely give much thought to … make a budget plan. 

We wrote down all our expenses which consisted of our “necessities.” When it was all done the monthly total was a slightly ridiculous amount. Then I stopped and really looked at the list of things we typically spend money on – sure baby food is a necessity so that aside, some of the other stuff seemed rather unnecessary. They were more of material wants rather than needs. 

I mean surely I can live without my fancy Lush cosmetics right? Okay let’s not get crazy, no I can’t. That sh*t keeps me from breaking out like a hormone crazed teenager. 

But what dawned upon me is how everywhere you look there is news headlines of how it’s getting harder and harder to be successful and independent in today’s day and age. I read one particular news line which stated in order to even be a homeowner you need to be a millionaire. 

Well, actually, that’s not necessarily true in my opinion. One could find reasonable living accommodation if their goals were set to a more realistic standard. 

If we all stopped trying to live so far out of our means then perhaps we could live a stressfree easy going life. 

It would be as simple as working for how much we need and paying our bills and that would be that. No need to wish for more, need more, want more, and be devastated when you can’t have what you so very badly desire. 

It makes sense to think that people were generally happier when times were simpler. Before the days of iPads, smartphones, the need for extravagant nights out, and fancy cars – everyone just enjoyed being happy and healthy. 

Time spent with loved ones was what mattered most. An expensive bottle of wine next to a $50 streak wasn’t necessary in order to have the perfect date night. An evening in with a movie and copious amounts of popcorn would’ve done the trick. 

Maybe it’s time we all just stop living for the next big thing and soak in what we’ve got around us. Be grateful for what you have and perhaps you’ll realize that’s all you really need. 

What are your thoughts on frugal vs. extravagant living? Are you more of a “if you got it flaunt it type of person?” I feel as though Indo-Canadians get a lot of flack for following this type of way of living – living large that is. To each their own? Or do some changes need to be made? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below! 

SHOW ME YOUR PHONE!

The other day I was wandering around downtown Vancouver with my husband and baby. A little bit up the street from us I saw a woman visibly upset and shouting at her boyfriend or husband. He was attempting to comfort her and calm her down but he wasn’t having much luck. She was super angry and kept gesturing to his pocket. I got kind of nervous to cross their path with my baby (being the super cautious Type A momma bear I am) so we kind of just slowed down and decided to let them have their moment.

Then came the line we’ve all exclaimed to our significant other at one point or another, “Show me your phone!” The woman screamed at him with all of her fury and might. He nervously laughed but didn’t dare pull out his phone. And then it hit me. The realization that technology has truly changed the way relationships are nowadays. Gone are the days of monogamy and trust. It’s just all too easy to cyber cheat. Or have phones hide the dirty work of actual cheat cheating. So you just got to wonder – where do you draw the line?

What’s considered cheating to you? Is it one too many likes on another girl’s picture? Or maybe it’s secret deleted convos from last weekends drunken hookups. Texting and emails have made having a little somthin’ somthin’ on the side all too casual. Not to mention the major trust issues it has caused. I can’t count the amount of times I have misinterpreted something I saw in my husband’s phone which turned me into Inspector Gadget going through every single aspect of his online life.

It’s a sad time for love. If that’s what you even want to call it. Where did that ‘old school love go?’ The kind where if you’re with someone you’re really with someone. You’re not in so called “open relationships.” Where the lines of commitment are blurred and overstepped one too many times. No one even fears going for another person’s significant other anymore because being secretive is just all too easy with cell phones and computers to hide behind.

We’re all losing our moral consciences and subsequently relationships are losing that intimacy, respect, and trust factor. I do wonder when the turning point will come. I am lucky enough to be in a fully committed relationship in which I have seldom to worry about. But the fact remains that marriages are having more and more riding against them these days. It’s no wonder people are breaking up and throwing in the towel left, right, and centre. The world being your oyster isn’t always a good thing.

We are receiving the false impression that there’s always so much better out there for us. The temptation is all too real and it’s following us like a plague every waking moment. What do you see all over your social media feeds? Men and women alike portraying their very best sexualized versions of themselves to attract the opposite sex, or make their significant others jealous. Maybe this is a huge generalization. But I tell ya it’s not far from the truth. We’ve all got to be careful of what image we are putting out the world because that’s the one being thrown right back at us. And the mentality of fun and carefree living is not helping us much in the long run that’s for sure.

Then there’s the question of just how far is too far when it comes being secretive of our phones. Well yes it’s blatantly obvious that you are not being faithful if the reason you protect your phone like it’s your handheld pacemaker or something is because you are speaking to someone else inappropriately on it. This is clear cut infidelity. But what about pornography? What about all those borderline nude photo accounts you follow? How about the girl or guy that you are “just friends with” and casually text here and there? If you wouldn’t do it in the flesh in front of your partner – then what makes it okay in pixel format?

Not to mention the fact that quality time with one another has now turned into being honed into our phones the entire time. I find myself guilty of this as well. I’ll be so occupied with updating my various social media outlets or writing random tidbits into my phone for future post ideas that I don’t realize I am completely ignoring my husband. And of course he is at times so consumed with his own phones that he’s doing it right back and neither of us realize it. Maybe it’s time to drawback and unplug for a while in order to reconnect to one another once again.

Just another one of my random thoughts which turned into a major realization. So the next time he or she demands to see your phone. Just hand it on over – and if she discovers something which sparks a fight, well maybe you two need to question if you’re actually better off single and doing whatever you’re doing out in the open. It would be a lot better of a feeling than being in constant lockdown secret mode with your partner.

What are your thoughts about this topic? Feel free to leave a comment below!

Originally posted on: www.amritaliterature.com

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5 times you MUST get out of a relationship

They say summertime is “break up season” because everybody just wants to be carefree and check out some
other fish in the sea. Well, these are usually more casual and less committed relationships. But, what I want to discuss in today’s post is the relationships which are of a more mature but no less destructive construct. The relationships in which everyone but those involved can see this couple is just not right for each other. Yet these two individuals cling on to one another. Be it for comfort, familiarity, fear of the unknown, or just because they’re too damn lazy to do anything about their unhappiness.

Perhaps it’s the case that one person has lost interest but the other hasn’t. Have you ever been around a couple in which one partner just completely obliterates the other persons self esteem on a daily basis? It’s like their very existence irritates them in one way or another. Well, to them I say, why not set them free then? Why continue to make someone miserable just for the sake of not wanting to let them go? Does your fear of being alone run that deep? That you would rather make someone’s everyday life absolutely hell in order to live comfortable in yours.

There are many reasons for certain relationships not working out. But I think it all boils down to these five times I would say it is time to throw in the towel for a relationship.

1.) When you are constantly miserable or seem to be making your significant other miserable. Nobody likes feeling like shit, and no matter what it seems like they probably don’t like belittling someone and making them feel like shit either. If you can’t remember the last time you and your ‘loved one’ shared a good laugh or a good time then chances are they just aren’t making you happy anymore and vice versa. Perhaps it’s the annoying habits you used to find cute. Or it could be that you just don’t agree with the life path they’re on. Maybe it’s their friends or family – whatever it is, if you’re not happy, it’s time to make a quick exit strategy and find a way to change that!

2.) When you’re living in the past. Perhaps one of you acted less than loyal at some point in time. Maybe it was a major incident, or a minor one, whatever it may be if it’s too big to shake off, and is being repeatedly brought up, it’s time to stop trying to turn the page on what happened, and forget about each other instead!

3.) When the bad outweighs the good. Sure everyone has their ups and downs. Things can’t be amazingly spectacular at all times. But if you feel unsafe, unhappy, or uneasy at any point in time in your relationship. It’s time to call it quits! Nobody should ever have the authority to pop your happy bubble and make your life negative when you very well would be much better off without them!

4.) When you are constantly fighting. Chances are you’re doing so publicly and your friends and family have dropped some subtle and some not so subtle hints that perhaps it’s time to move on. So before things get out of hand, take a deep breath and suggest you guys take a collective breather from one another, maybe a permanent one!

5.) Last but not least: before you turn into a infidel – when you begin to notice your interest is repeatedly caught elsewhere, it might just be time to stop sneaking looks and flirty banter on the down low – and make it be know that you’d just rather be single and ready to mingle. Rather than tied down with a frown.

(Note: This goes without saying but if you are in a abusive or otherwise unhealthy relationship there is NO justification for staying in such a situation. No matter which way you may internally excuse this these types of scenarios are unacceptable and please tell someone and/or get help any way possible ASAP).

Parenting 101 – Lessons Learned

 

Having a baby? Be prepared, be very prepared. Being a type A personality I normally have every single detail regarding any major life event pre-planned and organized to the T. Oddly enough no matter how many diapers I stacked up or how many times I organized and reorganized my sons clothes, bibs, and socks prior to his arrival when he finally did grace us with his presence I was completely caught off guard. There were a million and one things I had overlooked, forgotten, or just hadn’t known about.

So here’s a few pointers for any mommas-to-be out there. Or maybe just anyone who would like to be über prepared to expect the unexpected before they’re even expecting!

So I’ll start off with the basics. The actual physical things that you will need to care for your child. This list is not exhaustive by any means but just any items which have stuck out to me as super useful over the past month and a bit.

Receiving blankets – you can never have too many. I am not sure why they are called this. Perhaps because you receive a whole lot of them during your babyshower. Keep them all. They will not only act as a shield between your baby’s precious little mouth and people’s clothing as they eagerly hoist him or her upon their shoulder or against their chest but it will also protect you and and your back from dripping with inevitable copious amounts of spit up.

A large size diaper genie – because although shit will most likely get real when your little one arrives it doesn’t have to smell like it. And I say large because there’s going to be a lot of poop, like I am talking loads and loads – no pun intended.

A nasal aspirator – don’t get those weird contraptions where you suck the boogers out. I don’t know how that works and quite frankly I don’t want to, the concept grosses me out. Just get one of those automatic fancy ones, they might cost a little more but trust me when your little angel can’t breath right you’ll be grateful you invested in one of these bad boys.

A rocking chair – you’ll most likely live in it for the first two weeks. Especially if you are breastfeeding (shudders at the memory). Make sure it’s a comfy one and add some pillows for extra back support. As odd as it is sitting can become mind numbingly exhausting when you’re not allowed to stand, not to mention when you’re in too much pain to do much else.

This brings me to my next item – the postpartum “goodiebag.” If you listen to anything from this list grab these items beforehand. They’ll save you a whole of pain and grief. And your husband the stress of running out last minute on a hunt for these items because you will definitely be begging for them. Buy a donut seat cushion. You just squeezed out a watermelon sized mini human out of your “area” so naturally sitting on that “area” doesn’t feel all that fantastic. Witch hazel, tea tree oil, and a sitz bath to mix it all in. Sitz baths will be your little five minutes of nether region heaven. This is the ONLY thing which will make you feel better and heal quicker. Make time for them several times a day, I used to refer to it as a mini spa treatment for my stitches. Ah yes, the lovely stitches, side note just don’t bother asking the doctor how many, and don’t look, I repeat, do not look at them no matter how tempting – there’s just no need.

It seems as though anyone I spoke to had a problem with “low milk supply.” Something I hadn’t even heard of let alone considered to be a potential challenge until it was one for me. I had close to no milk come in, which meant my little baby boy wasn’t getting the nourishment he needed, so he dropped too much weight too quick and wasn’t putting it back on as he should’ve been. This led me to vigorous googling and nurse harassing to see what I could do to avoid giving the all feared formula to him. So I discovered some herbs (I was very skeptical about their efficacy but they proved useful). I took three supplements: blessed thistle, fenugreek, and drank mothers milk tea three times a day – religiously. This boosted my supply and allowed me to continue on without formula, mission successful.

Now I’ll just give a random jumblement (yes I made that word up) of advice just from the top of my head which I wish someone had told me.

Address any apprehensions you have BEFORE you have your baby, because quite frankly afterwards you’re going to be too emotionally and physically drained to deal with extra bullshit. So make sure any issues in your life are resolved beforehand.

Either go stay with someone who can take care of you while you care for your baby, or have them (like your mom) come stay with you. You might think you can do it all, and you probably can, but you’ll only exhaust yourself and make things all that much more unnecessarily difficult for you and your child.

Follow your gut and do what works best for you (and your baby). Don’t listen to relatives, don’t listen to your peers, and most importantly don’t listen to that little voice of guilt or uncertainty in your head. Just do what feels instinctively right. Whether you think so or not you do have motherly instincts and they will kick in the moment you see that precious little face.

Follow the medical guidelines of how to care for your baby but don’t kill yourself trying to do it perfectly. I am guilty of always trying to do everything exactly by the book. And sometimes this backfires. I consulted with nurses a lot in the first few weeks. Some of their advice saved me and some suggestions from the medical world are just plain ridiculous. Like have “nursing sit-ins” and nurse around the clock? Don’t sleep? Nurse through the pain? It’ll get better. Yeah, no, it doesn’t. Sorry to be blunt but as beautiful as it is breastfeeding hurts like a bitch. And maybe it’s NOT for everybody and if you CAN’T do it don’t beat yourself up over it. Or allow the nurses to bully you into keeping up with the agony. If breastfeeding is important for you for the nutritive value and not solely for the “bonding” aspect then you do have other options. You can pump. Albeit you’ll feel like a cow (literally) and it’s double the work it is another avenue you could explore should you have the need to.

Overall my most important piece of advice is to just know all hardships with motherhood do pass rather quickly. You will jump hurdles, feel despair followed by triumph, and joy followed by tears. It’s just the way it goes. But embrace it all because before you know it those little fingers grasping yours and those big round eyes looking up at you for love and guidance will no longer be needing you for sustenance, or much of anything at all. And you will miss the sleepless nights, the seemingly endless feeds, and the countless diaper changes. Another strange aspect of parenthood is that sometimes you miss each stage of their growth as they reach a new milestone. While at other times you may find yourself yearning for the next because it seems like THAT’S when it’ll get easier, that’s when it’ll be more manageable. But the truth is it’s all about perspective. Just keep hold of the big picture, and you’ll learn to soak in and love every minute of the little details too.

Love, Marriage, and the Baby Carriage!

I feel like these images my sister-in-law (Erin Sandhu of Ek Art Photography) took perfectly capture the love my husband has for our son. We are so lucky we get to have all these moments frozen in time with all these photoshoots!

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The entrance of my son into my life has made me understand why they say a lasting marriage requires you to fall in love with the same person multiple times. With life’s changes and ups and downs you see new aspects in one another which will either make or break you as a couple. You either grow together and become stronger, or you falter and grow apart.

I have known my husband for a very long time – over a decade. In my first year of marriage everything felt so exciting and new that we were finally “together together.” After sometime I felt like there was no way I could possibly love him more. I believed I knew everything and anything about him. His likes and dislikes, his pet-peeves, the childhood stories which he would repeatedly recount and I would smile along as if it was the first time hearing it. Everything felt very comfortable. We knew each other inside and out and everything felt very routine and safe with him.

I was never expecting to learn new things about him or see a new side to him be brought out by the birth of our son. I knew he was patient, kind, and caring but now he simply amazes me with just how loving he really is. He manages to care for him wonderfully while working without any days off or breaks. He is determined to succeed not only in the professional world but as a father and husband as well.

I sometimes catch myself watching the gentle manner with which he handles our son. It is in these moments I am falling in love with him all over again. I can definitely say he’s handling it all a lot better than I am. And in my moments of weakness he is my strength and he is the one who gets me through, helping me to always remember the big picture – that times of hardship are temporary. Now, as we all find our way as a family and I have seen the way for which he cares for both of us I feel sure that although it may not always feel like it, we are all going to be okay and only grow deeper in love along the way.

The Truth About Parenthood

I am brand new to this being responsible for another person’s life thing but in order to survive the newborn whirlwind phase of parenting – one must learn quick, real quick. Here’s a few key things I believe my son has already taught me…

It isn’t anything like I expected. It pushes you to the limits of your patience and sanity and then draws you back in with every tiny smile and yawn. It makes you dig deep into yourself for the strength and courage to keep going and then fills and overflows you with love, inspiration, and awe. It makes you panic, fret, and fear for the well being and safety of your little one and then gives you the strength of a hundred to protect and provide the warmth, guidance, love and support needed.

Parenthood is something only understood when experienced. And is the only true experience which can transform your entire being by combining such extremes as lessons and little triumphs learned along the way.

I have made mistakes, done things horribly wrong, cried and felt desperation for an easier way – but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. That is the truth about parenthood. No matter how challenging it may be at times – you persevere and do the best you can do while loving and cherishing every single moment.

 

Introducing.. My son – the love of my life ❤️

During my entire pregnancy I fretted about what I would teach my child. How I would mould him into the best possible version of himself he could be. Now that he’s here the opposite has occurred. In just one week he has taught me the meaning of love and life. Reached to the depth of my soul to show me what it really means to truly understand the bond between mother and child. He is an extension of me which I cannot believe I ever lived without.

My heart already yearns to freeze little moments in time which I know I will one day look back at and cherish forever. This time is the beginning of something beautiful. The past two weeks have been the most challenging but rewarding days of my life.

Gazing into his eyes is like looking into the tiniest holder of all the love in the entire universe. He is truly something special and I can’t believe he is all mine. I do not feel familiar with the person I was before this – everything still feels a haze and I know I am now forever changed – I am now utterly and solely complete based on this little beings existence. <3