Sunday, December 21, 2014

A yuletide mess!

This morning I woke up and nearly had a heart attack that it was December 21st already - with only 4 days until Christmas.

Usually around this time of year, we already have the house decorated, Christmas tree up, gifts nicely wrapped, and maybe a few minor things still to get - but everything mostly done because we don't want to be one of those annoying last minute celebrators (oh the horror...) So we are just sitting around, enjoying the twinkles on the Christmas tree, sipping hot chocolate, entirely satisfied with being so organized, and taking in the bliss of the season.

This year, we are an absolute mess! We returned from India a little under a week ago and almost immediately fell sick with an awful chest infection - thanks to the idiot in front of us on the Emirates flight who was coughing for the entire 15 hour flight! Instead of doing any Christmas things, we were in and out of the doctor's office and the pharmacists. The days wasted away as we all lay sick in bed with severe fevers and body aches, blowing our noses off into kleenexes. The 8 suitcases we brought back crowded our tiny apartment, each with a day's worth of laundry anticipating their opening. Then I turn on TV and they've already got the Home Alone marathons playing....and what day is it again? Nevermind...I don't even know what time it is! I can't help but feel like I'm stuck on some Indian Standard Time-warp vortex...

And here we are....three and a half days before Christmas....with no Christmas tree, decorations, nothing wrapped, suitcases still sealed, waking up at 3am with horrible jet lag, minimal food in the fridge, and oh yes - the oven is now broken...

Then I start to feel frantic - on top of that, there is all the Christmas events that I like to do with Maya - like her picture with Santa or the Christmas Train ride. Some of these things thankfully go on until New Year's, but some stop on Christmas Eve.

My dilemma - do we skip Christmas or do we just postpone it? I would feel like such a lousy mum if I skipped it altogether. We may just end up celebrating Christmas on December 31st or January 1st.....then just keep the tree up until February! Maya knows it is Christmas season and is asking me about the Christmas tree - but luckily she doesn't know what DAY it falls on. I mean, it's not like it has to be celebrated at an astrologer-selected auspicious time like an Indian wedding does - it's all about the thought, right? Plus, I can't just skip it entirely - skip an excuse to celebrate? No way Jose!

We can celebrate Christmas on Indian Standard Time......right?!?!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Quick update

I have just spent the last month in India and have had a completely different experience than my last visit. It is quite incredible really, how India is such a place that you can discover differently every single time - and come back transformed as an individual. This was my fifth time, and Maya's first ever trip. We also made it another joint-family vacation, like we did earlier this year to Venice.

Now we have a jam-packed Christmas season coming up, but I can't wait to tell you about all my adventures from India after the New Year begins....And I have SO MANY photos to go through!

Stay tuned....

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The true intimacy of postpartum recovery

(Maya at 3 days old)

In the first few months of having a newborn, you kind of let it all hang out - literally and figuratively...

Seriously, I don't think husband-ji had ever seen me in such a vulnerable state and had seen ALL of me. And boy, do I mean ALL. There is something about having a baby with your spouse that just brings your relationship to a whole new level of intimacy...

By intimacy, I mean....

Watching me give birth - front row seat.

Inspecting the placenta and cutting the umbilical cord.

Helping me on the toilet and seeing my postpartum menstruation pad.

Boiling the herbs for my perineal lotion.

Watching milk literally squirt out of my boobs.

Running errands to get me maxi-pads, nursing bras, breast pumps and nipple shields.

Yes, it has definitely taken our relationship to another level!

I remember after I had Maya and was unable to leave the house. I asked husband-ji to run some specific errands for me - get me maxi-pads, nursing bras, and larger stretchy underwear. That too, and my FIL went along with him. Can you imagine those two clueless guys going on a mission for feminine hygiene?! Seriously - we are talking about two men who prefer not to be seen in the women's underwear section in the department store. They will literally hide in the house furnishings, rather than be around the pink lacy thongs!

The first step of the mission was to go to the drugstore to get me maxi-pads. Husband-ji was utterly confused. They were all different colors and some had wings and others did not. They also had flow size. He was utterly confused and so embarrassed that he had to spend more than 2 seconds in the aisle.

The next mission was to go and get me nursing bras. This was pretty easy since I told him the brand, color and size, and they were all in these little packets. Easy to grab and go!

The third mission was to go get me larger, stretchier underwear. They both had to go to the dreaded department store lingerie section that they avoided like the plague. They were so confused. They found the size, but they didn't understand why there were so many variations of the same underwear - high cut, bikini, hipster, french cut....And nearly everything was stretchy, but they were all different fabrics. Some had elastic and others did not. For that mission, they had to wing it!

They came back with the items like they were looting a maxi-pad Black Friday sale, and I was quite impressed. They got most of the right items with minimal mistakes.

They could totally be on an episode of The Amazing Race: Postpartum Dads run Feminine Errands edition!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Ask Firangi Bahu: My Indian MIL is driving me crazy and we are not even married yet!

Sharing a letter from a reader....

"Hi Madh Mama,

I need your help. I am in an unconventional situation. I am currently living with my Marathi Mother in law BEFORE marriage. Actually, we are not even engaged yet. I am a 24 year old girl and I moved in with my desi boyfriend last year. At first, his parents were totally cool.... I had heard so many horror stories so I thought I'd really lucked out. They had me over for dinner all the time and we even went on a big trip to India together which was AMAZING.....After our trip, I decided to move in with him because my lease was up. So we lived in the basement apartment of his parents' house. Everything was going on well except now his parents decided to renovate the basement so we had to move upstairs into their house. And since then it has been absolute hell. Ever since I moved upstairs, my mother in law has continually picked me apart and complained about me, to the point where I feel SO insecure. She tried to teach me how to cook, yet spent the entire time snapping at me when SHE wasn't explaining it properly to me in the first place. I felt so dumb. I refused to learn to cook from her since then cuz she was so mean. She also criticizes my hair, makeup and outfits. She has even gone so far as to control where I am going. I have told my boyfriend and he doesn't understand what I have to deal with when he is at work. When he comes home she is all nice like she gets to see her prized son. My boyfriend and I fight a lot about it. Then he tells me that eventually they will be living with us anyway since he is the only son! I feel like he is not on my side and it's like he just expects me to cope with all this and figure it out by myself. I guess it is made worse that I am home a lot since I finished University and have been looking for jobs. I am already stressed out and financially tapped. I feel like if this keeps going, then I may fall out of love with him and re-think getting married. He has not even proposed yet and we have been together for three years now. Honestly, I feel like I was forced into a marriage with my mother in law. I feel like I am married to her, not him!!! Any advice you or your readers can give would really help me out."

What advice can we give to our fellow masala reader?
How do you cope with living with your inlaws when you don't get along?
Did your inlaws drive you crazy before marriage?

Please comment below...
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