Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Walking Trip to Bambesch

The woods are lovely, dark and deep

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

By Robert Frost, “Stopping by the woods on a Snowy Evening”

These lines came to my mind in the morning - dark clouds hovered in the sky and then there was downpour thereafter. This was going to be that last walk of the term for me and I did not want to miss it. I was already going to miss the lunch following the walk due to other commitments, so the walk was definitely a “must-do” for the day. The Weather Gods smiled and my Will supported me…so here goes:

1. Uphill walk to reach Bambesch – Even before the designated walk, the uphill pointed round about walk from the bus stop to the walking trail was a good warm up indeed!

2. Followed a set walking trail – There were several walking trails to choose from and we decided to follow the “yellow man”. It is a 5.5 km walk called “Cross Promenade”. I must admit that the walk did not seem so long at all since it had a lot of variety in the trail – rocks, twigs, stone steps, mud to name a few!

3. Rolling stones gather no moss – Am sure the stones here were not rolling! Spotted quite a few beautifully decorated stones full of velvety moss! When I was a little girl, I remember thinking that velvet grows on rocks and is made of moss just like wool grows on sheep!

3. Lovely woods – The tall green trees providing a lot of shade along the way felt as if I was walking amidst one of the locales in the Hindi movies where two lovers run away from home to start life and then dance around trees in the woods!

4. Kids ensured that Moms lost extra calories- Trudi had to jog to keep pace with her daughter and Marie had to brisk walk with her daughter who refused to sit in the buggy despite being promised buggy racing! My daughter wanted to sit on the stroller most of the time and pushing a stroller with small wheels over rough terrain ensured that I had to exert more muscles!

5. Wild berries/cherries – The red berries/cherries growing amidst the woods added color to the green.

6. Benches and exercise equipment along the way – The municipal/commune has really thought about everything! All along the path, there were wooden benches/equipment to do sit ups and other kids of exercises. They were located beautifully too!

7. The walkers – All the people in the walk contributed to great company, lovely conversation and insightful tips/traps of being an expat!

8. Put on your imagination caps – There were several sights which, when one would look at closely, would depict different things – like watching clouds! What can you see in these pictures? Post it in the comments!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Walking trip to Lake Echternach

On a beautiful bright sunny morning, Jun 30, we started off on a walking trip from the car park near Lake Echternach. I must remark that the Weather Gods have been very kind to our walking group so far!Highlights of the walk:

1. Ducks, swan and geese – Some ducks were resting under the shade of a tree while others were paddling in the water. The geese were completely comfortable getting clicked from such close proximity – it made me wonder how easily animals can adapt to humans in their surroundings. The swan made beautiful poses and formed the perfect number two - that’s how we were taught to draw a swan in art class. My daughter was not so comfortable getting clicked close to the goose, after she heard him!

2. Roman relics - We saw remnants of Roman architecture during the walk. A beautiful and colorful Roman’s statue also stood magnificently outside a museum dedicated to remains.

3. Playground – While we watched the Roman relics, the children quickly made use of the playground with slides, swings and bouncy see-saw. It is amazing how much the country thinks of kids – did you know that there are 172 playgrounds in Luxembourg?

4. Lakeside walkway – Watching a water body with the hot sun up above felt so cool! The walking path we chose always faced the lake and offered various scenic views and angles for photography.

5. Shantiniketan style teaching in action – Rabindranath Tagore, famous literary personality who has written several books, poems, songs and also the national anthem of India, believed in teaching amidst nature. He built an ashram in Shantiniketan, not far from Kolkata where students and teachers would meet and learn under the shade of trees. I saw a group of students taking instructions from a teacher in the same style here too!

6. Swimming in the lake – The lake is big, although I am not sure how deep. I spotted a lady swimming in the lake! There definitely aren't any alligators I bet! Wonder whether there are shower facilities close by in case the lake water is muddy!

7. Little froggy hopping on the road – Michelle came running back to where the kids were with her palms closed and asked “Guess what I have in here!” When she opened her palm, we saw a really tiny blackish toad who quickly tried to leap out of her hand! As it started hopping away, we picked it up and put it in the grass lest it come under someone’s feet, bicycle or push chair. We saw several along the way – it was a busy morning there.

8. Baby walking dog or dog walking baby? When Trudi’s daughter wanted to walk the dog, although she let her, we had a tough time deciding who was in control! It made a lovely picture though!

9. Scenic beauty – The care and attention to upkeep of the grass, gardens, parks and everything around Luxembourg, makes it a delight to experience. Although Mother Nature has abundantly blessed the country with greenery, flora and fauna, the people ensure that the beauty is preserved. It sure generates a lot of employment opportunities too.

10. Great company and lovely conversation – Each time I do the walk, I get to know more about the city, what is happening, events planned, which hairdresser to try and all kinds of other useful stuff! It is a great healthy way to socialize and get to know interesting things from interesting people!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Walking trip to Aspelt (near France border)

It was a lovely summer day (16th June 2009 morning) with beautiful sunshine (and no rain!) when some St. George’s Moms went out for a walking trip from Trudi’s house. It is better to do some exercise and earn your breakfast some days, don’t you think?! Ten things that I enjoyed most about the walk:

1. People – The company was great! Met some Moms who have moved in recently(just like me) and some who have been living here for many years…People from different continents, all comparing Luxembourg with what they used to/can do back home…we all love to do that right?! Strollers with babies, a beautiful little dog and health conscious Moms, completed the team! All had wonderful stories to tell about their moving in experiences. I could make notes on places to visit, new things to see, classes where I can put my kids after school etc!

2. Majestic Horses - No, we did not have to visit a zoo or the races to see beautiful brown stallions in the fields! There were 2 particularly well built, tall, elegant ones that stole my heart away! I need to learn horse riding !

3. Cows who have a mind of their own–The walking route was barricaded when we reached at a point and we soon found out that it was because the farmers were trying to herd the cows into a particular field. As we were all waiting to get an up, close and personal look at the beautiful cows (we had brought the baby strollers closer to the barricade and I was all set with my camera waiting to shoot) suddenly the cows turned around and started running back from where they came! The farmer who was at the end of the herd and guiding them with a stick a minute back, was now running away from them as soon as he saw them turn back in his direction! What a sight!!

4. Authentic smell of a village – On a particular stretch of the road, we could complete the experience of a village, thanks to the smell! It was probably because of the wet hay/cut grass mixed with cowdung! Nevertheless, biodiversity should be respected.

5. Wheat fields – I am a native of Northern India where wheat is the staple food. Since I have been brought up in cities around the world all my life, I had never seen it grow. It was only during the walk that I got an opportunity to see vast expanses of wheat fields growing beautifully!

6. Scenic Luxembourg – It is known as a Green city, with nearly 90% vegetation even in the city. The green fields on both sides of the walking road, clear blue skies above, faraway hills and cows grazing in the fields painted a beautiful picture of Luxembourg that has been amply blessed by Mother Nature.

7. Dog sharing stroller with baby – I had never seen this site before! The little fluffy doggy became cosy and comfortable in the baby’s stroller. The little baby was more than happy to have the dog on her lap! The sight brought a smile on the faces of workers on the crane that we saw along the way too!

8. Exercise – Although I must confess I did not do very brisk walking, the exercise made the walk worth it! Also, at the coffee thereafter, I got tips for preparing for the marathon! Aiming for next year!

9. Cosy playroom – My daughter loved the playroom in Trudi’s house – especially the synthesizer – she loved to sing and play it! She also played merrily in the sand pit with toys while we enjoyed conversation with coffee.

10. Warmth and hospitality – All the people I have met in the city have been very warm and friendly, so I am convinced that this is the “normal” way for here. Despite that, I get touched by excellent hospitality/openness and must thank Nicola (for the car ride), Pam (for French tips), Liesbeth (for Gladiator stories), Marie (for sharing why it is a great place for kids), Michelle (for sharing new joiner experiences at school) and Trudi (for excellent tea/coffee and care).

Looking forward to the next walk!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Attaining a new kind of job satisfaction nirvana as SAHM (Stay-at-home Mom)

For the past five months now, I have moved into a new job that has long hours, no pay and is not even included in the workforce statistics – job as a Stay-at-home Mom or SAHM that many prefer to abbreviate it to, hoping to make it sound “cool”!

As a software professional for the past twelve years, I have had my fair share of job satisfaction highs and lows. There have been times when I have been working for nearly 12-16 hours a day with no breaks even for weekends and still have the energy and enthusiasm to go to work the next day since my job gave me “satisfaction”. There have also been times when I have been in office for the designated business hours wondering what a waste of time it has been, finding it difficult to “look busy” and then dreading going for work the next day.

I have learnt that the following still hold true and to attain job satisfaction “nirvana”!

  1. Look at the holistic picture – When I started out as a software programmer writing long mundane lines of code without knowing how it mattered, I used to end up feeling like my boss was having all the fun and parties with the client while I spent nights out in front of a black and white computer screen. Only when one of my “good” managers pointed out how a bug in the line of code that I was developing would result in wrong electricity bill being sent to a customer, did I start looking at aerial view and understood how important it is to know how things fit in the big picture. Even as I try to get my daughter to wear a jacket on a cold day and she vehemently refuses and cries at wit’s end, I think how her mental well-being is more important than her physical comfort of not catching a cold. It makes me realize that I should just carry it with me and she will eventually end up wearing it when she starts feeling cold rather that get into a fight on it and spoil everything.

  1. Customer is king - As recession hits us today, companies are realizing more than ever before how important it is to remember that customer is king. Although it sounds like a basic thing, we all tend to forget and try selling the product we have manufactured rather than manufacture the product the customer wants! I might have made the healthiest breakfast consisting of right proportions of protein, carb, fat and fruits but unless my customer likes to eat it, it is not “marketable” and I might need to start and prepare something all over again or else feel unhappy / unhealthy!

  1. All that matters is results – At year end evaluation time when all managers need to follow the bell curve to separate the high, medium and low performers to allocate bonuses out of budgets, it becomes strikingly clear that the effort in achieving something is not at all important. Someone might have slept through the year, had a row with clients but still met his year end numbers whereas another one spent all waking hours building relationships but alas could not sign on the dotted line, it is no secret which one is going to get a hefty bonus! Similarly, I might work very hard on my son so that he gets excellent grades, but if he decides to be angry for some reason and not write on his test, heaven save me!

  1. “Best Effort basis” is a bookish term and has no reflection in real life – If it is the date for the system to go live and it happens to be your 25th marriage anniversary, no guesses for what you will try to do on “best-effort basis”! Similarly, if it is a school concert that your son is participating in and also your mother’s 50th birthday, take your guess on what can be done on “best-effort basis”!

  1. Long hours are not equal to low productivity and even if they are, it does not matter - the long hours still need to be put in! If my computer program has identified bugs in it, it does not matter whether I am in office till 1 am or 3 am in the morning; it needs to be fixed even if I have been at it from 9 am the previous morning! Similarly, if my kid is not well, I still need to stay up till the wee hours of the morning, even if I spent the previous day cooking for and then entertaining guests at home.

  1. Rewards/recognition should be correctly timed – When I have done a good job and the recipient has instantly said so, I have always been far happier than when I get a big prize money at the end of the year (not that I do not like to get money – who does not?!) Often, a pat on the back is better than big prize money. Similarly, when my son has learnt to roller skate and I take him for ice cream and pizza the same day, that is far more rewarding to him (and me), than waiting for a long weekend to visit an amusement park!

  1. Simple things give pleasure and keep employees motivated – Tickets to a movie with coupons for popcorn and a cola goes farther than prize money that comes along with pay slip as another line item at the end of the month! A relaxing day at the park where the kids are busy playing by themselves while I can just read a book in the hot sunshine is a great reward! One does not necessarily need a good looking bank balance at the end of the month!

I have heard a quote that says that “life is 10% of what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it “ - so I try to look at the glass half full rather than half empty! The overwork, stress and fatigue of a SAHM’s job is hugely outweighed by a smile on the face of the child when you kiss the hurt away or are present for the first step or when your child receives a prize! I will still try to attain the job satisfaction “nirvana”!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Top 10 points to remember for smooth settling into new country

  1. Keep an open and positive frame of mind – It is extremely easy to get hassled by everything in a new country. As someone said – it is your attitude that can change the way you feel – so it helps to be positive and open to a different way of working. Eg. The way cars are drive - left hand to right hand drive, switch on/off mechanism
  2. Try to follow a sequence in your checklist – It is better to follow a sequence when trying to settle in. eg. First seek school admission and then accordingly take a house close to school if that’s what you want. Then go for internet and TV connection since that is dependant upon the house. So it helps to give multi tasking and parallel processing a miss for once!
  3. Be specific in your requirements especially if you are using an agent – In looking for a house, be sure to give written specific requirements on what you want – house or apartment, number of rooms, number of bathrooms, locality/area, size of house, budget etc. Identify must-have’s and nice-to-haves. Be sure to look at the shortlist that an agent will take you around to show especially if they charge by number of hours spent.
  4. Read the fine print in a contract – It may be an obvious thing you say, but it is a necessary must-do. In the house contract, ensure that inventory of what fitments are included and in what condition should be explicitly stated. Be sure to do a thorough house inspection before moving in. In the car lease contract, follow same rules and look at clause regarding insurance, repair etc.
  5. Be aware of the legal/statutory requirements of residing as a foreigner – Each country has it’s own set of rules, regulations and statutory requirements for people who reside in it. Eg. If you need to register at the commune within 3 days of arrival, be aware of what you need while registration before you land there.
  6. Get to know the city transport – Use weekends to go around the city and get familiar with the roads, bus/train routes. This will ensure that you will not get lost easily! Practice a trip to your office, children’s school etc. before you need to actually be there so that you can estimate the time and route to get there.
  7. Learn the language as much as you can – Try to spend time getting to know the language a bit, atleast the terms needed often to greet people you meet, buy basic necessities etc. The best way to “fit” into the country is to speak the language, so take your shot at it!
  8. Observe and act – There is a vast difference in cultures across the world. If possible, try to research and read about the culture and people of the country you have moved into beforehand. Whether you have been able to read or not, nothing can compare to practical experience – observe and act. Watch the people around you everywhere you go and you will get to know the people and culture better.
  9. Stay in touch with friends and family – With lots of new experiences you get everyday, it helps to assimilate if you stay in touch with your folks back home. They will give you moral support to live through the change and keep yourself grounded.
  10. Think alternative plans always – Although we all want to live in an idealistic world, reality is quite different. So, it helps to always have a Plan B in case Plan A does not work. Eg. In case the house you shortlisted and were about to sign the contract does not materialize, keep an alternative in mind. If the school where you wanted to put your child does not work out, have the details of other comparable ones.

Whether you were keen to make the move or circumstances made you decide to make a new country home, the experience will not be a complete bed of roses. Unexpected things will crop up and continuity plans will have to come to the rescue. To make it smoother to start the daily chores and live day on day, it needs a lot of patience and positive attitude. Give it a shot - happy settling!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

9 ways to make Valentine's Day special

“Oh! It’s the seven year itch…try to do something different for Valentine’s Day and bring back the memories of yester- years. That should do wonders for your relationship!” said Rajni. Taking her advice to heart I sit down to plan my Valentine’s Day this year. On goes my thinking cap and I pen down my thoughts to make it a special one:

1. Model wax hands
– this seems to be the latest craze in town amongst the teenagers, who incidentally are my source of inspiration, especially for a concept such as Valentine’s Day. At some malls, there’s a counter where the lovesome twosomes walk by, hand in each other’s jeans back-pocket, and take it out only near the wax model counter. There they clutch onto each other’s hands, dip it into cold water, then hot wax and then cold water again. After two minutes the wax coating is pulled off the hands, scraped to give a superb finish and handed over to them as souvenir of their togetherness. Such a romantic way to say “Let’s walk the road of life – hand in hand”.

2. Cosy theater tickets at multiplexes
– Prepared with special sofas made just for two, away from the prying eyes where lovebirds can enjoy a movie in each other’s company. Popcorn, pepsi and plush cushion to go with it.

3. Go bowling
– Spend the evening at the Bowling Alley - bowling, playing air hockey, billiards and relishing the food. Be sure to make him win the game so that he comes back feeling the satisfied man.

4. Enjoy a boat ride
– Hire a small shikara or steam boat near a jetty and go off for a two hour escapade. Remember to carry wine and cheese to complete the romantic effect of staring at the city skyline.

5. Treasure hunt
- Pass on a note to him telling him where to find the next clue. Let each clue lead from one place in the house to another and end at the treasure - a mirror! This gesture is sure to sweep him off his feet!

6. Call him on his cellphone, from yours, and play a mushy love song
– A George Michael or Madonna can probably do what your voice can’t.

7. Hammer away on your keyboard till he gets curious to see what’s up
– when he peeps on the screen, it should reveal a beautifully written love poem addressed to him. Download from if you can’t write, Ma’am!

8. Hand-make a card
– Instead of buying one from the store, give your drawing and coloring skills a shot. It’s the thought that counts, not the card, remember?!

9. Ferrero Rocher chocolates and flowers
- Remember to order for these to reach you on Valentine’s Day morning. Be extremely happy to see the gifts delivered at your doorstep and thank him profusely. He will be too embarrassed to say that he did not send them, and the unseen competition will sure make him want to try harder!

I could not come up with Ten Commandments, in case you were looking for point number ten! Nevertheless, aren’t some of these worth a try?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

10 things to make your child an achiever

Don’t we always believe that we are blessed with a super kid who is going to be the next “tennis sensation” or “fastest pianist” or “youngest entrepreneur”? Well, let me assure you that there’s no need to believe others who would rather not have you think so…here are some tips for raising your super kid:

  1. Feed him right – Have you heard the quote – “We are what we eat”. Well, it’s true. Be sure to refer to diet chart that not only explains the food pyramid on carbohydrate to fat to protein ratio, but also what foods to eat/not eat at particular times. Age old Ayurveda is a good reference point to know which foods should not be eaten in combination eg. curd and mango, which foods are best consumed at what time of the day eg. fruits before sunset and which foods to eat in which season eg. dry fruits in winter.
  2. Let him be himself – Do not force him to be left or right handed. Respect the way he is, let him believe in himself and also encourage age-appropriate independence eg. expect a 5 year old to know how to tie his shoelace.
  3. Teach music at a young age – The right kind of music is known to have a calming effect on children. It also helps to raises sensory prowess. It is advisable to expose a child to start learning to play a musical instrument by age 4-5 years.
  4. Psyche him with positive sentences – Whenever he watches an athlete cross the finish line to become first – tell him that he needs to do the same; when there is a singer performing on stage, tell him he needs to sing the same way; while watching a tennis star on TV, tell him that he needs to play the same way.
  5. Use both left and right brain - Expose him to extra curricular activities that use both the left and right brain. It is believed and found to be true after scientific research that brain cells that are not utilized, die. By age 14, all areas of brain that we have not been able to use become unusable – they rust. So teach your kid to do math AND art, chess AND as painting, sports AND reading. This will ensure that he is using both the emotional side of the brain, as well as the fact based side.
  6. Promote physical and mental activity– This is to ensure that both motor and sensory skills get developed. A child needs to start by writing with jumbo crayons, and only later should he be asked to graduate to a pencil. It is incorrect to let a 2-3 year old, write with a pencil – the motor skills are not developed to use it then. To foster development of motor skills, stringing beads together, picking up and placing huge wooden blocks, form part of Montessori teaching. Taking your child to a park to run around and play is as important as making him do his letters or numbers.
  7. Create a healthy atmosphere – It is important to create a conducive atmosphere at home. Eg. Use bright colors on the walls of the room, put up fresh flowers, make him listen to inspirational and divine songs – like Gayatri Mantra. Just like we try to dim or switch off the lights when going to bed and pull away the curtains to start the day in the morning, the right atmosphere fosters exceptional results.
  8. Try to teach him yourself – even if you were not the best at Geography while at school, make an attempt to spend time with maps yourself. Studies reveal that kids grasp better if they are taught by people they know and trust – and who could be better at it than parents. The expert, expensive tutor might seem the best Subject Matter expert, but if Mom/Dad teach him, he is likely to grasp and retain it. This holds good for studies as well as extra curricular activities such as sports and art.
  9. Create a Time Matrix – Plan the day and week while always leaving some time for recreation. It feels great to tick off items in your shopping list, right? Just as it gives you a sense of accomplishment to tick off tasks completed, planned time table and striking off activities completed, will give your child a sense of control and achievement.
  10. Listen, listen, listen – Parents tend to always keep giving advice, scold and explain to their kids. It’s more often than not a one-sided conversation with kids. It’s actually better if you can let him talk and you just listen - not hear, mind you - listen. Give your child undivided attention when he is telling you how he turned around a football match or how she recited a long poem in class and won the adulation of school mates. It will help build confidence in your child.

Here are the Top 10 things to make your child an achiever – happy super-parenting!

Monday, January 5, 2009

How to get (back) a purpose in life

Do you sometimes think - why I am where I am, doing what I am doing and living life the way it is now? Is this what I was meant to do and be? It is not uncommon in the human life to be in the highs or lows and forget or lose sight of purpose in one's life. Here are some tips I'd like to share on how to get a purpose (back) in your life.

1. Ask yourself questions - What do I want to do? What do I enjoy doing? When am I most happy? What keeps me most satisfied? How would I like to be remembered? Why am I doing this? What should I do instead? How long ago was it that I last learnt something new? I'm sure you got the hang of it by now....all questions leading you to know more about yourself. Ideally this itself could be a blogpost...maybe I will come back and write it out later...

2. Stop thinking, start doing - If you believe that this should have been the last point on this blog, well - it's good to start with the last sentence first...and that's why I have put it here. It is easy to say - I will start doing what I like someday. Instead, begin it now. Whether it is learning to play the piano or start blogging - do not wait for everything to fall into place before you start taking action - begin NOW.

3. Assume you are a third person and look at your life - Look at yourself and your life as if it is someone else - your neighbor or friend's life. What would you think about it then? What would be your guess on the purpose of this person's life? This will force you to think differently and regain composure of yourself - find ways to define your purpose.

4. Close your eyes and imagine your near and dear ones gathered in your funeral - What are they saying about you? Are they talking about the things that mattered to you? Do they think you contributed to them in some way? Do they remember the time you soaked yourself wet in the rain instead of sitting in traffic to make it to their birthday party on time? Sometimes we might not be giving the appropriate time to relationships that matter and fret over ones that need not necessarily mean alot to us. This imagining exercise will help you refocus your energies and realize importance of the relationships that matter. Take your time on this one. Think of every individual close to you while doing this exercise, to gain maximum benefit.

5. Eat healthy - Now you're wondering - how can that help me get insight into my purpose in life. Well, unless you are healthy and fit, your life will remain purposeless - you will continue to spend your time in trying to get well - doing doctor's appointments, trying new remedies etc. So the real purpose of your life will be lost. It is extremely important to eat healthy and exercise to ensure that a fit body will lead to a fit mind. Only then you will be able to think about your goals in life and how you want to accomplish them.

6. Set small goals and write things down - It might be difficult to think of our ultimate purpose/goal/aim in life - it is easier to break it into smaller immediate goals and then work on it. For example, you might think that the purpose of your life for the next 5 years is to be a good parent, the next 5 might be to be a good programmer or whatever. The idea is to take small steps, think and act. Most importantly - write it down - it will give a great sense of relief when you have your thought process out of your system. Also, if you write down and put it in a place where you can see it, chances are, it will help you get back focus to it when you are lost.

People often think, when one is successful, they do not sway and need to refocus - this is not true. Whether we are achievers or would-be-achievers, there are always times, when we lose focus and need to shake ourselves up or pick ourselves up from an experience in life and get back on track. Please share your stories on how you managed to get (back) purpose in your life.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Best of Mommy Bloggers Carnival - Balancing motherood and life

I won the contest!! External link here

Work-Life balance” is the new buzzword of today. “Easier said than done”, right? When you have a wailing baby trying to catch your attention every time you sit in front of the computer screen, where does the “work” fit in the “work-life” balance? When the washing machine beeper beeps aloud, just as you are about to complete your big sales call, all you can do is despair, isn’t it?

I have tried to follow these simple golden rules - “easier written than done”, you’ll say, but give it a shot:

  1. Communicate, communicate, communicate – Let all at home know your work timings. In case you have help to look after the baby, ensure that the caretaker is aware what your “Do not disturb” timings are. In case you go out to work, be sure to write out all your contact numbers in big bold letters on the wall near the phone, so that they are handy in case of an emergency. I meant on paper and stick it on the wall ok…no messing the wall….set a good example for your baby!
  2. SOHO - “Small Office Home Office”…well, it need not necessarily be a separate room in the house…a cozy corner to snuggle up with your laptop or work tools such as a phone, would be good enough. Having a designated work area helps the mind concentrate on the job at hand!
  3. To-Do List with a twist –Being a Mom, there are always umpteen things to accomplish in a short time. Try to list down the To-Do’s of the day. What’s the twist, you ask…well, note down the priority or likely timings for the job, next to it. For example, if the store near you gets fresh veggies on Thursdays, buying vegetables would be a Thursday chore. The rest of the week can be gainfully spent on work!
  4. Turn off that beeper – Reduce distractions as far as possible. This will ensure that the hours spent at work are productive. That way, one can accomplish an 8-hour day in just 6 productive hours! Your boss is just interested in a complete job…not how much time you took to do it.
  5. Stretch your legs, drink lots of water – No…I have not mixed up the points from my article on healthy living! Water helps to stay fresh, cool and generate new ideas…try it and get back to me on the results (if nothing else, it’ll help build my statistics for the healthy living article!)
  6. “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” – applies to us as well. If you just work and not take adequate breaks, the productivity suffers. After all, it’s the new experiences that we have, that help us grow as a person, right? What we see is what we learn. So make sure to take vacations and spend adequate time outside the work environment.
  7. Use the “turn-on”, “turn-off “ mechanism – At work times just think of work. Similarly, at family/play times “turn-off” the worker switch. It won’t throttle your thoughts, trust me…will ensure that when you switch on the next time, a reinvigorated you will emerge.

On an ending note…the points listed above are in no particular order…so try doing them all at one time and happy balancing!

Brief Bio

I am working mother of a seven year old boy and two year old girl- software professional who loves reading, writing and spending time with my kids. Apart from writing computer programs at work, also write poems/articles for magazines/websites. I love to travel and my work gives me the opportunity to do that… I know how difficult it is for one to try being a super woman – juggling home, work and kids! It is doable though…so I encourage all to give it a shot. It is a rewarding experience and though there are those times when one feels like quitting since the pressure is too much to handle, it takes just a little bit of courage to carry on, as things do change….and soon. Having a supportive family is the key and I have been fortunate to be blessed with that. My loving husband and his family with his parents, brothers and their families, is my backbone and support for taking on the challenges of life.

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