Today, I am delighted to kick off the Guest Post series on my blog in 2018 with this parenting piece by Jaibala Rao titled, ‘Being Mumma’. I came across Jaibala through a blogging community a few years ago and was always struck by her strength as a single mom and her gentleness as a person. It gives me great joy to feature her here today as she speaks about being a mom. I love reading her and I am sure you will too. Jai, thank you for writing this post.

“I want to have my birthday Party”, and that is how it all began. What began you ask?

Well, this is my journey from guilt to stubbornness to finally giving in and eventually finding a balance between what I wanted to do and what S wanted to do for his 6th Birthday. It has been a roller coaster and I want to take you on that ride with me.

S is a usually satisfied child, a happy child finding pleasures in the small things in life. We had even planned what we will do for this birthday and all the places we will visit, but one day he came to me and he laid down the demand that he will have a birthday party. Now my usual reaction to this would have been yelling You will do as I say, but something made me stop.

Now don’t get me wrong.I am not the kind of parent who will give into my child’s demand at the drop of a hat; if anything, people who know me describe me as a sometimes over-strict mother. And I am not the kind who would spend without thinking either. And I really could not afford to have an excessive party, firstly because I don’t believe that a child S’s age should have extravagant birthday celebrations (not judging the parents who do, just my perspective).

And secondly I really could not afford it, having had a few bad months work wise (you know how the freelancer life is; when it is good, it is very very good and when it is bad, it is very very bad).

So began an emotional dilemma like I had never faced before. Do I give in and spend money that I don’t have, and how do I explain that to a soon-to-be six year old? I understood that this demand is stemming from somewhere and I realised that he had attended paities of all his friends which had Magicians, Bubble shows and even more. Now the need to have a similar birthday was bound to come in his mind. Plus he wanted to celebrate with his friends.

Now I began to think. I managed to have enough debates with myself that if I was researching something, I would have made a Nobel Prize winning discovery.  But sadly the crux of the matter was to have or not to have a birthday party.  I thought about all the money I don’t have to spend, and even felt that S was being unreasonable. I even cursed myself for having to think so much about a birthday party.

Even we celebrated ours back in the day, but then those days were different. I deliberated with myself (yes you could have found me talking to myself all those times) because in my head having a party was giving into his demand and not having one was breaking his heart, I decided to have a heart to heart with S. The struggle between my head and my heart was real.

And so was the guilt. Wasn’t I responsible to fulfil all that he demands as his only parent? But then if I did that was I spoiling the child too much? I wrestled with so many permutations in my head, cursed our generation of parents and his generation of children, and then I felt guilty about doing that too. I was frustrated, and I did not know who to talk to for solving my problem. And then it struck me, there was one person, the only one who could give me my answers, the only person I had not spoken to.

Being a Mom comes with its own share of parenting lessons. Sometimes our best teachers are the ones we gave birth to. How much children can teach us using their actions and their simple thoughts. This is the heartwarming lesson a single mom learnt from her son. #Parentinglessons #ParentingTips #ParentalAnecdotes #SingleMom #SingleParenting

Sometimes we forget how important talking to our children is. We keep making assumptions based on web articles and blog posts (like this one) and forget to listen to the kids and what they actually think. So while here I was assuming S wanted to show off in front of his friends and throw a larger party what I actually realised was something different.

HE said to me “Mumma but if I don’t have a party then no one will know it is my birthday!” So the idea in his head was not to call a lot of people and have a magic show, he just wanted to call his friends over so that they knew it was his birthday. HE wanted to share his day with his friends.  I have never felt so ashamed in assuming so much. It was a small valid demand, that I turned into such a big circus into my head.

Sometimes, we forget how important talking to our children can be. ~ #Parenting Click to Tweet

So the end of the journey is we are having a smallish (he did manage to negotiate a few things from me) party next month resulting in a Happy S and a Happy me.

And the biggest lesson I learned is to listen to S, he can express what he wants to say and do it very well.

And I need to stop being his mother first and learn to let go of my anxiety and enjoy being his “Best Friend” (as he calls me).

Writer and Blogger-Jaibala Rao

About Guest Writer, Jaibala Rao

Academically a microbiologist and professionally a screenwriter, blogger and columnist, Jaibala is regularly featured on various reputed online publications. She was awarded  the best Creative Writer 2017, at the Orange Flower Awards by Women’s Web, has been listed as a power digital user in 2016 and has been featured on India’s top bloggers’ lists twice in a row . Jaibala is very passionate about writing and blogging and regularly speaks and conducts workshops to help other bloggers and writers.

She blogs here: At Some Point 

You can also find her on Facebook Twitter  and Instagram

Would you like to guest post for me too? Check out my guidelines here and drop me a mail.

*Featured image courtesy: Shutterstock


Shailaja V

Hi there! I'm Shailaja Vishwanath, a blogger with 12 years of blogging experience and a parent to a teen. I work as a digital marketing and social media consultant. From positive parenting tips to useful productivity hacks, social media advice to blogging advice, you'll find them all right here. Welcome to my blog.


Sid · January 29, 2018 at 5:51 am

Good to see you here, Jaibala, on Shailaja’s blog. Kids – they never make it easy, do they? Or that’s what we think. But I guess deep down if we really listen to them, and try to understand why they say what they do, it suddenly makes a whole lot of sense.
Kudos to you. And of course, more power to you.

Thanks for getting her to write again, Shailaja. And she couldn’t have asked for a better plarform that your blog.
Sid recently posted…The DateMy Profile

    Jaibala Rao · January 29, 2018 at 10:11 am

    I agree Sid, I could not have asked for a better ‘Come Back’.
    I Guess we adults are used to over complicating things, we refuse to believe that things can be quite simple, and kids after all are quite simple. Only if we learn to listen.

Nabanita Dhar · January 29, 2018 at 9:17 am

So nice to see you here, Jaibala.

You are right, we need to listen to the kids from time to time as their friends. I hope I can do that when M is older. For now, I’m just a confused parent. Though I haven’t yet celebrated her birthday in terms of a party because I don’t see the point to that. Maybe when she asks for one, we’ll have one smallish one too 🙂

    Jaibala Rao · January 29, 2018 at 10:16 am

    Thank You so Much Naba.

    Trust me the confusion is a thing that will remain a constant through parenting. Listening to her might help. And yes there are no point to parties when they are younger. Also remember to sharpen your negotiation skills, the kids are mean negotiators when it comes to birthday parties.
    Jaibala Rao recently posted…The LadyMy Profile

Rachna Parmar · January 29, 2018 at 11:17 am

So nice to see you here, Jai. I am totally with you on how we build castles in our heads about what our kids want. And you know once they are older, we can share our emotional angsts and problems with them and they understand. So yes, it helps to show our human side to them and to even share our problems with them. Having met S, I know he is such a lovely boy. Hugs to him and a very Happy 6th birthday.
PS Are you having blog issues?
Rachna Parmar recently posted…How to Deal with a Disrespectful Child?My Profile

    Jaibala Rao · January 31, 2018 at 6:12 pm

    It is an honour to be here, one that I do not take very lightly. I hope it will be as easy to talk things out with S later as it is now, I hope he still has this understanding head on his shoulder. Thank You for your best wishes.

    PS: Yes I did lose my whole blog. Have restarted on a new address.
    Jaibala Rao recently posted…The LadyMy Profile

Suzy · January 29, 2018 at 2:16 pm

Glad you came to a happy agreement Jaibala. I’m sure your son learned some valuable lessons too – like compromise, give and take. Happy Birthday to your son.
Suzy recently posted…Chewing Cartons … #SixWordSaturday #ABCWednesday #WordlessWednesday #OurWorldTuesday #WATWMy Profile

    Jaibala Rao · January 31, 2018 at 6:13 pm

    Thank You Suzy, and yes I did learn such a valuable lesson. Thank You for your wishes.
    Jaibala Rao recently posted…The LadyMy Profile

Varsh · January 29, 2018 at 2:18 pm

Jaibala’s guest post on Shailaja’s blog, how can one miss!
This post is so relevant to my life too. My now 9yo hasn’t had a birthday party for last 2 years. We shifted to this place and are going to be shifting again to our home in a few month’s time. We decided next time he will have his friends over to our place and have the best time.
We do need to talk to them. Their reasons are valid, sometimes more than we accept.

    Jaibala Rao · January 31, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    Thank you so much Varsha. This is such a great feeling to know that people always look forward to my writes. Birthday parties are a big deal no? I am so glad that the lines of communication are open between us and our kids always, the problem is most of the times we forget to communicate.
    Jaibala Rao recently posted…The LadyMy Profile

Soumya · January 29, 2018 at 5:53 pm

Yayyy Jai, so happy to see you here and writing something that I know matters so much to you <3

Some parents and their lavish birthday parties for their kids is something I never get. I see parents go crazy over a 2 YO's birthday when the child will not even remember it.

I'm glad S is a reasonable child and all it took is taking to settle the matter. Today's world needs more children like him who are willing to talk and reason with parents.

Thank you Shy for getting Jai here. More power to both of you <3 <3
Soumya recently posted…Why I Follow Parenting BlogsMy Profile

    Jaibala Rao · January 31, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    You know it Soumya <3 I am glad that we can talk, S and me to each other. Like I said before etravagant parties I do not get either.
    I agree it is Shy, who deserves all the accolades for getting me to write again and all my gratitude for welcoming me here. <3
    Jaibala Rao recently posted…The LadyMy Profile

Ashvini Naik · January 29, 2018 at 6:48 pm

This is so much about each of us, Jaibala.

Your post resonates with every apprehension of ours as parents that crosses our mind each time we’re faced with an emotional dilemma. Whether we’d give in to our kids’ ‘illegitimate’ demands or we’re being tyrannically over strict.

Well, yes, it’s very true that a friendly dialogue with our child is sometimes all it takes to avert a possible turmoil. They don’t understand noisy NO’s, but can totally come to terms with polite negotiations.

It’s we who actually complicate parenting to a large extent.

Lovely post, dear.
Ashvini Naik recently posted…What the Fitness: When Exercise finally won over ExcuseMy Profile

    Jaibala Rao · January 31, 2018 at 6:24 pm

    Thank You So much Ashvini. It is the noisy “No’s” that come to us as parents instinctively don’t they. I learned this from Shailaja though, to curb the instinct to react and dig deeper into the actual issue. I know I am not yet as successful as her in doing it, but I am trying and the ‘Birthday negotiation’ as I call it was a successful attempt.
    Jaibala Rao recently posted…The LadyMy Profile

Rajlakshmi · January 30, 2018 at 9:30 am

Awww the ending really melted my heart. I am so glad he was able to express his simple wish. As adults we do tend to overthink. It’s wonderful to read about parent’s building relationships with their kids in such understand way. Beautiful post Jaibala. Hope he has an amazing birthday
Rajlakshmi recently posted…Girls’ day out in SydneyMy Profile

    Jaibala Rao · January 31, 2018 at 6:26 pm

    Thank You so much Raj. I think we can Unanimously conclude by the comments here that adults overcomplicate kids issues. But I do hope that the same adults learn to talk to the kids too. 🙂
    Thank You for your wishes, Ill be sure to ass them on to S.
    Jaibala Rao recently posted…The LadyMy Profile

Anamika Agnihotri · January 30, 2018 at 11:45 am

Projections have to be blamed for how we as adults blow an issue out of proportion and I am also a guilty one at this. It helps to talk it out, even with our kids when they are the centre of some context.
I experienced a similar episode last year on my son’s 6th birthday. I had never thrown a party on his birthday before that and he, by then, having been to many birthday parties had a fairly clear idea of how he wanted to celebrate his 6th birthday. I tried to talk him out of it as we were heading on into his birthday month. I wanted to keep it simple as ever with no party but it did not happen. Thankfully, the benchmark for a good birthday party here is no magician, no bubbles etc but only friends visiting.
Beautiful post, Jaibala. Hope S has a wonderful time in his birthday.
Anamika Agnihotri recently posted…Gratitude for January 2018 #MondayMusingsMy Profile

    Jaibala Rao · January 31, 2018 at 6:31 pm

    Yes Projections, I think as adults are minds are trained to project, that is how what our brains are wiired to do growing up. But yes, talking does help. I found out, I hope everyone does too. Thanks Anamika for your wishes.
    Jaibala Rao recently posted…The LadyMy Profile

upasna · January 30, 2018 at 12:13 pm

You are right Jai. Sometimes, we doubt that our Kids are not capable to understand our point or explain theirs but it really surprises me how smartly and easily they do that. All we need to trust them and talk to them. Happy to see you here.
upasna recently posted…Darjeeling DiariesMy Profile

    Jaibala Rao · January 31, 2018 at 6:34 pm

    We need to train our brains to trust our kids. We always feel responsible for them and end up taking decisions that they should be taking. Talking is the first step. Thank You so Much Upasna.
    Jaibala Rao recently posted…The LadyMy Profile

Obsessivemom · January 31, 2018 at 12:52 pm

Birthdays are always subjects of huge debates in our home. You got of lightly, I’d say. We like to think we know our kids inside out however more often than not they spring a surprise. Glad you two reached a consensus. I identify with your guilt – ‘am doing enough’ vs ‘am I spoiling him’. I have those all the time.

    Jaibala Rao · January 31, 2018 at 6:36 pm

    You mean the guilt will never let up, Tulika…and here I was hoping that so day it gets easier. Like Upasna said trusting our kids is step number one.

    PS: Don’t tell him that I got off lightly please. 🙂
    Jaibala Rao recently posted…The LadyMy Profile

Medha Nagur · February 1, 2018 at 11:47 am

This is a wonderful piece! Kids and circumstances can teach us so much as we learn and grow as parents.

Medha Nagur recently posted…Stop being a whiney baby instead become a problem solving proMy Profile

Shilpa Gupte · February 1, 2018 at 12:41 pm

Hey Jaibala…good to see you here after such a long time!
Yes, kids are like that only (now that I spend a lot of time with one, I have begun to understand their psyche!). And, most of the times, we adults keep imagining all sorts of things in our mind and the problem turns out to be a minuscule one. Glad for S and for you – he had a party he wanted as did you!
Shilpa Gupte recently posted…The Dark Holds No Terrors.My Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.