Looking For Momspiration

Like most other nights, our pillow talk last night was about V. The father of the child asked, “When does V start studying?” Don’t get him wrong. He is the last soul on the planet who will push his ‘about-to-turn-two’ son into academics. His concern was purely out of ignorance, because he knows little about this whole pre-school, nursery business. “But he is learning nah? See how he has picked up numbers himself?” I said. “Oh yes, I love what you are doing with him! You are making learning so much fun and you are doing it in so many ways!”

Looking For Momspiration

I tucked the boy tighter and said softly, “Thank You!”

So what am I doing really? I picked up these ‘pipe cleaners’ from the local craft store recently. Last month at the book fair I picked up a whole lot of books, one being about learning numbers with Pooh. I put the two things together and created a whole new game for him where we formed numbers and played with it.

Pooh book         On-board Mommyship

The father of course has never heard of pipe cleaners. He also didn’t know, how they can be used to make numbers a fun game for our son. Or alphabets. Or crafts. Or art. You see, he doesn’t go looking for ‘Momspiration’!

MOMSPIRATION = MOMS FOR INSPIRATION

Oh, it’s totally my own creation. The word, that is, so don’t go searching for it in a dictionary. I use this term to describe some awesome resourceful moms I follow (almost stalk) for daily inspiration. I call it stalking, because I follow them virtually in every online space possible – blogs, to FB, to Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+!

These are amazing moms from around the globe who are constantly tinkering with children, education, creativity, play and imagination. These are mothers who make childhood and motherhood so much fun!

Here I share some of these awesome mommies with you:

Anna from The Imagination Tree

Anna is an early education specialist and lives in the UK. She calls her three children, Cakie, Pop and Bean. Anna’s blog The Imagination Tree is, well, my go-to-resource for imagination! Her notion of play and its importance in a child’s life was an eye opener to me. I realized I had forgotten what play means. I began looking at V’s play more closely. I began taking cues to his imaginative play. I began creating sensory, messy play with him. I bought play dough and hope to make a batch of home-made variety for him soon. Go over to Anna to rediscover the magic of imagination.

Cathy from Nurture Store

What I don’t find in Anna’s site, I usually find that at Cathy’s. Another fabulous resource and source of inspiration, Cathy at Nurture Store has something for children of all age groups – from babies, to toddlers. She has an exhaustive resource when it comes to art ideas, writing activities, play dough recipes, baking with children, making maths fun (God knows how much I need this!), science experiments and yes, she has over 100 suggestions to keep the bub away from TV! She has written e-books and offers a free play planner, a list of play ideas for every day of the week!

Maggy from Red Ted Art

Maggy Woodley, half Austrian, half Spanish married to an Englishman lives in the UK. She is the author behind the best-selling crafts blog and book called Red Ted Art. One look at her amazing paper roll animals and you will want to turn every waste into a craft item. I blame Maggy for drawing out ‘the wanna-be’ crafter in me and for all the junk that I have accumulated in the house since I have been reading her blog!

Amy from Teach Mama

Teach Mama is the perfect resource for parents who want to be the best teachers for their kids. Education, I believe doesn’t begin in school. And it doesn’t need to be with a paper and pencil. In that way, Amy’s the kind of mother that I hope to be. Like her, I believe in tweaking V’s day in small ways that we include a lot of play and some learning.

The Pragmatic Mom

She is a Tiger Mom gone all wrong! I follow the Pragmatic Mom for three simple reasons. Education – because like her, I believe that I am responsible for my child’s education and not his teacher or school. Reading – I would love to see my child grow up to be a reader. And as much as I know that I cannot molly coddle him into being a reader; the least I can do is open the doorway to the land of books for him. Kid Literature – My new-found love for kids’ literature and storytelling finds enough inspiration at her blog.

Rashmie at Mommy-Labs

I discovered home schooling way back in 2007, when I happened to work on a television show. A simple half hour feature opened my mind and life to the wonderful world of home schooling and alternate education. And though that was years before I had a child and thoughts of his education hovered over me, I knew I wanted my child to have experiential learning. Rashmie Jaju at Mommy-Labs is doing just that. Rashmie homeschools her 6.5 year old daughter Pari. I find Rashmie’s journey as a mother and teacher hugely inspiring. Her nature play makes even the busiest of moms want to chuck their jobs and step out into the nature.

Swapna at The Mom Views

If I want to find a review, then The Mom Views is my desired choice on the world-wide web. For anything related to babies and kid’s products in India, Swapna has reviewed them all. Well, almost! It is for nothing that Swapna is the best parenting blog in India, today!

***

Quick Rewind:

I remember the early days of motherhood. I was such a nervous wreck, constantly worried if I am doing the right thing for my child. All those terrible baby blues hit me like tsunamis every day. I remember being cooped in a room trying to keep my sanity and chin up between those endless feeds. I looked like an absolute wreck and I felt miserable. I remember Maa feeding me dinner while I nursed my boy. It was Durga Pujo and I didn’t step out of home. Forget wearing new clothes! To make matters worse, the father of the child left me at my parents’ place and returned to Delhi and his job. I remember crying bitterly and saying, “Motherhood is such a lonely job!”

Two years later, when I look back at those days I wonder what was I thinking? There are so many awesome mommies who keep me company!

Cut To:

Earlier this month, I read a post on Women’s Web asking Why Are Women Behind Most Parenting Blogs? The article talks about how most parenting blogs across the world has more women bloggers. I know, our beloved Parentous has its share of daddies doing baby talk, but then really look around you, mothers win the race here.

End Plate:

Find a mommy who inspires you. Find a home where you hear kids chuckle. Find a world where education is not locked in classrooms. Create a world where creativity and imagination is not lost in childhood.

The TV junkie is back into the idiot box. Besides pretending to be a superwoman between work and family, Rituparna also dreams of flying free as an entrepreneur! Her son’s student, she is learning the ropes of parenting every day. Rituparna blogs at http://onboardthemommyship.wordpress.com/ and you can spot her on Twitter as @VeesMother.

  • What a treasure trove this article is, Ritu. You made life so simple for mothers like me who joined Twitter yesterday, blogging the day before and remain clueless about good parenting sites to follow. THANK YOU for the spoon-feeding. 😀

    • V ki Amma

      Sakshi, look up my Twitter list. I follow more such mothers and groups that talk and discuss parenting. And yes, join Pinterest if you haven’t already. You will love it. 🙂 Thanks for reading.

  • Nischala

    Ritu – This is a such a superb post! Very timely for me as I was hunting for these resources. Thanks for sharing. – Nischala

    • V ki Amma

      Dear Nischala,

      Thank you for reading. There are more such resourceful mommies out there. Tell me if you want to know more.

  • Reema Sahay

    Hey good one. I already follow ‘Imagination Tree’ and ‘Mommy Labs’. I would like to add Play at Home Mom: http://www.playathomemomllc.com/
    And Pinterest! You just have to write the words and there are so many amazing things to do! Honestly, Internet has made lives easier for us 🙂

    • V ki Amma

      Reema, of yes! And Allison from No time for flash cards and Hands on As We Grow…the list is so overwhelming that I often land up feeling that I as a mother lack imagination! 🙂 I agree, Pinterest is a treasure trove for all things kiddies! Please share your list of good parenting sites that you follow.

      • Reema Sahay

        Yes Rituparna, both these are also on my list, and let me also confess many times I get overwhelmed by these Mommies who are doing way too much than I can ever do. About the home-made dough, I planned making the one using cornflour, but eventually I ended up making a basic thing for my son using the wheat flour [aata], oil and food colours. It is super-quick to make and for a really young kid who still puts stuff in mouth occasionally, a much safer option. Oil will make sure, it will not stick to the hands.

        • V ki Amma

          Oh yes Reema! I get overwhelmed too. But I learn so much from them. Yes…I’ll get to the dough. 🙂

  • V ki Amma

    Hahaha Swapna!

    Just another mommy…that’s how I describe myself. But yes, parenting can be really aspirational like I’ve discovered. It’s not about those endless nappy changes, feeding problems, sleepless nights and toddler tantrums…parenting can be such an exciting and learning phase. And just for that stalking is such a good habit! 🙂 Thanks for dropping by and inspiring us. 🙂

  • thanks for this useful post!!!

    • V ki Amma

      You’re welcome Aloka. Thank you for reading. 🙂

  • Sid Balachandran

    Great article Rituparna. I guess it’s only right that I thank you on behalf of the “daddies” of the group 🙂 Mom’s will always win the race hands-down – the nurturing mentality is more prevalent there. I mean, for eg. I work from home a lot, so I probably get to spend more time with my little one than most dads probably would. Nevertheless, my wife always comes up with “creative” ideas from posts and other sites she comes across inspite of being in a 9-6 office-based role. It’s that willingness to go above and beyond of the basic duties that makes the breed of moms unique and as you say “momspiring” !

    • V ki Amma

      Absolutely Sid! My husband’s office allows him to work-from-home a few days in the week, unlike mine! But he isn’t the one tinkering with ideas. It is always me. He watches on very amused though. 🙂 Yes, we win the race here, but I know Dads have their own ways to make Daddyhood more meaningful. 🙂 Thank you for reading.