Thursday, April 8, 2021

I didn't Expect To Be Expecting - Book Review

 Book Review

Title  - I Didn't Expect To Be Expecting

Author - Richa S Mukherjee

Publisher - Black Ink

Genre - Fiction / Comedy

Book Type - Paper Back

No. of Pages - 348

Blurb :

Tara is living a blessed life in the maximum city with her husband Abhimanyu, the love of her life. At the pinnacle of her career, she is the apple of her parents' eyes and hasn't spotted a wrinkle yet - so far, the 30s are looking great!Nothing fazes Tara - not a foul-mouthed best friend or a food-burning arch-nemesis in the form of her maid - not even a landlady who chats with ghosts.And then, Tara discovers that she's pregnant, and suddenly, all that well-honed composure crumbles. It doesn't help that she's got an equally jittery (if supportive) husband by her side. Now, Tara must face her anxieties about parenthood as she navigates friendships, marriage and career, all the while dealing with the fact that her body and mind are steadily feeling like they belong to someone else.An irreverent, honest and funny journey down the road - potholes and all - to (accidental) parenthood!

Why I read this book :

The blurb of the book seemed to be really nice and relatable as my pregnancy was also not planned but when I became pregnant everything changed for the good! Also, I had heard very good reviews about this book from my friends and I wanted to read a light, fun book.

My Review :

Abhi and Tara are the millennial couple who work hard, have very good jobs and love to travel. They have been married for the last five years and Tara's career is roaring high when she finds put that she is pregnant.Tara went through exactly what a woman in her thirties , with a successful career would do if she finds out that she is expecting. She is completely unprepared for it. The plot of the book is very well executed. I loved the humor in the book. Certain parts will absolutely crack you up! 

Richa has given an equal importance to all the supporting characters as well. The language of the book is very simple and it's a quick read. The cover of the book is apt to the title. All in all it's a light, fun read for all !.

About the Author :

After spending years in advertising, selling shampoos and juices to unsuspecting housewives, also chasing after a few criminals and their lawyers as a journalist, Richa finally decided to write a book of soul searing poetry called- A Penchant for Prose, followed by a few funny blogs. Then came her first novel- I Didn't Expect To Be Expecting, which is a humorous take on pregnancy and the fireworks it brings with it. Her next book is due this year. She now lives in Mumbai juggling work, writing, and often, her 5 year old daughter as well.

Rating -4 /5

Friday, March 26, 2021

Normal Growth Patterns in Children


Normal Growth Patterns in Children

                                       Image Source Pexels 

             Not only is watching your child grow up in front of your eyes a joy but it is a phenomenal journey we take as parents. Like most parents, I received a growth chart from my pediatrician. In pediatrics, the essential growth measurements for children ages 3 years and up, the essential measurements are height, weight, and body mass index (BMI).

One should monitor the growth of their child. Understanding what the normal growth patterns in children in India are helps in detecting early changes in a child's growth. Growth monitoring is the regular measurement of a child's size (weight, height or length and head circumference) in order to document growth. The child's size measurements must then be plotted on a growth chart.

While we kept a documented record of my son's height and weight at each doctor visit, I kept certain markings in the house for me to trace how my son was growing. For eg., when he started standing, he could reach the edge of the bed. Gradually he was able to touch the top of the table. He is four years old now and can reach the switches in most rooms.

There is a growth curve which illustrates the way a child is growing over a period of time.    


        It shows whether the child is growing normally, faster or slower than expected.

        It is also very useful in identifying sudden weight loss.


A growth curve can be determined when a child’s size measurements have been made on two or more doctor visits and have been plotted as dots on a growth chart. If these dots are now joined together with a line, you will have a growth curve. Both growing too slowly or too fast may indicate a nutritional or other health problem. Therefore, growth monitoring is an essential part of primary health care in children.

Most children double their weight from birth to 6 months and treble their birth weight by one year. The increase in weight and height or length is fastest in the first year of life and then slows down until puberty when growth is again fast for a short while. In older children, height is the better index of growth.

These growth patterns indicate that the child may have a medical, nutritional or social problem. It is, therefore, very important that all children who do not have a normal growth pattern are identified as soon as possible in order that they can be carefully examined. Some of these children will be healthy even if their growth pattern differs from the average.

 The growth chart is an extremely important method of screening children for nutritional deficiencies. PediaSure’s Grow Right Tracker is an easy way to understand your child’s growth patterns on a regular basis. In my opinion it is the #FirstStepToGrowRight

Without any complication it allows you to enter the required data and it calculates the growth percentile. You of course need to also understand the factors involved in growth.

There are many factors that contribute to the growth of a child.

A balanced diet:

Being a mom, I am always concerned about my son’s health and I try to make sure that he gets nutritious meals. I make sure that my son has at least one fruit a day, a glass of milk with his favourite PediaSure, protein in the form of lentils, paneer, eggs or meat. A well-balanced diet which is a mix of fruits and vegetables is very essential for proper child growth. A healthy diet doesn’t only provide the right nutrients but also makes the child strong.

Physical activity:

With the boom in technology and the availability of electronic gadgets in the last 15-20 years, the physical activity of children all over the world has decreased. Exercise is essential for both mental and physical development of a child. I make sure that my son has some form of physical activity, every day. It varies from running, skipping or jumping.


Sleep also affects your child’s growth. Maximum growth hormone stimulation takes place when you sleep. Not only this, but good sleep also calms the mind and enhances efficiency. Make sure that your child sleeps early at night. Children of the age group 3-5 years need 10-13 hours of sleep, school-age children between 6-13 years should sleep for around 9-11 hours a day. Teenagers should take a proper sleep of 8-10 hours.

 Positive environment:

As much as physical activity is important for the growth of a child, having a positive environment at home is equally important as well. A lot of changes take place in the body of a baby in the first few years. Interact a lot with your child. The more you interact, the better your child’s communication skills will be in future. Active interaction promotes the growth of the child’s mind. Love and emotional security are needed for normal growth. Stressed and emotionally deprived children grow slower than normal and may become stunted.

 After you download the report from the tracker, in case you feel that your child is not growing as per the standards, get in touch with your pediatrician immediately and discuss the measures you need to take. It is always a combination of things that help your journey of parenthood easier. I’m glad the Grow Right tracker I use is part of that journey.


References :

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not reflect the views of any brand. Any omissions or errors at the author's end does not assume any liability or responsibility on any party mentioned in the blog.


Wednesday, March 24, 2021

How to Overcome Mental Health Stigmas

A person who is going through mental health issues has to face a lot of discrimination from our Indian society. As discussed in my previous article, talking about mental health is a taboo. Both children and adults, who have mental health issues have to face these stigmas. Stigma causes the person to be ashamed of something which is not in his/her control. The good news is that a person who is going through a mental illness can be cured if given the right help. 

Steps to reduce Stigma:

Educate yourself :

It is very important for everyone to be aware about the causes of mental illnesses and one has to be ready to help a person who is suffering from a mental illness. A person who has a mental illness also needs to know and accept that he/she needs help.

Mental illness is  not a disability or an infectious disease :

A person who is going through a mental illness is very often isolated from others. People have to understand that it is not a transferable or an infectious disease. A person who has mental illness needs a lot of of emotional support from his family and friends. Rather than isolating people, one has to make efforts to include and make them feel comfortable and be compassionate towards them. 

Seek Treatment :

One can be very reluctant to accept and get treatment. Sometimes the fear of being labelled as mental illness can become a very big barrier. Getting the right treatment at the right time can help to identify what's wrong and can also help in reducing symptoms which could interfere in one's personal and professional life.

Do not let Self Doubt and shame over power you:

Sometimes a person can misunderstand his condition and think that it's a sign of weakness. Its extremely important to educate oneself, seek help and connect with other people who might be going through the same issues. This can help in gaining the self confidence and self esteem.

Join a Support Group :

There are various groups which help in creating awareness about the Mental Health Issues for people who have an illness, their families and for the general public. 

Include everyone :

It is against the law to discriminate anyone. Do not discriminate. Provide job opportunities for all. 

Talk Openly about Mental Health Issues :

Being vocal and talking honestly about one's illness could help many other people.

Be careful of your words:

One has to be mindful and compassionate of the language he uses. It is not right to give labels to anyone like Psycho or an addict. Always call the person by his/her first name. 

Get help at school:

If a child is facing mental health issues, seek help from his/her school. Approach the Principal and make him aware about the situation. There are psychologists at school who could help your child.If the school authorities are not aware about it, it could lead to discrimination and poor grades of your child.

Speak out against stigmas. One needs to talk openly about Mental Health issues. The more you speak and educate people, the better it is for the society. One has to take whatever small steps he can to educate the society about the mental health issues. One small step could go a long way in helping those who are suffering from mental health issues.

This is my third post of Blogchatter's cause a chatter

#mentalhealthissues #stigmas

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Once Upon a Reunion _ Book Review


Title                 -   Once Upon  A Reunion

Author             -   Nithya Sahi

Publisher          -  NK & Co.

Format             -  E Book

Genre              -  Romance / Fiction

No. of  Pages   - 264  

 Blurb :

Have you ever sat late into the night, missing an ex, and going over hundreds of 'what-if' scenarios?
Have you loved someone to the point of losing your mind?
Like most Indian women who have loved, lost, and settled for an arranged marriage, Nirmala secretly pines for her ex-lover, Suresh, even as she leads a happy, mostly peaceful life with Sreenivas, her husband. Memories of her first love resurface occasionally, disturbing her present life.Unable to fully love Sreenivas with the insane intensity she had felt for Suresh, she is conflicted and lives in a parallel world, always tormented by the probability of a what-if! 

It is at this time that her school friends plan a high school reunion, which her ex-lover, Suresh would also be attending. Nirmala sees this as an opportunity to bring a closure to that chapter of her life. But she is torn by the uncertainty and the upheaval this might cause. She fears that her meeting with her ex-boyfriend might ruthlessly tear apart the delicate fabric of her marriage. And at the reunion, her world turns on its head.        

Why did I read this book :

I love fiction books. Drama and Suspense are my favorite genres. All of us have had crushes and flings in school and college. The time spent in school and college is the most memorable and most unforgettable. Also, I love reunions. I look forward to meting my school and college friends once a year.I really liked the blurb and was intrigued to know the suspense in the romantic story.  

What I liked about the book :

This book is very easy to read. The first half half of the book brought back a lot of memories to me. One of my very close friends went through the same thing after she got married to someone else and for a long time this question was in her mind ,what if!.

The language of the book is very clear. The climax is interesting and was a surprise. I wish that the author could have elaborated the second half a little more. 

Over all, an interesting read.

Rating - 3.5/5 

About the Author :

Nithya Sahi is an author and a book reviewer from Chennai. She lives with her human family and three fishes. To earn some paper currency, she slogs at a day job creating E- Learning courses and manages to balance her remaining personal time between her various engagements, her husband, and their fishes, in that order.

She has written two romance novels and various short stories. One of them, Kalyani, got shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Award, 2018.

Once Upon A Reunion is her third fiction and first Literary Fiction Title.

Connect with her on Social Media :

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Thursday, February 25, 2021

Stigmas faced by Children and Adults suffering from Mental Health Issues

Mental Health disorders are on the rise in both children and adults. It is very important to recognize the symptoms and provide necessary treatment to them. As discussed in my previous article , talking about Mental Health is still a stigma in the Indian Society. 

The stigmas faced by children are different from that faced by adults. The Stigmas can prevent children and families from talking about, exploring and addressing any feelings they have, which is an important part of raising healthy children.

Stigmas faced by children  :

The child is lazy / weak :

People believe that the child who is going through a mental illness is lazy and is making an excuse to not  work or complete his homework.

This is just a phase :

Most of the times when there is a change in the behavior patterns of a child, the parents ignore and say that it is just a phase. It can definitely be a phase but if that changed behavior continues then it is necessary to seek help of a professional. The parents need to keep a vigilant watch on their children and they need to keep a check if the child becomes very quiet , talks about harming himself , wants to be left alone, has a loss of appetite or talks about harming himself.

Child's irritable behavior is termed rudeness:

When the child gets irritable or snaps, the parents start saying that the child is rude. One has to keep a check and observe the behavior of their child. If the child gets irritated or snaps very often without any reason then he might be going through some issue. It should not be ignored.

The child is labelled as Incompetent :

If the child is performing well in academics and suddenly the grades fall,  instead of finding the reason of the fall in grades , the child is labelled as incompetent.

Stigmas faced by adults :

People who are suffering from mental illnesses are violent : 

This is not true. A person who is suffering from mental illness is not always violent or dangerous. The family, friends and co-workers isolate the person.

Discrimination :

A person who is suffering from a mental illness faces a lot of discrimination. The employers do not hire them. The health care workers offer them sub standard treatment.

One of the common stigmas that is faced both by adults and children is that both are bullied by peers, family or co workers. Sometimes they are physically harassed too.

This post is my second post of Blogchatter's cause a chatter. In my next post, I will talk about how to overcome these stigmas.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Am I a calm Mom ?


Life before a baby and life after a  baby are completely different. Like most of the moms, I too had an image in my mind of a being a perfect and a calm mom all the time when I was expecting my son. Each of us go through our own experiences of motherhood. Being a mom truly changes everything and it can be overwhelming too at times!

Am I a calm mom all the all time ? Honestly, I am not .I am really working hard on not losing my temper and get irritated easily. One thing which I have realized is that having a calm mom matters a lot to every child. Our children are our own reflections. If one snaps at their child every time he asks a question, after a point of time the child will start behaving in the same manner and snap at us when we ask him something.

Since I became a mother, I realized that I got irritated easily. A small trivial thing was enough to set the trigger off for me and I started to take that out on my son. I soon realized that this was not correct. It wasn't my son's fault at all and I wouldn't be able to raise a calm child if I am not calm myself.

It takes a lot of hard work to control one's emotions. I am sharing a few tips which I have learnt along the way and which have helped me to be a calm mom :

The child is not responsible for a mom's behavior:

The mother has to understand that she is responsible for her actions and behavior. Being overwhelmed with day to day duties is not child's fault. A mother's emotional state at the moment reflects her state of mind. It is very easy to get angry at your child and scold him when he spills milk on his clothes. But it takes a conscious effort to stay calm and tell the child that it is alright. Change his clothes and tell him calmly to be careful while drinking milk the next time.

Identify and acknowledge the triggers which set you off and make you angry.

Sit down. Take a deep breath. Write down the points which make you angry. Are your overwhelmed with the house work? Have you got enough sleep? Answer these questions and then try to work on them. 

Wake up 1-2 hours before your family wakes up. Take this opportunity to do what makes you happy. Read a book,have a cup of coffee, listen to music, workout or just  do nothing. This will definitely charge you for the day ahead.

Keep your phone away when you spend time with your child. Set aside certain time in a day when you do not use your phone at all. Let this be your special time with your child. You will realize that your child will feel very happy and it will definitely strengthen your bond with him. 

Accept the fact that you are not a supermom. Do not try to be perfect at everything, It is alright if the house is not clean one day or you didn't make ten things for dinner. Do not stress out because that stress will definitely be visible in your behavior.

Ask for help. If you are feeling overwhelmed, ask your husband or family to pitch in. Take this time to meet a friend for coffee. Go out, have a good time with friends. You will definitely come back rejuvenated and will be in a better mood.

Declutter . If mess makes you irritated, then de clutter and donate or throw the things which you no longer need. Seeing a clean and neat space definitely brightens up the mood.

Last but not the least, enjoy with your children. Make each moment special. The children grow up very fast. This is the time to hug them, laugh with them at their silly jokes and play with them. Enjoy this beautiful phase and always remember that you are the best mom for your child!

#motherhood #calmmom #mom

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Death On the Nile - Book Review

 Book Review

Book Name   : Death on the Nile

Author          : Agatha Christie

Publisher       : Harper Collins

Format          : Paper back

Pages            : 373

About the Book:

Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie was first published in Great Britain by Collins in 1937. This book features, Agatha Christie's most popular detective, Hercules Poirot. The action takes place in Egypt on the Nile River on a ship.

Hercules Poirot is Vacationing in Egypt. There he meets Linnet Doyle, who is on her honeymoon. She is very beautiful and filthy rich. Everyone is jealous of her. She marries her best friend's boyfriend, Simon. She comes to Poirot and tells him that she is scared of Jacqueline, her best friend, who resents her and is stalking her. She has come after her in the boat too. Linnet thinks that she might harm her. Does Linnet need to be careful? Is she the only one who should be on a look out ? Read the book to know more.

Review :

I am a huge Agatha Christie fan. I have read almost all her books. Poirot is my favorite. I love his integrity and demeanor. His stories never fail to entertain. It is a fast paced book . The sequence of events keeps one glued to the book. This book is based on a beautiful setting, all the character have excellent dialogues and the climax is outstanding. This book is almost 100 years old but the language is very lucid.Even today, Agatha Christie's books are loved world over. She is still the Queen of Crime and suspense!

About the author :

Agatha Christie was an English writer known for her sixty-six detective novels and fourteen short story collections, particularly those revolving around fictional detectives Hercules Poirot and Miss Marple. She also wrote the world's longest-running play, The Mousetrap, which was performed in the West End  from 1952 to 2020, as well as six novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott. In 1971, she was made a Dame (DBE) for her contributions to literature. Guinness World Records lists Christie as the best-selling fiction writer of all time, her novels having sold more than two billion copies.

#bookchatter #bookreview #tbrchallenge2021

I didn't Expect To Be Expecting - Book Review

  Book Review Title  - I Didn't Expect To Be Expecting Author - Richa S Mukherjee Publisher - Black Ink Genre - Fiction / Comedy Book Ty...