Can Moms Take a Chill Pill? Is a collection of delightful true life stories on parenthood. Written by a group of eight mothers, the book draws from their experiences, lists out the anecdotes that have peppered their lives as parents, and describes the skills they learnt along the way.
Arranged chronologically, the stories cover every stage in a child’s growth – through pregnancy and birth, from the terrible twos and the turbulent teens to the torrid twenties – and suggests ways of dealing with the surprises that kids throw up!
A heart-warming collection, this book is a celebration of the joys and challenges of parenthood.
This is a wonderful book that comes straight from the heart. I couldn’t put it down! The collective wisdom and experiences of these eight mothers makes for compelling reading. What is best about it is that it is so relevant to our lives in India. All you mothers out there who are tearing your hair, don’t despair… help is at hand! You are not alone.
Each story has not only a message, but also a sense of wonder – that is the beauty of this collection. The writing may be simple, but the problems and solutions presented are not-and yet, with love and care and the gentle passage of time, problems are solved and solutions are found and fulfilled. Which just goes to show how true these wonderful writings are – true to life, true to reality, and true to the unconquerable spirit of motherhood.
As film students, we were told that movies revolving around motherhood are always successes. Reading these stories, I have come to discover why. Here are eight mothers sharing such powerful emotions and anecdotes that it leaves you asking for more. You want to reach out to each of them for their acts of selfless love.
The book you see is the outcome of the camaraderie among eight mothers. Following an article published in The Times of India about their group, the eight mothers were invited by the Rotary Club of Bombay to give a talk on parenting. Here, it was suggested that their lessons on bringing up children should reach a wider audience. Hence, this book: Can Moms Take a Chill Pill?
Even as they worked on the book, they laughed, chatted, celebrated birthdays, shared moments of happiness and despair. Along the way, across numerous coffee tables, their parenting challenges were discussed, pondered over, and finally organized into the inspiring collection you hold in your hands.
In a tribute to mothers, Vimla Patil, former editor of Femina referred to a conversation she had had with twenty-three successful young men between the ages of nineteen and twenty-six. She had posed a question: “Why are mothers so special?” The boys had responded, “They are accessible, forgiving, accepting, encouraging, beautiful, tranquil, quiet, loving, trusting, hard-working, had caring.” “What more could a mother give?” they asked. “What more could a son want?” she answered.
I had quoted these lines in the first edition of my book on child care. The book that you hold in your hands is a testimony to what these young men had to say about moms. What I like about Can Moms Take a Chill Pill? Is the honesty with which the mothers have shared their true stories. As you go through the pages, it becomes clear that these mothers are not perfect. Thank God for that. Like Felix Frankfurter, I sometimes feel uncomfortable dealing with ‘perfect’ people. Frankfurter says, “I don’t like a man to be too efficient. He’s likely to be not human enough.” Those who have penned these stories have had their own fears and frustrations and yet that did not deter them from learning to do things as one, with their children – from praying together to going out with the family. It seems that they have imbibed what Thich Nhat Hanh has highlighted in his book, Peace is Every step.
“When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce. You look into the reasons why it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. you never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or our family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and arguments. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change.
“One day in Paris, I gave a lecture about not blaming the lettuce. After the talk, I was walking by myself, and when I turned the corner of the building, I overheard an eight-year-old girl telling her mother, ‘Mommy, remember to water me. I am your lettuce.’ I was so pleased that she had understood my point completely. Then I heard her mother reply, ‘Yes, my daughter, and I am your lettuce also. So please don’t forget to water me too.’ Mother and daughter practicing together, it was very beautiful.”
Dear readers, in each page of this book, you will see glimpses of parents who are accessible, forgiving, accepting, encouraging, beautiful, tranquil, quiet, loving, trusting, hard-working, and caring. Cherish this book. Gift it to as many people as you can. Read one story a week. Share it with the family. I feel that such an exercise may help you to bond even better with your spouse, your children and their grandparents.
Let me end this foreword on a lighter note with a true story. A mother got angry with her young daughter. The latter didn’t like it and said, “Don’t shout at me. I’ m not your husband.”
Treat this book as an investment endowed with laughter, tears and wisdom.
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