These videos and articles focus on things that fuel my energy- global experiences, loved ones, and life learnings.
Apparently, it is World Breastfeeding Week.... and wow, this is a topic near and dear to my heart.
My daughters are 17 months apart (accident!). I was blessed to breastfeed both my children for over a year (even while pregnant with Shriya, I breastfed Shyla). My two learning experiences of being a breastfeeding mompreneur with a traveling career:
For Shyla (baby #1)- When I was working from home- nursing was easy breezy! When I was traveling- I took Shyla on many of my business trips (my mom was my nanny- what a gift). I would still pump in the office OR rush back to the hotel to feed her. The sad thing was people (including women) questioned why I left my office frequently and missed meetings- I had to pump (it’s a process!) or nurse.
Lesson Learned with Shyla- My child's food comes first- I will have to speak up when people question why I am missing meetings. And should not feel embarrassed or guilty. Self Assessment- I did not do this well and sometimes felt I was...
I guess I must be an awesome woman because I have been nominated by a few of my cousins and friends in the last few days.
A few insights:
A post on mother daughter love....
As I am in my childhood home- I am consolidating (or rather reminiscing) my younger years. The top is a picture of my mother and I in Italy the year I graduated college. Outside of our frequent trips to India, this was the first international family trip I took my parents on... thanks to American Express and my free airline tickets! The bottom is my daughter Shyla and I (pregnant with second baby) in almost the same picture spot (what a coincidence)!
Lakshmi’s Learning- I am so lucky to have shared the beauty and culture of this country with my mother and then my daughter (and a few times solo in between)!!! While the photo coloring is way different in the 2016 vs the 2000 version.... the mother/daughter love is generational.
This is the time to continue to create memories with your loved ones... especially the elders. Even when they “accidentally” cut all your hair off (supposed to be a trim)...
Question: Amma (Tamil world for mom)- what is the rainbow flag for?
Lakshmi’s Learning: And so I explained what the rainbow flag represents. The video is her understanding. Even a sprinkle of knowledge can make a world of a difference.
Parents should do what they feel is right and some think kids are too young for certain things. That’s totally fine. However- I am learning that a child’s curious mind is an absolute gift and I prefer to discuss some things early on. I have talked to my girls about diversity and how it comes in all shapes and forms. I want them to know that there are all different kinds of relationships not just the one she sees in her parents. This has enabled my children to be proud of who they are and in turn love to learn about and appreciate others.
“We must be the change we wish to see in the world”- Mahatma Gandhi
First- thank you all for your birthday wishes! Blessed to be loved by many. It’s been a week to remember for many reasons. One thing core in our parenting and passion for Travel Plus Them is teaching our children about the world, the people, all the different faiths, cultures, and to be proud of who they are. This is the first year in many years that we have not traveled for my birthday, but I still made the celebration meaningful.
As person of color who grew up in Teaneck, NJ, I will forever stand by my black brothers and sisters. I want to teach children to speak up for themselves and others when they experience things that are unfair.
While there are many ways to support- this moment is about my voice. Some people are lucky to have voices that can be heard but that freedom is not extended to everyone. And unfortunately- this is true in many parts of the world. Hence please use your...
This message is to embrace diversity and culture through global learning experiences. As Shyla said “We are connected around the world!”
Question- With global travel at a pause now, how can my kids become global citizens?
Lakshmi’s Learning- There many ways to teach diversity to the next generation about the world and it does not solely come from school. It actually starts with us parents! Please note this is one example. Even if it is just a sprinkle of knowledge- it’s a start and can be done at home! Let’s leverage our community and Google to learn!!
What I did- April was a holy month across some of the world’s major religions. My girls already know a lot about our Hindu faith. I want them to continue to be confident and proud of who the are. To achieve that- it’s important for them understand the bigger picture around them. So I leveraged the opportunity to ensure they understand the holidays that came in...
Question: What are some activities to do while traveling that young kids can enjoy?
Lakshmi’s Learning: Focus on doing something that your toddlers/kids love (interests can vary by age). Generally, kids like animals!! Especially at the ages my kids were in this picture- 3 and 1.5 years old (before fears really hit).
We planned our entire trip to Thailand with the intention of bathing the elephant at this amazing sanctuary. It was a very humbling and sacred family experience. We talked about it for weeks and girls were so excited! They enjoyed the first hour riding and feeding the elephants. But as you can see by bathing time, they were tired and the novelty wore off! They later played with the other kids that live in the sanctuary... which was great too! The adults still enjoyed this once in a lifetime experience!
So the question I always get asked is, should you wait until kids are older for these experiences?—— I generally say this- no, do...
Happy International Women's Day to my two moms- my mother (Amma) and my mother-in-law. Of the many amazing women I have in my life (thank you all), I am who I am because these two continue to shape my life as a woman, daughter, and mother.
Lakshmi’s Learning- While mother and mother-In-law relationships are not meant to be the same- they both play very important roles in my life. At times, they have too much to say and comment on, but I know that they love me more than any other women in my life! LOL! I treasure our adventures near and far. I am honored to experience the world with you.
My daughters wanted to make this video gratitude.
Question- How should we address the global health situation with our kids? Should we?
Lakshmi’s Learning- I have been talking to my girls about the “virus” and why we are staying at home. Obviously my preschoolers are to understand many things, but they do have feelings and mental health is important. They have been sad that that their family cancelled their FL visit last week, we cancelled our upcoming family trips, there is no school / activities for weeks, etc. Although they love more time with us- it is important that we allow them to share their feelings and ask questions too. During our talks- they wanted to thank all the essential workers- health heroes, farmers, first responders, teachers... thank you!
And the most important person to them- their favorite doctor, their dad! ——Special thanks to my husband, family, and friends who are essential workers who keep us living!
Please watch this insightful video—- something my daughters learned from all their travels on how to conserve toilet paper and be clean!
Question- How can we possibly conserve toilet paper? I thought it was essential?
Lakshmi’s Learning- I wanted to show you all a way to toilet paper and still be very clean. We may still be low on toilet paper for weeks to come!
Many countries around the world do not use toilet paper to clean- it is not a must have. And when people do- they don’t use it in excess like we do in the US (yours truly too). Now is a great time to learn how we can do things differently.
So you may ask- how do you clean?? - Mother Nature’s gift... water! It’s better for the environment too! Here is an example of my daughters’ demonstrating on the toy potty. She uses water to clean (with cleansing bottle or spray) and 1-2 squares of toilet paper to “dry-off” versus many squares multiple...