Tuesday, November 28, 2023

The festival season - is it Joy or stress for you?

This is the time of the year when Indian families are busy celebrating Indian festivals, and once this settles down, the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays come around. I have been talking to various families and know very well that this could be the most stressful time for families too. Celebrations could be hard as they miss out on the fun part because of the needs of their children.

Most festivities require the social interaction part, and that is tricky for many due to food restrictions, sensory overload, meltdowns, and overall experiences that deviate from routine. But sometimes it's a reminder of the difficult life we lead as special needs parents. Some of the young moms in the group bring a fresh perspective and energy.

I usually stay away from planning a big meat, but they really wanted it. Last year, we had two of those. This year, they wanted something even bigger and better. Who am I to say no to that request? It has been six years since the first dinner I hosted for Desi Moms Network on December 1st, 2017. So, "celebration of the village" was the theme.

On one sunny Sunday, the group met at the Watertown library, with 52 families registered, and around 47 of those showed up. The day was full of fun, laughter, a feeling of belonging, no judgment, care, love, hugs and smiles, meltdowns, and beautiful chaos. When I close my eyes, I remember the numerous hugs I got from kids and moms, people introducing each other, smiling, everyone dressed in their best outfits, including children. The children got to cut the cake, and that was the fun part for many of them.

I am grateful to the guests who wanted to see what "Desi Moms Network" really is. Their interaction with families was priceless. Kudos to the moms who organized it; I just got to be the face of their labor. What does the festival season mean to you?

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