Just another hectic week went by, the weekend came and went and it all vanished in a wink even before I had a chance to sit down, take a break and enjoy the luxury of two days without work or anything important on my mind..... what I really needed and wanted was two FULL days to chill out, to sit with my darling little one and to have a nice chat with my hubby over steaming cups of ginger tea, looking out at the sea lying calm and beautiful outside my home.
But that is exactly what you call 'Wishful Thinking', isnt it?
I always admire mothers who manage to continue work without neglecting their kids. Well, everyone has their own way of managing the situation at home. Some have family at home, mostly grandparents, who look after the child in the absence of parents who are out on work. Some have full-time maids at home who look after the child when mummy and daddy aren't home. Some do a mix-n-match of family and maids. Some take the help of a professional carer, nanny, some sort out the expertise of a day-care centre or a creche.
I have always been a work-work kind of person and initially it was very difficult for me to give up my job after marriage and just sit at home....Of course I hated it...not that I have something against women who choose to be at home after marriage, but just that it was not what I wanted, it was not my ambition in life. My dream was to have a happy married life, to be a loving and caring mother and to raise a child who would be happy and healthy and most important of all, a good human being. And my dream was also to manage work while I worked towards the rest of my dream.
My daughter was born very soon after my marriage, just after we celebrated our first marriage anniversary...it was not planned, but like they say, the greatest gifts of life are never planned....and so started my identity as a mother....
The first few years after marriage it was not possible for me to work, as I did not have a family support where I lived and there was really no one who could care for my baby if I went out. I absolutely do not trust maids and hence that was not an option. And both me and my husband were very apprehensive of leaving her in a day-care the whole day while we were out. It was something we mutually decided and I was content being the mother to my darling baby.
Now things have changed. She is three and surprisingly, suddenly she is all grown up!!! I can see she is observant and mature in many ways. And now that I have started working again, I can see that she too has started to adjust to mommy's new routine.
The first few days and weeks were of course difficult on the little one. She hated my laptop, so much so that the moment I would leave it behind she would slam the screen shut and would come running to me, always with some or the other demand of play or story-time or simply a hug. I could understand then that she was getting insecure. I would pick her up and take her in the room and she would show me the laptop. And I would tell her that mommy was not going to work for some time now, that I would spend the next hour with ONLY her....that would always cheer her up.
Since it is difficult for me to arrange for someone on a daily basis who would look after my baby, I try and wrap up most of my work while she is in school. If I have a meeting on a weekday (when my hubby is in office) I try to keep them near home, that way I can always be back by the time her school bus arrives. I am always there to take her in my arms and give her a kiss and a hug and tell her how much I love her and she loves to tell me about her day in school right from when I get her off the bus!!! I would never want to miss that part of the day for anything...
On occasions when there is absolutely strict deadlines to be met I am always working on the weekends on most cases, she understand now that mommy has work, so she spends most of the day playing with her father and spending the day with him. But we do have our together time and we make the most of it. There is so much we do together, story time, tub bath with lots of bubble bath, playtime, dance and song time, movie time, bike riding, drives, visiting a bookstore, crafts and so many more things, anything that she loves to do at that moment.
Some times its really tough to concentrate on work while she is around, the best solution I have for that is the tonnes of kiddie DVDs we have collected over the years. I put that on and she will spend the next hour or so dancing and singing along with the characters and mesmerised in the stories. Some days I pull out a hidden toy-set and set it up. The whole evening can be utilised in work :)) On other occasions I have simply spread a newspaper in front of her and given her a paint brush and a set of water colours. She is happy being the master-painter and I make it a point to sit near her and finish my work.
Some days when I am putting her to sleep (this is a ritual only mommy is allowed and she wont have it any other way) she will tell me to hold her hand and tell her a story...she drifts off to sleep after 2-3 stories... on other nights she wants me to not work at all and just be sitting next to her while she talks and talks about school and tells me everything that happened...I love these sweet and innocent chats I share with her...... on other days, she tells me it is okay for me to work and tells me to sit beside her and work, while she closes her eyes and drifts off to fairyland...
I am blessed to have such an understanding baby. I know it is a big change for her too, but I believe our little ones are really capable of understanding about the adult world, given that we talk to them in a sensible way. If we share our feelings and concerns with them, most of the time our babies always revert back in a way we didn't expect they were capable of.
But thats how it is......keep talking to your child and sharing parts of your own grown-up world with them...you'll be amazed at the understanding and intelligence they possess...and of course, not to mention the unconditional love and innocence...
To all the parents out there...happy parenting !!!