Friday, September 21, 2007

Rant, rant, rant....

These days, if my life is normal and uneventful for 2 weeks in a row, then I thank the Almighty profusely for His kindness and mercy. Such is the state of affairs!
DD is onto her 3rd month in playschool cum daycare. She is there for only 3 hrs a day, but the impact has been far-reaching. The first month, she picked up a throat infection and cold that made her quite ill for a week. The second month, it was a ear infection. 1 week again. And both the times, it was close to the 20th of the month. So this time, I was keeping my fingers crossed .. and then she started sneezing yesterday, on the 20th!! - these bugs are frighteningly regular, I must say. The pediatrician of course tells me matter-of-factly that this is how children get used to the whole school thing. But I am still trying to swallow the fact that I actually pay (school fees) to get her to suffer a week each month. SIGH... the things that we do!! And what's worse, more often than not, DH and I invariably end up with a bad bout of cold from the bugs that DD lovingly passes around.
Do all children that start play school fall sick every month with such remarkable regularity? If anyone of you has had such experiences, please provide me valuable survival tips. How does one remain sane with the demands of work, home, with DH away on a work trip, an extremely errant nanny (when it comes to punctuality) and clingy-and-ill baby? AArgh.. is there a light at the end of this tunnel?

Monday, September 17, 2007

2 years of mommy-hood

Last month-end, DD turned two. I could hardly believe that it is two years since I brought the small Peanut-wrapped-in-a-pink-blanket home. These 2 years have had me swinging from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other. There are times when I have been overjoyed at the sheer beauty and innocence of my child, I have felt my heart almost breaking with happiness and pride. I have also sunk to the depths of despair, felt overwhelmed by the very daunting job of motherhood. What a journey it has been... and I know this is only the beginning of the trip.
And so I thought of how motherhood had changed me and how I have evolved (am still evolving) as an individual and as a parent. And when I took stock of it, was I shocked!! I cannot recognize the person I have morphed into :-). So here are some details on what mommy-hood has done to me.

1)I remember not so long in the past, when I was out and out a career-driven person, looking down (ever-so-slightly, but yes, I did) on women who did not give their jobs their 120%. I always reasoned that if they did not have it in them, then they should choose not to work. Short-sighted that I was, little did I realize that when the small shrivelled being enters your world, the entire world goes topsy-turvy. And everything else, including husband, gets sidelined. Today I know what it is to be a mom who works outside, I know why such moms cannot give TOP priority to their work all the time, and I also understand that it is not very easy to give up a career that you have worked on for a long time. That's the choice that I have made - my career is important to me, but of course, my baby is more important. So if my baby is down ill and puking, no one can expect me to turn up at work. It is probably not the ideal choice, but it works and you can do without a break in your career. So I have done a volte-face on this one and am shamelessly going down the same path that I once scoffed at.

2) I have this unstoppable urge to finish quickly and completely the task-at-hand, and then move on to the next, and then the next. My favorite way of tackling things is to have a long list at hand and strike the points off, one by one. I haven't been able to let go of this OCD completely, but DD has taught me to pause, take a deep breath and savour the moment. The best time of my day now is the few minutes of quiet that I enjoy when DD and I have just woken up. She mostly wakes me up with a 'good morning' followed by a cuddle, and then off we go to the balcony where we sit and watch the birds for a good 10 mts. Not speaking much, just relishing the breeze and the birds and the silence of the morning. I know there is coffee to be made, the clothes to be put in the washing machine and the shopping list to be prepared - but they are brushed aside. This time together, feeling the warmth of her little body on my lap, her tiny hands in mine, is invaluable and it is relished without any worries of the daunting day that lies ahead. This and other acts of stop-and-relish, which she has taught me, are my baby steps towards being a more relaxed individual.

3) I believe in planning things down to the last detail and even making allowances for unplanned happenings. Sometimes I can be quite irritating (ask DH, because he is just the opposite) by the extent of planning that I do, even for weekends. And I used to take pride in my planning abilities, my skills in cramming more tasks onto my over-full weekend and become mad if things did not go as planned.
From the time she arrived, DD taught me over many sittings that plans are well and fine, but if things are not meant to happen, they will not. As I was left rescheduling my plans many a weekend, rules mostly by DD's hunger, sleep (or lack of it), and moods, I learnt the big truth that "Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans". This hasn't stopped me from planning, but at least I don't raise hell if my plans go awry. I take it with a deep sigh and move on :-)

4) Patience, patience, patience. I cannot tell you how much of this I have learnt in the last 2 years. And this learning makes me realize HOW VERY deficient I was in this area. Having said this, I know I still have a long way to go. Patience is:
- What helps me count from 1 to 20 before speaking/acting, when DD, in spite of innumerable prior warnings, has taken a CD out of the CD-wallet and thrown it into the waste bin, in the split second when I was getting some water to drink
- What makes me bite my tongue in refrain, when the nanny walks in 20 mts late on a morning, when I have specifically requested her to come on time since I have a meeting. (of course, the strength of patience is supported by a quick Cost benefit analysis that tells me that the potential damage due to opening my mouth at this instant is more than that already caused by my being late to the meeting)
- What makes me hum a tune to myself in a dangerously quivering voice when I find that DH has disappeared into the bathroom just when I need him to take care of DD for a while

5) Any shooping trip or trip to the mall now involves more time spent in toy shops and toddler-wear shops than anything else. I seem to derive great pleasure in spending fortunes on the said shops, while my own shopping lies neglected (well, comparitively)

6) Once upon a time, I had valued the quality of conversations I had with my friends. Now, if I talk to a friend who happens to be a mommy herself (or daddy), the conversations revolve around tantrums, play-school, eating, TV habits and finally get down to the more gory details like potty.

7) Speaking of which, my tolearance towards messiness has increased manifold in the last 2 years. I, who used to resist touching anything gooey/messy, can now handle puke, poop, snot (Sorry, but really!) on my hair or dress or anything worse.

And there is more.. But I will stop before you resolve never again to visit my blog.