Of house help and inner self..

The initial plan was that once K turns 6 months old , i will join work and opt for a project which allows me to operate from home. the “opt” part needs to be highlighted here, because I was just wishing that luck favors me and i can be with my daughter and still working. Keeping this in mind, I started looking out for a full time maid who would take care of K while i would be busy staring at my laptop or listening to never ending con-calls.

After some searching, we managed to hire a maid who would stay with us from 8 in the morning till 5 30 or so, and would primarily take care of K. Since my plan was to join work from Oct, i thought bringing her on board from Aug itself, as it would give her time to understand the baby, and K would also get use to her. However, man proposes, God disposes happened, and it so happens that i will not be able to operate from home; hence will have to take leaves ( kind of sabbatical) if i wish to look after my baby. So my long leave has started (How long is yet to be decided, but as of now i am at home playing a full time mommy)

So for the past 20 something days Poonam is with us. She is a 14 years old girl, 7th or 8th of her nine siblings, most of whom are girls.  her other 2-3 sisters also look after kids of working moms. She has never been to school and can not read and write. Anyway, that’s material for some other post. Now, since I am at home and plan to be at home in the near future also, Poonam’s role becomes redundant. However, since i have not yet decided on the future course of action, as in whether to keep her or not, these days she generally takes care of the various house chores, involving dusting, helping me with baby’s work, cleaning the far nook and corners of the house, running other such errands etc. Since after all this work also, she has plenty of free time at our place, i asked her to get some books, so that i could teach her basic maths, reading etc. She somehow does not seem to be interested in it, and rather prefers sitting in the balcony and staring at the traffic or sleeping for an hour or so…anyway, after multiple reminders, i have now stopped asking her.

While Poonam’s being around makes my life quite comfortable, as our home is clean and tidy without any peck of dust ALL the time; I do not have to call at shops to deliver stuff; all laundry folding etc is also taken care by her…so I pretty much have nothing major to do. This arrangement does give me lot of luxury, but at the same time, there is something about this system that makes me uncomfortable. Somewhere deep inside every time i ask this girl to do some work, there is a small part of me which feels bad…as in i feel as if I am exploiting this girl…as if i am using my power over her, the power which i have by being economically more sound than her….i mean i am not sure if i am being able to express it, but there is something which just does not feel right.  Yes, i pay her and pay her handsomely, but i feels strange when she asks me while cleaning – “Bhabhi ye cream/ lotion/ earrings etc..fenk doon?” and i tell her to take it for her. My dressing table is full of stuff which i keep buying and never use, and she gets excited when i handover stuff to her which i just want to get rid off.

I have  two other maids also, one cook and a cleaning lady. But surprisingly i have never felt the same way with them. May be because they come only for an hour or so and my interaction with them is very limited. Also, i can and will never have time and energy to do stuff which they do for me that is cleaning and cooking. But Poonam does all that work which till few days back i was doing on my own, and have always been doing myself…may be this is the reason.

I do not want to elaborate through this post the difference between rich and poor etc and how with every passing the day this gap is increasing in our country. But i had never imagined, that such feelings would creep in my mind when my situation forces me to come face to face with such individuals.

Whatever it is, on the face of it..i guess i am not very comfortable facing this huge gap between have and have nots every single day in my home. Though her presence has made my life very comfortable, but i am not very sure for how many more days i will have her around. The reason will always be that since i am at home now hence i do not need anyone else to look after the baby, but deep within i know that along with that i am not very comfortable having a so less privileged person around me all day..who keeps reminding me of the huge gap between us and the other less fortunate beings around.

Updates- Aug 25

Update Bullets:

  • K is 5 months old and I am yet to buy any hair accessories for her..:( Her hair growth is good as in she has enough hair to be decorated by some clips and bands now. Therefore i made a purchase today on Firstcry. few nappies and a hairband and a hairclip. lets see how the stuff is, will order some more clips and bands once i get these.
  • This whole breastmilk thing- i have a whole lot of stuff in my head. Will write a separate post on it someday. However, just to clear my mind right now- I sometimes wonder why females have made breastfeeding also a way to display-“I am a better mom that you”!! Just like many other things some BF moms show as if they are ahead in the so called race of becoming better moms than those of us FF our babies! It just pisses me off!
  • I read somewhere few days back- “Do the right thing”. This is just so true. I mean yes, it is obvious; but most of the times we just follow the easier path which may or may not always be right. By simply doing what is the right thing to do in any situation, so many complications of life solve themselves on their own!
  • Till now i have not bought many clothes for K. She is primarily wearing all the stuff gifted to her by relatives and friends all this while. Now that the stock is going down; i need to make some purchases for her. Just that i am a bit confused as to how many clothes/ dresses for the baby are enough!! One thing i am sure of is that i will not be spending too much on her clothes because in this growing stage, she outgrows her clothes almost every 15 days.
  • WhatsApp has come up with this new voice recording option. One can record message and send. Its very convenient and user friendly feature since it does not require one to type message any more. I have been using it very actively with a friend based in Canada. Every time i record a message for her, i play it again to hear my voice. And what i have realized is that i sound terrible on phone..:( and thats because i have a habit of speaking very fast, and i tend to do a lot of hmms in between….i also leave one sentence in between and use random phrases and begin another sentence…!! I need to correct this. And i have decided that now on while WhatApping this friend, i will be very careful about how i speak. I do not want K to pickup this speaking style.
  • Rest all is ok and same. There would be some updates on my work front- as in my extended ML and which group i will join after joining back work; but still awaiting some confirmations on that.

cheers

K Diaries and some more…

Ho, K has slept on time today and that gives me a chance to open this window and type something for future keep.

K is learning new things with every passing day. She can now roll over on her own, though she gets a bit frustrated as she still cannot move forward after turning on her stomach. The newest thing in the list of activities is however quite amusing; she wants to sleep also lying on her stomach. When i try to put her to sleep in the old way of godi mein rakh ke..she slowly slides down my godi over to the bed and rolls over…then depending on her mood she tries to either sleep on her own ( by talking to herself for a while etc)..or expects me to lie besides her and sing to her. Either ways, its easier for me, as godi sleeping is very very tiring for the mommy! Also, sometimes while sleeping she would turn on her stomach on her own and sleep like that. Its so nice to see and observe these little milestones..:)

Yesterday was her first rakshabandhan. We went to the in-laws place where husband and I celebrated it with our respective siblings. We also visited one of my cousins in R K Puram where K toed rakhi to her cousin. All in all a tiring day it was.

These days K has also started enjoying her rocker. This is a fiesher price rocker i bought for her few months back. However, till now she was not very fond of it, but offlate when i put her in the rocker – i see her enjoying her stint there. She tries to eat/ lick her foot thumb and sometimes also tries to jump out of it…:)

All in all its fun to see my 5 months old growing every day…:)…I am amazed sometimes, just few months ago she was this tiny little thing who use to eat, sleep, eat and then sleep some more..and now she is this little monster who is learning new things with every passing day!

K is generally a happy child, there are few moments in the day when she manages to bring a more than broad smile on my face..:) Like when she gets after after a full sleep. She beams with happiness and smiles and laughs the moment she is up…the other day when i put her to feed the moment she woke up, she left her milk and started looking at me smiling- as if saying- are mommy, we did not celebrate my waking up today…:)  such moments make my heart sing…:)..:)

We have also started making her sit with support these days.  All in all right now i am a happy mother…:)

Now that i am at home these days, there are a lot of things going on in my head. Ideas about my future, my marriage, my own self etc etc. I have realized that I have not made many any positive changes in my self for a long long time now. I have been cribbing about things a lot, however i hardly put any efforts to change them.

This also reminds me that i have been wanting to fill K’s record book, and today seems to be a good time to put some more stuff there, Let me finish it.

I finished reading “Those Pricey Thakur Girls” yesterday. i had loved her first book- ” The Zoya Factor”. Her second book was not that great…but TPTG is again a very very refreshing and nice read from Anuja. Set in the 1980s this is a book about Thakur family and its five daughters. A must pick up if you are looking for something light, romantic and humorous.

Also, I finished reading The Last Lecture few days back. Will do a review some other time. point to be noted here is that reading wise i am pretty much on track, as i plan to finish at least 30 books before March 2014.

Any suggestions for any nice rom- com are most welcome…:)

cheers till then…goodnight!

Sabbatical Checklist

ha!!..So it seems that i would be on a sabbatical for few more months. Though it was not our first choice, but the turn of events has been such that I may not be able to operate from home as expected and would be on leave till K turns one. In my heart of hearts, i am quite happy. Who does not want to look after one’s own kid, rather than leaving her with some one else. Finances will have to be kept under control though, so a tough time there, but i guess we will be able to manage.
Among other things which will take up most of my time in the coming few months- most of which is taking care of K, i want to use this time in making certain changes in myself- In my behavior, in my skills, in my overall personality. Following are the ares which need attention and correction. In this post i would identify the areas which i need to work on during the coming few months:

  • 1st and foremost- health. regular exercise– each day, every day. Also, shedding the extra pregnancy kilos…:)
  • A more organized home. More monitoring of maids, less wastage of food, organized cupboards and cabinets, even usage of K’s clothes and ensuring that she wears all of them before they become too small for her.
  • Taking time out to bring some variety into my kitchen. We follow a very predictable menu at our home. May be it has something to do with the fact that in my own home- that is my parents home, i have always seen my mother cooking the same old dishes again and again with practically no change thrown in. My father was actually not very fond of variety, he preferred simple khana. Hence, i have also picked up following a very same menu every week. Time to bring some variety there!
  •  Practice Yoga, and bring some thehraav in my behavior. Developing the habit of listening” This is something which is very very important in my personal and professional life. I can mess anything and everything by just being impatient to listen and speak first. I have got this feedback multiple times, and now i guess its high time i act on it.
  • Learning to Drive–  I enrolled myself in a driving class 2 years back. paid money and did not complete the course. Did not practice and hence no driving was learnt. But in the coming few months, this is one skill that i HAVE to acquire.
  • And last but not the least, bring back blogging to my daily routine. I need to read more and write more and the sabbatical would be incomplete without giving time to these two activities!

Wish me luck if you are reading this. I will measure my progress against each item in this checklist and also keep posting update posts to formally track my progress.

cheers.

I will use this

Lessons from MH- 1

I was thinking of writing a post here from a long time, and what better topic than motherhood to start with. Being a 4.5 months old mom, i think i have enough material now with me to make a post or two from my personal experiences and learning as a mother so far.

One of husband’s very close friends were also expecting with us. There baby was born one month after K. I have never been very fond of the female that is husband’s friend’s wife. However, husband and this guy being really close and childhood friends, we use to hang out together very often. Therefore, when they also had a daughter in April, subtle form of comparisons started. I would lie if i say that that this streak of comparing my daughter with theirs did not hit me at all…but i did not waste too much time before realizing that i was doing no good to me or my baby by doing so. However, unfortunately, i was (and am) still interacting with the said female very often…and what i have noticed so far is that- people live their whole lives in comparison. They compare themselves to others all the time, their success to others’all the time and the worst comes when they get on a spree to compare their children. In my case, this female, calls me and starts talking about her daughter’s milestones and her activities to no end… In normal scenario i love such conversations since I am also a first time mother and discussion such stuff normally helps me. However, when all such conversations are done with the intention to elicit information from me and then do random comparisons like how tall is your daughter?..are, she is taking formula…?..she is still not able to roll over….etc etc…it just pisses me off to no end. One thing which i definitely not want to do with my baby is, comparing her to others and ruin her as well as my happiness and peace of mind. Every child is unique and for the best development of a baby, its very very essential that parents tattoo this on each others forehead so that they never ever forget this very essential element of raising up kids. Unfortunately parents play a very negative role here, by comparing their babies to others’right from the day they are conceived. How much does your baby weigh?…what were the scan results like..?…mine was a normal delivery…we chose to go the normal way…urs was c section??…my baby has already started smiling…what about K? …..I so hate such silly comparisons. My journey till now has taught me to stay away from such females as much as possible. Let them bask in the glory of their child’s achievement. But i would certainly not let anyone affect my peace of mind by any useless comparisons where we are dragged causing only stress and nothing else.

Slowly i am learning this art of ignoring people or diverting the conversation when mothers start to take the whole discussion to a whole new low, by getting the “competition”/ “comparison” bit in it. I either change the topic politely, or just ignore it and flush it out of my head as soon as possible.

Lesson learnt is- that do what you feel is right for your baby, and do not get affected by such discussion which unnecessarily force you to stress yourself needlessly over your baby’s growth patterns- now and always. The agenda is to raise a happy child who is emotionally secure and is confident of his/ her abilities, who does not take others success as his own failure and lives a life in absolute terms rather than always in relation to others.

PS: Dear K, always remember that you are a very unique and special individual and will always be. You have to make a good life for yourself and that is a life in which you are happy and content. Your inner happiness is the only measure of how successful your life is…in your eyes. Always remember that life is not lived in “relative” terms. It is always absolute with no comparison with others. Always be cognizant of the difference between healthy competition and mindless comparison and while the latter may bother you many a times in your life, the sooner you become oblivious to it, the happier you will be with yourself.

cheers