Once upon a time, I was working and happy. And then, guess what?!…… Uff! I had kids. When my first one was born I managed to balance out my work and personal life as my mum was around. I was all of twenty five then with many dreams and aspirations and the will to conquer the world. Perhaps, I didn’t wish to compromise on my career just then and hence I continued. And then nearing thirty the thought of providing a sibling to my daughter dawned heavily on me. The corporate career was already sucking out my stamina. The long hours and the feeling of cutting too many corners left me feeling burned out. I dreamt of staying at home to be able to give more time to my children, maintain my home, and help keep my family life running smoothly. The idea of being a background support for my husband’s venture was also on my mind.
My decision to settle down and be a SAHM for a couple of years was a conscious choice. Well, I didn’t have much of a choice either. What can a woman do in absence of any support? Frankly, I never wanted to depend on a maid and pretty much be a hands on mom. Also, I read somewhere that most experts in early childhood development believe that there’s no substitute for the consistency and nurturing of parental care, especially if the alternative is poorly funded childcare.
Every stay at home mom, at some point of her life would have encountered this question “What do you do the whole day?” and most often this comes from a person who has been a stay at home mother all her life! A lot of times the husbands also become mean and nagging, constantly asking about the daily chores. This makes the SAHM wonder if there is anything more to her personality beyond taking care of the kids and the house-hold. I have faced instances of neighbours or for that matter even my maid pestering me as to what I do the whole day except for probably resting. Sigh!
While the rest of the world has a very vivid picture of our lives, it’s not so easy for us out there.
Myth: We do not miss out on a single milestone of our baby. We are blessed totally!
In Actual Life: While we get to witness most of the milestones. But we are also party to a lot of stuff that we do not want to experience day in and day out. Also, there are chances that we might just miss out on their first roll over or first step as we were busy in the kitchen or bathrooms with an insignificant chore. By the end of all this you would only realise that you need moments of peace and rejuvenation for your continuous tired self, to be able to pay attention to those significant moments in life.
Myth: If you have a maid and a cook, you are the QUEEEEEN!
In Actual Life: Support in the form of a maid and cook definitely saves us a couple of hours of work but aren’t we humans at the end of the day! With this tiny human, running around the house looking for adventure, I can hardly focus on anything be it TV, a good novel or some bit of gossip over the phone or social media. I have given up on all my hobbies and hardly socialise with friends.
Myth: Our morning starts lazily with a steaming cup of tea and newspaper! There’s no more a rush for anything in life.
In Actual Life: I hate the mornings usually. At times, I’m totally stressed out with various questions bothering my mind. Some of them being:
- Should I make myself a green tea or take out time for brisk walk?
- What should I make for breakfast? (Different people, different choices…. Aah!)
- Should I take the toddler for a quick bath first?
- Should I get my husband his morning tea?
- How should I manage getting the elder child ready for school?
- Should I call the maid, she isn’t this late usually!
- Can I go back to sleep again? (This one probably bothering me the most)
Myth: You are not working anymore, so much time in hand… You should be slim and svelte.
In Actual Life: With a husband staying twelve hours outside the house and traveling often for work, a SAHM has to deal with much more than there appears to be in her plate. I don’t remember getting a peaceful 15 minutes for a quick walk. There have been times when I have left everything and decided to spend a few minutes on yoga. It’s just then that the toddler wants to jump on me, or pull me outside for some random thing. And how much weight you can lose by running around with them, I wonder! With all the leftover from the kiddo’s plate filling my tummy, I see no scope for myself anytime soon.
While I have enjoyed both my rides, first time as a working mother and then the second time round as a SAHM, I wonder what the other women think of this aspect.
The essential criteria to be a good mother is to be happy first. Once you are happy and satisfied, you can make other around you happy with minimal efforts.
To me it all appears to be a dream…..a dream-world in which I can balance every aspect of my life perfectly. Desires are endless and I desire to be a perfect mother and a perfect wife who also keeps her aspirations alive and wants to start a career afresh. Being a SAHM has taught me the skills of being patient, multi-tasking and settling for the second or third best or nothing at all at times. I am sure these qualities are going to take me miles when I begin my journey as an entrepreneur a year down the line.