I am a ‘go-get-it-done’ Mom. What that translates into, is that I don’t think twice before combining my social activities and errands with the children’s outings. Thus, almost every weekend has already been planned out, with a ‘To–do’ list that runs a mile long.
What this also means is, that I have had disastrous weekends where we are all fighting with each other by the end of the day. But after each such disaster, I have learnt something. Here, I have tried to list out my learning, on how to manage the weekend madness for parents who, like me, need to get a million things done.
- Rule 1: Never assume children have fixed ambitions. They are driven by determined little brains that leave no stone unturned to get what they have decided to achieve – till they notice that the other kid down the road has something better worth achieving. Case in point – a shiny new helium balloon (bought after much whining) was thrown aside carelessly, when skates were discovered!
- Rule 2: If you thought a good workday ending in 8 hours, please note: NOT TRUE with toddlers. After about four hours, they start mutating into those terrible monsters who will do the exact opposite of what you tell them to! So the remainder of your day is spent either yelling or running after them (both of which, I discovered, can cause splitting headaches!).
- Rule 3: Do not expect sympathies from people – even if they are scrambling mothers themselves. In other words – Your kids, YOUR problem! If your kids scream, you get dirty looks. No amount of sheepish grinning or hassled-looking apologies will clear the air.
- Rule 4: Do not, I repeat, DO NOT use random puppies as a temporary means to pacify sulky toddlers. Sigh!! A petting corner, some ADORABLE puppies with satin ribbons and a tired toddler with a love for canines is NOT a good combination. Of course, he jumped in glee when he was handed a pup with a purple ribbon. But his translation of that act was, “Ok… now let’s go home… WITH the puppy!” Result? An absolutely berserk parent trying to pry the pup out of little hands, with uncontrollable tears from the said toddler…. Sheer heartbreak! (While kiddo tries to enact Romeo’s death scene here…).
- Rule 5: Sometimes, well-meaning middle-aged lady security guards (we encountered ours in the elevator) will tell you sensible stuff. “Maydam…. baba thak gaya hai… godi utha lo.” (Madam, the kid is tired, pick him up…). After mentally kicking myself for not thinking of something so basic, I pick up the bawling one. And like magic, the sobbing stops, he puts his head on my neck and goes off to sleep….. Sheer mommy magic!
- Rule 6: Never, NEVER ignore the older child….. Oh yes! Same story – elder one gets pushed around, because the younger one is driving everyone NUTS. It is much more difficult to un-sulk an eight year old, as compared to a puppy-crazed toddler. But a special woman-to-woman talk and a Barbie hair accessory does the trick!
- Rule 7: Never end a tiring day with dinner at an atrociously overpriced restaurant. The kids are ready to crash, husband is not too sure his credit card will hold out any longer, and you are all but ready to throw those darned footwear out of your life forever! A snooty restaurant is NOT the place you want to unwind in. This time, we were clever… We headed home, one kiddo started snoring in the car, and the other one barely made it into her night-clothes. We ordered momos from the local “Chinees Noodal and Snakes” fellow, snuggled into the blanket, and watched old Hindi songs…. Bliss! I Love my family!
Meena Bhatnagar is a mother of two, with a passion for the written word. She dabbles with fiction, a couple of them finding their way into published work, is an avid blogger, and works as a corporate trainer to pay for all the damages. She blogs on parenting, social issues and humorous incidents of her life and on hotel & restaurant reviews and corporate training.