Nothing in the world can prepare you for this! One day, you are this busy working woman who cribs about no time and suddenly you have all the time in the world, which just wouldn’t pass.
I quit my job to take care of my little girl as I got all emotional as a mother and felt she needed me more. My company wouldn’t shut down if I resigned. True, I gave it long hours, priority over my personal life but still that was a harsh reality I knew.
Already, the male counterparts were looking at my position like vultures and the dirty office politics was seeming too childish and way below my priorities. Who wants to leave a baby at home and deal with overgrown male baby egos at office? ( Between, this is not true of all office environments. It was just the way mine was.)
And here was tiny little wailing bundle who knew nothing about any such harsh realities! So I decided to cocoon her as long as possible. The only other option I had was daycare. I felt like a criminal to think about it also. ( personal opinion!)
The day when my baby was born, a very old nurse who happened to be a Britisher told me something I thought was weird at that moment. She said, ‘ You are working you say. So the baby will be looked after by others. Dont impose your parenting style and aspirations on them. It wont work that way!’ I was petrified by that.
So I jumped in as a SAHM. Initially for 6 months I had my Mom’s support. So that time went really smooth. Then my mom left for US. That is when I actually started my life as a real SAHM.
I knew from day 1, it was going to be difficult. I have never stayed alone even for a second ever. Discount the night times, holidays and weekends when the spouse would be there, I was on my own. Yes! The baby is there with me. Constantly. To have someone so dependent on you 24/7 is an experience. I don’t have maids to take care of her. I don’t have a cook. Totally my call. I always want to do thing in my way. I knew no one else can really do as I want my child’s raising to be! Especially maids.
So this adventure with me an my baby began. There would be days I’ll be so close to go insane, days when I’d cry non stop when the baby is sleeping and such! There would be days when the baby is cranky and unco-operative and I would just sit by the wailing baby bewildered as what should be done! But overall, I didn’t go insane, I was happy with my decisions and the baby was growing to be the happy child I always wanted.
Here is what I think helps to stay sane:
1) Schedule: I have turned my baby into a clock and I am proud of it! She mostly does everything by the clock. I believe babies thrive on routine. So thats what I gave her. Everything from food to sleep to playtime to reading to storytime to parktime are timed. And she absolutely loves anticipating and knowing what is coming next.
Me, on the other hand , also get the really essential ‘Me’ time which I can think about myself. Totally selfish but totally required. I don’t do any housework during this Me time. Housework is not Me!
2) Take a bath and get dressed: Yes! Sitting in pyjamas all day and watching TV is what comes to mind when we think about a SAHM. Yes, we can do that sometimes I guess. But those simple pajamas can be a straight road to loneliness! Being clean and fresh and in new dressy clothes sort of gives me the energy to face the whole day!
3) Focus other than the baby: Yes the baby is my whole world! But constantly fussing over her and breathing down her neck on every move she makes is not going to do her and me any good. She needs to learn to be independent. So she gets her supervised alone time with toys and stuff and music. This is the time when I do the housework or study or write!
4) Go out!: Very difficult with a baby. There is so much logistics involved. Its always easier to stay home. But then again no contact with the outside world is insanity! We need grownup interaction. Be it in any form, the veggies monger or a mom in the park or the cashier a a departmental store. So much of a difference it makes! I took social interaction for granted while working. Then I would love to be left alone for 5 minutes. Irony now I am talking about how to get the 5 minutes of interaction! I don’t count phone conversations and social networking as interaction here.
It is a thankless, payless job! But then I look at this little toddler now who is confident and independent and carefree. I know I don’t want a thank you or a pay for this. I am going to give the world, a beautiful human being. That in itself is the biggest achievement possibly of my life that no career can give me. But also the career will be taken up again and new goals set but that would be once this little girl can take the world on her own stride.
P.S I’ve had lot of tips from fellow bloggers when I started out. The above points came in and were implemented after reading so many mumma blogs. They are sweethearts all of them.
An erstwhile Quality Analyst, Sirisha Achanta, is now a full-time mommy to an adorable 2-year-old girl and a part-time writer. 🙂 She loves to dance, dream and read a lot!