|6:00-6.30||Get rudely awakened by Ayaan’s morning greeting on the baby monitor. Listen to him entertain himself for a while before convincing myself to get up and go get him.|
|6:30-7:00||Pick up Ayaan, give him his cornflakes and follow him around to ensure that he doesn’t drop any and eat it off the floor.|
|7:00-7:15||Change Ayaan out of his diaper and nightclothes, attempt to look reasonably presentable, put on shoes for Ayaan and myself, strap Ayaan into his stroller and head off for the morning walk.|
|7.30-8.00||Walk to the park, play with Ayaan in the park and then walk back.|
|8:00-8.15||Feed Ayaan his breakfast.|
|8:15-8:30||Eat breakfast with Ayaan hovering around and expecting every alternate bite to go into his mouth.|
|8:30-8.45||Transfer clothes from the washing machine to the dryer. Put away the clothes back from the dhobi. Take a 5 minute break away from it all.|
|8:45-9:00||Look at the clock with shock – where did all that time go? Have a rushed bath and get ready for work.|
|9:00-9:30||Drive to work.|
|9:30-5:30||Work, work, work.|
|6:00-7:30||Take Ayaan to the park.|
|7:30-8:00||Sort laundry out to put into the machine. Leave Ayaan with Jai to take another 5-minute break. Put finishing touches to Ayaan’s dinner.|
|8:00-8:15||Give Ayaan his dinner.|
|8:15-8:30||Play with Ayaan and attempt to get him to sit on his potty.|
|8:30-9:00||Wash and change Ayaan, play and read to him and put him to bed. Phew!|
|9:00-10:30||Eat dinner, watch TV.|
To add to this, there are days when I have to work late or travel. And weekends are not time for rest either since I try to use them to make up for the time I have missed with Ayaan.
This kind of a hectic schedule arises from the fact I am much more hands-on than most other moms (both of the stay at home and the working varieties) I know. I think it arises out of my being a minor control freak and makes me hesitant to delegate Ayaan’s care to anyone since I feel they couldn’t do it better. When Ayaan was a baby, my mom was the only other person allowed to change his nappies (I couldn’t say anything to her since she was the one who taught me how to tie the nappy in the first place!). I had to relinquish some of this control when I went back to work but I still want to change his diapers, feed him his meals and bathe him whenever I am at home.
As a result, I am always, always exhausted these days. I can’t think of too many days when I feel rested – I think I might have forgotten what that feels like!
What irks me most though is that at the end of the day, I am still left with a feeling of discontent. I feel like I am not doing my 100% best at either of my jobs (mother and professional). I operate at lower levels of efficiency and effectiveness at both than I would like. I often envy stay-at-home moms for their ability to give that 100% to their jobs as mothers. I don’t however envy women without kids though – I’d rather be an 80% perfect mom to Ayaan than not have him in my life at all.
That being said, I have two disclaimers that must be put up:
- Though it may sometimes seems like it (because I don’t mention it often enough), it’s not like Jai has nothing to do with any of this. Often, when I have had a really late night or I am not well, he will pick up Ayaan when he wakes in the morning and tend to him till the maid comes. On the evening park activity, our aim is that atleast one of us should be back in time to take him to the park atleast 4 times in a week and so far we have managed to split it pretty evenly. And of course, he takes over the reins from me when I have to travel for work.
- I know there are many moms out there who will see this and say “Huh! You call that tough?!” I especially have a healthy respect for moms who don’t have the benefit of household help and have to do all this and also worry about the cleaning, laundering and cooking. Seriously, I don’t know how you do it!