This is a fridge magnet I picked up a while ago. At that time, I thought it was hilarious but now it rings a little too true to be funny any more. Because if there was one word that I would use to describe my mental and physical state of being at any time or day in the last few months, it would be tired...
I am tired of being the only responsible adult in the house and being the one who has to own all the to-do lists. I essentially have two choices - either do everything myself (exhausting) or endlessly nag the husband (equally, if not more, exhausting) to do stuff. A case in point is our recent endeavour to apply for a UK visa. The travel agent gave us a list of documents that needed to be submitted with the application. I had all my personal documents ready within three days after we got the list. For the next two weeks, I had to pester him with increasing shrillness before his passport appeared (it was languishing with the travel agent for god alone know how many months) and then another week before the payslips appeared, which were wrong and then had to be redone. And even after all this, when we submitted the applications, the visa guy pointed out that the payslips read January 2007 instead of 2008!
I am tired of being the one that Ayaan clings to every single minute that I am around. When I am home, he won’t let anyone do anything for him. And most of the time, I am quite happy to oblige. But sometimes, I just want to pull my hair and scream. ‘For goodness sake, give me a break!’. Especially when he won’t even let his father do something small like putting on his shoes when we are running late for school and I have to do other critical things like get dressed myself and make sure everything is there in his school bag.
I am tired because of Ayaan’s new school schedule. His playschool used to start only at eleven, so all I had to do was hang out with him, give him his milk, make him do potty, feed him his breakfast and have my bath – all over a leisurely (relatively speaking of course, because on an absolute scale there is nothing remotely leisurely about my time with Ayaan) two and a half hours before leaving for work. Now both us have to be out of the house at 8.40 (to become 8.15 in June!), fully fed and clothed. All this made even more challenging in the face of Ayaan’s non-cooperation – he drinks his milk with the speed of a wine connoisseur sampling a rare burgundy, dawdles over his potty (explaining it away with astute remarks like ‘my bum is full’), hates the idea of having his bath so early and when he does finally agree, he wants to chill in his rediscovered baby bath tub. When I look at all this in hindsight, it seems like a perfectly reasonable way for a toddler to behave but in the moment, it’s all I can do to grit my teeth and hold my peace with the clock ticking away in the background. It is highly stressful, to say the least!
I am tired of being busy almost every single moment of the day. The morning goes in the school drama, then there is work, then home to dinner, play time and bedtime with Ayaan. On the days I get back early, I like to go with him to the park as well. So, the time between his bedtime and mine is all that I get to put my feet up and do something for me – watch some TV, read a book, blog… And weekends get eaten up by grocery shopping and other sundry errands.
I am tired of not having the time and space for some of the smallest of things, things like an uninterrupted bath in solitude (instead of bathing to the accompaniment of instructions from a three-year old activities director), like being able to have a sensible conversation from home (without being interrupted by a tantrum), like the chance to do more glance at the morning headlines...
I am tired of feeling guilty about every free moment that I don’t spend with Ayaan. I even ditched the workout class after the full-time maid quit because Jai would find it hard to manage the mornings without me and if I do get back in time for the evening class, I have to contend with the guilt monster... even my salon time on the weekends is pencilled in during his nap times.
I am tired because I don’t want to give up the few islands of non-mommy fun that exist in my life. This often means late night partying with my friends from work. Since most of them don’t have kids, they have the weekends to themselves to recuperate and recover but I am back to mommydom the next morning, with a hangover and a sleep deficit that haunts me for days.
I am tired of being dissatisfied with the way my house looks these days. The part-time cleaning maid (hired since the full-time maid went off) is lazy and slip-shod in her work and since she comes while I am away at office, there is little that I can do to supervise or correct her. I take her to task on the weekends but it seems to be having little lasting impact on her. Also, Ayaan’s stuff ends up in every nook and cranny of the house and Jai will not pick up after himself after almost seven years of nagging after him to do so, and I really don’t have any residual time or energy to pick up after them. So I am learning to live with a less than perfect house, albeit with deep discontent.
I am tired of day trips for work. Before Ayaan, I would travel out the day before the meeting. And if I had to catch the early morning flight, I would have the next day to sleep in and recover. Now, I try and squeeze all my domestic trips into a day. And the next day, I have to drag myself out of bed and get on with life, often made harder by the fact that Jai travels out on the day after I get back – we do this to avoid there being any day when neither of us is around.
I am tired of feeling like a bad mom and wife. I am an impatient person with a temper that I often find hard to control. I am also a huge control freak and want everything to be just so. And given that Ayaan is a hyperactive and desructive brat and that Jai is often laidback and forgetful, it often seems to me that I have spent a large part of my day being a shrew, a person I myself wouldn’t have liked to spent the day with... It’s not a nice thought to go to bed with every night.
And now I am tired of thinking about how tired I am. I swear, I’ve yawned atleast 15 times while writing this... sorry if I made you yawn too with my whining...