“I want to build a camera”, Medha kept pestering me, as I sat, too tired to move an inch.
“Go ask papa to make one for you”, I said.
“Papa? He doesn’t know how to make one!”
“Sure he does! He’s an Engineer you see and Engineers Build.”
Listening to our conversation on Skype, my mom asked Medha, “Medha, what’s your dad?”
“An Engineer! And he builds stuff!”. She looked proud.
“And your mom?”
Without missing a beat, she replied, “A Cook.”
Mom fainted! “Your mom’s an Engineer too you know”, she tried to enlighten her, but Medha wasn’t convinced. I was stunned! I’d never heard that one being said of my “profession”! But somehow it didn’t hurt me as much as it would’ve if she had something like this a couple of years ago. When I probed myself further for the reason why, I realized something- at this stage in life, I’m truly enjoying this Mothering gig. Yup! That’s it!
I’m a cook, for sure. But I’m much more than that…
I enjoy the early mornings when the kids haven’t woken up yet and I’ve no nagging tasks to pull me away from my books. I sit with a cup of ginger tea and relish every spicy sip as I plough deep into my current read. And the music playing in the nearby temple, the maid sweeping our front yard with the swishing sound of the broom and the birds chirruping away, all lend a soothing background score to my delightful pursuit.
I enjoy the freedom that comes with not having to work according to someone else’s tunes. Who am I kidding! Sometimes, I do dance to my kids’ tunes (I have no choice, do I?!), but you get it, right?!?! I set my own rules, schedule, goals and work away. And not only do I set mine, but I also draw a list of things to do for my kids- like the project that needs to get done, the homework that needs to be finished and the lessons that have to be learnt.”So jobless!” or “That’s psychotic!” you may wonder, but I know I’m just a piece of rag if I’m not disciplined. And I wish to inculcate this habit early in my children. Whoever says “discipline” is equivalent to “punishment” needs to have a nice long chat with me. It isn’t!
I love that I can read to Medha whenever she feels the urge to be read. And I’m over the moon that we’re finally over the board and picture books (not completely, since Madhav is still around there) phase and have taken to reading the “Thea Stilton” series, books that are geared for 7 to 10 year olds! It’s about all the adventures a bunch of mouselets have. Medha loves them and so do I!
I love being able to shop for fresh vegetables at local markets; browse my favorite cooking websites for new, healthy and exotic recipes and cook for my family. At times it does feel like drudgery but almost always I end up feeling happy and proud, especially when everyone asks for seconds!
I LOVE going in-depth into the concepts the kids and I learn by experimenting, like the other day, before Medha’s story-telling at school, where she had to memorize the lines of the story “The Donkey and the load of salt”, I decided to teach her the concept of dissolution of salt and absorption by cotton in water through an experiment to help her understand the story better. Even Madhav had fun dipping packs of salt and cotton into a bowl of water to check which one lost or gained weight.
I may decide to work (outside) later, who knows, but right now I’m enjoying this. And I wouldn’t want to miss a thing, hmmm, sleepless nights, cleaning poop or puke, and sickness, maybe, but nothing else. This package is just too good! Of course there are and will be days when I just don’t feel like getting up, when nothing feels right, when I ask myself the dreaded question “Oh what’s the point?”; Who doesn’t have them! But there’s nothing that cannot be cured by being outdoors or sharing with loved ones.
In my opinion, it isn’t good or bad to be a stay-at-home or a career mom. To each her own. I’m always curious to know how the other moms manage their homes, kids and often, jobs too. And they are happy to find a good listener in me. In all my listening (and reading and watching and learning), this is what I’ve understood- Pay attention to what your heart and mind truly want. And then decide what’s best for you and your family.
Ultimately, You should not regret the choices you make.
I’d regret not having spent enough time with the kids.
I’d regret not having taught them their school stuff and life stuff.
I’m happy (mostly) with my choice.
I may not have much but I have ENOUGH.