Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A testing Summer


My in-law's left last night to visit my sister-in-law in Australia for 3 whole months, and to help her with my nieces. This will be the first time that I will have been alone in over a year, and the first time that I will be handling both the children by myself. To say I'm scared shitless is an understatement.

Living in a joint family for the past year has provided so many comforts - there's always help with the kids, help with all the household chores, you never get lonely as you always have company, and my postpartum transition was much easier and joyful than last time. But now, I am fully on my own for the majority of the day, while husband-ji is at work.

The timing is pretty crappy, indeed. Maya is almost done school and then she will be off for the entire Summer. The babysitter that we use from time to time is fully booked by another family for the whole Summer and cannot come at all. That means I'll have both the kids to myself for the next 3 months, and until Maya starts Kindergarten at the beginning of September.

Part of me wants to find out if I can actually handle it. I mean, I can't be so reliant on other people. I should know how to do things myself. I should take full responsibility. However, deep down, I really do feel that you're not supposed to spend so many hours per day parenting alone. If my first child taught me anything, it's that you need that village. That literally, your sanity depends on it. And when you have that support, you can parent better - and your kids benefit greatly from mommy's sanity. Having a village is not a perk, it's a necessity. Looking back, I really don't know how I did it with Maya. I remember being so exhausted, starving, lonely, and generally pretty delirious. For like 2 and a half years. My in-law's will keep traveling back and forth between here, Australia, and India, so I have to learn eventually. Plus, there are lots of moms out there who have no help, and many with more than 2 children. Some even have 3 or 4 kids! I'm not sure how they do it all. I'm stumped.

I have no idea how I'll manage to cook, do any basic household tasks, have any time for myself, and what about my blog? Looks like I'll be having a few late nights. It's going to be all about survival day-to-day. I'm not sure how I'm going to get the baby to take her naps while entertaining Maya, especially since we are doing no screen-time. Veda is not exactly the flexible kind. She currently hates the car, hates the baby carrier, and only wants mom's boobs. Hopefully she won't give me too much of a hard time this Summer.

Of course, I had to give husband-ji a few ultimatums heads-up. I told him that his expectations for me - whatever they may be - need to be extremely low. Like zero. I will not be doing any cooking, and I will wash the dishes and do the laundry when I have the time - which is basically never!!! I cannot throw the trash in the alley. And that he'd better cook Maya all of her meals (since she only eats Indian food lately). The only thing I am willing to do is take care of the children, feed them, and walk to the grocery store with Veda in the stroller and do some light grocery shopping. Anything else is not a priority to me. I'm glad I told him this in advance, even though it makes me sound like an absolute diva! I am so busy with the children that it is hard for me to even eat my lunch. As soon as I get done feeding Maya...Veda wants to be fed...and then Maya needs something...and then Veda wants to sleep...and as soon as I get a chance to sit down and eat...the baby will wake up! Today I picked up my lunch at 12:30pm and it sat cold on the dining table until 2:15pm. I was finally only able to eat it peacefully because husband-ji came home and looked after the baby. So, needless to say, he's going to have to take over most of the chores because I'm in survival mode: take care of the children / eat / sleep. That's it. Everything else is secondary. My expectations are also low for myself.

This Summer will probably be filled with lots of ups and downs for me. I hope I won't get too lonely during the day. It's been hard to get out since Veda hates the car. I'm going to try to keep it simple and just go to places that are walking distance from our place - small little outings so I don't get too overwhelmed. I hope I'm able to get a hang of it, and to come out of it as a more confident mother of two, able to take on anything and everything, like all the other super-moms out there. I hope husband-ji and I are able to work efficiently as a team. But mostly, I hope he feeds me! Ha ha!

One thing's for sure: I certainly do miss my in-law's! Even though it's only been a day...

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3 comments

  1. You have pointed out so many expectations right - yes it will be survival mode. but all will get used to it in a week or so. i even found it comforting; as in no outside world pressures.

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  2. You nailed it- the expectations from a mum who 'stays at home','has just given birth' or whatever else. Don't even think of cooking more often than once a week or cleaning more often than once in 3 weeks. That's enough ;) Well.. even less than that is fine :P My Indian husband had too much luxury after our first child. Mostly because my son was eating and eating and eating (sometimes breastfeeding 20 hours out of 24!). I laugh that next child will be forced to bottle or I will go mad :P

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  3. Don't worry, it will be fine. However you may need to lower your expectations about yourself.

    You could invite Maya's best friend once in a while, so they will play together without needing you, and Maya may be invited to her friend's house too. Go on walks in a park or in nature with both kids, the baby can enjoy the fresh air while Maya plays and runs, and everybody will sleep well at night. You could visit museums, zoos, aquariums etc. Since you banned screens, you could buy some audiobooks. Fill your freezer with frozen vegetables and ice creams (and posh meals for one for yourself). And of course insist on a "quiet time" in the afternoon : they do this in schools over here (until 6 yo), the kids have to take a nap or play calmly alone for around an hour.

    Take care. -Pad.

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