“No Baby Sitter For My Kids!” I Wish I Hadn’t Been So Rigid

‘’How do they do it?’’ wondered Charlotte York in the ‘’Movie Sex And The City-2’’ for mothers who manage their kids round the clock without help.

Well, I did it. Now whether it was my holier than thou attitude or some super-duper advice from my mom, mom in law, aunt etc I don’t know but I never got around to trusting my kids with a babysitter. I kept all the Julies and Marys at arm’s length and chose to be ‘’Mother India’’

I have a strong feeling that some of you may be saying that ‘’So what. We did it too’’ But did we all ..Er, ok most of us end up paying a higher than required price for our rigidity or suspicion? Who knows but let me share with you my personal experiences, the hazards I faced and the lessons I ultimately learned.

1. I lost my peace of mind

Obviously I would. I was with my kids all the time with hardly any breaks. I had turned into a machine that fed, cleaned potty, rocked /sang kids to sleep and then cleaned the mess in repetitive motion. I missed those movies, lunches/dinners with friends & hubby. And the frustration would come out in forms of tantrums, crankiness and not wanting to do what had to be done for my kids. How was I being a good mother god knows? Did anyone want to be around me when I was like that?

2. My kids turned super clingy

When I had to train them to be without me I chose to stick around and when they were big enough to be left with a relative, they would not leave me. Great! I had probably missed teaching my kids a very important life skill. Independence. I was cornered for a long time. My friends would meet up often and have a whale of a time but here I was missing out on all the fun and was being left out practically. After all how much can friends go out of their way for one person.

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3. I became primitive

The very smart woman that I was, I ‘sacrificed’ my social life, for my kids and went into hibernation. When finally after eternity, they were much older I stepped out in the sun and guess what I got scorched! When I caught up with my friends after a long time, I realised I was eras behind. In terms of knowledge, fashion, and lifestyle. I was that new girl from the village who was looking up to the empowered women from the city, talking about things I hadn’t even heard of before. What were breast pumps, baby carriers, bed protectors by the way I wondered when my friends said they had used them! I didn’t know there were these smart alternatives and where the world had moved eons ahead, I was lagging behind in dumb ignorance.

4. I became friendless

We tend to do this. We befriend other mothers who have kids of our age and we think we are sorted because kids is all we talk about. We need to stimulate our minds, bodies and souls, with other friends who can enrich our lives with their vast experience and attitude. It keeps us sane. But since I preferred to be with my kids all the time, I lost touch with the other group and finally I was an outsider. I think I lost my real peppy self somewhere amongst the debris of poop & food and I am still in the process of regaining it.

I know we do it for our kids and it sits right on the moral issues too. But the trade- off is we give up on a very important aspect that is called ‘our own life’. This we realise when our kids have grown up and need their space that doesn’t include us. That is the time we are lost, have nothing to satisfy our souls or keep us going. The lesson to learn here is to let go, balance and be positive.

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