Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Stay-at-home

Stay-at-home daughter: I had a few months’ break after I completed my Bachelor’s and before I started my Masters Program…
If there is one place where you can gain 30 pounds in 6 months without being pregnant, it’s Zambia!
And, that’s exactly what happened to me! When I went to India for a visit six months later, Pup (we were informally engaged by then) asked, “Who are you and why did you eat my girl”?
It took me forever to lose those pounds! But seriously, I have little regrets!
I may never eat that kind of rich food (with an inch of cream on the milk) ever again, but I will always cherish those days of a royal life as a stay-at-home girl.
Stay-at-home wife: When we moved to the US soon after we got married, I was on a dependant visa living in Louisville, KY.
Which meant, I couldn't work. It was the mid-late 90s and by then the first question employers asked was about the Work Status! The fact that I did not study in the US made it tougher. So I stayed at home.
At first, I woke up really early with Pup, got his breakfast ready, got an evening snack ready, and cooked an elborate dinner almost every night! Soon the waking up early stopped. I was getting bored and lacked schedule. My sisters kept warning me that once I get into the corporate world, this carefree life would never come back. How very true!! Then I decided to take some classes at a local community college. A year rolled by and we moved to Northern VA.
Took more classes at one of the gazillion desi training centers. I got hired by these folks as a consultant/instructor.
Stay-at-home Mom: A few years later, when T1 was about 7 months old, I decided to stay home for a "little" while to take care of her! In this context, "little" turned out to be a little over 2 years. Yup! I became a Stay-at-home-mom (SAHM).
Trust me, I now have a completely new-found respect for SAHMs. It takes a great deal of patience, discipline, support, and did I say patience?
It's no mean task! No siree!! It was emotionally, financially, and physically draining for me. And that's coming from someone who has an EXTREMELY supportive husband. Despite being a SAHM, I had to send T1 to a daycare. It was only for a few hours a week, I did it nonetheless when she was barely a year and a half old! I dunno, May be it's just me! I worried about everything! I over-worked myself if T1 did not eat at least 3/4 of her meal, and before I struggled through the end of one meal, it was almost time for the next! How the heck are you supposed to feed them the stipulated 2-3 cups of milk, 3-4 servings of veggies/fruits, plus cereal + finger foods!!!??
When she was about 6-7 months old, I worked really hard to get her into a proper sleep/food routine. When she was close to a year, I had to train her to break routine (if we travelled or went out). When she was seven months old, we found out with 26 pricks on her tiny back (Gosh, it still hurts!) that she's allergic to a whole bunch of food! And I was paranoid about how she may react to the allergens, so kept a close watch!
Despite staying home, she ended up getting back-to-back-to-back-to-back (ok you get the point) ear-infections. It was so difficult to see her suffer and we had to go back a few weeks in time with her schedule/food-habits after each infection!
Between all these struggles, comments from people about how light she is despite staying home, really worked me up! Tells you how naturally these comments come to people, and how clueless they really are! T1 has always been awesome in her height/weight charts! Not that it matters! Cos T2 is way below average on weight, yet she is just the same to us!
Anyways, It's sad that I've said so much about the -ves of staying home, but it does feel good to get it out!
I'll end it with some of the pleasures -
Being around for the first milestones is incomparable.
Giggling silly and talking gibberish ALL THE TIME - (sigh) how divine!
There is no other way I could have handled sleepless nights for a year (and after that, we had little choice but to Ferberize her).
I found the biggest, or shd I say only, fan of my voice. God knows I've sang to her off-pitch, off-octave, and off-everything; but who cares? That was all that she needed to hear (over and over again). She even used to make... (tears rolling down my cheeks now) ...special requests!
I guess some SAHMs choose to ignore the -ves and dwell on these precious moments and go all YAY for it!
I suppose It's all relative!

3 comments:

DotMom said...

hahahha. nice intro :)
it took a while to get this in my reader..i just got it today.. i think its hard being a mom. SAHM or WOTH... they both have their pros and cons.. Although I would liked to stay home a lil longer after Chip, I have to admit I like being the WOTH now!

DotMom said...

tagged

Girl Next Door (gnd) said...

dotmom: Absolutely! Nothing is right or wrong really...Each family makes decisions - some stupid, mostly brilliant (let's give ourselves some credit), but eventually figure out a way to work them all out.

Now, please gimme a 101 on Tagging...thanks!