… is something I’ve successfully side-stepped since October. Which isn’t too bad in my humble opinion. I’m home by the time the kids really surface ( 2 pm) and hit the day and my company is rather flexible so on days that I need to attend school events I go in later and work later.
We were coasting along fine. And then a week ago the OA was travelling the entire week and the Brat and I were down with the flu, I had houseguests and I had office to attend too – my hands were full. And one of those days, burning with fever and nose running, I came home to find out that the Brat’s nails needed to be cut!!!!!!!!
Yes – his nails were ohmigod – in need of cutting. *Gasp of horror – I know!*
I cut them and then sobbed for an hour until the OA gave up all pretence of working and took pity on me.
OA: Whats wrong?
MM: *blubber something unintelligible*
OA: Right – his nails need to be cut. Anything else wrong? Is he hungry? Sick? Deprived? Unhappy? Missing out on any time with you other than the one hour after he gets back from school? Have you missed anything important in terms of milestones or school events ? Is he clingy? Insecure? Craving attention? No….
MM: *blubber, blubber, blubber*
OA: So he isn’t. Then what is the problem?! Are his nails dangerously long? Has this happened before? Yesterday was Sunday which is when you cut their nails – so you’re only off by a day? For the first time in six months you’re late on something?
MM: *blubber, blubber, sniffle*
The OA gave up at around this time and decided that the solution to the problem was to hug me, not try to make sense of it and allow me to revel in the guilt if that is what made me happy.
And I guess that was it. Thats all there was to it. Ever since I’ve gone back to work I’ve been on the edge of my seat. I don’t want the kids to suffer in the least bit and I work extra hard to ensure that they aren’t neglected in the least.
Meal plans are made, medicines are stocked up as though we’re going to war, the house is baby proof against anything serious, I stay up late nights working so that I can spend the daytime hours with them…
But I guess at times I am my own worst enemy. No matter how much I read to them and play to them, I am always on the lookout, waiting for myself to slip up. And so after almost six months I got my chance. It played on my mind for ages. And the truth is that it’s no biggie. It’s not that I don’t see it. I am well aware of the fact that there were plenty of days when I was still home that the kids nails needed cutting or that their little hands could do with a scrubbing. But somehow it didn’t seem to reflect on me too badly. I was home, I was around, doing a 100 things around the house and slipping up on one, or being slow to react to something wasn’t too bad. Because so what if their nails were long? Unke paas maa hai!!!!!
Sorry – bad joke though that is, that is what my thinking boiled down to.
I met a lady today, who I am related to, by marriage. A single mother whose daughters are my age, she’s done a great job with them and I admire her for the way she conducts her life. ‘The hardest thing, she said, is just the going back to work. Once you make that decision and re-join the work force, everything else falls into place. She is right. The hardest part was saying yes to the boss lady and going back to work.
But it seems that everyday is just an effort, swimming against the tide just to stay in one place. And today it struck me – the hardest thing is not going back to work…. the hardest thing is staying there. And most days I am looking for any excuse to throw it all up and stay back with my babies.