The OA’s big plan

… is up in the air right now. He wants to set up something of his own but he has no idea what that might be. Now that will take a lot of time and effort and money. And to do that he needs me bringing home the steady bread and butter. I’d really like to, you know. But (A) he doesn’t know what it is that he wants to do and (B) I am terrified of leaving the kids at home while a busy father starts a new business and mother works long hours to bring in the bread and butter.

Reading stuff like this doesn’t make it easier. And this isn’t something new. A couple of years ago the same thing happened in Bombay, with the maid renting the baby out to beggars while the parents were at work. The kind of stories that you imagine are urban legends just until the next case is reported. Shiver.

So for now we’re sticking with an officially flexitime mom and an unofficially flexible dad for when mom is out on late night shoots and stories.


19 thoughts on “The OA’s big plan

  1. Just hang in there. May be you guys can relook this idea in about 5 more years, when Brat and Bean and old enough. That should give OA the time to completely decide on what exactly he wants to set up and how its gonna be done.

  2. Can so empathise with you. Even without kids, I feel only one person can *experiment* at a time (in our case, that lucky person is me :)) and yeah, with kids, it becomes even more difficult.

  3. Yes, I saw this news and yes, it scares the hell out of me too. Just re-affirms my views that nanny is an option only if I am working from home, or there is some other member of the family overseeing the nanny.
    We have 2 small kids and I have decided to take it slow until both kids are older start going to school full-day.. maybe the OA can hold off for a few years and also decide what he wants to do in the meanwhile?

  4. Got shivers when I read that MM.

    And what about the million things that are not so extreme and so are off the radar?

    — a paranoid parent

  5. It’s the same thing with S. He would like to do something of his own – a range of things on different days.

    I think the flexi-mom decision was the right one 🙂

  6. Knowing you, I can say it with absolute certainty that you’re not gonna surrender the kids to nanny/ayah and go off for work. You’d either be calling home every 10 mins to check or having a heart attack at office. So it’s not your cuppa MM. Bring over the Gpa nani pair for sometime when the OA actually ‘takes a decision’ to set up something new and you then ‘have’ to work full time. There HAS to be someone with the kids. 🙂

    Me: well its unlikely to be either of my parents. they’re too young and busy. so i guess the OA can chew off his own arm and wait 😦

  7. Maybe it is all the side effects of the recession..we all want less work but interesting work (unlike no work), not routine but at the same time predictable work (?), regular fat pay packets(or is it obese bonuses). Our disturbed mind articulates this as wanting to start off on our own for grass is always greener there..

    Me: good point…

  8. MM,

    Been there done that! It’s a NIGHTMARE.

    Unless you have a solid business plan – documented with all i’s crossed and all t’s dotted and have organized the funds for the business (no dipping into your savings or household income) and kept aside funds for emergencies – do NOT venture.

    Me: *shakes head miserably* oh i know 😦

  9. as someone who is running her own business with hubby – my two bit advice – it takes much longer to take off and costs much more to take off than you ever think it will.

    i am grateful we could launch before the kid came along. don’t do it while a kid’s under 5 would be my advice.

    Me: oh i know – exactly why we dont do anything. my parents both set up businesses and I know what life at home was like!

  10. All the best Mad momma and OA. I have always been interested in returning home and starting off something on my own…so IF i do start something and I have questions i know whom to approach now…:P

  11. My husband calls me suddenly and says he is quitting. But I know he knows what he wants to do. With a second one due in March, I have been pleading him to wait at least till after I am back to work. These days sleepless nights are not just due to the baby kicking in my tummy 😦

    Me: Oh gosh – all the best to you two. I know its hard but my prayers and best wishes are with you

  12. Siding on the side of OA coz I share his thoughts. The older he gets, the difficult it becomes. Enthu, long hours are possible now, five years from now, forget it.

    So, let his thoughts run wild and give it a shot, you never know, you could retire from the gazillions he ends up making.

    I will be in Delhi to pursue mine in a month, so I need y’all’s wishes 🙂

    Me: 🙂 Its a dilemma for sure. But then theres also the small matter of not compromising on childcare. We might retire with gazillions and later learn that our kids were abused in daycare or rented out by the maids to beggars! I’m not sure we’d be able to buy back our conscience.

  13. My wife and I have a 15 month old and to my solace, she runs a day care in Hyderabad.

    I did read the article that you had posted a few days back and it did send a chill down the spine. You ought to be careful but cannot assume the worst and give into its fears.

    I am sure both you and OA will do well with the kids. ATB.

  14. I don’t think he’ll lack enthu five years later or be too old. He’s not even going to be 40 then, no? If you are young parents, you may as well take advantage of the fact that your kids will be semi-grown in around 5-8 years and you can do what you want with your life without worrying so much about them. In the meantime, if I were him and really really wanted to do something, I would (a) shift to a less stressful job and (b) moonlight for a bit/weekday evenings/weekends etc to set up things (c) consider taking a sabbatical, but not sure if its all that common yet in India.

    I think the maid thing is overblown. Vividness (availability) heuristic trumping the stats. Statistically, there’s no zero probability for any life-event. But you can figure out roughly what the odds are of this happening (or something similar) by asking a random group of people about their nannies. I would bet you will find that the event is much rarer than you think (that said, the outcome is so horrendous if it does happen that obviously even if there’s a 1% chance of it happening, might be too much to swallow).


    Me: the first bit is so you, n! And a sabbatical is tough because we dont have the savings to do that yet. I mean our savings arent enough to take a sabbatical on and still have an emergency fund.
    part 2 – well I’ve had maids who burnt the brat, one who would terrify him about pigeons (I kid you not!) so that he didnt go out on the balcony and make her run behind him and so on and so forth. fortunately i was at home and caught them each time and sacked them. i closely observe my current maids but the only thing that gives me some level of comfort is the fact that they go to school while i am work and i’m home with them. the current one has a habit of telling them “do XYZ or mummy will beat you very badly…” err…. !!! i know its not a huge thing, and i know their sensibilities are different – and its not always as drastic as renting out to beggars – but inspite of having maids, the whole childcare system here stinks 😦

  15. Renting kids… scary! I thought that nannies through these trusted ( so called) agencies are more safe…maybe its really better to get someone you know for real long!

  16. If the OA’s dream is to set up something of his own, let him get his business plan in order first. I wish we lived in the same city because he and the MIM could’ve met and talked plans over beer or something…

    I remember telling you in response to one of your earlier posts, that when the MIM chucked it all and decided to come back to Cal and start off something on his own, we didn’t have kids. And then I got pregnant…those were scary times. The MIM is seriously thinking of another venture, but he’s not pulling the plug on the current one. He’s just busy planning all the time.

    You keep at the flexi-job and let OA be un-flexi for now. And when he’s at home, get him to sit at his drawing-board.

  17. Ok, so on point 2, my bad. Obviously things are worse than they seem – and no, you don’t need to be renting out children for someone to consider childcare bad. Something I, with my lovely nanny who looks after my child like her own (pls insert kala tikka here – my nanny buys my daughter clothes, toys, calls up on weekends to find out about her etc etc), have obviously no perspective on. So I’ll just keep quiet on this.

    Though if you are looking for good childcare, mail me. I have some contacts in India. I think you’d be the sort of employer that they would like (and that’s not what I can say of many people, including some of my friends. btw, that’s a good topic for your blog. What if you and your friends have differing views on domestic help? Does it say something about them? About you? etc etc). And while on the topic, did you say your maids are in school while you are at work? I shouldn’t be saying ‘that’s great’ because it should be normal but it isn’t. And hats off to you for insisting on that.

    I could see how a sabbatical could cramp your style. Career option for your spouse – b-school professor. Great flexibility, good pay (quite stunning actually, considering), tenure, intellectual freedom, etc etc .Again, mail me for more details if interested.


    Me: 🙂 my maids are not in school while I am at work. they’re adult women – educated. the latest both come with cell phones, can read and write english in bits and pieces and speak to the kids in broken english even though i insist on them teaching them bong!

    I like your topic idea – I SHOULD blog about it but I wonder how many friends I’ll lose while at it 😉 And yes, the OA *does* want to teach at some point but I dont know how or when. The thing is, he’s a ditsy Gemini while I am a very determined Libran. If I want something badly I find a way to do it. He drifts along till it becomes easier…

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