Happy happy day to you

Yet another forward, this time via my kids’  Doosi Nani. Seemed like a good idea to post this on the day of love.

I think its a response to all those who debate the whole parenting business, the amount of time and effort it takes and what the results are. Those who say – What about me time? Those who say, this is too hard. Those who think wiping one little nose is not a big issue. Those who feel the time spent on rocking a colicky baby is a waste. Those who don’t say, and only wonder. This one’s for all of us.

This is one of the nicest stories I’ve taken the time to read.
Invisible Mother…..

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I’m on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I’m thinking, ‘Can’t you see I’m on the phone?’

Obviously not; no one can see if I’m on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I’m invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more! Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this??

Some days I’m not a pair of hands; I’m not even a human being. I’m a clock to ask, ‘What time is it?’ I’m a satellite guide to answer, ‘What number is the Disney Channel?’ I’m a car to order, ‘Right around 5:30, please.’

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude -but now, they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She’s going, she’s going, she’s gone!?

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from  England . Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, ‘I brought you this.’ It was a book on the great cathedrals of  Europe . I wasn’t exactly sure why she’d given it to me until I read her inscription: ‘To  Charlotte , with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.’

In the days ahead I would read – no, devour – the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals – we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, ‘Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof, No one will ever see it. And the workman replied, ‘Because God sees.’
I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, ‘I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does.
No act of kindness you’ve done, no sequin you’ve sewn on, no cupcake you’ve baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can’t see right now what it will become.  At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.
I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.
When I really think about it, I don’t want my son to tell the friend he’s bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, ‘My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for 3 hours and presses all the linens for the table.’ That would mean I’d built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, ‘You’re going to love it there.’
As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we’re doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.
Great Job, MOM!
Share this with all the Invisible Moms you know… I just did.  The Will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.  This is beautiful and makes a ton of sense. To all the wonderful mothers out there.
I am in much debt to my invisible Mother.

And oh – in case the old man thinks I forgot him – This song is dedicated to him.


88 thoughts on “Happy happy day to you

  1. Such a lovely story MM. Thank you for sharing. I was myself in one of those – can’t you see I’m on the phone- phases. Sometimes you need to be told. We tend to forget how awesome we are. Instead we end up feeling sorry for ourselves. Muchas Gracias for this :). And happy ‘love’ day 😀

  2. I just turned on the waterworks, reading this post :). Beautifully written and while I am not a mom yet, I am a daughter and I am so glad that I can say this of my parents – that they were brilliant-ly invisible. And because no matter what, ‘I love it there’.

  3. hey MM. had to stop by after reading this. i was one of those women pretty ambivalent about parenthood. your blog really opened my eyes to this whole aspect of life. thanks for allowing me to live vicariously. thanks for building the cathedrals.

  4. Loved these lines, MM:’The Will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.’

    PS: I can see this post also sounds familiar to those many childless mothers as well-whose every little effort goes unnoticed…..Thanks for sharing!!

      • In real life that happens to people who are fortunate.. more often than not (atleast in my case) it is “The Will of Satan will always take you where he can hurt you most”.

  5. Nice! But I can’t do the silent thing 😦 I want my kids to say my Mom wakes up at four and does so and so 😦

    Happy Valentines day! It’s my 11 year wedding anniversary today 🙂

  6. Loved this. But I have one thing to ask, maybe one day I’ll find the answer that makes me happy. Is it wrong to ask for me-time in motherhood, if there’s nothing wrong about having it in a marriage or work or friendship? I think people with some me-time are happier parents.

    • i dont think there is anything wrong with it – me time is very important. i just think it shouldn’t come at the cost of something that is important for the kids. i know this woman who would come home and hide away and sleep after a day of work and only come out to meet her kid after one hour. i had blogged about it and a lot of people thought it was fine. me, i figure if you come home and would rather sleep than see a child who has waited all day to see you, maybe you were better off not having kids.

      i dont believe the generalisation that people with me time are happier people. i think there are some people who just need it. i also think if they need loads of it, they should stay out of the baby business altogether because parenting doesn’t always give you ‘me-time’. you never know what cards life will deal you and what your child’s needs will be. and i dont think the comparison with work or friendship works because this is a child. not an equal. nor a business relationship. we’re taking responsibility for a helpless life and if putting me time aside is the need of the hour, i dont think its a sacrifice, i think its just part of the job description.

      i know lots of mothers will disagree with me on this but i would like to in advance, politely agree to disagree.

      • Hmmm but sometimes when i come from work I find that I need 15 mins to make and have some time. Then I can be a much better mother. But I have never enforced it because the lil one is obviously not leaving one he sees me and it breaks my hert. But I every so often wish i could sneak in to steal some time for chai. Sometimes i actually get up ealry on a weekend to get my much needed alone time with chai and thoughts!

        • i’m sure everyone needs it. but its easily bought. i often walk in from work and throw myself on the floor and lie there and the kids crawl all over me like worms for five minutes and then settle down quietly. we just lie silently for five minutes and my back gets a break and my head clears. other times when they are driving me nuts i take out a puzzle or a colouring book and sit them down while i sit on my balcony and have chai.

          that said, everyone is different. but anyone who finds that the me time is a huge issue, should avoid having kids, because honestly, you cant even take a shit in peace without a kid banging on the door and calling out – where is my yellow sock?

          • I get what you’re saying. But it’s a little harsh to say that if one wants to do more than one thing, they should avoid having kids. I think other than the reason that you absolutely hate kids, none other should qualify for that.

            I said that people with some me time are happier, because I refuse to believe that having kids kills your hobbies or wants. Why not make your kids a part of your life as much as they make you a part of theirs? Yes, kids are dependent on the parents but I dont mean parents should sneak around when a child is sick or crying! On a normal day to day basis, it breeds a lot of resentment if you’re always giving yourself up.. and that is valid in the case of motherhood too.

            • No, I didnt say that at all – find me a line in my post where I said you cant do more than one thing. Its important to have a life other than your kids, but honestly, if there is one thing.. any one thing that will take precedence over your child, yourself included, then IMHO, dont have kids. And I disagree entirely with you when you say that hating kids is the only reason to not have kids. What you’re saying is neglect, lack of time, everything is okay, as long as you dont hate them? Sorry, but I believe that gives kids – a very raw deal. They’re humans, not furniture. And they’re helpless and at your mercy, had by your own choice. if you cant give them the best of you, dont give them anything at all.

              People with some me time are happier of course, but not having me time doesnt kill me. And I know plenty of women like myself who feel the same way. Its not a giving up of hobbies for life. Its adjusting your lifestyle. I know I cant do anything early in the morning because that is when I send them to school. So either I get up at 4 am for my me-time or I shut up and grin and bear it. But if my child’s schedule is getting in the way of my me-time and I hate it, then I guess I made a huge mistake having the child. You cant always get enough time for your hobbies or social life and that is something all parents need to come to terms with. having the child is a big decision and it entails a lot of putting yourself last. Very often, if not all the time.

              And that is why I said that if your job, your social circle, your hobbies, your leisure etc are taking such a beating due to motherhood, and you’re resenting it, then you probably made a big mistake. no child needs neglect. every child deserves the best. and no parent should resent their child for what the child rightfully deserves. and most parents end up dropping one of the above or atleast reducing it, if they honestly want to do right by their child. do you really believe you can fit another human being into a day without cutting something out of a packed day? unless you have an easy day to begin with.

              my husband hasn’t had an adult game of tennis or basketball since we had our son six years ago. he smiles and says its okay to give up sunday mornings for the kids for another couple of years because soon they wont want us to come down and cycle with them. and then he has another 30 years of doing whatever the hell he wants with his time.

              i think the mistake you’re making is in imagining a day that revolves around a child. i have never promoted that. and no one who reads this blog and hears of what i am up to, can ever imagine that. that said – every single one of those activities can and will be dropped in a second if my child needs me at that time. for a five year old, the here and now is very important. and if God forbid a parent has a child with special needs, you’re pretty much giving up everything else for sometime and if you resent it – hmm.m…. I really have nothing to say to you.

            • well yeah, i did imagine it as saying that one’s day revolves around the child. which i think is not being attentive and involved but stifling and living under a rock. i’d never mean it like neglecting the child or ignoring her needs (that’s what i meant by hating :)) but yes, i also dont agree with putting myself last. parenting is a huge deal and i dont think it stops when ur kids are 5 or 10 or 15. i do agree with throwing oneself into a constant juggling act but not with ignoring what YOU

          • and socks ALWAYS live in singles. there will be ten socks in the socks basket, not even one will match. happens most on mad mornings.
            serious conspiracy there i tell you.

          • MM, thats wonderful that the OA has given up his game of tennis for a few years. My hubby still likes to play cricket during summer. I hate that but grin and let him have his me time because I know it makes him happy. But I should give it to him that he finishes all his chores/responsibilties before going and I consider that time with my son as a me time with him. I guess we all try to make it somehow work for these little ones, hanh?

            • sure. for instance i work from home because of the kids. the OA knows that i have already made a huge adjustment. so on weekends he leaves all else and its the kids first. once we’re done with them we go out late at night for a movie or dinner or a rockshow… but in the day time, he is all theirs.

              i dont think you can plan any of this before a kid. but as you get together you realise that as a couple you have a certain way you want to raise your child. to give him due credit, i dont know a better father. there are days he fails me as a husband and i get mad at him. but i’ve never ever been able to fault his parenting.

          • I am relying to this here because if I reply to one of yours down below…it gets too small!
            I agree…..my hubby is such a good father that I feel terrible to point at his faults as a hsband. I guess he can be a husband once more when his fathering responsibilitises decrease a little. But we women want to put be a wife and mother at the same time don’t we? And then we, well atleast I feel recognized.
            Oh I did not mean for the comment to end this way….but it brings me back to the original post about building cathedrals!

        • what YOU love to do for 20 years. how fair is that? i think i have a huge issue with this because as women, we put ourselves last in a lot of places. should this be another one? in all other ways, i think u and i are saying the same thing.

          with children with special needs, all of this may obviously not hold but i wasnt talking of that scenario.

          • I think all of us are saying the same things but in different ways. I have friends whose lives revolve around their kids. They cannot have a conversation for a single minute without bringing their kids into it. Sometimes, no on a regular basis I like to have conversations without having to talk about diapers or nannies or preschools of ABCs!!! Once you have a kid, yes you are a mom. But I believe one should cling onto the identity that existed pre kids. And thats when my me time helps me. Like now, when I am taking some time off to read my fave websites and blog. Ofcourse if I hear my kid cry, I am going to rush to him…don’t worry his nanny in training is with him right now.

  7. I needed to read this today. These past 2 weeks felt as if, I didn’t have a second to myself. But if you ask me what I did was so important,(sick kids,wiping sick kids bums, sick me, house work, and a bazillion other stuff) I wouldn’t know what to say. I forgot I was building beautiful cathedrals…. 🙂
    Happy valentines Day!

  8. I just came back from home, with a suitcase full of goodies 🙂
    I have no idea when they got made, since I thought I was with Mom-Dad all day 🙂


  9. thank you MM for this much needed reminder. I was so totally down, mad mad at spouse..lost my cool few times on kids. I must remember my job as a builder of 2 beautiful cathedrals.
    I request you to repost this every few months to remind us the most important thing.

    thank you MM. God bless

    • arre i need this as much as you. often i wonder what is the point of spending time with kids. why i dont send them to hundreds of extra hobby classes. you know – the extra hobby classes show results while the time spent on them doesnt. then i read something like this and i’m glad i do what i do

      • My baby is only two months old but I’ve already realised this: I can buy him any number of toys (which I haven’t because thankfully I realised this first) but what he likes best is someone sitting in front of him and talking to him. That kind of interaction is so much wanted than the commercial substitutes.

  10. Nice post.. I liked it.. but when I ran it by my mother.. she was dismissive.. she said that it sounded right.. with good intention.. but something was amiss/not right about it. She said that she cannot put her finger on it.. but it kinda disturbed her.. what about your mother’s reaction? or how about other reader’s mother’s reaction?

    • on second thoughts, maybe your mom thought it glorified motherhood too much? did you ask her? if that is the case, i do believe you can never give parenting too much credit. you need only look around at misguided and neglected children to see the worth of a devoted parent. and i for one, appreciate that effort greatly.

      • exactly.. those were my thoughts.. I am still waiting for her to tell me what she felt wrong.. still… I thought maybe the readers and you can share their experience..

        Look at it this way.. when somebody says to me that how good a Dad I am.. somehow I feel offended.. I just cannot take it as a compliment… and honest to God, I start disliking that person, and if that person is somebody close enough to me ( in relation or somebody I’ll have to see everyday) I just tell them to never ever say those lines

        • i think everyone draws a different line. I dont want my kids to think i am a great mother or anything but its nice if someone else notices and appreciates something i did. be it parenting or a job everyone likes a little appreciation

  11. sniff … Thanks for the post. I do get into the self pity mode every few months. I will come back to read this when I do!

  12. Aw I needed this. I don’t think I’ll ever be the mother who wakes up at the crack of dawn to bake cupcakes, though V might just be the father who does that. I’ll be the mom who worries when the baby is sick (ok I’m already that mom). I’ve figured I’m not up to building my cathedral alone, and thankfully I don’t have to.

    • i don’t think anyone builds a cathedral alone. even in the case of clear division of labour, a mother is home slaving and a father is out slogging and making sure they lack for nothing. i believe they should get credit for that too. it cant be easy to have the burden of earning and supporting a family solely on your shoulders.

  13. beautiful MM! my BF is a SAHM of 2 and she manages to take few hrs off frm home, every wkend, to do things she likes.. but says tht its nt easy since she has to take the time & effort to plan it well and most moms jst want to sleep whn they hv a cpl of hrs in the wkend instead of ‘doing’ something & thn feel like they’re unable to do things they like, aftr hvng kids!!

  14. Beautiful one MM !! Loved..forwarding it to mu sis, she is a wonderful mom, and I know she will nod at every word here..love.

  15. Beautiful post. 🙂
    Thanks for sharing this. Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate my mom for all that she is… and this made me love her all the more 🙂

  16. @ Neha – okay the nesting comments were getting crazy. Let’s move here.

    And lets go back to the statement. Not having me time doesn’t mean stifling a child. It could mean being rushed between work, social commitments, extended family and child. its not always a child. I know older people who are caregivers to their parents and get no me time. It could mean skipping your morning walk or not going out for a late night movie because your bed-ridden parent is alone.

    I think as adults life often brings you to a place where you might have to choose between responsibility and me-time and you can’t resent it. Well, you can, but its a waste of time and its immature and futile. You may as well just get on with whatever it is, cheerfully.

    I also don’t believe in everything taking on feminist overtones. I did that till I had the kids and then I sort of reached a certain place in life where I find a lot of it is just lip service.

    I wrote about this two years ago when I bought the OA a flatscreen tv. he has no time for hobbies and he spends all his money on us. Has no one spared time for the man who earns all day and spends it on rent, food, education, diamonds for his wife and a driver? This becomes very personal because in this case its the OA, a man, whose entire life revolves around making the three of us happy.

    Often I give up what might be me-time, for the kids. Or the OA. only because I’ve learnt from his example, learnt from the best. there are people who have a giving nature and the rest of us can only learn from them and try to be better people. in my experience, it only makes you happier than actually clawing for your own time desperately. been there, done that, not interested anymore.

    the kids are mine. the husband is mine. the home is mine. so doing anything for/with them, is not something that is not ‘me’ time. they are as much fun/important as any hobby i had before them. or maybe i am just lucky to be the kind of person who enjoys motherhood. and enjoys being in a relationship with a good man.

    at the end of the day i think its all personality type and you can’t generalise. so long as the kids are not neglected, i’m not pointing fingers!

    you know, on an aside, i was reading this book where I read a paragraph on a man who had curly hair and how he had styled it. the protagonist made a remark as to how he had embraced his curly hair and made the most of it instead of fighting it.

    in a sort of connected way, i embrace these years with my children instead of fighting it as i would have done 10 years ago on some misguided feminist notion. in another ten years they won’t need me and i can embrace whatever else life offers me. no resentment on any front. and no regrets.

    • i do agree with what you say here and i am not taking of being an overtly self-obsessed parent who goes partying while the child sulks back at home. i am talking of getting a baby-sitter for an hour 3 days a week, if u do like to go to the gym or a swim. i do not think it is selfish. i think u owe it to yourself if u really like it. yes, if that is the one hour on only those 3 days that u can get with your child, i wouldnt ask for the same thing. things with bed-ridden parents or special children.. very different. but u’re quite right when you say that everyone has a different perception of this. i know what i can do and what i cannot, happily.. i dont think it’s bad enough for me to not want to have kids or have them and put them through hell. maturity cant have anything to do with wanting an hour off. i dont think i call mothers or fathers who do so, immature. what i am trying to say is that there’s nothing like ‘you can’t resent it’. resentment, like guilt, isn’t something you choose.. it shows up when you’re trying to be more mature than is needed in all fairness to yourself. and at the risk of this sounding feminist (and that really wasnt the intention; i have often written about how i find it futile too), i do think that being fair to yourself is not the same as being unfair to your family.

      • well see, we’re talking of different things. As I said, if you can find me-time, nothing like it. who wouldn’t want time off to do more?
        And again, i will disagree on resentment and guilt. if you feel guilty about doing something, don’t do it (working mom guilt for example – if you need the money for the family, there is no room for guilt. if you dont need the money and are feeling guilty – examine why you are feeling guilty and fix that aspect. i am a fixer, not a sufferer). if you resent something, don’t do it. no one is forcing it on you. in today’s day and age when people have choices, there is no need to have kids if you have strong desires to do so much more, because kids need time. there is no negotiating around that. yes, you can hire a babysitter for three hours in the week if you spend hours with them already. but if you come home from office at 7.30 and gym till 8.30 and only tuck them into bed after a maid has fed and bathed them, then you’re doing your kids a disservice. kids are not weekend entertainment. they are small and have needs and many of them are emotional. all this is clearly age relevant. my kids barely need me now. so busy are they with each other and the neighbourhood kids. so i work my life around them. i have not stopped doing anything – i just try and do it when they are in school or playing. why deny them as well as myself the pleasure of being with them?

        more and more we’re getting to be nuclear families and our working parents are no help. it takes a village to raise a child but that village no longer exists. wanting an hour off is not immaturity. but having kids, realising they are a lot of work and wanting to take off time that is not possible, being unable to do it and then resenting it – definitely immaturity.

        we’re not 13 year old childbrides who got pregnant without realising. today you can meet other friends, read blogs, spend the day with a friend and see what goes into parenting before getting into it. a choice women didn’t have earlier. a choice birth control gives you too.

        i know so many young couples who travel and work and party and dont want kids. i admire and respect them a lot more than the idiots who have kids for God alone knows what reason, considering they only see them for an hour a day. being fair to yourself is not the same as being unfair to your family – agreed. being unfair to your kids, is being unfair to them as well as yourself.

        • okay – here’s another point. when i had my kids, i knew what i was willing to do for them. i knew what i wanted for them. i know what i want now for them.

          i cannot take guarantees on the OA’s behalf. what if he divorced me? died? turned out to be an alcoholic abusive asshole? I still have the kids and still must do what it takes. at no point can i really stop and tell the OA that something is equally his job. that is his call. i personally wouldnt tell the other parent what their role should be like. they will give what they can give. i will do what i want/can. its my good fortune that the OA and I both believe in giving the kids our everything. i honestly wonder what it would have been like to be married to a self absorbed man. i guess i wouldnt have married him or would not have had kids with him. some of these things are important to work out right in the beginning. which is why its important to know your partner well before getting into marriage

          • honestly i dont agree. it’s a choice to have kids, but everyone works for life to be a certain way when we make that choice. it’s very possible, i agree, that how you want it and how i want it dont have to be similar.

            and i will totally ask the other parent to be involved. there’s no way to measure more or less, but i cant be bringing up kids with someone who’s no more than a sperm donor. i dont even think it’s feminist. i think it’s common sense to expect a spouse to participate like a spouse and not a roommate. but yeah, different folks different strokes.

            • oh absolutely. i was going to say that but the comment got too long. when i had kids i had hoped for a good daycare/ servants/ help from grandparents. none of it worked out. i am alone, i have erratic househelp and i dont like daycares after becoming a parent. so should i sit and resent it or take what i have run with it? its not just special kids or aged parents. one never realises how kids will change your life. and that is the flexibility you need to work with.

              i agree, a sperm donor wouldnt work for me – which is why i ended the response to you saying that one should know their partner well before getting into marriage. that said, if something unexpected happened, what would one do? say – okay, i’ve done my half, now i cant do more? if the OA ends up getting a travelling job, do i put up a fight and say i dont care, if the kid is sick he can die but i wont do more than half a night shift? circumstances are unpredictable. not all of them have to be dire. resentment doesnt enter the picture because all of it is by choice. if you find more and more often that your choices are leaving you unhappy, perhaps you made the wrong choice.

            • oho this thread is also getting out of hand. see thats where i differ. maybe i am leaving some things unsaid. well my husband IS in a travelling job and when he is not around, i do run a thousand errands i normally wouldnt have to. when he’s around too, because a lot of times i dont have the heart to ask him to do something trivial on his only day off in 3 weeks. so no guesses on whether i’d give up on a child sick at night or not. but do i agree to do this when he and i are both slogging our asses off and are in town all the time? no. and if i am supposed to die doing the best for our home or children, i may not stop but i’ll surely resent. if i get divorced, it again falls outside what is everyday life. also knowing your partner before marriage does not always tell u how they’re going to be as a parent. that’s why we feel so many marriages hitting the rocks after kids happen.

            • see here’s the deal – you are not “supposed” to do anything. if it feels that way, don’t do it.
              i do what i want to do and i dont believe any of it is “supposed” to be done.

              but my kids have only one childhood, one shot at life and one set of parents. i am not letting them lose out on anything because of my feminist or personal struggles. they have a right to the best life (and i dont mean money) and its my job to give it to them because i gave birth to them without their permission. it is because i feel this way that i dont see the need for any resentment. its something that comes naturally to me. so i dont get this whole ‘resentment’ thing because really, who asked you to have kids?! (err.. you i use ‘you’ in a general way)

              yes, knowing your partner doesnt tell you how they are going to be as parents. but knowing a person tells you a lot about them. and a person who is generous and giving in their daily life will be that person in their parenting too. those who cant handle parenthood after marriage are those who shouldnt have got married anyway or else would have got divorced for some other reason. they simply arent compatible and the pressure of parenting wasn’t something the relationship could handle. if not kids, theyd break up over the next big thing – recession, being laid off, cancer, anything.

              parenting calls for as much sharing and division as marriage in general does. just a more intense level. if you are the kind of people who handled other hiccups or stress, why not the responsibility of kids in the same way? of course if one partner doesnt want kids at all, that is something to be cleared up before the wedding bells ring

  17. Like Gandhi said (hope I am right on this): Honest disagreements are a good sign of two open minds?

    Any case, I still disagree. But I was never trying to convince you otherwise either. I’m just saying that being able to choose is not a sureshot way of pre-empting resentment. Many other factors can play a role.

    • 🙂 i love disagreeing with you (i meant that in a nice way) because its always friendly. most others end up getting rude and personal and trying to pull out examples from my personal life. cant stick to the point.

      and yes, as i said, a large part of the way i feel about motherhood is also the way i feel about other relationships in general. i am not a me time person and i think its because i dont crave it that i get a lot of it without asking for it! you’re right, choice doesnt mean you wont resent. but you will only resent if something is forced on you. but since this is something i signed up for very happily, i rarely resent anything. i think for the first time in almost 6 years, i resented moving to gurgaon because of the kids. but i got over that pretty fast. i hate gurgaon, but i dont resent them for it any longer. maybe its a personality type after all?

      • Oh i would never disagree and use a personal attack to make a point. that would be crossing the line into trollism.

        i strongly agree that it’s a personality type. i hope there was a good way to say this but i’m not the most selfless person on earth. mostly because i feel threatened and deeply unhappy that way. and then i snap. (yes, no good way to say thos :)) anyway, since i know this about myself, i try and work out a reasoning for handling things the way i do. you’re great at how you do it. it’s all about finding one’s happy place and that’s all there is to it.

        • i know that, sweetheart. its why i threw the rest out unceremoniously. they insist that mad momma wont allow others to disagree. i’m like dude, disagree. don’t attack.

          and you know.. you are just like i was 10 years ago. you throw yourself into things deeply. if you do plan to have kids, i know you will not resent a minute of anything you share with them

  18. Interesting debate between you and Neha!

    Just wanted to point that one gets tons of ‘me-time’ once kids are in school full-time and/or get into other activities/friends. That happens latest by age 6. And after a point, the child may not even prefer your company even if you do, for Chirst’s sake!

    *goes away hoping her children will always like being around her, like they do now*

    • Yeah I get that, Chox. But for someone who thinks they’ll prolly have two kids, it still seems like 8-9 years of bidding everything goodbye. Anyway.

      And ladies, me a younger you? Really? Kaise? You made me very happy though 🙂

      • well because we were probably as ambitious and stridently what-we-thought-was-feminist till we had kids. its not my place to give you Chox’s professional and educational background, but its a little beyond impressive if there is such a place. i realise it is the passionate people – – people who are passionate about jobs and causes and issues, who go on to be that passionate and involved in their kids. and then there is no time to stop, breathe or resent, as i said earlier.

        you remind me of me all the time. and chox says i remind her of her.

      • well neha i have two as well 🙂 with a 5 year gap – so we began all over again once we were done with kid #1. i have never employed help to look after them but i did get my time with my pals too when the kids were babies – the other parent also has a right to solo time with his babies after all!

  19. Wish the mad family a Very Happy Valentine’s day !

    This post reminds me of my ma…

    My ma is by nature a loner. She is the kind who is particular about having at least one day of the week fully at home, not having to go out anywhere. N on that day she frankly doesn’t mind even if my pa isn’t at home. On such a day I picture her waking up late, having hot coffee, spending long long hrs cleaning, eating whatever is available at home (she wldn’t want to cook) and settling down to read endlessly.

    My sis lives fairly close to mom and when my pa is travelling will suggest that she can go over to her place. But know fully well that my ma won’t want to. n YET when I talk to ma at the end of such a day..as she tells me how much she enjoyed that day, she will add a line about how much she missed her grandchildren. Oxymoronish, ‘coz she very much had the opportunity to spend the day with them! But yet I get the sentiment.

    I don’t even know why I narrated this…well it just occurred to me after reading some of the interaction between Neha and you.

    • see, i know why you told me this. its about me time. and i think everyone needs it. at no point have i debated the need for it. what i have said, is that at a certain time in life you dont get much of it, and resenting it is pointless because there is so much else going on. kids fall ill, have school programmes, have to be fed, there is no time to stop, breathe or resent!
      you dont get the space when your kids are 2 or 7 years old. you get it when they are 27 years old. which is what your mom is doing. and even today if either of you need her, i am sure she will be there.

      • Ya..as I think about it…mabbe the point I’m trying to make is..in reality there is nobody who does not want me-time. Everyone wants it. The Q is if they want it over something else. N the point is, the choice isn’t alwez easy. Whether one chooses to have the me-time or not there is a at least a small part of the person that misses what one did not choose. N that’s completely okay. Am I making sense?
        N oh yea..today she is working remote and helping my sis take care of her kids, while managing her own home, instead of enjoying ‘Retired life’ the way one would expect people of her age to. so ya, she is very much there when we need her and I know that’s what makes her happy. On a good day she wouldn’t want a different life though on one of those stressful days she may yearn for a different life. If we tell her she has sacrificed and is sacrificing so much for us..she will call us mad and have us checked by a shrink !

      • I love this MM “there is no time to stop, breathe or resent”.hahha.
        I have 2 young kids like you. Lot of my ‘me time’ involves playing with my kids.it relaxes me.. playing with play dough, crayons, put on music and dance with them..I fool around with them a lot. some of my son’s friends think I am such a weirdo. I do week’s cooking sat night , so i have weekday evenings to spend with them.In summer, I am out with them playing soccer,badminton or whatever..and I am not young like you. then once they sleepon weekday nights i read newspaper, MM’s blog, other blogs. nothing is forced on me therefore resent nothing about spending time with kids. playing with kids burns lot of calories..no need to spend on gym membership too ( bonus- saved time).

        loved your conversation with Neha.

  20. You know I’m a cynic at heart. At least I’ve become one, there’s no way you can be born with a cynical heart. 🙂

    But there is something about this story which made me feel that I have that ideology as well. That very idealistic ideology. That I know that I am starting to build something from scratch, from zero and everything that he will become one day, a strong, sturdy young man – will be because I baked him those cakes and those endless study hours and those poo washes.

    I’m so surprised at myself that even though I find myself struggling to find myself (reiteration is always fun) more and more each day, there is a certain peace and sense of completion and fulfillment in doing what I do everyday.

    It’s so odd and bizarre and I am still figuring out how this feeling works itself out.. but there it is.


  21. You know I am going to disagree with you politely on the “me time” though there is not much left to say after hundreds of comments. I also think its a personal philosophy about what makes you happy and what makes you a happy parent- whether you believe dropping everything for your child makes you happier or whether you believe that trying to still pursue some of your own activities makes you a happy parent. I think you are talking of those rare cases when the parents don’t spend a single minute with their children – to be fair, I personally have never seen such parents, they seem to be an urban legend (I of course would cut the one-hour nap mother some slack).

    Ok, gotta cut this comment short to tell my daughter a bed-time story.


  22. Love the article. I am a new mom, taking a break from work to take care of my little darling and this write up has definitely brightened my day..With your permission i am sharing the link on my Face book id for everyone of my friends to read..

  23. What a tribute to all the ‘invisible moms’ in the world!

    A friend pointed me to this post and I am so glad it came on a day like today when everyone suddenly wakes up and celebrates Women.
    It’s women’s day everyday. It’s invisible mom’s day everyday!


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