Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Meandering through life

I think a young (ish) mommy is well described as a juggler. All those balls in the air all the time, this is what we are doing, juggling them. Thankfully, I have sort of forgotten those things like wet-wipes, diapers, onesies, burping, and things like that. I used to make sort of tough choices in those days, this I recall. And I look wistfully at confident new mothers and hit myself for being so damn stupid about things. Like my child did not look at a TV screen till she was three years old (pretty much). I wouldn't even watch TV as I nursed her, because I said the rays are still falling on her brain, even if her eyes are turned away. I did choose disposable diapers, but that I have a good rationalisation for, not important here. I read to her from the time she was three months old (bad idea, on hind-sight). Mum and I made from scratch the first solid food she consumed, and sprouting and drying things during Mumbai monsoons was such a pain. Especially when I look at her eating Kurkure now, I feel really stupid. I used to carry so many things in my bag when I travelled. And we travelled everywhere, all the time. Refused to carry a 'diaper' bag though, everything went in my blue backpack.

One day, when she was nearly 2 years old, I sat down and cried (not the first time, of course), because you know what? I had not slept for more than 3 hours at a stretch for a very long time. There was always something. And I did not nap through the day. I am not a good napper, though recently, I have gotten better at it. Plus there was work. Now it seems like its not a big deal, actually. But back then, with a headache that lasted about a year and half in total, my skin doing absolutely crazy things, hair fall (that got worse, much worse, a few years later, but I had no way of knowing that, then), and what seemed like the whole world (but mainly, my husband) working against me, it was ridiculous, I swear. I sleep like a baby nowadays. I wake up early. I do my own thang now, like my crazy amounts of running. But at that time? It was ridiculous.

I look at my work resume in 2007 or thereabouts, and wonder, damn, where did that come from? Several students graduated. We published a bunch of papers. I even started attending conferences at that point, I remember an awesome trip to LA once, where in addition to work I met up with two of my dear friends from school, and we had so much fun. I pat myself on my back and say, Girl, you had just started sleeping well that year, and see how cool that worked out for you. But then I also remember that it was difficult to carry her, the umbrella, and the doctor's file down the steps when I had to meet the pediatrician (which was often, not that she is a sickly child, just that I am a crazy mum). If I had gotten her (and me) wellies though, we could both have walked, of course. She was always a confident walker. But that was the year there was leptospirosis (or maybe that was not, but I had heard the term and that was enough to imagine the damn thing coming up from wherever and affecting my little baby girl). We were teaching this bunch of kids math in those days, and I really cannot imagine how I did that, then, with all that crazy scary shit going on in my head, and my husband traveling so much, and a baby to raise.

In so many ways it has all gotten much better now. Yesterday, for example, I did not succumb to the emo. blackmail that she specialises in, and I spent an hour doing this absolutely kick ass exercise routine along side my husband. No, I don't mean it like that. Seriously, it was a real exercise routine, not activities-in-bed-that-because-we-are-married-we-can-only-refer-to-parenthetically-with-a-nudge-nudge-wink-wink (Puh-lease. I am not that ridiculous now). I run. I have been awake this morning since 4:30, before even the alarm rang, and have already gotten through a bunch of work and have a few minutes to blog. I get to do a number of things besides work and washing my child's backside after potty. Which may not be that important to some folks, but if I just look back at my 37 years on this earth, this defines me. Doing a gadzillion things all the time. Maybe not all of them as well as I could if I concentrated better, but thats fine with me. I like the experience.

In conclusion, the juggling, it comes naturally to me (as long as it is a seven year old child now, cannot imagine a juggling a seven month old infant now alongside other things. scary stuff, that!). If I didn't have a list consisting of a hundred unconnected things to do through the week, I would probably be miserable. Right now item on agenda is sharpening pencils for school. So let me go do that then.


Sri said...

Good that ur able to do what u still going through that wet-wipes,diaper phase and am fed up waiting for a chance to enjoy i have to wait till my daughter is 7!!;)

Anonymous said...

yep. i was a daft first time mum too.

hindsight 20-20 tells me that if i had hung around babies(raised sister's kids/ cousin's kids etc -- did the wet wipes, onesies etc ) more, i would have done far better.

but didnt have sister or cousins.

plus was too busy working to consider cootchie cooing with infants.

that makes these young(ish) mommy's confident: theyvebeen there done that. before motherhood.

Rohini said...

Nodded my head through most of the post. Thankfully have been more sensible with second-time motherhood, though that might possibly just be because of reduced bandwidth to act insane :)

dipali said...

I was sleep deprived for years!
I seriously wonder how many brain cells got lost during that time.
I'm enjoying my very-busy-with-little-to-show-for-it life these days!