Lately, I have been doing a lot of reading at every opportunity I get. By opportunity I mean sneaking to the bathroom with an iPad under my shirt. I have discovered that ALL women are workaholics..and hence, are exhausted, running on fumes and still giving it their all (whatever 'it' may be). When I say workaholics, I don't mean any employment. I refer to simply being occupied in one task or the other be it the job, home, family, etc.
I realize I am one of them too.
When my baby was born, everyone told me it will get easier in 6 months. Those sly foxes!It never gets easier! It may seem hard and a 24 x 7 on-call duty when your little one is born but let me tell you - this is the most free and relaxed you ever will be from now. Once they start crawling...a whole new definition arrives at household chaos. All your senses will work full time and that is when you may achieve your peak potential of multitasking and not even realize it!
Since I brought this beautiful little person in this world, I have always been on the go. From 3AM wake-ups to 11PM bedtime refusals, from making breakfast for a tiny tummy to checking the diaper a 100 times a day, from tidying the house to re-tidying it again..and I always wonder where the day went! I have noticed (so has my family :D) that I continue like this for at most a couple of weeks and then my bubble bursts and I go from being 'Mary Poppins' to 'Cruella de Vil' and all hell breaks lose.
It is bound to happen because I push myself too much. I admit it. The excuse is always 'it will take 2 mins to do' for mostly everything. The result is a super tired, cranky, nagging, no-good human being who has all her meal times mixed up and still won't be sleeping a whole night because of a wakey-wakey baby.
One thing that works wonders and is a definite solution to such emotional build-ups is taking a break. Now that's simple. Everyone takes a break, pauses down the rush-hour-life. There are a hundred different ways I can "break" myself free. How hard can it be?? Turns out - VERY.
No one in my family is against time-offs. Infact I have an absolutely wonderful husband who is always encouraging me to take some time for myself. But here's the thing - A mother is the 'Google' of the family. And "if it's something weird or not at all...Who you gonna call?!". Yup.
Husbands are hardwired to never ask for directions when outside the house and ALWAYS ask the whereabouts of something that is right in front of their face. Plus they have a certain ability to never keep anything where it was before use.
The toddler wouldn't even look at you when you are around him but the moment you step out of the room, mommy-radar starts beeping at the top of his voice.
Want the attention of the whole family? Just sit down, look comfy and reach for the TV remote. Within seconds, the baby materializes jumping on your lap, husband comes over asking for his wallet which is right on the table in front of him but is somehow invisible until pointed at and everyone is suddenly hungry!
And if by some miracle, none of this happens, it'll be my own used-to-multitasking self that will contemplate a hundred ways things might go wrong if I wasn't there. Like what if the baby cries and daddy can't soothe him, what if the stove is left on, what will they eat, what if the baby refuses to eat, what if he eats a Lego!, and the list is endless. I might sneak a few glances of my phone every minute to ensure there is no "what if" emergency and be suspicious if nothing comes up too! You see, I have gotten so used to worrying and doing things on my own AND MY WAY that a break (at times) brings on a guilt and an urge to rush back and assume the role.
I strongly recommend - Don't. Don't rush.
I strongly recommend - Don't. Don't rush.
It is tempting to just carry on hustling everyday because "I will do it in a few minutes" but it is also exhausting. Remember that when we are our nagger self, the most we complain about is not getting a few minutes to ourselves. Remember the airplane rule - Put the oxygen mask on yourself first before helping others. Only when the roots are watered, the tree would blossom.So, take a break.
Now I don't mean go all revolutionary, ditch the chores and don't let anyone disturb you. I mean take a break from the urge of doing everything by yourself. Don't let the "it's my way or the highway" control you. Let the house be messed up today and the beds unmade.Take 5 mins longer in that shower. Of-course, there won't be any stopping the baby banging the bathroom door or the hubby asking every minute when will you come out. Take a break from coming up with a response. Order-in the dinner or let your husband show his culinary skills. Try not to chalk out a list of instructions (we do that, it's a women thing :D). And if you have one of those can't-cook-if-the-world-was-ending husbands, make him a khichdi. Resist the tadka. Spend a minute longer in front of the mirror, dress up, doll up and go out. Take a walk or hang out with your girlfriends. Choose to let any negative vibe bounce off you today. Keep that frown in check. A break doesn't have to be 5 mins, an hour, a day or a week long. Just long enough to rejuvenate and revitalize whatever makes you YOU. Just a time off from reacting to everything that happens around you, a time for just thinking about your favorite things, a time to just let everything be.
I say this like I do all of it. Of course not- as much as I'd like to, it is in no way easy. I may pull one or at most two of the above said in one day and I feel good! If you are anything like me, a break would look like sporting my most comfy pajamas (practically my fashion statement for the past year), being couch-installed and trying to get past the prologue of a book I have been trying to read for the past 2 months. If I get past 15 mins of this without the toddler snatching the said book and ripping it apart, or throwing the remote in my face or his daddy asking (for the 10th time) where is the coffee mug that he bought and kept on the top shelf *eye roll* ...I will gladly, and somewhat suspiciously, consider it a break.
And while I try my luck at this, I am aware soon my little one would be a preschooler and his dad busy at work and my afternoons might be a bit too quiet for my liking. We mommies are a weird specimen of contradictory human emotions :D
PS.- Don't ever confuse a family vacation with a break. I did. Big Mistake. :D