They say, it takes a village to raise a child, but during the current pandemic, it’s more like a muqin (mother in Mandarin) is raising the village!
Who am I… well, yet to find an answer to that one.. but currently a psychologist and a mother to three (two boys and a counselling centre).
So it all started 43 days ago. Gosh! I didn’t think I could pull it that far! Supercharged and pumped up (after quitting the real pumping ordeal barely a few days prior) for the Janta Curfew, as requested by our nation’s leader, we happily gave a break to my maid brigade. Well, I am. Rather, I WAS a royal in that segment. Had 7 of them! (two at my husband’s house, 3 at my mom’s house and 2 nannies for both my boys so I could take care of my third baby during the day) Oh by the way, for those wondering about this dual home set up. That’s the best postulation ever, by my Dear Husband! When we moved from Mumbai (a part of me still lives there) to our hometown 6 years ago, I whacked my brains at various educational institutions in the city, trying to establish the role of a counsellor but came back home each day frustrated and demotivated. He then pushed me to start my own practice. And advised my parents to chuck off their tenants so I could open up my centre there and they get to see me back then, and now, with both my monsters – every Monday to Saturday! What a win-win situation! Guess that’s why this Punjabi married that Baniya. Will share in-depth, crazy love, marriage and parenting ride of mine, soon enough. But for now, let’s get back to the current crises.
Within 48 hours of the adrenaline rush most of us experienced by clapping and ‘thaali bajao‘ moments for our corona warriors, came the biggest shock of my life, 20 days without a single domestic warrior! 2 toddlers, 3-floored Bajaj Bhawan (which is more of a Hawa Mahal that requires infinite cleaning) AND staying at home 24×21! I was flabbergasted! The only silver lining in this darkest overcast ever, was my knight in shining armour, standing tall and determined, with his weaponry…oops utensils, proclaiming “B, I’ll do the dishes every time”. Those words had more compassion than the “I Love You” I heard 17 years ago. These unprecedented times have changed lot of things in and around us. The very first thing I noticed, we started calling each other Ramu kaaka and Gangu bai instead of “Pati” and “B” from B.C. (Before Corona times)
So it took me another 48 hours to gather myself and accept the new normal, chalk out a plan for the household chores and toddlers’ tasks. Mind you, that doesn’t include any fancy activities and creative task schedules with them. I don’t plan to either. Well, that I will explain in my next write up. But since then (for the next 19 days), I had this new sense of being productive and independent! And clearly boredom had no scope because every day was a new challenge and I love challenges!
With little learnings from my academic certifications and more so from on-the-job training in quaran-times, here are some takeaways for life in any crises situation. As experts say, if we don’t learn a lesson of co-existence with nature, we will witness more pandemics from now on.
Clear division of household chores, even if the other significant adults in the house feel you are torturing their “Lai Chhora” with the disgraceful yet essential domestic tasks. Do not try to become the “Octopus Mom”, you’ll either crash in two days or end the days in Maa Kaali avatar.
However irritated/ exhausted you are, don’t pour it out on your offspring. Show them some love, you’ll get it back in manifolds and take all your blues away.
Reward yourself! Keep that 1 hour in a day to do what you like most. Trust me, your performance (in any kind) will double in the remaining waking hours. Like-
video calling your girl’s gang
watching some stand-up comedy or any web series
reading that book lying in your bookshelf since ages waiting to be dusted at least
dancing it out with your partner or kiddos
rekindle any long lost hobby to burst those stress bubbles
Also, got this exciting idea from a dear friend, plan a late-night date with candles and music for just the two of you (well an hour might not be enough for that one)!
And now my secret weapon, with 100% positive feedback from family and friends!
DO NOT indulge in arguments! This pandemic cannot bring men to Venus or take us to Mars! You are anyway seeing each other way too much and topped with the extra workload, the Clash of Clans are inevitable. I know it might sound impossible, but even my Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy trainings remind me of converting “Demands” into “Requests”. And wrap up each task accomplished with a smile (even if you have to fake it) and thank you! For those who are facing conflicts with partners or parents or teens or toddlers or pets, try this bulletproof scheme!
Time literally flew by in lockdown 1.0 and in 2.0, we took a short vacation to the Bahamas to refuel for the long road ahead! Stay tuned to know how. Also, leave in your super honest comments to help me perk up my new found hobby.
Signing out on this note…
Anything that doesn’t kill you, leaves you stronger and wiser!
Stay home and Stay Happy!
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