Embracing the parental chaos.
This piece was written when I was a young mother. The chaos has reduced with my girls growing up. We face chaos at several stages of life in varied forms. But this chaos is the most enjoyable one!!!
Toys scattered all over the floor, cushions thrown out of couch, prints of little fingers and hands on the walls, doors and refrigerator, pencil and crayon marks at some places on the walls and a soft nursery rhyme CD playing on- this is how my house is at most of the times during day. If you feel that it is quite messy, let me check you here as I feel that it is not messed up, but fully lived up by my two kids of 4 and 2.
Life before being a mother was well organized. There was discipline at home and at work. Everything remained at its place, could be easily found and the house looked spotless clean and beautifully adored. There was specific time for everything- for work, for relaxing and for entertainment.
Life took a beautiful turn after being a mom. Organization and time management were kicked out and replaced by chaos- a chaos that I am comfortable with and enjoy too.
I chose to become a full time stay at home mom after the birth of my two daughters. I did not want to share my time between my kid and my career. I was perhaps too influenced by those beautiful ads and movies in which they show a woman neatly dressed up, taking good care of her house and running on toes to keep her kids happy without any sign of tiredness on her face. They were my role models and I thought parenting would be like a piece of cake. But never did I realize the validity of the statement that it needs a village to rear a child. I never realized that those helpless innocent creatures could give you the hardest times of your life. Besides happy tears that you get on their milestone achievement, they can give you real tears of tiredness and helplessness.
Things were perfect for starting two years with my first-born. Baby rearing seemed so easy and enjoyable as I was blessed with a happy and cooperative baby. She only cried when she had real issues like an ear infection. She ate well, slept well and had a routine for everything. She was manageable on long tours and we traveled all over US with her. Though she was naughty and did mess up with house, I enjoyed it as I had my enough sleep and I was energetic enough to do away with extra chores. She was never clingy and I had my own time to do my stuffs. But the whole scenario changed with the birth of my second daughter. I had to deal with a tough new born who always kept wailing and a toddler who was giving me all the troubles of trouble two’s time. My little one was stubborn from day one and till today she has her own way of outsmarting every parental trick that I try on her.
My second child is my greatest teacher who made me realize that I am a parent, not a perfect. Till day I am learning a new lesson with her every new day. She has trouble sleeping, eating and is always demanding for mom around her. She has no fixed routine for anything and is a hyperactive kid. House is always typhoon hit when she is around. I tried my best to keep my house organized and everything perfect as shown in those movies. But it was no good. I kept running on my toes in vain. I had sleepless nights and dozed off often during days. Despite of my endless efforts, a three course elaborate meal and well adored house with happy kids seemed impossible. When world was taking a lunch break at work, I was still in my pajamas struggling with my little one.
And then I hit the nail on the head. I started to look out for a part time job and got in to professional writing. I was doing writing as a hobby, but then I took it as a part time job, grabbing more and more projects and finishing them off by deadlines. No matter how demanding parenting is, I took couple of hours off for my work and my writing.
It is not that things became streamlined after I started working, but for sure I regained my lost sanity. Though I had more to do, my sense of satisfaction gave me extra energy to deal with it. The chaos is still there. I learnt to accommodate and share my life with ‘piles’ around. I have piles of dishes to be cleaned, piles of laundry to be folded and not to forget piles of assignments on my table to be finished. I do not rush in to anything and take my sweet time to complete them. Whenever there is a gathering at home, those ‘piles’ are hidden and the house is adored. On other days, anyone is welcome to this messy home….oops! Fully lived home.
I work at odd hours, my most productive time is post ten’ o’clock in the night. I catch up my sleep in the daytime with my toddler. I enjoy with my kids, go for exercise at odd hours (though not so regular), hangout with friends other than parents at play dates and get social. Once I came out of the ‘halo’ of good mother, I found myself improving at the parenting job. I do not overdo anything, do not push my kids or myself for anything and enjoy every moment. When I was pushing myself to organize everything, everything fell apart. Now when I am cool, things seem to get in to right place at right time. So the mantra of ‘natural and slow parenting’ clicked.
Mobile, organizer and pen in my neat handbag are now things of past. I accompany a big bulging baby bag with extra pair of cloths, diapers, wipes, band-aids, biscuits and baby foods whenever I go out. I smell of baby food instead of a nice perfume or deodorant. But I am comfortable and confident with myself.
Last four years of parenting has changed me. I am no more organized and I enjoy every single moment in this chaos. When I embrace my two lovely daughters, I embrace the parental chaos that they have brought with them.