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Archive for June 20th, 2011

I completed reading this book ‘I don’t know how she does it’ by Allison Pearson. It was an awesome read. It was sooo humorous that I couldn’t help laughing out aloud as I kept reading but that was only till about reaching 50 pages. Then I started feeling quite hurt finding how achingly true the life of a working mother is portrayed in the book and how ALL and more of this is true not just in England but throughout the world.

The dilemma of every working mom is “Am I doing the right thing? Am I depriving my kids in anyway a good home?” Well, there is no right answer to this and I am sure every stay-at-home mom has the same dilemma about if she is right staying at home and not contributing financially to the family. Then comes this hybrid breed who throw away their careers and choose to stay at home with kids. I happen to be one of them at least right now. And to be frank, I feel no better than how I felt when I was working. All the multitude of tasks I thought I would have the hang of, when I stay at home, are still out of reach. I thought only when I was a manager I ended up reacting and not planning ahead due to lack of time. But domestic life is no different!! 🙂 Everyday I just react to what happens and not act as I plan the previous night. Kids throw surprises everyday and I end up having absolutely no private time, at least when you work you decide what you do between 9 to 7! Of course most of that would only be work.. 🙂 Still you can chat with your friends while you are at work,and not to mention lunch breaks with adults for a change! 🙂 And to be true, there were times when I waited for Monday to go back to a predictable routine after an especially long weekend!

Anyway coming back to being a hybrid mom kind, have I made a huge difference to my kids, by staying them? Yes of course my daughter loves to have me around when she comes back from school and like having me chat up with her friends mothers and take her out on play dates. But to me personally, all that I thought I would be doing when I stay at home were like spending more quality time with her – opening her up to new avenues of thought, doing some artsy-craftsy things together, teaching her sanskrit prayers; but now I seem to be doing nothing of what I wanted to. Because the simple truth is my daughter has no great expectations from a stay-at-home mother, all she needs is a mom and not a caretaker who would optimize the way she spends her hours. Also being at home, you have to be the kind of person she can look up to, so no more lackadaisical attitude. This of course applies to all mothers, just that when you are at home, you get no time to be a slacker!  I remember S telling me one night after the lights were out, “You cannot always ask me to be in the best behavior telling me A will learn everything from me. I have no big sister or brother to learn from, so I will only learn from you, so you both have to be in the best behavior for me to learn from you.”  How true is that statement. All our childhood, we were observing our parents and those elder around us and how we intentionally or unintentionally imbibe those observations in our responses to similar stimuli after we are adults.

Apart from the working mom issues, this book also touched the sensitive in-laws relationship too! I found it amusing that even in a successful English working women’s life, she had this duty of fulfilling her in-laws! 🙂 She keeps planning about how to come out unscathed from the watchful eyes of a MIL when it comes to handling her husband and her kids. One would think the wife has the most incentive in maintaining a good household, however it is not to be. The judging eyes of the previous generation keeps lurking to keep the woman in track. The judgement comes from both sets of parents!  The man of the family somehow escapes this attention! How unfair this is!!

I guess, my after thoughts are really going out of bounds!! Anyway World, this book will make an excellent read for all mothers, working or non-working alike! Enjoy and devour the perfectly captured moments of a working mom, from the excellent debut novel of Allison Pearson.

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