Saturday, April 26, 2008

Aaaaaaah! what I say as I settle down at 1 p.m on a Saturday afternoon and begin to write this.

The last ten days have been quite crazy - I joined work after a loooong break and it's taking some getting used to, leaving Peanut behind for hours in the day. The good news is that my work is really interesting and I am working with some very nice people. There isn't any of the politics, political correctness, and very little heirarchy - it's almost like a start-up. The work content itself is a refreshing change from what I've been doing before, and yet, there are enough similarities in the job profile for me not to feel totally out of my depth, despite the fact that there is so much going on.

One big worry on my mind was whether I would have, uhh...'lost my touch' - you know, whether the last few months of being at home would have somehow made me less sharp or just, you know...'out of it', somehow. But as some kind commenter told me a while back, it's like swimming or cycling - you never really forget it, and you just sort of fall back into it. So it's taken me very little time to get into the action and the job - the only thing is that I have so much to read and learn about this new field -which incidentally, if you're interested, has involved a shift from FMCG to the online world - and I just don't seem to get enough time to do it at all.

Of course ,a bigger worry on my mind was the question of whether I was ready to go back to work. The last few days have told me that I'm definitely happier going to work - I just am not cut out for staying at home. Sure, if I could get a chance to do what I do from home, that would be great - but the line of work I'm in, that's not really a possibility, apart from the odd day here and there. I do miss seeing Peanut, but the good thing is that I get to go home and feed her during lunch - so even though it's rather hectic for me, I am assured that she is okay and happy, and get to snatch a few moments with her - coming as it does in the middle of a hectic workday, it's a welcome break and puts things in perspective nicely.

And as for the biggest worry, which was about how Peanut herself will manage - I think she's actually quite okay. The first day that I left in the morning at about 9 a.m. - after rushing through the unfamiliar process of getting ready for work and feeding her - she watched me leave without much emotion - I guess she didn't really know what was happening. I was a bit tense that day and came back at lunchtime - I saw that she was playing quite happily until the time that she saw me, when she promptly burst into plaintive tears. I fed her and played with her for a bit while having my own lunch - the overall process took me about 40 minutes, and then it was time for me to go again - but this time she started wailing as she watched me walk out the door. I came back to hug and kiss her and told her I'd be back again in a few hours, but she continued to cry because I didn't take her from the K into my own arms. I left, resisting the urge to turn back, having read that it just becomes harder if this goodbye scene is prolonged.

So, surely enough, she seems to be doing fine. I am told that she is actually fine while I'm not around - eating, playing, sleeping. I am lucky to have the K - at least I know that she loves the baby and looks after her very carefully. But I do think it's necessary for the baby to have other people around through the day because Peanut is a fairly social kid (once the faces around her become familiar) - and that may start happening in a month or so when we move out of my mom's place ( where we are getting quite spoiled because it is so comfortable). I hope to be able to leave the baby and the K with close relatives who live near the area we are looking at, and are at home through the day - unlike my hard working mother and sister and husband, who come home way after I do. Let's see how it all pans out.

So my routine has been a little crazy and more than a little tiring. Wake up at 6.30 a.m., have tea with the husband and the baby in the garden, usually go for a jog in the nearby park, and then rush through getting ready, eat breakfast , feed the baby and leave, usually forgetting something or the other in the house. Get to work by 9.30 a.m., wait impatiently for the lift to the 10th floor, occasionally get annoyed and just walk upstairs, nearly collapsing and resolving never to do it again and admiring my boss for doing it everday ( a lady who has been through childbirth multiple times - and looks very good, very fit and much younger than her actual age). I get into my workspace and dive right into things. At around 1 p.m., I'm off home and back usually by 2.30 p.m. - of course, I've discovered that the people in my office rarely take a lunch break, preferring working lunches or just eating at their desks - but even though my 'break' is quite hectic (because I have to get down the stairs, go home, feed a rather uncooperative Peanut who is excited to have me back and too distracted by the buttons on my shirt to feed properly, have my own lunch a little too quickly, come back and get back up those damn stairs) - It's quite useful to get out of the office for a chance to clear my head.

By the time I get back to work, the sleeplessness of the previous night (yep, Peanut is still waking up for night feeds) and the resultant tiredness starts to creep in, but I manage to hold it at bay for a while with a cup of tea or coffee. Working for another four hours or so, I then pack up quickly and leave, usually forgetting something or the other at my desk.

It's 7 p.m. by the time I get back. By this point, it seems Peanut begins to get quite fidgety and gets disappointed if someone else rings the bell and walks through the door. I get back and she's suddenly all smiles, and gets a really smug look as I take her in my arms at the door and walk around the house. She is really clingy with me nowadays, expressing a clear preference for my company and getting very upset when I leave the room. It's really hard to explain to a 9 month old in diapers, the concept of 'bathroom break'.

I went to our Delhi Paediatrician today in order get Peanut her measles shot, and was pleasantly surprised to see that unlike a few months go, he actually remembered that she is a baby girl. He asked about my routine in terms of feeding her and seemed to think that I need to make some changes, which I actually agree with but am not sure how to implement. Basically I feed her at 9 a.m., which should ideally be breakfast time with some solid food like cereal - and then I get back at 1 p.m. to feed her, which is actually lunchtime for her (and all the rest of us!) and should be something like khichdi. Hmmm. Will have to figure this one out. He was of the opinion that it's time to start giving her the food that we eat in the house, with spices adequately lessened. He also said that we should be putting her to bed at 8.30 p.m., at which point I could not stop myself from laughing bitterly and scornfully.

Getting back to rambling about my routine ( Come on, admit it, you want to know. You've missed me!), after feeding and playing with Peanut for a while, it's time for me to massage and bathe her. The massage is not as enjoyable a process as it was a few months ago as Peanut wriggles around and tries to escape, or just keeps attempting to grab and lick at the bottle of oil. So I make it quick and bathe her, which she seems to like quite a bit. The K usually helps in terms of holding the baby while I do the water-pouring and the soap-lathering. The holding bit isn't all that necessary and I bathed her once without the K and it was fine, but the K was so downcast after this that I just decided it's better to let her help me!

Vijay comes home fairly late, maybe around 8 p.m. on average and then it's baby-and-Papa time. A lot of this time consists of Vijay looking adoringly at her and consistently repeating 'Pa-pa-pa-pa-pa', and Peanut looking around furtively and going 'Ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma'. I have absolutely no doubt that while we're both away, the K is trying to to teach her to say 'Ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka'.

Dinner time, conversation, diaper change, feeding, rocking Peanut in an attempt to get her to sleep before 11 p.m., and the few precious hours just fly by, and at the end of the day I try and read a few pages of the Thornbirds. It is the most amazing story - I discovered it only recently, having watched the entire television miniseries on DVD in just two days before I started work. When I was a kid, it was just one of those boring things my parents liked. I know I'm getting old now. Anyway, my grandmother told me that the book was even better and when I couldn't find it in Oxford Bookstore, she managed to dig out a copy that my mom had presented to my grandpa in 1984. Imagine that. And she was right, it is better than the TV version, as is usually the case.

Anyway, so that's my day nowadays and it really doesn't leave much time for blogging. Some Saturdays are working (eee-yuck!) but others, like today, aren't. And thus, here I am, telling you that I'm still around, everything is fine, and I will catch up with all you bloggy people in Delhi once things settle down a bit. Next few weekends are likely to whiz by in a blur of house-hunting and rejecting until I finally sit on Vijay and grimly twist his arm behind his back until he says 'This one looks good! We'll take it!'

So that's it for me. And you?


  1. Sounds good, Y. Just keep us posted. Yes, we were definitely missing you.
    Sneak in a post whenever you can:)

  2. Welcome to the exhausting world of working moms. I think it's great that you can do the lunch break thing - I am green with envy...

    As for the clingy, it's the same here as well. Oftentimes, I pee with the restless toddler sitting on my lap (too much information, you think?

  3. yay1 u're back!

    we don't mind infrequent as longas they're long ones like this!!!

    And u better find time to meet up...I want to meet the peanut. You're welcome to be present in the meeting though.


  4. grt to have u back and posting again!

    and all the best for the juggling act:)

  5. Good to have you back! you were definitely missed...

  6. Online huh...hopefully U joined the gaming world, which will be greta for me!!! selfish huh!!!

    Good to finally hear abt ur new routine...whats vijay doin...has he also changed his industry??? Love to all...and lost more to peanut.


  7. hey Y, many cheers on getting back to work.

    and go easy on yourself - try waiting for the lift rather than sprinting up the stairs.:)

    and food, yes yes give her all you eat. first baby steps to weaning.

    and rohini, not too much info. just glad to know me and my child are not the only weird ones!

  8. I second Ro. It's exhausting in a different way from staying at home all day. There will be bad days, there will be days that you will want to quit your job and throw in the towel.

    But as long as the work is good, and you don't try to be supermom (ha ha) it will be totally worth it. I think if she starts more on solids, she might even stop the night feeds. Good luck !

  9. Glad you to see you are settling into a routine. Being a working mom is exhuasting, but like you, I don't think I am cut out for being a SAHM. One word of advice (yes, its unsolicited) don't try to do everything.. you will just drive yourself crazy! Chip is almost 3 and he gets clingy too... i am hoping he will outgrow it at some point!

  10. Sur: "just glad to know me and my child are not the only weird ones"

  11. I'm busy being depressed and want 'cuggles'.

    That apart, I'm a part-time working mum, and they tell me it's not 'work' I do, so I'm not sure I should comment. But yes, R doesn't like me leaving one little bit whereas he's learnt to say "Byeee" to his dad. I think if this state of things were to change, it'd be me who was bursting into tears.

  12. Hi Y

    Congrats on getting back and welcome to the world of working moms...And please continue writing whenever you can!!

  13. Can't believe Peanut is 9 months old! Wow :) time flies. Btw, many mubaraks on becoming a working mom. Am happy you get to go home to feed Peanut though. Good Luck in your new role.

  14. glad to have u back ! Love reading yr stuff !

  15. :)

    first time here!! and will it be ridiculous to call you sister of my heart!

    i got back to work when Cub was 6months old (he is 10now)and thanx to Rajamma and M, things havent been too bad!! even rajamma tells me he is lot less fussy when i am not around!

    and yes, the fevicol ka mazboot jod just gets stronger afta reaching home!! cling and then cling some more!!

    glad peanut is adjusting well and you have a nice job!!

    have a super time!



    ps: was horribly jealous of your weight loss!! :( and you jog!! aaaarrgghh!

  16. i just lou hearin from u...

    all the best with everything Y!


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