Aparna woke up at 5.15am, hastily rushing to the kitchen, she was already 15 mins late. Without wasting any more time she immediately got started with her morning rituals, which was a set pattern. Boil the milk, take out the chopped vegetables from the fridge and make the curry for dabba. Pack the 3 lunch boxes with a variety of things for her kids and hubby, make the breakfast and then head out at 6.30am to wake her kids.
This was not just one day, but every single day, month after month for last 8 years. Mornings were her most difficult hours, she was so torn between getting everyone ready on time, impressing everyone’s taste buds and staying calm. It’s not a surprise that certain mornings were just not the way she had envisaged!
Happy smiling faces, well fed, being dropped off with a warm hug to the bus-stop or the lift lobby!
It could be a simple argument over trying to convince her toddler to brush his teeth every morning or an oversight over finishing homework for her 6-year-old, a glass of spilled milk was worst as chances of that happening were as high as once in three days. Other things like hubby turning down the mooli-ka-paratha, which took a good 30 minutes to make, in favor of cornflakes!
Simple things like trying to convince both kids to wash hands before touching food could be so straining at 6.30 am EVERYDAY! Why didn’t God send the kids with a pretuned rule-book downloaded in their brains at the time of birth!
A raised voice invariably translated into a war of arguments followed by a feeling of worthlessness once everyone left the nest. ‘I wake up so early in the morning for these people, make fresh homemade food so as to give a healthy start to everyone, I try so hard to include variety in their food. If only I could have not said “xyz”, this whole situation could have been avoided today’ were Aparna’s first thoughts when she shut the door once back home. Why couldn’t I do this simple thing, yet again today I faltered.
Is Aparna alone? No. If you look around, you will spot so many women who start their day with this feeling! A SAHM feels worse that she has traded this for a well-paying job whereas a housewife feels that she has scored miserably at the full-time job that she has at hand.
But parenting is a demanding job! Keeping relationship working is a tough task! How do we deal with this feeling of worthlessness when a kid or hubby leave the house without saying a goodbye, a hug or a smile?
To start with, I think we need to foster a positive self-worth. The human brain is very flexible. To err is human is the first thing we need to tell ourselves. It’s the immediate step towards building a healthier relationship with oneself. Acknowledging our own accomplishments, making a note of them helps our brain to store this information away and begin to shift the perception from ‘I am worthless’ to ‘I am a person of worth’. We must also shift our focus immediately to the positive aspect of the day. Gratitude boosts our sense of well being.
We must also learn to avoid self-pity and self-bashing for that means going down a slippery slope. If we practice positive self-talk we will find ourselves saying ‘Its going to be OK, I did my best I could’.
No job is all sunshine afterall !
This article was first posted here