Those things moms do

1:32 PM

Whether a woman is a Stay At Home Mom (SAHM), or an office going one we are still seen as the main caregiver in a child’s life, though I know there are more and more dads out there stepping up to the plate, and even some that embrace the role of SAHD.
Caring for a child is a real work, a sometimes challenging one, and despite being rewarding, a more often than not taxing one. I wrote about being a new parent, I wrote about being a toddler’s mom. I wrote about how being a SAHM is actually a real job, you don’t get paid but it is still a big job, heck Forbes even did evaluate the rough income of a SAHM should she be out working all these jobs and be paid per hours for them, the calculation applies to US, but the idea is clear…just because we do not earn a salary doesn’t mean we do nothing. And to the feminists out there…no we aren’t sell outs to the cause either, I like many made the choice to stay home. And while a business suit, a scrub, a lawyer’s robe and a construction worker’s overall are never talked about negatively, it seems that “mom clothes”, “mom haircut”, or “mom jeans” are something to laugh about, mock and declare as frumpy, unfashionable, or even ridiculous.
We run, play, wipe body fluids or pain, or food off every surfaces, we get said body fluids often directed at us, we operate round the clock, and you want us to be wearing designer wear and make up? No but no thanks, I wear fancy clothes for fancy occasions, not at work.
But I think I wrote about that in the past too, so I won’t elaborate much. Now I am the mother of a real school goer, a Jr Kg child. Once again the worksheet and challenges have changed, my routine has changed. And since last July I spent my days preparing tiffins in the morning, dropping Ishita to school, picking her up 3 hours later, cooking lunch in between, taking her to the park afterwards. Her starting to have more friends mean I am on PR duty often, birthday parties, play dates, eat out dates (the ones you take your kiddos out to a fun albeit junk food-ish outlet). My calendar is entirely scribbled with all the public holidays the school observed, the special even days the school organizes (and there are about 2-3 a week), the birthday parties reminder, the PT meetings.
My kitchen door has morphed into a control center/art display/teaching aid :


I mastered some very special skills along the way too, one being retrieving, sports medals and hello kitty tumblers from the “flower bed” lying beyond the solid iron grill on my windows. It involve remembering a lot of Mc Gyver…let me assure you, but the flower bed objects retrieval device hasn’t worked on the broom my darling daughter decided to throw out yesterday night.
1+ year old will run and climb everywhere, 2 years old start giving you some attitude, 3 years old will drive you insane enough, and just when you thought you mastered the art of dealing with their display of strong opinion and…ahem attitude, you discover that more words to their arsenal means more passionate debates as in: 
Kid : Mom look a truck
Mom : No dear it’s an excavator
K: No it’s a truck
M : No it’s an excavator
K : Noooooooooo it’s a truuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck
M : Fine it’s a truck
K : No it’s an excavator
M : Ok fine
K : Listen to meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

When my days aren’t already booked with social obligations, I’m returning books to the library…all kids books by the way. Then there are my own social circles to be part of, meeting at friends place, coffee meetings. And there are the craft projects. And the household stuff such as cleaning the things the maid do not do, doing the laundry, remembering when the ironing guy comes, remembering how many clothes I gave out, keeping track of the pantry content, the fridge content, planning meals, planning shopping lists, remembering leftovers...Indulging in an hour or so of hobbies here and there just to still feel like a person in my own right. Remembering when hubby gets home, when he is going out for a corporate dinner, calling him at least once a day to check how he is doing and to ask him if he can run an errand or two I can’t run due to rain, or lack of time in a busy day. The shopping trips because the school is asking for special outfits to be worn on special days: Red day, Blue day…all colours of the rainbow to come days. Radha outfit, ethnic wear A, Ethnic wear B, buy sweets, buy chocolate…parents come to school to read books day, bring your pet to school day (to come soon).
Sick days, that mean whiny kid when kiddo is sick and no rest for you, or hyper kid wanting to play, jump, run, paint and go out when you are the one nursing a 103 high fever and just want one tiny little hour of sleep…no sick days allowed for the moms in that kind of job.
But then even if you do not get paid in money, you get paid in cute drawings, smiles, kisses, laughter, hugs, play dough sculptures, you are being fed pretend food round the clock, and you can indulge in an endless diet of pretend cakes, muffins, chocolate custard, burgers, fries and donuts, because they fortunately don’t make you gain weight, not even pretend pounds. You get rewarded with sparkle in their eyes when they see caterpillars and chameleons in the park, they think you are the best cook when you make them Maggi (on a pooped out low energy day from your part), and sing you the I love you and you love me song they learned in school…just then you know that your job like any job in the world comes with pitfalls and perks.

So next time you see a mom, don’t ask her if she is working, because she always does, ask her if she as an occupation outside the home if you want to know if she goes to office daily. And please stop asking a SAHM the dreadful question “Are you planning to go back to work one day?” Because we never stopped working, we just made a career change.

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  1. Navya2:17 PM

    Wow , cyn! That was profound! Brought tears to my eyes! Today, being the mother of a one year old baby, I totally understand what sacrifice my mom had made in terms of her career to prioritize staying at home for me and my siblings, and I fear my son will not forgive me one day for leaving him with a nanny! I leave my son with a nanny as I go to work, my Work From Home days are over and I am overcome with guilt on most days. And when I return home, I see the sparkle in my son's eyes on seeing me but it is not the same joy I see when he sees the nanny who plays with him all day long! At that moment, I want to quit my job and stay with him all day long and I become possessive - but here I am still going to work, suppressing these emotions in the hope that two salaries would bring a better life for my son !


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