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The Action Plan

Dear Diary,

Some dreams never leave you. They keep bugging you, sometimes softly, sometimes strongly. Similar is my dream for living abroad. Maybe it’s my weakness towards the grass on the other side of the fence. More than my own farm, I end up envying over the green pastures on the other side. Well, never mind. This too shall pass!

So, as I discussed in my last post, I was strongly thinking of quitting my job so that I could take care of my son. All my life, I’ve always believed that working women take equally good care of their children as home-makers. My Mom was working and took extremely good care of me and my brother. So, I could too. Now, the myth was broken. So, here were the constraints:

1. I have no way I would give anything less than the best to my child. If I believe I can give the best care to my child even while working then I should.
2. If I’m not giving my best, then what is it I’m lacking?
3. Will my quitting job fulfill the purpose?
4. Can’t I do that WITH my work?

So, through these questions, I found my action plan and some further questions which I seek answer to:
The Action Plan:  I take a 1-month leave from work, spending time at home, while my son’s summer vacations are on. Once this finishes and his school begins, I and my husband juggle between work and home. He picks him up at 12.00 from school/bus, stays with him for 2-3 hrs and feeds him lunch. I stay at work from 8 AM – 2 PM and head home. As I reach, husband heads back to work. I work from home for the rest few hours I’m supposed to log-in. In the meanwhile, Anay takes his afternoon nap. As evening arrives, I’m done with my office and free and available for my son. No daycare!
The Questions
1. I try to give my best to my son. I try to find out what extra I’m doing for him.
2. Do I end up procrastinating, as I expect I would, if I became a full-time-home-mom?
3. Am I able to keep my sanity staying 24-hr at home?
4. Find out how life would be if I were completely at home? Find out if I can manage to work AND take care of my child.
5. If I do not want to leave my work, how do I manage to provide all that with my work?
6. Any external factors which further come into play?

How’s it going so far?
It’s been close to 10 days since I started doing this. I’ve gotten quite a few answers and this is how it’s going.
My son is thoroughly enjoying his time at home. He buggers me with his constant ‘Bore ho raha hoon (I’m getting bored!)’ unless I agree to his demand for TV or start to play something with him. He doesn’t have a care that I’m on a Leave-without-pay and that means less money. Nothing’s complicated in the 5-yr old’ world. However, that does seem to irk the adults. So, my husband and my parents have been softly and consistently telling me that while it’s okay to take some leave, 1 month is just too long. I’ll lose touch with my work! (If that’s even possible) I’ll  get no money at all this month. etc. etc.
Well, that didn’t bug me too much but then I had to go to office for a day, and I realized that taking a month off did have its repercussions. Before I decided to quit/not-quit, the people above had started wondering the same. And, making adjustments!! That’s something I definitely didn’t want. I want to try my best at my work. I’ve worked hard to build my career and I do not let it go just like that. If I decide to quit, it’ll be when I decide I can’t do it. Not before that! And hence, I had to make arrangements so that I continue to work for few hours scattered through the week, while still being on vacation. My manager was kind and adjusting enough to allow me to apply for a working-day accordingly.
So, you make some plans, life makes its own plans. Each action has its own reactions and you gotta be prepared for them. I was able to do damage control, thankfully but things could have slipped out of my hand very soon and easily.
I’m trying to work-from-home but working with a 5 yr old at home is not easy. Hence, I realize I’ll have to make some arrangements if I want to not send him to daycare and yet WFH. And, I do end up frustrated and itchy by being 24-hrs at home.
But, one thing I did learn, my son needs a lot of my time. No amount of time is sufficient for your child. You can give as much and it’ll still be less. Tarun says you can’t give quality time the whole day. If you give 1 hr of quality time in the day, that’s sufficient too. And, I somehow realize it’s true. I can’t keep my patience and mental strength to keep him engaged in variety of stuff, all day long. Somewhere, I think it’s not that necessary. If you just ensure that you teach him one new thing each day, even if for an hour, that’s sufficient. What’s crucial is to keep the child at priority. What’s crucial is to not forget him in the milieu of things that happen in our regular working lives.

It’s okay if he’s watching too much TV. It’s a phase and shall pass. It’s okay if he’s fooling around and wasting his time. Trust God that it’ll teach him something too.

Ultimately, he’s the child of the Universe. What he gets, what he doesn’t, is all his destiny. I can only try to do my best. Try to impart him the common sense and the sense of the world, as long as it lasts. Enjoy the time with him as long as you have it. Share some laughs, some litchis, relish the twinkles in his eye, and the innocent laughter on getting the unexpected chocolate, the squeals in the pool, the detailed arguments with people for getting his way.

Thank You God for being kind enough.


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