Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Day In Life-1

This is part-1 of the posts wherein I talk about a day in my life. Hopefuly it will be an encouragement to all the mommies at home. Personally, I do not endorse a working mom/home maker, however, each to her own I guess. I do not by any means want to sound judgemental and my views are borne out of my own personal experience and my beliefs as a Christian woman.

There is something deeply soothing and reassuring about running a house well. The daily dynamics, the routine, the predictability of it all is a welcome relief while the world outside is fighting it's battles. For me it is a safe haven. A day in my life is pretty full. With my chores, cooking and parenting, I hardly have time to even stop and think of anything else, leave alone worry about. Needless to add, it is a full life and one that I chose more than gladly. I have always been convinced that being a home maker was/is my calling and I take immense pride in it. Becoming a mother is just an awesome bonus of course.

Sure, there are times, often when I am tired and angry and resentful or just fed up of life at home but thankfully those are really quite few. I am so deeply grateful to my Lord that he has enabled me to stay home and be a wife and a mother. What an unprecedented privilege. I say this because as Christians we live in counter cultural times. The premise is that if an educated, modern, broad minded young woman chooses to live at home (and enjoy it !) out of her own free will, she better be assigned to the fringes of society. She is not contributing in a tangible ways and fighting to battles. Many of my secular girlfriends balk at my life at home. They presume, I must be so bored of the drudgery of home keeping. That my parents wasted all their money on educating me. But I vehemently disagree. I know my Lord requires me to be excellent in everything I pursue and has given me abundant opportunities to prove myself. On a daily basis. And impact lives through my home ministry.

Above all, the work I do at home challenges me to my core. It takes every ounce of strength, ingenuity, hard work, diligence and intelligence to be good at home making. It makes for a stable happy family life, a happy husband and hopefuly one day, happy, well adjusted children who will grow up to live and serve Jesus!

I am a feminist’s nightmare! I enjoy doing all those things which they have fought for decades to get rid of from the society. My day starts at a comfortable hour of eightish (because we all sleep very late). Hubster enjoys very flexi timings now that he is self employed and it is a blessing because then I don’t have a morning manic rush to get things done. Yohaan is a late riser so I have a good 2-3 hours to myself in the mornings to jump start my day. I am mostly always excited about waking up to a new day. How cool is that no? Imagine waking up dreading the day or without a purpose! After a quick freshening up, I load the laundry for the day having collected it from the bathroom hamper. The best part is even if I forget to hang it out once it is all done, the heat in Dubai lasts 24/7, so whatever time I put the clothes out, they will be bone dry. I am just saying because I have a huge problem, I keep forgetting to put the clothes out for drying. :(

After this is I make myself a huge mug of tea (Indian Chai actually). And I sit along with it on the net for a while checking my mails, favourite blogs etc. Then back to the kitchen to assemble and cook breakfast for hubster. It is mostly the same stuff with a few changes once in a while. He likes his south Indian spread. So it is mostly dosas, idlis with eggs or some curry from the night before. Once in a while he will eat a western breakfast of toast, eggs, bacon etc, basically the works. I always ask him what does he want for breakfast and rustle it up while he gets ready for work. This is also the time , while breakfast is cooking, I mostly call my mother back in India for a quick hello. Multitasking is the name of the game people!

Once hubster leaves for work, I just sit for 15 minutes because that one hour of getting it all ready for his departure is pretty intense. We talk while he eats, plan for the day, do our budget for the day, plan our menu together and he assigns me some task if there is a need like maybe pay the bills on the net or call security/plumber/electrician for some work around the house or just to call the laundry guys. He also tries and gives me a basic lowdown on how his day is going to be and if he will be home for lunch. That is enough notice for me to cook something he will like for lunch. He has prison visits sometimes. The central jail is close to our house, so if he has to call there, he will come by for lunch. It is always a nice, welcome change to have him for that.

Right then, once my sit-out break is over. I head back to the kitchen to do my general clean up and organize Yohaan's breakfast. Mostly fruit puree and oatmeal. Quick and simple. Once that is done, I clean the living hall and the guest bathroom. Everyday. Sometimes twice a day because Yohaan makes a bomb go off every day and by the time it is night, my house looks terribly rubbish! His toys, food, half eaten and drying-everything gets piled on everywhere. Anyway, this task always gets done very fast because essentially, we have a small house after all. Hereafter, I wait for Yohaan to wake up. Once he is up, he has to be changed and fed. Thankfully he enjoys his food so it is not a big chore to be completed. Once he is settled, I hit the bedrooms and the master bath. Clean, dust, change, throw out whatever needs to be out and pull it all together for the day. This also doesn’t take a lot of time but then if I have been slack the previous day, the mess just builds up and I have to put in extra time. I have figured if I make the bed at least, the bed room looks fairly clean. That’s cheating I know, but with a toddler underfoot, I have had to let go of a lot pre-held standards of keeping house. Now post baby, I just about manage.

While I clean around the house I also get Yohaan's lunch going. Mostly rice, lentils and 2-3 veggies thrown in. I don’t cook for myself and make do with previous night's left overs. I try and eat healthy because I am trying to lose weight big time. Most days I manage to be on track. If daddy will be home for lunch I simple recycle the left over dinner. Say make a stir fry from the previous night's fish fry. Or add meat to previous night's vegetable curry and serve it up with some rice and salad. No brainer!

By this time it is mostly late afternoon which is when I give Yohaan his daily massage and a nice hot bath followed by lunch. If he is sleepy, I put him down for his nap else, we both play or sing quietly and I also add in a quick shower for myself. Some days a neighbour will visit with her child. It is a loosely programmed afternoon. No hard and fast schedules. The sun and the heat is relentless and we cannot venture out. Yohaan assists me in my daily afternoon ritual of drawing the curtains and making the house a little darker and cooler. In any case, the ac's are always on. He seems to enjoy this basic simple task immensely, I think he clearly knows the change in the rhythm of the day as it slows down to early evening. If he naps, I get some precious me time during which I surf the net, read a book, tackle some pending task of the week or just sit and watch space! I like to switch off. This is how the morning-afternoons are for me most days except maybe weekends. In my next post I will continue with the latter half of the day.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Give Me Some Air breathe. I really do need some space and me time. June was one crazy month. You guys must be so tired reading about my never ending 'crazy' days, weeks, months now. What can I say. I am one of those people who attract crazy-ness. The whole world knows that I live in a house as big as a chicken pen. One movement and you are liable to bump in to something- mostly injury inducing. It is a different matter that I still have trouble keeping it clean and organised. Let me not even go there. With the brat becoming more and more naughtier by the day, I have almost given up any semblance of order in my life, and the house is just a small part of my many hassles !

June was a time of unprecedented flow of house guests. Six adults to be precise. All staying with us at the same time. Eldest being somewhere in her 60's and the youngest ofcourse being Yohaan. Hubster's childhood friend calls us one morning from UK, informing us that his dad who works here in the UAE has suffered a stroke and can we please check on him before he flies in himself. So off we go to the hospital and find the old man almost dead due to a massive stroke. Frantic phone calls back and forth, much running around for visit visas and the friend's family arrives en masse. Mom, elder brother and lil sister. And as it happens with us Indians, they ofcourse stayed with us. We wouldn't dream of saying no because it was after all a medical emergency. Again, it is a different matter that Yohaan thought it was all one big partayyyyy! He was so excited and obviously happy with the sudden deluge of guests and the extra attention he garnered.  They were with us for approx 8-9 days.

Mommy, ofcourse died. Cooking, cleaning and responding to needs. I dont want to crib about it because I always like guests. However, hosting folks in a really small house did me in. There were people all over!! Added to that, hubster's another friend from childhood is staying with us for 2 months looking for a job. I kept telling myself it would be okay. Okay. It will pass. The reason why I got so overwhelmed was that I was ill prepared to host anybody at such short or practically no notice. My cartons from the big move 3 months ago are still in  a state of mess. I have only our master bedroom functional because I haven't summoned the energy to fix the guset bed room -yet. The living room/ dining hall has furniture designed for a large house, so there isnt much space. Thankfuly, we do have two bathrooms.  The logistics of 7 adults and one toddler under one tiny roof is pretty nightmarish. I did a good job of being calm but I must confess I lost the battle to chaos, much mess and dirt and a perpetual  state of fatigue. In my mind, this is not the way to live or even host friends. There should be for example clean linen, clean toilets, simple but good food and and an over all sense of control. I had nothing going for me. To their credit, our friends were very accomodating and undemanding. But I still felt inadequate. Nothing I did looked or felt good. Except maybe for the clean/fresh linen I managed to provide everybody.

Miraculously their father did a u-turn and survived the stroke! The family were naturally more relaxed at this news. So were we. Because everybody loosened up. Enough to enjoy some good meals. Some general mall hopping and many laughs reminiscing over childhood stories. I got to know hubster's friend and his family. Got some interesting insights in to family dynamics and most importantly some of the early childhood influences on my husband. I kind of understand better as to why/how he has chosen to be the kind of husband/father /son/friend/brother that he is today. As I closed the door on the last of my guest departing for India, I heaved a sigh of relief and a sent up a grateful thanks to the Lord for my family. It was a mad, hectic week. But not without lessons learnt in gratitude and God's provision for us. He somehow kept me going without falling apart even though I was so not equipped to handle myself leave alone so many guests!

Cherry on the cake you would like to know? In considerable pain Yohaan, who had to go and sprout 6 teeth together in June alone! While the guests were here. Not much I could do. When will it end, Lord?