Wednesday, October 12, 2011

All That I Ever Wanted To Be

For the longest , longest time I remember, all that I ever wanted was to be a wife and mommy and play house. Yes, there I've said it now. It was a passionate, strong , living dream of mine. As a little girl I loved playing with dolls, imaginary cooking sessions, mothering my baby cousins and the grown ups around me would comment 'oh, she is such a mummy!' I even remember being very pleased to hear that! Then you know, being Indian means you have to get married and have children before the right age, that 'right age' differs from community to community but a general trend in my clan is getting it all done before 30. That is infact quite late by most Indian standards. So as I started approaching twenty-five, my parents, ah bless them, dutifuly began making noises. 'Havent you got a boyfriend? What kind of guy do you want? Do you want us to start a search?' I can imagine many of you cringing, which is okay. As I keep repeating, I am Indian and in India we do still have arranged marriages you know! If one has'nt conjured up a boy/girl friend or if one has'nt been noticed and basicaly nothing exciting is happening in one's life, parents step in a do the needful. Very convenient I must say.

Suffice it to say, my life wasnt 'happening' enough and so one sunday morning my mother asks me, 'well, you know, shall we then?' 'What mother?' 'You know, you are soon going to be twenty five, maybe we should get you married?' "Why mother, how nice of you to notice!'. Except for the small, teeny-tiny problem of 'arranged marriages' not working out in our clan for some reason! As it is there are hardly any uncles, aunts or cousins of mine who have had an arranged marriage and the ones who failed at producing a suitable boy/girl were 'fixed' by their parents and lived to regret the choice. So, arranged marriages dont work for my family. It's just one of those family curses or something. Anyhow, me being me, happliy agreed. To marry that is. But informed her that I would find my own man. And I did! Non Indian and particularly western readers may find all this weird. I suppose it is, if you are an outsider looking from the outside ring view....but for many of us young Indian men and women marriage is a serious business and most of us, if not all, comply with societal norms of getting married 'on time'. I was no different and while I was not desperate to start living my domestic dream, I knew in my heart that I was ready to be married from like the age of 10 months maybe....who know huh?!

Many women who have a similar profile like mine express great amazement when I open up about living my dream. With increasing options vis a vis higher education, career choices, access to world travel and technology nowadays, no doubt more and more young Indians are pushing marriages and motherhood to the backburner. That is alright I suppose. I mean our parents' generation did not have these choices, so it is natural that changes will take place, it is inevitable. Which is why some of my mommy friends who have chosen to work too, express shock that I 'seem' to have such old fashioned views. How can anyone simply dream of being a wife and a mother. Is that it they ask? How? Why? Honestly, I have never felt concious of speaking about my dreams. I have never felt the need to sound right and say that I will also try and take a shot at being a career woman and a home maker and balacing it all. I always knew my inner most desire and whats more I went about planning and attaining my goal just like any 'other' career minded person would. While you may have gone to college to train in a career outside home, I studied so I would be better informed and able to teach my future children. I travelled to become more aware, I read books to hone my intelligence and pick up skills, I watched other seasoned home makers and learnt housekeeping and mothering from them, I watched happy couples and tried to file it all away for a future need. I learnt from their mistakes too, one of them being 'dont say no to sex!' :) Jokes apart, I did take preparing my self for marriage and motherhood rather seriously. In my mind, if I was to live my dream successfuly, I had better be prepared. Lifestyles today face unprecedented stress and strain, so I chose to be fuly equipped. When the right time comes, you can make the transition as smoothly as possible.

I dont know whether by working outside, I would be making great changes in the world. The kind of person I am, I have my doubts really. I did work steadily before getting married and untill I was pregnant with my son. In my mind it was just a phase of getting to meet lots of people people and making some money, thats about it. I performed well because it was the right thing to do. But those jobs that I picked up were not going to take me anywhere and were certainly not my priority. They would never take the place of the stuff that were supremely precious to my soul. That is, having a partner, a house to look after and a child to bring up. Yes ofcourse I was biding my time untill I met the love of my life and asked him to marry me and proceed to give me a baby- major strategy at play here, dear readers! Hello there hubster, you were very obliging I must add! Ha ha ha. It worked out quite well isnt it? The sense of contentment and fulfillment I now have is the same as any other 34 year old (darn, you guys know old I am now!) working woman. She would probably be a manager by now, heading her own team, steadily climbing up the career ladder and making pots of money too! On an average I assume. Well, it is the same with me. What would you expect from a 34 year old home maker and a mommy? I must say I have come a long way indeed! From pure panic at the prospect of hosting a couple of friends or cooking a fancy meal for hubster's boss, from not knowing how to revive a dying inddor plant, from not knowing how to plan and execute a week's worth of menu, from not knowing anything about brith control, from not willing to submit to my husband and caring for him, from not knowing how to shop for fresh meat and vegetables and oh, so many things I have come a long, long way baby!

Even if I say so myself, I do run a good house. And am currently guilt-free as far as mothering is concerned. Being a good wife is fodder for another post altogether though. *sigh* I am now a fairly seasoned home-manager! I dont panic, I am organised, I plan and I execute effortlessly. My house is open to all. My pantry is well stocked, fresh food always available. The beds have clean sheets-always. The toliets are shining. Things are (mostly) in their place. I have a budget and a menu plan. I manage to be awake before the boys and ensure they are looked after. (Hubster's ALL socks are always missing though...loosing battle that one now). My child is secure and happy knowing mommy is always around. He gets the very best of me and not some care taker, and that is perhaps the best deal in this whole drama. I can and have hosted 50 guests easily with not an ounce of panic, I am available to anybody who is needy around me.  A new mother needs a meal? No problem. An elderly church member needs a pick up for church? No problem, even though I dont have a car, will organise a car lift anyway.  A young single girl friend needs help shopping for her upcoming wedding followed by hand holding and counselling? No problem. She also needs advise on sex and birth control before she gets married? No problem. A young brother in law needs advise on handling a crush? No problem. He also wants his laundry done during the weekend because he is a bachelor and not very well equipped to handle it in his own pad? No problem dude! Come on right over. Husband's colleague at work gets married and visits with his new wife , reqeusts me to share recipes and tips on settling down in Dubai- with pleasure! A hindu friend drops in for a meal during Navratri and wont eat meat, will cook a fantastic hindu-veg meal babe. ( I know you will read this and smile!) A visitor from India first time in Dubai? Will take you around and cook and launder for you and entertain you too! A reader of my blog , perhaps very lonely will email and expect a few words back- certainly no problem! Blogging regularly after so much happening in life- maybe a little problem, lolll.

As you can see my dear readers, I have enough and more happening in life. I am not busy without a purpose here. I am trying to live intentionaly. Without expectations. My Father in heaven sees all this and I hope he is similing. Look at her! She's a little-big momma alright! And am lovin it .

Disclaimer: I sound so full of myself but let me assure you, I am no domestic godess, yet!


Shalini said...

Your posts make me smile.

And if only I'd known you when I was a new mom.....would have loved a nice hot meal!

Harshika said...

Thanks Shalini. I noticed your absence when you were pregnant and a few weeks later you told us you have a baby! If I had known I would at least hand held you virtualy! Everyone knows that harshika will cook whenever there is a need, im famous for providing food as a way of showing my care. Typical mommy! My next door neighbour had a baby last year and I cooked for her whole family for a month. It was fun Im telling you. :)

Shalini said...

Wow, you are amazing. I find it a struggle to do it on a day to day basis, and here you are cooking for another family for a whole month.

Harshika said...

@shalini: dont know about being amazing and all, but I just enjoy cooking for everybody incl myself. Ofcourse there are many days when I dont also!
This neighbour had a c-sec, has a husband who works night shifts, has a very naughty 10 yr old too, could not afford a maid even for part time and the new baby was very collicky. I just felt really bad for her. No friends, no family since this is a new building and we were all new last year. I couldnt see her the way she was...totaly messed up and frazzled. So I decided to cook. That's the least I could do. In the afternoons, her older boy would eat with us after school, finish his HW and then go home, this gave her some break. The rest of the meals, I used to cook early morning, pack it up in disposables and give it to her. Simple!
Next baby you have, let me know,shall drive down with ur meals! and deliver!

Anonymous said...

You are one amazing lady, not everyone does something for others, and ppl like you make this place wonderful to live! No doubt you are an accomplished mom, wife, neighbour n friend :) I can only dream of being that one day.. :)

- ur new friend,

Shalini said...

See, that's exactly it. For you it's so normal, but for someone like me, it's like a huge mountain. I had a c-sec too, but I was home for 3 months afterwards (and 3 months before too ;-))), but I still struggled when I came back here to dxb.

Umm, is there an apt vacant next to you?

Harshika said...

All this will go to my head now. Lovin the attention totally! shalini, i had a c-sec too but had a wonderful full time maid, who really looked after me. I feel a lot for pregnant and new mothers and bend backwards to help whichever way i can. I love to see their relief when someone offers help. its such a trying time no?My heart goes out to them....and nobody understands those mood swings man!! I used to be so angry all the time post partum!