Monday, March 10, 2014

Miss Independent Mama

My beloved husband-ji comes back today and I'm so excited to see him! This marks the LONGEST amount of time that we have ever been apart, and the longest that he has been ever away from his baby girl (he's totally coming back to a different baby!) Having husband-ji gone for 3 weeks, I really don't know how I managed - especially with all our personal difficulties - but I did!

Husband-ji typically helps me a lot with the baby, and we are very much a team in terms of our parenting. We take turns feeding her breakfast so that we can get ready in the morning. In the evening, we give her a bath together, and husband-ji gives her milk and puts her to sleep for the night, while I read a book.  So I really didn't know how I'd manage when he was gone to feed her and myself, take a shower, and get some sleep.

Husband-ji left during the worst phase of teething, wherein I had a few sleepless nights until I consulted some other mothers and discovered the wildly popular Hyland's teething tablets, a homeopathic medicine. It really was a lifesaver! 

The first two nights when I tried to put her down, she kept screaming for "Daddy! Daaaaaddy!" but then after that, she totally forgot about him! Then she proceeded to ignore him on the video chat, totally playing hard-to-get! (He's going to have to suck up to her when he gets back...)

I learned pretty quick to get as much extra sleep as possible - so when she has her nap - I also hit the sack. I needed the extra sleep to get through the rest of the day.

One thing I didn't do at all was cook (except for breakfast). I literally did not cook a single thing the ENTIRE time (cue my MIL saying "Aiyooo Rama!") I thought it would be costly, but it turned out to be less money than if I went grocery shopping. Of course, I still had to go grocery shopping for milk and fruits for Maya, but that bill was less than $10 per week. Luckily we live on a busy road with a million different restaurants within a 4 block radius, so we had different cuisines all day, every day. After 10 days I started to get tired of eating "outside food", and then I decided to cook one night and it turned out to be a disaster since I couldn't concentrate. And then, I was like, what the heck, let's just eat out again! Luckily Maya eats anything and everything so we had no problem. 

Maya was really easy to manage, all by myself - during our personal crises, I needed her too. She was as clingy to me, as I was to her...I enjoyed spending extra time with her by playing with her and reading stories to her. She was like my little buddy - I would always take her out to dinner every night and we would share a plate of pasta; and then a bowl of ice cream; as I would talk to her about our day.

The only thing that was hard though, was the lack of time for myself. I had a little time after she went to bed at night to read a book, but that was about it. I missed doing my writing, exercising, or just going out somewhere by myself. My health definitely took a back seat, but luckily I got sufficient sleep so it wasn't that bad. But the first thing I'm going to do when husband-ji gets back is go to a yoga class or go swim laps!!!

One of the things I did when husband-ji was gone was use the opportunity of his absence to work on a few things with Maya - mainly, her sleeping and eating habits. Husband-ji likes to spoil his little girl a lot, and as a result, she gets fussy sometimes. He doesn't let her be as independent as I think that she wants to be - I sense that she wants to do things herself now. For example - he prefers to spoon or hand feed her when she wants to learn how to use the fork and eat herself; and he likes to hold her until she's asleep before putting her down. In that way he is like a typical Indian parent - he loves to baby his baby!

It was like 3 weeks of mommy boot-camp - and now I have got Maya feeding herself with a fork and a spoon; and I have efficiently sleep-trained her to settle herself and put herself to sleep at night (no more rock-a-bye baby for 2 hours a night!) I think husband-ji will be very impressed at how independent she has become!

(Maya feeds herself now with a fork/spoon, neatly like a little lady)

Last week I was stressed to the max with my father in the hospital, but now he is finally home and I feel so grateful. My dad was feeling depressed in the hospital so we got our yoga teacher to come and speak to him and practice his deep breathing - which helped him a lot. Now my dad says that he wants to become a vegetarian "Just like Madhavan, because he is so healthy" and he wants to do yoga to improve his tension. Maybe we all will do a private family yoga class!

One thing I didn't fully realize was how close my dad and husband-ji were... Every day my dad was asking when husband-ji was coming back, and he really missed him. When I phoned husband-ji, he said he can't wait to get back to "help uncle practice walking". It was really sweet. My mother always boasts about husband-ji, about how he is "her son" - but my dad is more understated. He never boasts so I never knew how much he loved him until he was in the hospital.

Recovering from surgery, it is interesting to hear what the hospital recommended that he do. They wanted him to get lots of rest, and also get lots of exercise by walking and going up stairs. They said the more you rest and exercise - the more you'll heal. What an excellent prescription for life too, I thought. We all need to rest more and exercise more...

Husband-ji also completed the 13 day Iyengar funeral ceremony for thatha and it went on very nicely. He got to see a lot of his family and they got to celebrate thatha's life together. All the petty family drama from the week before disappeared and everyone just enjoyed being with each other, he said. And a huge breakthrough - they all had a good cry together. They were all holding their tears in, and when I would phone his family and cry for thatha, they would all say curtly "control yourself" and quickly cut the phone. So I am glad that they let their emotions out. Funerals are always stressful, and they bring up so much from the past. I'm so glad that husband-ji went...

So, after my stressful few weeks, it feels that it has turned a corner. Which reminds me that tough times are only a season in your life and they always pass...life goes on...sometimes the only way to get through the pain is to bravely walk through it, until it passes...

SHARE:

12 comments

  1. Alex,

    So glad husband-ji is coming back home! Yeah!!! You have done so well teaching Maya how to use a fork and spoon and putting herself in bed to sleep. I am impressed, such a large change in a short period of time, just amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So glad your Dad is home now, and he will so enjoy husband-ji helping him to walk. Who knows, you may have another vegetarian in the family. Well, we will pray for husband-ji and safe travel back home. Hope you get back to your daily routine. So happy for all of you. Melissa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Melissa,
      Yes she never let me teach her so much before, but she was very open to it - totally Miss Independent! Hubby came back to a different baby, he couldn't believe all the new developments within only weeks! I think he was impressed...lol :)
      I have a feeling my dad will be eating a lot of Indian food in his old age! He is a vegetarian now, ever since the surgery he has a huge aversion to meats. Just the thought of non-veg makes him feel sick!

      Delete
  2. Good to hear he is coming back! As you know I have done the solo parenting way too many times over the years, eating out or ordering take out indeed comes as a life saver. These stints nope being a single parent always make me realise we are only human and can't do it all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh it is so hard! Longest we have done is 5 days, so 3 weeks was a huuuuge thing...but I survived! I really missed time to do things for myself, like exercise, and even making a run to the grocery store by myself. Now that he is back, it is so great to have the extra pair of hands. I really don't know how single mothers do it, it is grueling...

      Delete
  3. awww this was so sweet! U r a woman of strength, courage and substance. Love the way both u and ur hubby manage life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Shilpi :)))) I'm so glad he's back! Maya is a Daddy's girl once again!

      Delete
  4. Now, that's something. Glad you made it through and yes, mommy boot camp is one tough cookie to crack. But you seemed to have done splendidly :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Yes, even though this time it was longer, it was actually easier for me. Maybe due to her age, she is a lot of fun...and she still listens, so that helps!

      Delete
  5. Sorry to hear about your stressful week Alexandra, I just read your previous post.... But good that your dad and husband are back home! It is a satisfying feeling when your child starts feeding themselves, you when the food goes everywhere else but in their mouth!! Looks like your week is getting better now...take care

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Amelia....I am soooooooooooo happy he is back! It has been a stressful month, but it has all settled down now...thank god! Now I am going to make an appointment for the spa! ;D

      Delete
  6. Dear Sister ,
    May i conduct with my brother ( your husband )in our own language (தமிழ்)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure, but he is not able to read Tamil script, only speak it.

      Delete

Respectful comments only, please! (That means you, anonymous.)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
© Madh Mama. All rights reserved.
BLOGGER TEMPLATE DESIGNED BY pipdig