Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Distance Makes The Heart Grow Fonder


Husband-ji just returned back this week from a 3 week long trip to India, which will mark the longest ever that we have been away from each other. He was going for his cousin-brother's wedding and also to do some fabric business in Bangalore for our shop. 

Of course I would have liked to go, however it was just not possible, so I sent him on our behalf. For one person to fly to India, it costs thousands of dollars. If we all had to go, it would be triple the price. Plus, when husband-ji goes on his own, he can cut costs by staying with his family, whereas we would be more comfortable in an A/C hotel, considering the intolerable heat (which again costs more money). The heat was also a huge factor for us, since I was concerned about both Maya & I getting sick from it. The wedding took place in Tirupati in a wedding hall with no A/C - so no, we could not go. Another big factor was that my parents' were currently moving houses with a tight deadline, so I had to help them pack everything. My dad is now using a cane, so I could not leave my mom to pack up the whole house entirely by herself.

Originally, I was not worried at all. When husband-ji said he wanted to go, I said sure, no problem. I was confident that I would be totally fine on my own since Maya's in school. However, as soon as he left, I quickly realized that I was in over my head. 

 A few things that I didn't anticipate was Maya being so emotional about him leaving. She was a mess. It was a big surprise to both of us, since she has always been more attached to me and mostly ignores him! Despite my reassurance that he would be back soon, and trying to distract her from thinking about him, she woke up everyday crying for him and constantly kept saying "I miss him...he is never coming back". It was so difficult, and even after 3 weeks it didn't get any easier.

Another thing I didn't anticipate was how stressful my parents' move would be (what was I thinking?!). They have lived in their house for 26 years, so that means it's filled with 26 years of crap. Seriously. After all the furniture and the important things were moved, what was left was piles and piles of garbage (eg. expired canned food, medicines) and donation items. Especially with all the sentimental items, you really have to go through that by yourself to decide what to keep and what to throw. Just the amount of decisions that I had to make - for a single box - exhausted me. 

(Bye bye old house...)

So, those things were hard to deal with on top of the day-to-day grind. Since husband-ji was away, I had to fill in for him at the store when Maya was in school. By the time I'd get home at 5:30 pm, we'd both be starving and there would be no one there to start preparing dinner (as husband-ji used to do when he arrived home before us). Every day was completely rushed. The first week I did pretty well, spending the mornings cooking all the meals for the day... but by the second week, everything went to shit. We ended up have take-out food every night for dinner because I was just too tired to make anything. I was barely functioning and having husband-ji gone felt like I was missing a leg. We have gotten into such a good rhythm as parents and partners that having him not here made it difficult for me to handle daily tasks. Having him gone made me appreciate how integral he is to the household, and as a parent. I don't think I would have realized that in a week. It took a good 3 weeks of hell for me to really appreciate him!

Husband-ji didn't exactly have much of a vacation either, since Indian weddings are notoriously full of drama, a big cluster-f*ck, and too long. The heat and the traffic made him very tired, so by the time we got on Skype (with the 12 hour time difference) at least one of us was basically in a coma. I was glad that husband-ji got to spend time with his family without me, because I think that's important. He got to spend wonderful quality time with them, and ended up healing the relationship with his sister and her husband which is proof that time heals all wounds.

I was a bit sad that husband-ji missed Mother's Day though. I wasn't expecting anything and I told him not to purchase anything for me, but he surprised me by coming back with a giant suitcase just for me! The best thing about husband-ji is that he has the best sense of style - everything he purchases is exquisite. He brought back everything I could ever dream of getting - designer sarees, cotton kurtas, sweets from Dadu's and Karachi Bakery, pillow cushion covers, ayurvedic eye cream, outfits for Maya, and Indian fashion magazines. It was all so thoughtful. And the best was these amazing gold jhumki's that he got from GRT. Those were absolutely breathtaking. I own very little gold, so it was extra special.

(Mother's Day gift from husband-ji)

Now that he is back, we are finishing up packing my parents' house, preparing for my inlaws' impending landing...and the best thing is that Maya is back to normal!

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Dear readers, how do you handle it when your partner is away for long lengths of time?
Do your kids get affected?
Do you find moving stressful?
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7 comments

  1. Packing, moving are incredibly stressful for me though I do declutter a lot. I like everything to be in its place and clutter makes me nervous. Of course, when you are moving, everything is all over.

    Helping someone move? - It is great as long as they let me throw stuff instead of wanting to keep everything.

    I feel the better way (from my own experience) is to start decluttering months in advance (when a family moves) or less depending on how long you stayed etc. and then pack everything else. Unpack stuff as you need them in the new place. Decluttering is a very draining process with so many decisions involved.

    Your experience made me think how tough it is for single parents or parents whose spouses do not help at all.

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  2. This reminded me when I first got married :D Well, not exactly but sorta...

    I've been so used to being independent and do things my own way most of my life, so having my husbad moving in and doing stuff FOR ME was bit hard for me. I easily took over when he was doing housechores, and told him "I'll do it" since I had become so comfortable doing thing my way. Now I've been sick for few days and I cannot describe the happiness I feel when he is doing everything around the house, and without even asking me. This really has made me realise how lucky I am finding a man, who turns out to be such a big help in everyday life. I'm happy to hear your experience has also opened your eyes more, and that you don't him for granted, as some people do end up doing :)

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  3. Hola,

    This is good old DG. Those were heck of 3 weeks you had. I have been on a perpetual declutter mission since last 3 years but I feel stuff sneaks in when I am asleep.
    I recall my mother had tough time when my father went on field duty and my brother was just 3 months old. I also recall another one when I was in grade 6-7. It is hard being a parent, a single on is even harder I see a friend struggling with her teens.

    Please check your email I just sent you one.
    Peace,
    Desi Girl

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  4. Alex,

    You are just one great lady! Love that photo of you and Husband-Ji, you both are so sweet. Sorry you had to go without seeing him for 3 weeks, that's really hard. Glad Maya is so glad her Daddy is back! Love your new jhumki's those will look beautiful on your with your sari's. He really does have excellent taste, good job Husband-Ji. Glad he enjoyed being with family and healing with his sister. I will have to say, I could not handle that kind of heat, it must have been really hot there in India. Good luck moving your Mom & Dad and your in-laws. Look forward to them getting home to Canada and in their new home. Have a wonderful weekend.

    Melissa

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  5. @Alexandra

    Those gold jhumkas are fabulous. Going by the rate of gold in India, this must have cost a tonne. Glad that husbandji is back.

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  6. Wow, the timing of this is so spot on - my husband is away in Delhi for a 3 week trip for the second time in about 6 months to take care of some family stuff. It never gets any easier! Thankfully we don't have kids yet, but I become an emotional wreck and let so many things go by the wayside. Each time he has gone back, I've wanted to go too but I'm in grad school, which makes leaving for that long difficult. I made it through this week without crying every day though, so I guess that's a start! Glad to know I'm not alone in this and I'm happy your husband-ji made it home safe and sound. :)

    ReplyDelete

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