Thursday, May 24, 2012

Momma musings

8 months and 11 days to date since I became a mom...and before you proceed any further with this post, I must warn you not to expect anything cohesive here as I ramble on with musings of a new (really, not new anymore I guess!) mom...

It may sound cliched, but it's been a roller coaster ride indeed these past few months...parents leaving...I, deciding to go back to work to keep my sanity intact and prevent my brains from rusting :)...finding almost the perfect nanny and then 7 months down the road dealing with nanny woes...dealing with the perenial stay-at-home mom vs nanny vs day care debate...and in the midst of all that chaos, our little munchkin never failing to brighten up our days with something new everyday...

As bad as it may sound, I didn't turn out to be the stay at home variety after all...hence the decision to get back to work, albeit with some flexibility and a work location closer to home....I was earlier doing a more than an hour long commute(on a good day) each way to and from needless to say, I was overjoyed with an offer that was inline with what I wanted to do as well as very conveniently located. A few months at home was enough to make me realize that given my personality, no matter how many hours a day I may spend physically close to my little one,my love and affection for her as well as the amount of undivided attention and quality time I could give her would remain unchanged irrespective of whether I ventured out to work or stayed at home....With this realization, it made more than just simple sense to venture out to work, keep myself up to date with the going ons in the corporate world, have some daily adult interaction ,get some form of help to take care of munchkin while I am out, while trying my best to make sure that she doesn't, in any way, feel neglected and her development is not affected.

D and my initial thought was that if we did find a good nanny, we would keep Raya home for at least one/two years before introducing her to nurseries/play schools where she could interact well with her peers and develop socially...Given an option, the thought of leaving an infant who was not yet mobile and capable of keeping himself/herself entertained with toys at least for short periods of time,in day care, kind of freaked me out, for no particular reason...Thus began the search for the perfect nanny :)...Let me tell you this, the search for a good nanny who fits well into your family, can be an extrememly frustrating experience, having to deal with all kinds of characters in the process...a couple of the potential nannies I interviewed cared only about the moolah...didn't bother to even turn and take a look at the child they would potentially be taking care of before fixing on the moolah aspect :(...there was one who came in for an interview with her boyfriend (God knows why!!)....and there were many others with their own set of idiosyncracies...I could go on and on...many a time, I was on the verge of giving up and just staying home...among close to 30 nannies I inteviewed, there were just two who struck a chord with me...they were maternal, warm, affectionate, loving and it was evident that nannying was more than a job for them ...they seemed to want to develop a lifelong bond with the child they would be taking care of them was a simple,nurturing, Peruvian lady,'P', whom I took a liking to instantly and made an offer on the spot....she took great care of Raya for 6.5 months and Raya loved and still loves her...she was reliable and simple...but then as fate would have it , she had her own personal issues to deal with and she let me know that if and when I found good alternate care for Raya, she would want to take time off to deal with her family issues...fortunately she was not the kind who didn't turn up one fine day...I have heard those horror stories as well...and I thank God we weren't a part of another one of those tales...

Nevertheles, we were back to square one...debating yet again which way to go nanny vs day care vs quit work and become a SAHM...By this time, Raya was beginning to become quite active...sitting unsupported, crawling around, pulling up to furniture, becoming increasingly mobile and nurturing an increasing interest in toys and people around her...I just had this gut feeling that a play school/day care setting would do her good and was the way to go at this stage of her life...while we were inclined towards a day care setting, of course the endless talks of day care infections, illnesses, lack of one on one attention etc and just a general feeling of guilt kept us on the fence for quite a bit...till we found a place we felt really good about ...and then when we did,we decided to take the plunge...we introduced Raya to day care for 6.5 hours a day/5 days a week, three weeks back...needless to say, it broke my heart the first day when I left her at the day care...

Now, three weeks into day care and among that a week of seeing my munchkin go through a severe bout of cough and cold , I finally think my little darling is settling into her new routine...These days, day cares are quite well equipped, with video monitoring and instant messaging updates about what your little one's day is turning out to be...that helps at keeping general levels of apprehension and anxiety at bay, for parents and also in keeping the caregivers alert and on their toes...though I agree, it can never be a subsitute for a parent/family member being constantly around the child...but that's the way it just is, when you go this route and choose not to be a SAHM...I leave the dropping off to day care bit to D...let him be the bad cop :)...I play it safe and be the good cop:)....I pick my little munchkin up from the nursery every day....I first peek through the window before going into the classroom and more often than not see her playing around happily...sometimes on a bad day, I see her being a bit fussy...but fortunately that's not happened too often...but what's so far been a constant soon as our eyes meet,she first smiles...then makes a face getting ready to cry, almost as if she realizes that mommy shouldn't see her happily playing around in school or mommy will get complacent :)... then she comes crawling as fast as she can to me ... I pick her up...she looks at me...the smile comes back on...she then looks around and smiles back at all her friends and teachers...almost saying without using any words..."My mommy is here".... and that in itself makes my day, everyday ...

I realize I have not been that bad a mom these past 8.5 months after all...and that smile says it all :)...How I handle the coming months and years is anyone's guess...but for now at least, I can flush out the guilt, rejoice and bask in the joys and glory of just being a mom...:)

Here's a salute and toast to Stay at Home Moms and Working Moms alike...there's no right or wrong choice's a personal choice that each of us makes and it's a difficult choice either way ...and no matter which choice you end up making, here's hoping it keeps you and your little one, happy and contented...

Leaving you with a few pictures of little Miss Sunshine , busy at work and play...:)

P.S.It's funny but I just realized I never write blog posts in the middle of a crisis(e.g. the nanny vs day care vs SAHM crises)...I wonder why...of course a part of it is lack of time, being too busy dealing with the crisis itself...also probably a part of it is because I prefer to write once I have found the light at the end of the just helps keep the optimism alive...probably :)

1 comment:

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Chaitali Ghosalkar:
Lovely post.. and Raya's pictures are super cute!!

May 24 at 3:49pm

Smitha Kalappurakkal:
Great post, Priyanka. Good job venturing to the new milestone successfully. I'm yet to take that daycare step with Rohan! Your post certainly is very encouraging.

May 24 at 6:47pm
Priyanka Rajkhowa:
Thanks guys...

May 24 at 8:35pm
Priyanka Rajkhowa:
@‎Smitha Kalappurakkal: I know it's one of the toughest decisions to make...:) ...I probably wouldn't have ventured out either had the situation not long the child seems happy and contented, there is no right or wrong time...I guess:)

May 24 at 8:39pm

Anuroopa Thangaraja:
very well said priyanka, hard to make these decisions..each one has their personal choice. we shd all hang in there and make it through :)

May 24 at 8:44pm

Payal Mohan:
Fantastic post! Raya is super cute!!!!

May 24 at 9:35pm

Priyanka Rajkhowa:
Thanks folks:)

May 25 at 9:32am

Gautomi Chowdhury:
Nice pics :-)

May 25 at 9:55am

Ankita Deka:
Raya is so adorable Priyanka! Every decision involving your child seems so precarious. Devarsh turned 5 yesterday and yet I am unable to let go off my worries and insecurities about things involving him. Take care...

May 25 at 4:55pm

Triveni Goswami Vernal:
Chints you should read the essay The Motherhood Religion by Judith Warner....its really good and she tackles the issues/dilemmas a new mother would face, quite it if you can..

May 26 at 6:31am

Sangeeta Bhatia:
Chintu,from all appearances, you're doing a superb job of being a mom. I can understand how tough it may be sometimes especially being a working mom. But as you mentioned,the smile says it all. The initial couple of years are the toughest insome sense but also the loveliest. Raya definitely looks a contented baby and also looks very intelligent somehow.

May 27 at 3:16am

Gautomi Chowdhury:
and ofcourse as usual..wonderful read :-)

May 29 at 12:20pm

Priyanka Rajkhowa:
Thanks folks...


Priyanka Rajkhowa:
‎@Bubu(Triveni Goswami Vernal): Yep gotta read that... I remember you had mentioned this essay earlier as well...just ordered a copy...
@Ankita Deka,Lonu ba(Sangeeta Bhatia): Thanks...I do hope we end up making the right decisions now, specially since they all invlove small wrong step could ruin it all...that's what scares me sometimes...but fingers crossed, for now :)

May 30 at 1:47pm