You can do anything you set your mind to, even pick-up a dead mouse

Our move to the house is officially complete. We still have few more boxes to open, but the big chunk of the arranging the house is now accomplished.

Pantry and kitchen were the first rooms that I laid out after the move. I stocked the pantry with best of what my family likes- organic pancake flour mix, savory snacks and chocolate chip cookies, oblivious that are abode was invaded by the tiny, squeaky creatures who shared the same love for food.

That fateful night, our pantry stuff was carelessly nibbled by the mice. I was angry at the mayhem that these buggers created. So I did what the situation demanded. I called the pest control. The company left me with mouse traps after a casual demo of how to apply peanut butter on the traps to attract the rodent. Apparently, these mice are drawn to peanut butter like Winnie the Poo to honey.

My hubby and I set the traps and waited for the catch.

Day 1 morning: Bingo!! We caught one mouse.

Disposing it off was easy! My hubby wore plastic bags like gloves and neatly put the dead mouse into another bag and threw it.

Day 2 and 3 Caught two more mice and my husband tossed the dead rodents like a pro.

Day 4 Caught one more, but this time my hubby did not throw it . He gave me a look. The look that said it was my turn to get hands dirty. It wasn’t as if I had to do bungee jumping or something insanely scary like skydiving, but I felt squeamish at the sight of the mouse.

My hubby said, ‘You’ve dissected mice in Biology, so throwing a dead mouse is a piece of cake!’

‘Eeewwwuuu! I can’t even look straight at the dead rodent.’

‘Just pick the whole thing up and throw it in a bag.’

After my hubby left for work, I was left alone to deal with my fears. After a deep exhale, I gave a ninja glance at the lifeless mouse, while  murmuring ‘It’s a piece of cake, it’s a piece of cake!’ ‘It’s not a dead mouse, but just a piece of cake.’ 

Clouded by my thoughts, I wrapped my hands in a plastic grocery bag.  I doubled the bag in my other hand to be extra cautious to not touch the mouse. Then I stood as far as possible from the target, and then bent over and stretched my arm to grab the trap along with the entangled mouse barely holding it with my thumb and finger. I threw the dead into the bag and secured it with many knots. I am grateful to the yoga practice that helped me in taking this perfect warrior stance against my enemy- the fear.

13160107913_cc41ae8f48_z‘Phew!’ I took a deep sigh of relief and did a victory dance to celebrate my act of valor. I washed my hands multiple times and then collapsed onto a couch like a doctor celebrating the success post a complicated surgical operation. That morning instead of tea I had a big glass of wine. (Well, wine part is a bit of a stretch, but I sure felt drunk over my success.)

Hence proved I can do anything I put my mind to, even pick up the dead mice.

So, can you!

Photo credit: CJ Isherwood via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

Photo credit: symphony of love via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

The day I found a genie in the bottle…

As a teen I enjoyed watching the comedy TV series, ‘I Dream of Jeannie.’ in which an astronaut finds a genie in the bottle. The genie granted him wishes. Golly! I was amazed at all the things the genie could do in a blink of an eye.


And with most of my days filled with the busy parenting routine, I’ve often wished to have my very own genie,  and then one bright, chirpy Phoenix morning it happened—

Amongst the lather and the dirty dishes,

In my sink, I found a genie in the bottle.

Kazoom! I opened the stopper to release

the tiny bewitched thing.

The genie bowed and said, “My master, I reckon,

you need to rest. Please allow me to do my best.”

In disbelief, I rubbed my eyes,

but there she was, right in front of me!

I sat before the fireplace, curled up with a cup of tea.

And, took out a dusty thin book that begged me to read,

and don’t know when, but I fell asleep.

When I woke up the house was sparkling clean,

the dishes were done, so was the laun-dary

nicely folded and kept in the dresser,

all within my arms reach.

The dinner was on the stove, just the way I like it

curry and basmati rice, and the naan on the side,

salad beautifully arranged, and a big glass of red wine.

Genie said she would do my pedicure too

as my toes possess a yellow hue.

I asked, “Dear, can I keep you, forever?”

I believe I might have begged,

for I had added

“Please and pretty please,” too.

Genie said,“Master, allow me to leave.

I have to serve others who

await a sigh of relief."

I thought of the mothers, sisters, wives and daughters

fathers, brothers, husbands, sons and

grandparents too,

all who desire a little respite

from their daily grind of might.

“Genie," I said, "You have a big job to do,"

"So, I let you free."

With those words, the bewitched thing

that awesome, helpful thing

faded into the air.

Friends, be on a lookout for the enchanted beings in the form of neighbors, friends, relatives who come into your lives at the most difficult times to give you respite and help to refill your everyday life cups.

 

Guilt of a stay-at-home mom

I had bidden a temporary farewell to the corporate job few years back to spend time with my kids. At that time I had not anticipated that the years would fly by so swiftly. So far, I was on a roll, and completely consumed by kids and family.

Now that my kids have started schools and I have some time to fuel my own identity, I am taking steps forward to work part time, breaking the inertia, and the self doubt that got penetrated from being away from work so long.

In all the years of being a stay-at-home mom (SAHM), I found that the media is overwhelmed with the articles on guilt that the working parent’s go through for not able to spend enough time with their kids. Having acknowledged this, being a SAHM is not a bed of roses either.  So here is my journey of not so bright side of being a SAHM, which is not often talked about.

I was sometimes over powered by self imposed guilt to not earn my own money, which I used to in my life before kids. This also meant that I did not spend money rightfully as I used to. I felt awkward to buy birthday presents for my husband, as I was technically using his money, but gradually I came to terms with this perplexity-after all it is the thought that counts!

There were times when I wanted to share my hubby’s burden of being the sole bread winner for the family, but then I justified in my mind that I contribute to finances by taking care of the kids. As you can decipher, it was not easy for me to switch to this non earning role, even though it was my own choice and something I was so excited about.

Also, there was the guilt of the days when I had an empty calendar which did not translate to no work, but it meant those mundane days when nothing exciting happens. And in emptiness of those days, I missed getting dressed for work each morning, and the need to socialize. Because of this guilt, even on those purposeless days, I was hesitant to being indulgent and spending time in manicures or facials.

I am fully responsible for creation of my guilt feelings, but somewhere society has also played a role, where it easily accepts a parent to stay at home for new borns and toddlers, however as the kids start the school, people begin to wonder about the parent’s choice of not contributing to the bacon directly. As SAHM I worked 24/7 without any break or sick leave and I know that my contribution is invaluable in shaping the lives of little ones, and no dollar value can come close to it, but deep down I felt uncomfortable so I ended up giving explanations for my stay-at-home status.

As the above thoughts were still fresh, my son asked me, “Why is it that Dad goes to office and you do not? I explained to him, but his question exposed an important perspective, and I began to wonder if my stay-at-home all day status is skewing my kids’ outlook towards feminism, as they only see me in a traditional role of a woman. May be yes, but then I am not being a very good role model.

parent

With all these thoughts parading in my mind, I can clearly state that my SAHM journey was a little bumpy but an extremely rewarding experience- I had my own learning curve and adjusting phase, amidst the joys of parenting.  But do I ever regret my decision to stay at  home? No, never, rather I feel blessed that I could put my desire of spending time with kids into an action without the concern of financials, and I have thoroughly enjoyed my children during this time, and would continue to do so.

With some spare time now, I am happy to be writing, and contributing to my hubby’ s business while still able to spend quality time with my family. At the end of the day, work choice is a decision that a couple makes considering the best for the family and their circumstances. Parenting itself is hard, and judging the parent(s) for the work choice does not make it easier for them.

Photo credit: foxypar4 via Foter.com / CC BY

Photo credit: symphony of love via Foter.com / CC BY-NC

Mom’s Resumé

One day while picking my kids from school, I met a parent who asked me “Do you work? I said, “Yes, I am a stay at home mom.” My response generated a puzzled look on her face.

I want to proclaim that contrary to the common belief, stay at home does not busyMomequate to leisure; it actually means working overtime. It also means that I reside in my workplace, thus, I end up working all the time, sometimes in my sleep too.

To further elucidate my theory, I decided to make a Mom’s resumé and share it with the world.

Objective

To raise children to become kind, responsible and independent adults.

Summary

I jumped into the Mom job with no past experience or training, and it all started when I swallowed a watermelon or so I was told when I carried my first baby; and then the other. I was unsure about my new job responsibilities until the blessed day came, and the nurse handed me our first newborn all wrapped up in a cute bundle. It was at that moment, I knew, I was hired for life!

I have the ability to function in a chaotic work environment while nurturing my demanding and lovable clients (my kids).

Roles and Responsibilities

Following are the roles and skills I have acquired during the mom job, and the list is somewhat dynamic like in any other resumé.

Chef- I can cook and serve multiple dishes before hell breaks loose; from an easy peasy Mac & Cheese to elaborate soups and entrée.

Housecleaner– I am all the time cleaning, even when I cook, I am cleaning. Actually, cleaning should be my middle name! And, yet when I am done (am I ever?) I still see the mess around – wonder what happened to all that cleaning.

Laundry Services– I make sure that the never-ending loads of clothes are washed in time, and are folded eventually, and few lucky ones get to the stage of ironing.

Reader– I read aloud to keep my little audience engaged until their eyes are ready to pop out of excitement during the day, and become droopy at bedtime.

Sleep Fairy -I tuck the kids in their beds and kiss them goodnight. Then I check for monsters under their beds and wave my magic wand to sprinkle sleep dust in their room. I sing in my not so melodious voice, which my kids find very comforting; and they gradually snooze.

Security Officer –   After my kids are asleep, I start my night shift and often take rounds to check on them. I tuck them back in their blankets as their tiny hand or leg extends uncovered, and kiss their foreheads, again!

Alteration Tailor– From Halloween costumes to the little stuff toys that live with my kids; I have learned to mend and alter them to their satisfaction.

Doctor and Nurse On-Call —  I manage multi-level medical severity; some boo-boos heal with a kiss or a cuddle, sometimes just a tickle; while some require a band-aid or medication. For more serious ones, I shuttle the children to the outside doctor.

Short sleeper – I am not blessed with the special mutated gene, but I can go without much sleep for multiple nights until the sleep debt becomes too heavy to carry, and then I cave in. This skill is required to care when my children fall sick. WARNING- Use of this skill makes me sooooooo grumpy!

motherEducator– From instilling everyday life morals, values, and faith, to preparing them for school is part of my job. As an in-house educator, I work in partnership with the school teachers for the welfare and optimal growth of my children.

Coach– I introduce my kids to manners and etiquettes, and this is a skill that needs some more practice. When my kids get an ice-cream or a candy they forget to say ‘thank you’; but who needs to hear the words when the twinkle in their eyes says it all?

Event Planner– I plan birthday parties, which includes deciding on the theme, decorations, games, food and the invites. I goof up at times but my kids appreciate the hard work and are cool about the occasional mishaps.

Chauffeur– I shuttle my children to and from swim lessons, soccer classes and play dates, driving safely but sometimes a little fast, to catch up, but still SAFELY.

Mood Enhancer– When my kids feel crabby and blue, I try to elevate their spirits. We perform the following activities together to let the bad air out- baking cookies, silly dancing to a fast tune, tickling and lastly talking about it.

Gardner– I involve my kids in little gardening projects, so they learn to care and nourish. They feel satisfied to see the plant grow or sometimes disappointed when the seed does not sprout.

Personal shopper– I take the kids to shop for their clothes and shoes, or I shop for them, mindful of their preferences. I ensure that the appropriate seasonal clothes are available in their wardrobe.

Bug Control Squad– When encountered with nasty bugs like scorpions, I have the ability to generate a high pitch scream accompanied by few mindless jumps; until the combat comes to an end, as I squish the rascal with a shoe. Bam!!! Gotcha!

Playmate– I try to carve out some time to play with the kids after their school. We play tag, board games or video games.

Boredom Pal– When it is time to include some unstructured free time into the kids routine, I change into this role, gently persuading them to find work they like to do.  After some whining and period of inactivity, they surprise me with their creativity, from making stick figures to playing a tune on the piano and doing pretend plays.

Problem Solver-When both my kids want to play with the same toy or view different TV programs at the same time, I deploy my creative problem-solving skills.

Organizer/travel packer– With multiple travel plans lined up, I pack (or overpack mostly) for my kids to make sure that they have enough of clothes and entertainment items for the trip.

With my husband’s help, I get through the days and nights as we share the joys and difficulties of parenting , but I am in awe to think about the hard work the ‘corporate moms’ put in, trying to balance their careers and raising the kids responsibilities.

And I cannot even fathom the challenges and dilemma single parents face being the sole breadwinner and also a caretaker!

I juggle numerous roles in a day, and at times fantasize of having magical Mumtasticmultiple arms, so that I can sit and read while my other arms extend to make food, fold laundry, help with homework, write a blog and play ‘chutes and ladder’ with my children. After all, I am a working mom! Don’t get me wrong, though, for I love my mom job and I am not looking for a change…EVER; for when I am glum, those little arms around my neck get my happy back.

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Photo credit: Paul de Gregorio / Foter.com / CC BY-NC