Here's a beautiful video from Gillette Venus that encourages you to #UseYourAnd :
30 January, 2015
Being a Child AND a Parent
Challenges inspire you to be much more than what you think you are.
It was in the early months of 2010, when for the first time in my life, I was faced with a challenge so realistic that there was nothing else to do than overcome it. My mother at that time had unfortunately suffered from vertigo that left her weak and nearly bed-ridden to carry out her daily tasks of home. A home-keeper for nearly 20 years, she rested for most of the time; very unlike her bustling, work-loving nature.
With my father working hard at office, and a little sister still too young to handle serious housework, I took up the responsibility of managing the home. It wasn’t really new to me since from a young age I enjoyed fiddling around at home. Except for cleaning & dusting I pretty much handled household tasks quite well. What was new to me however, was managing my career AND home cohesively.
This was my challenge in 2010 - Managing a home, attending to my mother and handling my work. My mother’s condition required someone to be at home with her for a major part of the day. It wasn’t sure at that time for how long this condition of hers would continue. It wasn't a choice between work OR home for me; I wanted to continue with work and be in touch with all that was happening but I also wanted to be there for my mother. I knew I could do it, just how I could do it had to be answered.
Not before long, I came up with a solution that would help me handle both these matters in an equal manner. I took up a part time job that was from 9:30 a.m to 1:30 p.m which left the rest of the day free for me to manage home activities and look after my mother.
My days schedule was something like this: wake up, help with getting breakfast ready, get ready for work, go to work, come back, prepare lunch, go to pick up my sister from school, go grocery shopping, accompany my mother to various doctors/tests (on some days), do household chores, prepare tea, prepare dinner, sleep, wake up the next day. That was my routine for two whole years.
It wasn’t as easy as it looks written out here. The doctor’s diagnosis, the un-ending number of treatments, the innumerable tests, the not-knowing how long it would take my mother to recover, the infinite household tasks, juggling work, along with the uncertainty of her illness all combined to form tremendous emotional, mental and physical pressure - the magnitude of which I had hardly encountered before.
There were many times when my energy would simply drain out with this daily regimen. I held out and put on a brave face for my mother and my family. My work was there for me at that time to take a bit of pressure off me. I made good friends there who were themselves mothers and we are still in touch even though we no longer work in the same workplace. They were my pillars of strength and I’ll always be grateful to them.
Here's me at my stress-buster workplace:
This period also brought me closer to my true love – Writing! If you see in my blog archives, the year 2010 and 2011 each have the most number of posts by me – 26. Not a huge number I know but stable enough. This was the period when I had the time to pursue my writing fervently. Blogging was especially therapeutic for me. It helped me channel my strenuous overload in a healthy and productive way. I even wrote a blog post about it at that time calling it Trainee Home-maker in which you will find a light-hearted but exact description of my daily grind at that time.
This was the period when I learnt that sometimes we don’t know our true potentials. We are much more worth than we think we are. Our true strength enables us to overcome our deepest, darkest fears. That strength lies in our will. When you’ve got to do something, you DO. There’s no two ways about it.
Most importantly, the challenge made me realize that besides being a daughter, sister, employee, writer, home-maker and friend; I was a Child AND a Parent. It was a unique experience to be a dutiful child and a complete parent for my mother.
I am proud and happy that nerve-wracking as it was, this challenge brought out the best in me! I handled our home, attended to my mother, and also performed well at my job. It was never about work OR home, it was work AND home.
P.S: My mother hasn’t completely recovered but her condition has improved, so much so that she’s back to being the workaholic she always has been (though in smaller doses).