Tuesday, July 18, 2017

On teamwork and two children


It's hard to believe it was a month ago that I was so scared to handle both the kids by myself. Boy, has time just flew by! When my in-law's left for Australia in June, it was the first time I had been alone in over a year and the first time that I'd taken care of both the kids by myself with no help. I was so scared and frightened. But, I did it. And I am so incredibly proud of myself!

My father-in-law came back from Australia this week to return to Canada to look for a job. My mother-in-law will stay in Australia to help my sister-in-law with her kids until September. Now that I've gotten into a great rhythm with the kids, I really didn't need my in-law's to come back to help me. I was totally fine on my own. It's great to have my father-in-law back, but it's even greater to have the new-found confidence in myself and my mothering abilities.

Well, the first week was terrible. Baby Veda got a cold, was teething badly, we had an awful heatwave, Maya was super-clingy, and when I went to visit my parents' that week, my dad almost drowned in the swimming pool which was traumatic and shook me up for days. We realized that there was no food since my mother-in-law was not there to cook, and husband-ji and I got into a big fight. Which made me call up my mother-in-law only days after she landed in Australia, in tears, saying that I felt I had no support because she wasn't there. "It will be fine, Alex..." she said. "Don't worry da...within a week you'll get a handle on it and you'll be fine..." At the time, I didn't believe her. But she was right, as usual!

It was a lot easier when Maya finished school for the Summer because then my schedule was much more flexible. I kept my days simple by preferring to walk to nearby parks and watch Maya play while the baby napped in her stroller - enjoying the fresh Summer sunshine. Husband-ji cooked all the food and planned the meals in advance while I did the grocery shopping on my stroller walks. He made sure to leave for work at the latest possible moment and come home as early as he could to maximize a sense of equal parenting. I threw the trash and washed the dishes while he played with the kids after dinner. We have been working so efficiently as a team that it makes me love him a little bit more. I have even had time to blog, go swimming, and make homemade baby food! I can't believe it.


There is also another teammate with me during the day - Maya. I have been so impressed by her helpfulness and maturity. She helps without me even asking her. She is fully involved in all aspects of taking care of her little sister - from watching the baby while I use the bathroom, helping to feed her solids, dressing her, wiping up her spit-up, fetching her toys for her, and getting clean diapers and throwing away the dirty diapers. I couldn't do it without her. Somehow, with Maya around, I'm not lonely at all. And I make sure that when the baby naps, that I spend one-on-one time with her like playing a board game or doing arts and crafts. 

More and more I'm enjoying these simple moments with the kids - going to parks, sitting with them, playing with them...and generally being present with them. We've had some really lovely moments together. Instead of doing these big grand outings all the time, we are keeping it simple and happy and thus avoiding meltdowns and exhaustion.


Looking back, I feel having two kids is easier than having one kid, so far. I had a much harder time of it being home alone when Maya was a baby. I had no experience, I was trying to find my footing as a mother, it was hard to keep adjusting myself to the ever-changing routines, and the exhaustion. Going from no kids to having one kid was a huge shock to my system. Going from one kid to two is not such big a deal. We have had some hard moments, but in the bigger picture it has been a lot easier. I'm already a professional mother. I've experienced firsthand the ups and downs of motherhood. Flexibility is basically my middle name. I know I need to be kinder to myself. I sleep as much as I possibly can (when the kids sleep), but what's one more sleepless night anyway? Add it on to the hundreds I've already had - no big deal! I have surrendered my life to being a mother and accept all the chaos that comes with it. Life with kids can get crazy so we might as well just have fun with it.


But I do wonder...a month ago, when I was crying my eyes out, swearing that I couldn't handle the kids - WHY did I doubt my own capabilities so much? I am a good mother. I am a capable person. I CAN take care of my kids by myself. I am enough for them. Why did I doubt myself...so much? Definitely some food for thought.

I actually feel a lot better about myself now that I know I can do it. Of course, it helped that husband-ji was so supportive and Maya was just a little angel. I'm really looking forward to enjoying the rest of the Summer with my girls!

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5 comments

  1. Alexandra, it is so wonderful to read this post and learn how beautifully things are coming together for you. May God continue to bless you and your whole lovely extended family. You ask "Why did I doubt myself...so much?" I think the answer may be for the simple reason that none of us ever know what we're capable of until we're faced with a new challenge. I think the important thing is that you have risen to the challenge and with that comes more confidence for the next one. I'm so happy for you and your beautiful family!

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  2. I think this is one my favorite posts of yours. It's about seemingly mundane things and yet so profound. Thank you writing this, Alexandra.

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  3. Hun I haven't visited your blog for a long time since maybe Veda was just born but I must say women especially western women like you and I have been single handedly raising our kids alone while husband works without inlaws or family
    Help for centuries. I know before inlaws came you had maya alone for about 3 years! You are definitely a capable mother and never doubt that. My husband is Indian too but Punjabi and I know in India they aren't self reliant and do share the work load when it comes to kids around the inlaws but don't fall into that trap forever, it's nice to have help but remember you're their mom and you're the most capable one for your kids. In order to form a good bond with them u must believe that. take care sweetheart.:)

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  4. Alexandra, it is so wonderful to read this post and learn how beautifully things are coming together for you. May God continue to bless you and your whole lovely extended family. You ask "Why did I doubt myself...so much?" I think the answer may be for the simple reason that none of us ever know what we're capable of until we're faced with a new challenge.

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  5. Love your blog so much. Discovered it today after trying to understand my Indian fiance's parents as I'm British-Chinese and grew up in Manila!

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