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Common scene – early morning rush at home in which heated words are exchanged, leaving the homemaker upset. Fault on both sides, but how to remedy this?
Aparna woke up at 5.15am, hastily rushing to the kitchen; she was already 15 mins late. Without wasting any more time she immediately got started with her morning rituals, which was a set pattern. Boil the milk, take out the chopped vegetables from the fridge and make the curry for the dabba. Pack the 3 lunch boxes with a variety of things for her kids and hubby, make the breakfast and then head out at 6.30am to wake her kids.
This was not just one day, but every single day, month after month for last 8 years. Mornings were her most difficult hours. She was so torn between getting everyone ready on time, impressing everyone’s taste buds and staying calm.
It’s not a surprise that certain mornings were just not the way she had envisaged: Happy smiling faces, well fed, being dropped off with a warm hug to the bus-stop or the lift lobby!
It could be a simple argument over trying to convince her toddler to brush his teeth every morning, or an oversight over finishing homework for her 6-year-old. A glass of spilled milk was the worst, as chances of that happening were as high as once in three days. Simple things like trying to convince both kids to wash hands before touching food could be such a strain at 6.30 am EVERYDAY! Why didn’t God send the kids with a pretuned rule-book downloaded in their brains at the time of birth!
There were other things too, like hubby turning down the mooli-ka-paratha, which took a good 30 minutes to make, in favor of cornflakes!
A raised voice invariably translated into a war of arguments, followed by a feeling of worthlessness once everyone left the nest. ‘I wake up so early in the morning for these people, make fresh homemade food so as to give a healthy start to everyone, I try so hard to include variety in their food. If only I could have not said “xyz”, this whole situation could have been avoided today’ were Aparna’s first thoughts when she shut the door once back home. Why couldn’t I do this simple thing, yet again today I faltered!
Is Aparna alone? No. If you look around, you will spot so many women who start their day with this feeling! A woman who has quit a career to be a SAHM feels dejected by the thought that she has traded this for a well-paying job, whereas a homemaker feels that she has scored miserably at the full-time job that she has at hand.
But parenting is a demanding job. Keeping relationships working is a tough task. How do we deal with this feeling of worthlessness when a kid or husband leaves the house without saying a goodbye, a hug or a smile?
While talking to the kids or husband about this, telling them how their actions affect you, and trying to work out better ways of communication is important, you can start with fostering a positive self worth in yourself.
The human brain is very flexible. To err is human is the first thing we need to tell ourselves – either the error in their behaviour, or your own. It’s the first step towards building a healthier relationship with oneself.
Acknowledging our own accomplishments and making a note of them helps our brain to store this information away, and begin to shift the perception from ‘I am worthless’ to ‘I am a person of worth’. We must also shift our focus immediately to the positive aspects of the day and feel gratitude for that. Gratitude boosts our sense of well being.
We must also learn to avoid self-pity and self-bashing for that means going down a slippery slope. If we practice positive self-talk, we will find ourselves saying ‘It’s going to be OK, I did my best I could’.
No job is all sunshine after all. Not even that of a homemaker!
Published here earlier.
Image source: shutterstock