(Over)worked!

There’s no real substance to this post. It’s merely a journal entry for the sake of remembering exactly how I feel today because some day I may not remember how it all began. As a teenager and a young adult, I remember asking my mum very often why she overworked herself both at home and at work while she could simply share the load at home with my dad. I blamed her for not learning the skills to delegate, I blamed her for not being explicit with my dad about the help she could’ve used and I blamed her for all the stress she brought upon herself, affecting her health. Today, looking back, I wonder why I used to be so harsh on her because I find myself beginning to walk down the same path. How did I get here not wanting to get here?

Its been 3.5 hours since I got home from work and it’s only now that I am sitting down to do what I’d wanted to do the moment I got home – catching up on all my pending blogposts (I don’t know when I’ll really get around to doing it). I came home and went straight into the kitchen to make a soup for the husband who has been a bit sick. By the time I kept out all the ingredients for the soup, Karthik and Berry came home. I picked up Berry and not surprisingly, she wouldn’t let go. So, I tied her up into my ever so handy cotton dupatta and started making the soup, while Berry juggled between fiddling with my face and watching me cut vegetables. By the time we were done drinking the soup, it was 8pm and time for Berry’s feed.

In the background I was wondering if I should stop feeding, give Berry a bath, put her to sleep and then cook or the other way round. But if she didn’t sleep, I wouldn’t be able to cook and so I chose to cook first while I let Berry hang out with Karthik. Meanwhile, Karthik was too tired to entertain Berry and wanted me to take her away, but I couldn’t since I was making our dinner, which needed to be ready by 9pm. I murmured something and refused to take her and went back to my cooking. Then, I gave Berry a massage followed by a bath, fed her and when I saw that she was no where close to sleeping without a solid meal, gave up and decided to go serve dinner.

I made Berry’s dinner (rice, dal and vegetables) and fed her, while I ate my own dinner. Having been fed, I knew I could leave her for a few minutes on her own, while I cleaned the bath-tub. While scrubbing the tub and mopping the bathroom, I wondered if I should get a maid and then when I realised that I might have to lead the search, I let that thought fly by and continued with my scrubbing. Then I did all the dishes, prepared Berry’s lunch for tomorrow and cleaned up the kitchen. Once I was done, it was time to get back to Berry, feed her and put her to sleep.

At the end of it, I felt a strange sense of accomplishment. It was not because I had been a dedicated wife or a mother, it was more so because I had done something I never thought I’d ever be able to do a few years ago. At the same time, I felt sick in the pit of my stomach. I didn’t like feeling proud about this achievement. I felt cornered, like I’d brought this self fulfilling misery upon myself. I remembered those conversations with Amma where I blamed her for being too unfair with herself, for putting herself through stress that she didn’t deserve but yet, I was here, doing the exact same thing to myself.

I wonder if feeling satisfied/ accomplished/ proud is a way we incentivise ourselves to get by all the mundane tasks that just need our attention? Is this our inland letter “promoting us to standard “ because we need some validation that we are getting ahead in our lives? Is this us, overcompensating for having a thankless job that seldom receives any acknowledgement from anyone at all? Or maybe it’s us losing sight of the bigger picture in life, being caught up in minor operational glitches. So, maybe that sick feeling in the belly is all it takes to knock us back into our senses and look beyond meeting day-to-day operational targets (Lulz!).

Oh and by the way, did I say, I have been quite sick too? Probably not.

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