23 July, 2015

Single parenting

So, the other day, after picking up our kids, after school, while they played together, I complimented a fellow mom, whom I had seen around a few times. “Your daughter makes the cutest faces, when your husband comes to pick her”, I said. I immediately noticed a whole variety of expressions on her face. She looked from hurt, to embarrassed, to angry, to sad, in all but a few moments. We both were called upon, by our respective daughters, just then, and could only exchange words, after a good ten minutes. When we did, she said, “We are actually divorced. And she doesn’t get to spend a lot of time with him”, along with a brave smile. After she’d said that, her daughter was ready to leave for home. So, they left. And how horrid I felt for using the word, ‘husband’, instead of ‘her father’. While, I usually would have almost always used the term ‘her father’. That just had to be the day, when I had to slip and make that nice lady uncomfortable. Before bed, when I was going over my day, this interaction actually made me start respecting the lady more. Being a single parent is not an easy task anywhere, but has got to be the hardest in a city like New Delhi. When just the other day, I was thinking about how hard it is to sustain a career, as a mother, in India. And here is a case, where this lady has had all odds stacked-up against her, but to her credit, has still managed to have her daughter grow into one of the cutest, sweetest, well-behaved and well-dressed little girls, you would ever come across. To imagine how lonely it must get, at times. And how does a woman maintain a love-life, in their 30’s in Delhi? Also, how do you make ‘me time’, when you must be as swamped as that? That made me I remember how genuinely she smiles, when she looks at her daughter. And how content this lady looks. And how that must make everything worth it. Just the way my DD makes me feel, all the time. Another thing to ponder upon is how over-rated marriage, really is. Is it really that important to have a piece of paper and the world’s approval, when you find the person you may or may not want to mate and have kids with? How often I have felt that it must be so much easier and less harassing to not have someone constantly contradict your parenting style, or argue with you, every now and then, over money, housekeeping, cooking, decorating, vacations, what you wear, whom you meet, what you do for a living, and the rest of the relationship drama. Saw her again today, at school, for the first time, since that day. And even though, I didn’t know how to recover from my bouncer the other day, I smiled, saw that she smiled. I talked to her daughter. Her daughter played with mine. Then we exchanged hellos ourselves. And again, all was good in the world. Here’s wishing the lady more power, for her parenting, career, and her own self...S m I l e

22 July, 2015

On how I got employed again! :D :D

It’s very easy to give up. When you have been looking for a work-from-home, flexihours job, for as long as I had been looking. Anything I could do, as and when I got time, something that I would enjoy doing and thrive. Especially, after having worked for almost two decades, joblessness can make you feel insignificant and completely useless. But, in spite of all my education and experience, I have been sitting at home, tending to DD and the house, for some 5 odd years now. As much as I love to do both of these things, I get at least 6 to 8hrs a day, when she’s away, or asleep, and I am completely idle. Since my interest lays in writing, I have been applying for all the WFH, flexihours writing jobs all this time. While, I did get quite a few writing assignments, they would either be on topics that I can’t relate with at all, like a religious website, where I was required to write about temples of India. Or they would be from fields where I had to research for 8hrs, for a 100 rupee job. Or in spite of having finished an assignment and doing it well, I would not get paid at all. How well we all know, how difficult it is for women to build and sustain their careers, how not agreeing to travel for work, or the long hours at the office are frowned upon, and how rarely any decent company agrees to offer flexihour opportunities at all. But alas, that has been my only option, given the nuclear family, with a traveling and ‘long hours at the office every day’ partner. People advised on Day Care Centers, which would not work, if my kid was sick, or on the Day Care Center’s holidays. People suggested leaving the kid home, with a full-time nanny. But that’s the thing, with all due respect to all women who pick this option, I have always wanted to be a mum. So much so, that it was my career goal, ever since I can remember. Now if I don’t even get to see my child growing up and sharing everything with her and just being around her- till she doesn’t want me to anymore- what’s the point of having had her! Yes, I am greedy. And yes, I do want it all. I want to be with my daughter all the time, and make money. Both, yes. Then, the other day, I get a call from my sister, who asks me to ‘fix’ a few product descriptions for their website. Which, I did, without realizing that I had just submitted samples for, what turned into a job application. Apparently her boss liked how I had written them so much that I started all the content jobs from her office. After a couple of months of writing for them, as soon as I added that into my resume on the various job portals, I started getting real and interesting offers immediately. The best possible future job offers, so far, have been for blogging and writing articles. How I have always wished to be able to write professionally. Can’t thank my stars enough for making this possible. So, watch this space now, for some professional blogging as well…hopefully. S m i l e