Some women are able to maintain a busy career and a bustling family at the same time, and they do it beautifully. I admire them for their discipline and dedication. It has been my observation, however, that this dual responsibility is a formula for exhaustion and frustration for many others. It can be a never-ending struggle for survival. Why? Because there is only so much energy within the human body, and when it is invested in one place it is not available for use in another. Consider what it is like to be a mother of young children-one must rise early in the morning, get the kids dressed, fed, and situated for the day, then go to work, labor from ten to six, go by the grocery store and pick up some stuff for dinner, and then go home. One is dog tired by that point and needs to put her feet up for a few minutes. But you can't rest. The kids are hungry, and they've been waiting to see you all day.
"Read me a story, Mom," says the most needy.
Then begins another four to six hours of very demanding "mothering" that will extend into the late evening.One must fix dinner, help with homework, and give each child some "quality time." Then comes the task of getting them into bed, I get tired just thinking of a schedule like this.Coffeehas to be there to bail me out.
The first time I set my eyes on my daughter, I knew that my whole life would change. And what a change it was. Apart from dirty diapers, it was the beginning of sleepless nights.Babies have very strange timings for everything. They will sleep during the day and all the relatives and friends who will come to see the new baby will say that your baby is not demanding at all – see she is sleeping peacefully.They will develop colic in the late evenings and howl till midnight after which they will want to play till 4 AM. My second baby proved to be even more demanding than the first one (she still is). More colic, more wakefulness, more teething problems, and more cranky me.During such times coffee proves to be a great de-stressor for a young mother.
When I joined office after maternity leave; I used to take my daughter with me to office. She used to stay in the crèche within the office premises. My boss used to think that Aarti can be given a lot of extra work because her daughter is also there in the office.Alas, again coffee came to my rescue. I got a coffee making machine for my pantry, so that I could get my favourite brew even at odd hours.
As they are growing up, they have come to know that whenever their mother is under stress or tired she should have a cup of coffee and thus they have developed a kind of affection for the brew.Last year when I got posted to Mumbai, my daughters fervently prayed for me to get posted back to Bangalore. And when I had to decide between Coffee Board and Tobacco Board, both of them shouted - Coffee Board! Coffee Board!- And so the matter was decided.Once I brought them to my office and they said “Ma, the whole place smells of coffee”, I said “Beta, this is Coffee Board, it will smell of coffee only, what else. One day we were passing by a local coffee shop, and they said “Ma, this place smells like your office.”
I am waiting for them to grow up, so that when I return home after a long day at work, they prepare a nice cup of coffee for me.But I know it will happen the other way round – I will end up preparing coffee for them to help them cope with their lengthy school assignments. After all that is what motherhood is about.