I am never going to be that kind of a parent. The kind whose answer to every ‘why’ is ‘because I told you so.’ As a child, I would have loved some logical and practical answers to the things we were supposed to do.
There is one particular thing that parents in every single household tell their kids, a thing that’s supposed to be the answer to right everything that is wrong in our lives. In fact if you think about it, it is so funny that Indian comedians have used this as fodder for many-a-jokes because parents offer this as a solution to everything without explaining why or how!
Beta, subah jaldi utha karo. Sab kaam theek ho ga.
Translation: Wake up early every morning, and everything will be okay.
But being an adult, and then a parent brings a lot of perspective to the value of time. As teenagers we do whatever we want, as adults we become slightly more responsible, and then as parents we realise the value of time because we barely have any of it left for ourselves. 😂
I thought it was silly for the woman/women of the house to wake up before everyone else. It’s only now that I realise how practical it is. Women don’t wake up early because it’s their duty. We wake up early because that’s the only time no one else needs us. Unless, of course, you’re still breastfeeding. Then you are on call 24/7. 🤷🏻♀️
But you get what I mean, right?
I realised the importance of getting work done when everyone was alseep more than a decade ago. The privacy and quiet when the rest of the household is alseep is unparalled. But I had it a little wrong. Until two weeks ago, I used to wait until everyone was alseep and then stay up even later into the wee hours of the night (morning?). So on nights when my daughter decided to stay up waaaay past her bedtime, it meant that my work didn’t begin until 1 AM sometimes, and that meant that I didn’t catch a wink before 3 AM.
In an effort to change this, we decided to switch things up. What started as a way to get my baby to sleep around 9, resulted in a realisation that our parents were right. 🤦🏻♀️
So since last Monday (October 23, 2017) we have our new routine in place.
Sunday night, Laddoo was alseep by 10 PM (we had been out the whole day and she was tired from all the running in the mall and blabbering to strangers.) We turned in at around 10:30 PM and I was asleep by 11:15 PM (I was watching an episode of Mad Men. I am obsessed with the show and watch it every chance I get. I just started last week and I am already on Season 4 and I am so engrossed that I missed watching last week’s Grey’s Anatomy 😜. I watch it while I nurse her to sleep, I watch it in the bathroom – sorry, TMI – I watch it before I go to bed, and if I could, I would watch it in my sleep too because I certainly dream about Jon Hamm 😍 He’s a jerk – in the show, obviously – but oh so dreamy.)
I thought I’d wake up around 5 AM (woke up at 5:15 after her 5 AM nursing session 💃🏻) and get some work done before forcibly waking Laddoo up around 7:30/7:45. I made myself a nice cup of coffee and I realised that there was no one around to bother me. I had my coffee in peace and I had time to think.
Now, I’ll be honest, I didn’t think this plan would work and I would have this free time every day, so instead of actually pondering over things and relaxing a little, I got to work. We had two hours before we would wake Laddoo up and I didn’t want to waste a single minute so I replied to e-mails, redid my blog calendar, made a fresh to-do list, and wrote half a blog post. My husband woke up around 6:45 so he could have his tea and biscuits, and freshen up. I sat next to him and we had a conversation. An uninterrupted conversation.
The plan was for him to take Laddoo out for a stroll once she was up and fresh and in a fresh diaper. And I would use this distraction free time to make breakfast and lunch. It was way easier to cook while someone watched her than while I had to monitor a toddler who now climbs on furniture and loves it.
I was almost done with making lunch by the time they returned around 8:45 and we got Laddoo ready to eat breakfast while my husband got ready to leave for work. After our breakfasts and bye-byes was Laddoo’s bath time (and mine – Save Water, Save Time) and her first nap of the day which is long enough for me to get some more work done.
And then for the rest of the day I can play with her, instead of looking at my phone or laptop.
For the last nine days, the plan has been functional until lunch. I’ve managed to wake up early every day including the weekend (even though I didn’t cook so early on those 2 days) and my husband has taken home-cooked meals in his lunch box. Today I even made Coriander Pulao and Paneer Kulcha (tried this for the first time). Last week, I soaked my feet in warm water for 30 minutes (again, while watching Mad Men 😆) and then massages them with cream and actually RELAXED.
But I am still struggling to get her to nap in the afternoon because even though she sleeps for well over an hour somewhere between 3-5 PM, she’s latched to me the WHOLE TIME. So I don’t have any free time between 11:30 AM and her bed time.
But now that she’s in bed closer to 10 PM and not midnight, like it was for the past few weeks, it’s not as bad as it could have been. So even if I sleep around midnight I have an hour to get some work done.
But we all know Jon Hamm is more important than work. 🙈
Thankfully, I’m more than halfway through the show and in another week or two, I should be done. But now that I know that this routine works. So I can twist and mould it to my convenience. From tomorrow, I intend to have my coffee while I read a book even if that means waking up at 4 AM. Maybe I’ll even meditate and do some stretches. I will watch Mad Men only when I nurse her (and just a few minutes after she has unlatched). And I will sleep by 10:30 PM.
LOL. Let’ see how this goes.
But, but. There is a lot of truth in, “Beta, subah jaldi utha karo. Sab kaam theek ho ga.” A fresh mind and time at hand, especially together, is a powerful combination and if used effectively can lead to a very productive and fresh start to the day. I’m really looking forward to some reading. I have the last book in the Clifton Chronicles with me for months now and I can’t wait to know wht happens. That’ll clear my mind.
For everything else, there’s Mad Men. ❤️️