Tag Archives: Parent

Guest Post: Confessions of an IT professional’s wife

2 Sep

Sreelatha is married to an IT professional. And she talks about the YAYs and NAYs that it accompanies. Oh, did I tell you I was an IT pro myself before I started this blog?

Sreelatha's family

Sreelatha’s family

Being the wife of an IT professional (which I am sure at least 40% of the women are) comes with its own pros and cons. When I got the marriage proposal, it seemed to me and my folks as the most lucrative one owing to the fact that the boy works for one of the big IT firms located in the silicon valley of India (we like to call it that way). The cherry on the cake was the travel that one gets to take around the different continents of the world. So as any smart girl in my position would have done I grabbed the opportunity and married my man. So that was all in the outset but what really goes in is like this – I am sure we women keep hearing this saying that When you marry a man you are actually marrying the whole family but here’s the new thing – When you’re marrying an IT professional you are marrying his job as well.

Let me explain. For one if you are an IT professional too then you are spared because when you’re husband talks to you about how his day went, he is going to be using those big IT words like Data center transformation, virtualization, private cloud (what??) so on and so forth. But for someone like me who has absolutely no connection to IT whatsoever, all these words sounds like ‘Blah, Blah and Blah Blah.’ Oh but you dare not show it on your face because you’re husband probably has had a really stressful day and as a good wife you are supposed to lend an ear to all that he says.

Did I mention to you that he has another wife too, no make that two, his laptop and blackberry? I would consider myself the third one because he literally spends the whole day with his blackberry and the laptop. When he comes back from work you will most probably hear these words –‘ I have two calls back to back today’, ‘got this really important client meet tomorrow so I need to leave very early.’

And one of those days you may also hear something like this ‘Looks like we may have to travel pretty soon, there is a big assignment coming up.’ Now, never ask him how soon you have to leave because you don’t want to hear it. It most probably would be something like this – ‘Visa and stamping will take about 4 weeks. So most probably we’ll leave next month.’ When you hear this you’ll have mixed feelings, one you are excited about the travel; two, you are sick worried that all of a sudden you are going to be in a foreign land and if you have kids then you probably would have had a mild heart attack by then and thirdly you are already stressed out that you have to shut down the current house and start packing. The biggest challenge would be to keep mum about the whole thing. That part is the most difficult one. Your mom and mom-in-law would tell you that you should not blurt it out as it is very inauspicious. Chances are that the whole trip may get cancelled. More than the part being inauspicious, in reality you actually will never know that you are moving out of the country till you board your flight.

And that’s just the challenges that the wives face. Now don’t even let me start on the how an IT professional’s career affects his and his in-laws life as well. A word of caution to all the parents of the soon to be bride of an IT groom. Make sure that you have your passports ready. Your daughter will soon move away to the states or to the kingdom or to some euro destination, the next thing will be that you may have visit her for 6 months because your daughter is pregnant and they will want the child to be born in that country as the medical facilities are better there (Don’t be surprised by this. Once your daughter starts to live there, no place compares to it not even India where she was born and brought up). The same applies to the boy’s parents because once the girl’s parents are back its time for them to get there and get on with their duties. So the other day I met this aunty in our apartment  building and asked her where she was all this while and guess what she says.

But all said and done, today IT professionals are the most sort after grooms for Tambram girls and every tambram boy works for IT behemoths. We embraced this life because we know that this is how it is going to be. On a serious note I want to finish this whole list of confessions by saying that we know how hard our husbands work and as a wife it becomes imperative that we support and stand by whatever they do. And promise that we will continue to board the flight to wherever they want us to go, learn any foreign languages, get used to the fact that laptops and blackberries are not only part of their lives but ours too.

Sreelatha is Purnima’s (The Alchemist’s) childhood friend. They went to the same school for twelve years together. They both resided in the same locality. They spent some holidays together. Sreelatha pursued commerce and management and married an IT professional, whereas Purnima pursued Engineering and married a physician. Life took them different paths and they met again through Facebook. They are glad the friendship is again taking off like never before. Check out more about her Cheelu (as she is affectionately called) here.

Tell us about any of your childhood friends and their spouse. Any confessions? Post it as a comment to this post or share it in your own blog and post the link here.

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Guest Post: What is family?

31 Aug

In today’s guest post, Mama Simona from South Africa is posting about her father, her family and how she feels that sometimes death is the ultimate freedom.

Mama Simona with her family.

Mama Simona with her family.

My father died last week. Don’t be sad. His death is the best gift he ever gave his dysfunctional family! Let me explain.

I really, truly and deeply love my dad, despite (or maybe even because) of what he put all of us through when he was alive. Please don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all bad, in fact my best childhood memories are of times spent alone with him. He was the kind of dad who whispered stories made up of bunny rabbits, green meadows and rainbows in my ear (while I was tucked up in bed) in order to keep nightmares away. On the nights when the nightmares came anyway, he was the one who’d comfort me and then lead me into the kitchen for a “secret” midnight snack. Being his “co-conspirator” made me feel so special! He would protect me when mom got really angry. He was my hero and then I got older.

By the time I was around 9 years of age a blind mouse would have been able to detect the ever-widening cracks in my parent’s marriage. In fact my last, really good, childhood memory with my dad happened that year. It was obvious to me that Dad was away a lot and, even when he was home, he wasn’t really “present”. I still clearly remember that cloudy, wintry afternoon in Cape Town. Dad was sitting in his favourite armchair, but he was very far away. I went up to him and told him that I missed him. I’ll never forget the look on his face! It was as if I’d thrown a bucket of cold water on him! He looked at me without saying anything for a long minute. Then he said that I was right and that I should grab a jacket – the 2 of us were going out. I remember Mom shouting from the kitchen; “Where are you going?” to which Dad just answered; “Out with Simona” and we left before she could ask anything more. Remember no cell phones back then! I was so happy! I didn’t care where we were going, I had my dad all to myself, for the first time in a really long time. Dad drove to our favourite ice-cream parlour and bought us each a cone. Then we took a walk along the deserted beach nearby. The wind was really cold and here we were, side by side, eating ice-cream cones, just talking and walking along the beach with the backdrop of a grey and stormy sea. I didn’t know it at the time but that would be the last time I’d feel so close to, and so loved, by my dad.

My parents finally divorced when I was 17 years old. It was not amicable at all and I got to know things about both my parents which (whether real or not) no child should ever hear about the people responsible in equal measure for her DNA!! As the oldest child I felt responsible for the fact that I was unable to “save” their marriage. When I was around 19 years old I suffered from my first severe bout of Clinical Depression.

Eventually my father came back into my life, together with the woman who would become wife number two. I always got on really well with her and actually tried to warn her about my father’s “dark side”. Unfortunately, blinded by love, she not only married him but gave birth to a daughter who is only one year older than my own oldest child!

Unfortunately, when I was 6 months pregnant with my daughter, my father left South Africa because he could no longer “borrow from Peter to pay Paul”. He told all his creditors that I had signing power on the Company Account and that I’d take care of payments while he was overseas. What he neglected to tell them was that all his accounts were already overdrawn, so any cheques I wrote would bounce. I refused to sign “bad cheques” and instead returned the cheque books to the Bank Manager telling him that I was in no way to be associated with my father’s business affairs any more. When my father heard that I had done that, he told all our family and friends both in Italy and in South Africa that I had stolen his money! The stress of this awful betrayal caused me to go into premature labour. (Luckily, with medication and strict bed rest, I managed to bring my pregnancy much closer to term and thereby give life to my only daughter.) Since (in his mind at least) I had stolen his money, my father refused to speak to me – or have any other kind of contact at all for over 10 years.

Meanwhile, his second marriage also ended and my step-mom and half-sister moved back to Italy permanently. My father “reinvented” himself as a “Great White Hunter” and ran tours into the Kruger National Park with the support of the latest woman to fall in love with him. I’m very grateful to M for being with him right up until the end. I’m also grateful to M’s daughter and son-in-law, who took our father in when he was ill and none of his biological children were in a position to help him.

So why do I say that his death was a gift? By removing himself from the equation, he has made past hurts and rivalries irrelevant. All the women and children who love him are free to love him together! He has also “woken up” those of us left behind to what is really important in life. We need to tell the ones we love that we love them unconditionally – just because they’re a part of our lives. I believe he has given us the gift of “rebirth” instead of 4 families we can be one, and we should be one because we all loved him, albeit in our own way and in our own time.

I believe that a FAMILY is tied by bonds of love and respect and not “bloodline”.

I hope this post has inspired you to spread the love and respect, this world sure needs to have a lot more of both floating around!!

Photo credit to Mama Simona of South Africa.

This original post was written by Mamma Simona of Cape Town. She shares her home with a loving and supportive husband, two teens, two cats and two dogs. Her posts are usually to be found on World Moms Blog but she was happy to be able to share these thoughts with all who follow The Alchemist.

Tell us about your family.  Post it as a comment to this post or share it in your own blog and post the link here.

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Motherhood and being Cultured!

5 Nov

        

This post is dedicated to the one year Blogiversary of one of the most happening parenting communities, World Moms Blog.

I was asked to write about Motherhood relating to our Indian culture and link up with the World Moms Blog . In India I would say there are at at least 50 different cultures for every aspect. And the same and more apply to motherhood. Having said that, this post has nothing to do with any of the  specific 50 different cultures of India.

For me motherhood simply means worshipping my mother’s motherhood. I should say I have not much vocally appreciated her as much as I should be not only for bringing me up, but doing everything else and more for my son, her grandson.

Motherhood

Sculpture - "Motherhood" at St.Anne convent in northern Kentucky.

This is where it began. When I was pregnant I contacted Hepatitis-A, a viral infection and was down with jaundice. It was not specifically life threatening or problematic for the baby in womb (because of the placental barrier), but we all were so stressed mentally and emotionally. This was approximately during the 22nd week. I was working 12 hours a day, designing the supposedly love of my life, car electronics. During that period I was living, 350 miles away from home.

The gynecologist and gastroentrologist advised complete bed rest until the day of delivery. I was very upset hearing this. I pleaded, I coaxed, that I work at least after a month’s rest. I was feeling completely fit and fine. But for whatever reasons God chose, I was back at my parents’ home relaxing and enjoying all the remaining 5 to 6 months of pregnancy. I was eating home cooked food by the world’s greatest cook (mom), being pampered and cared and just plain killing time reading books, researching pregnancy and stuff over the internet. The DDH used to visit me over the weekends at my parents’ place. [**I have not really thanked him enough for letting me stay on at my parents’ place indefinitely**]. And life was benevolent indeed.  

And then, one fine day I delivered a healthy happy crying baby boy and all was fine again in this mama’s world.

And I went back to work when DDS was 6 months old.

No day care, said the DDH. No nannies. No nothing. I was devastated. Apparently the DDH was a great fan of attachment parenting, and well, neither did I have the heart to send him to a day care to strangers. I mean, yes, I know there are so many wonderful care centers and I am not being judgmental. Having said that, I just felt I needed my little boy to be with people he knew, he was biologically related to.

So, super woman aka my mom, aka my son’s grand mom stepped in to the rescue. She traveled 350 miles away from her home, stayed with us, away from her husband and her son and took care of DDS while I worked away ‘happily’ at the car electronics typing away software codes for the automatic power steering.

Now, my dad visited us during the weekend to be with his wife, my mom and with all of us, his family. And oh, my brother sacrificed being with his mom too, because he was just entering college, and needed her emotional support. But the neediest was the baby, so my mom devoted her entire time, energy and thoughts to baby. We stayed in this arrangement for at least 5 years when we decided I would quit work because mom had to go back home, for her own personal reasons.

But the point is, my mom put up with a 25-year-old, grown up, pregnant, moody, lazy, physically unwell woman (me) for half a year, an ignorant mom (me) for another half-year and then she stayed away from her family, her husband and her son for 5 full years. I can not really thank my father and brother enough for letting me have her fully. She did all this for her grandson. Her idea of motherhood which can not be defined in any words except by retelling this story is just my idea of motherhood.

Culture is also refinement, culture is also being civilized, culture, my father always says, is doing what is best and correct for the moment and living life the way, God would later say, Ah, I am proud of you, my child. Isnt that how culture must have evolved in any society?

So, I am blessed to have parents who are cultured and who tried their best to imbibe that in my brother and me.

And this post celebrates that woman, who is the best mother in the whole world.

Some day, I hope my son says that too.

 

This article is part of the World Moms Blog Link-up

This article is part of the World Moms Blog Link-up

Go ahead, click the above button and view all posts written by mothers all around the globe participating in the World Moms Blog link up! I encourage the reader to also participate by writing your own post under the topic, “Motherhood, culture and myself” and show your support for the most celebrated feeling, “motherhood” by ‘liking’ and commenting on my and all posts.

Child is the father of man?

29 Sep

So, I just edited my custom header to what you are viewing now. Yes, it is this picture with my husband and son on a beach. I have titled this header as “The child is the father of man”. Now, I am no literary genius, but quite familiar with certain famed classics.

That precise poem by Wordsworth goes this way, “My heart leaps up when I behold a rainbow in the sky.” Now, we dint see a rainbow, but we did see beautiful waves and these waves with no apparent origin to the viewer suddenly forms in the middle of the sea and laps at your feet. I have always been fascinated with these waves in the sea.

I always used to wonder why these waves die at my feet when I was five. But these thoughts died as soon as they were formed, because there were more waves attracting me, beaconing me to play with it. So, well, my trysts with these waves and seas and my precise thoughts about these goes a long way off.

And now I was wondering if my son were thinking these same thoughts or some other thoughts. I dint want to influence him with the thoughts I used to think when I was his age. But neither did I want him to think nothing of it; because he had to recognize and appreciate the sheer awe and power of nature. But come on, he was only 3 years old and in his innocence he could not think any heavy thoughts. Anyway, I dint interfere during the fun time that was going on between the three of us and allowed it to continue.

I strangely felt that my son being helped by my husband to have fun in the waves was helping us too. He was helping us to enjoy the waves too and to respect nature too.

Of course my hubby dearest is surely helping my son in the waves. He was at first scared of the waves touching his feet. So, then slowly we made him get over that fear and in due course of time, he was happily enjoying the lapping waves. He was jubilant to be drenched from head to toe by a single huge wave, but all the while holding on to either me or his daddy. And we made sure that all the while, one of us was holding onto him. So, he thought he was not scared anymore, because the greatest mom and dad were there to save him from anything, oh, forget the word, “save”, no harm would dream of befalling him, because of the presence of the greatest daddy and mommy.

But well, retrospectively, I think, was he not helping us to feel fulfilled with life? No, I am no amateur shrink. But every time I am in his company, I am both relaxed and rejuvenated at the same time. It is as if he has given us a new leash of life. The time spent at that beach was very happy and fulfilling and also contemplative. Perhaps, my son has made us more alive than we were in all the 25 plus years we have lived.

Or perhaps, the zest for life is rebound with more vigor than before. Yes, joy and force of life is more now after his arrival. Perhaps, he helps us more than we think he does and perhaps more than we actually help him.

So, now coming back to Wordsworth, I have pasted his poem below.

 

 

My heart leaps up when I behold
A Rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!
The Child is father of the man;
And I wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.

 

      

 

Well, Wordsworth had children. He even writes about his daughter Caroline in a poem. Surely, he knew the joys children give the parents. What good is a rainbow if not viewed through the eyes of a child? What good are the waves and seas if not also viewed through the eyes of a child? I do not know now what all my son thought of the waves and the sea. Perhaps he will let me on in it at the opportune time. I do not even want to ask him about it, unless he himself wants to tell me about it. But he had a good time, I am sure. He was happy and so I was too. And my husband a very difficult man to please and bring upon a smile on his lips had many on, on that day.

Maybe the title, “The two men in my life, helping one another” is also not a bad choice. And retrospectively when I think of Wordsworth and what he meant by “The child is the father of man”, I am not sure anymore if he meant that the son executes his father’s businesses, the way he attends to it after the father is gone, the things he does molding his father’s ways, judges, appreciates, criticizes or forgets.

Or is it about the father living life again the way he did when he was a child. Is it about the child’s thoughts being the primary thoughts in his life? A child’s early days when he enjoyed a rainbow, a beach, a stroll along the woods, being the basic way he views life as. Respect and reverence to the power and beauty of nature?

Perhaps, Childhood is the educator of manhood?

You be the judge 🙂

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