Dr. Banashree Deb shares her personal experiences during pandemic lockdown with Pregnancy to Parenthood.
I was wondering what should I write about this time, and then the most happening topic world-wide caught my attention. I am taking the liberty to speak as a mother, daughter, wife, and an individual to share my lockdown diary.
So, I am based out of Mumbai, a city which apparently never sleeps, but when it sings such a powerful ‘lullaby’ you’ve got to give in and…relax. Can I be honest… Initially, I was so excited to have those extra minutes of morning sleep where I don’t have to think about the tiffin boxes, my beloved life partner with me 24/7, not to have to decide between using my 10mins to shampoo my hair or making my bhindi fry for lunch extra crispy and lastly not to have to squeeze in that patient who invariably lands in just as I was about to call it a day and close. And now when we are well into 5 months of so-called lockdown and social distancing, my views have changed. So, let me reflect upon the good, bad, and excellent transformations I have observed, and please try not to take anything personally if our views don’t match.
My partner in life, crime, and in the kitchen! After being a part of my hubby’s innumerous calls, virtual meetings, and dramatic sales pitches, I now understood why he had so little to talk to me at the end of the day. Add to it the 3hrs of grueling Mumbai traffic and swearing, we longed for the weekends. So, although there is a constant battle going on between my pressure cooker whistle and hubby’s voice (when he is passionately arguing his point to his colleague, which is almost always!) I will be lying if I say I don’t like his constant presence at home. The way he peels garlic like a pro now, makes the perfect atta dough, and cooks up a storm once in a while is the added bonus. I have to leave home and kids at his care a few hours a day and when I come home to see the house in a bit of disarray, kids finishing up their lunch glued to the TV it is a sight to see. So, in the initial days I noticed the mess more and the home-not-burnt-down situation less, the kids getting an extra dose of screen time more and the kids bathed, smartly dressed eating their lunch less. But now I look forward to our daily tea-times and binge-watching on weekends. Over a period of time, I have tried to get over my fussiness and we fight only 7 times in a day now 😊
My bossy, busy, boisterous brats! Hmmm…this can be an entire article in itself. I am sure every mother knows what it is like to be a constant companion to a single child, a referee when you have two, and if you have more than 2, my salutations to you! My sons still feel its an extended summer vacation, so I have been telling them I am constantly sending their videos to their teachers :-). It’s a universal truth that for kids teachers are a level above parents. But on a serious note, I of course respected the teachers pre lockdown too and now I am in awe of them. Dealing with over-eager minimum of 15 kids at a time for at least 4hrs a day is no mean feat! It took me some time to get settled with their routines and now I can’t imagine dealing with this period without them. Agreed it’s a task to keep them busy the whole day but it keeps me busy too. There were days when their positivity was so infectious it helped me tide over the slump times. Now, ‘over-positivity’ is another story, and there is no term like this I know. So for me, it’s a damn sweet experience when they can’t wait to pop in the just fried hot puris and look forward to the new activity of the week. Well, when my 3yr old notices the new nail paint shade the very next morning whereas my husband of 11yrs still doesn’t know the difference between a skirt and a gown, you can’t ask for more really.
My mate – me & myself! It’s really heartening to see the women of today pursuing their passions and realizing the importance of being happy. Not to say our mothers and mothers-in-law were in any way discontented, rather I consider they laid the foundation to self-assured, confident generations of women. I can’t thank enough for the strong women role models in my life! Moms, how many times had I wished on a Monday only if somehow the weekend could be extended one more day! Some days I feel it’s the collective result of prayers by moms like me, that God granted this period. Although had it been minus the COVID scare that would have been perfect. So as I confessed earlier my day didn’t tick by like a clock and my joy at having my family by me always seemed like a blessing. And now that the reality has sunk in! OMG! They literally are with me 24/7, so it’s no surprise that being a dentist I know hell lot about ERP and CRM systems, cloud computing, source code and also am quite adept at ice-cream sticks crafts, dinosaur species, DIY projects thanks to my better half and the minions. But like all of you, now that we have found an equilibrium, we wouldn’t change a thing about our family, isn’t it? As they say, Tedha hai par Mera hai. And am sure if given a chance both, my hubby and kids, would have lot many ‘good’ things to write about me and my sweet temper in their articles 😊
Am sure many of you strong ones are going through much bigger hardships and it is not my place to advise anything on the matter. Would love to read your side of the stories too. I have tried to downscale the bitter truths of lockdown and painted a brighter picture. The reality is much bigger than this, but definitely something to look forward to. In these few months if you ask me to say what’s that one thing I have changed in myself is, not to try to create the perfect moments but happy moments, which when we look back upon as a family, don’t see it as a LOCKDOWN but a BLESSING.