Before we got the twins, Amit traveled about once a quarter. Now that we have twins, he travels once a month. I wish it had been the other way round.
Because of our insistence – joint and individual – to raise the kids ourselves, at least in these early days, we tend to lead a “relay-race” existence these days. As soon as one gets home, the other goes out, or, occasionally, is at home but busy with something and not to be disturbed.
The problem is that, when Amit is out of town, I don’t get a break of any kind. Of course, I get on the computer in the afternoons, while the kids sleep or keep themselves busy; and I get a few hours for myself in the evening after they’ve gone to bed; but the point is, being entirely home-bound, there’s only so far you can go with books, TV and computer. After a point, you feel like you’d do anything to just get out of the house for a bit. This time, as before, I’ve developed a serious pain in the neck/back due to too much time spent with the computer, TV and books. I need some exercise, I need to stretch, even to hyperventilate (just a little). I miss tennis, and I miss my evening walks, even if it is often just a quick trip to the neighbourhood shops for groceries and stuff. I do manage to pick up groceries on my way back from the park with the kids – but I need to stretch my legs and relax my mind, and it’s difficult to do that with the kids in tow.
The kids are entertaining enough in their own way, but 24×7 becomes a little monotonous I have to admit. Should I feel guilty about feeling this way? I do, a little, but that doesn’t bother me too much. What bothers me is: What, if anything, can I do to change things?
I obviously can’t get Amit to travel less. I wish he would travel less, but it’s not in my control. Since he is obviously the alternative baby-sitter of choice, I suppose I have to look beyond that and consider other baby-sitters. I’ve known for a while that it’s the only option, but I am still not altogether convinced that it’s what I want to do. If there were only a creche nearby where I could drop off the kids for an hour or two in the evening… 6.30 to 8.00 would do it. That’s not too much to ask, is it?
Sometimes I think that getting a job, even a work-from-home job, would solve the problem, but then I realize this is confused thinking. A job might give more focus to the time I spend on the computer or might replace TV and books with work… but it won’t get me out of the house unless I have a babysitter, so it brings me right back to Problem Number One.
I’m happy to be a stay-at-home mom – or at least that’s what I keep saying – but did I really sign-up for 24×7? I thought there were going to be two parents involved here: Isn’t there supposed to be some help from the father in question as well? Or should I bow to the inevitable and leave my children in charge of an ayah for a couple of hours a day?