Home alone!

I am not sure… How will you manage work and kids… Maybe I should call my mom or your dad to help…

My wife’s concern were geniune… 17 days is a long time to leave me alone with the kids – whilst she would be on the other side of the world… And me in a country where we did not have family to fall back on… And had just been a year in – so the comfort levels to get friends to eyes closed lean on was not there as well (many offered and were competent as well, but burdening them was not an easy call)… Plus work was hectic for me… And I was always an hour late atleast to come back home from what ever time I used to promise… And we had some issues with our helpers integrity… And our younger one was only 2 years old… Long story short, her fears were not speculative, they were based on solid experiences…

But somewhere l wanted to be the modern man who supports his wife and shares the workload… After all in Singapore, a lot of working women travel… And husband’s take care of kids and their office… Why couldn’t I? Hmmpphhh… I puffed my chest… I am the modern husband of a hardcore feminist woman… ‘I want to do it’, I said…

And it was geniunely an important event for her… Plus partly I also wanted her to have that solo traveller experience once… Either enjoy to the hilt… Or feel the lonliness that I do, on my work travels…

And so hesitantly, with lots of fears she went ahead… And it’s been almost the end of her trip and she is coming back… 2 days early… Not because I failed or there were issues… But because she missed us (am choking in emotions here)…

So how did I do… Well, the kids were well fed (my claim, a pre and post weight check isn’t there to support this), they are in one piece, nothing broken (normal play related bruises that regularly happen don’t count)… No school missed (though my son did take cabs to reach school in this period more than all other times put together)… All birthday parties attended (had to take my daughter to one where only my son was invited)… All planned outings done on weekends (though I did reach office late on both Mondays)… All school events attended… Kids health taken care off – even though my son had fever a couple of days (at cost of 2 days off from work)… l had dinner with kids all days (just that had to leave office early – so workload has piled up)… And I managed to plan and book everything for our 16 day European holiday for the summer + attend a senior management event in an evening + took quite a few calls from home… And the helper did well too (but we used to retire into our bedroom by 8:30 pm everyday – so she must have loved the extra free time and enjoyed the freedom from my wife’s scrutiny)…

I guess I did ok… Was not completely productive at work… Was not as efficient with the kids routine… Haven’t checked our helpers work at all… But haven’t been half bad as well… I feel satisfied… 

Probably its also more to do with the rock bottom expectations people had from me… Wife was sceptical… My mom was crying from very first day – her son was a hero the day my wife took the outbound flight… She was geniunely feeling that I was pained beyond relief – even though I kept saying I was fine… My mother in law ensured she called everyday and checked on me and the kids… making me feel like I was doing gods work taking care of my kids… That I should be conferred knighthood for this noble deed… And both mine and my wife’s dad – they were just silent… They had no experience like this to comment on… Neither did our siblings… A lady in our condo even said that I was raising the bar for the other husband’s with this!

So you see… From everyone’s perspective, I had already succeeded… Glory was all mine just for the effort… irrespective of the result 🙂

How do I feel… Well, the basking glory aside… It was difficult… Physically and mentally… Haven’t slept for more than 6 hours any day – given both the kids keep kicking me in bed at night… Given that I had to ensure I kept track of all small schedules of the kids (ensure for example that my daughter is woken up @ 3 pm everyday from her afternoon siesta, if I wanted to get her to sleep by 9:30 in the night… So start the home webcam while at work and say wakey wakey little princess dot at 3 pm)… The birthday party gift wrapping’s and attending of those parties!… The challenge of concentrating on work calls from home when one kid is stuck on your head and the other pulling your leg out – both fighting with each other… It’s freakingly exhausting… Needless to say, my respect for working women with kids has doubled in the last 2 weeks… And my guilt of not doing enough at work is killing me inside… Have been having terrible mood at work… And not to sound sexist, but have been acting in office as if am going through PMS this days…

Bruised, but wiser nonetheless, I did enjoy the adventure… Emotionally drained but with a lavish coat of social praise, my male ego will only get bigger in hindsight of this achievement… And the brownie points from the missus… Well that’s the icing on the cake…

But I am getting a feeling that I am counting my chickens before the eggs hatch… My work will be judged by my wife on her return… And like all women, am sure she will find thing’s I could have done better… Room for improvement is surely a phrase coined by a wife for her husband… After all… This 15 days of mine have been the story of her life since our son was born almost 8 years back!

As regards my kids feedback… Thank god they are too small to officially lodge a protest or a complain that someone would take seriously… Else they might as well have said that I was not with them the whole time… But with my cell phone!

Sigh… Today’s kids, I tell you… Nothing is ever enough 🙂

– written on 23 May 2017

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