Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Am torn!

"Don't leave me here, there and everywhere, Amma...."
said Sonny boy, between sobs, to me and the Acha when we called him last night.

As some of you might be knowing, have again been left high and dry by my maid. As in the one who I'd got to stay with Sonny boy while I earned jam for the family.
This was in March. We got a new person for the housework bit, but we had no luck with the stay-at-home companion to Sonny boy bit. Luckily my Mom was with us,so we didn't face an immediate problem.

Then, towards the end of Mar, the Acha's grandmother passed away. We went to Cochin for the funeral and came back, leaving Sonny boy with the grandparents in Cochin for about 2 weeks, till the Acha went back for the 16th day rites. A joyful re-union took place with the Acha at Cochin and with me at B'lore the next day. ( I couldn't go- I barely managed to get my leave approved for the funeral!!!)

Since the summer vacation was on, we took recourse to the summer camps that mushroomed all over. But there were none that would keep the kiddies till about 7, all of them shut shop by 6. (Don't the people runing these places know that office timings are till 6 and it takes about an hour in B'lore traffic to reach ANYWHERE?)
Luckily there was one near my office that would keep 'em till 8. Darned expensive, but then beggars can't be choosers. And after all the jam WAS coming in, wasn't it? April passed.

In May, my cousin was getting married, and we went off to my place in Kannur. We came back, leaving Sonny boy with my Mom. Where we planned to leave him for another 2weeks, in which time we hoped to find a maid.

Sonny boy has stayed happily with his Ammamma before, so I didn't foresee a problem. But the maximum Sonny boy has ever stayed away from us in the past is 2 weeks. And he'd already had his quota of separation in Cochin.
Another 2 weeks so soon after the first was a little tough to digest for a wee little 5 year old.

In the past whenever we had left him away from us, he wouldn't come to the phone. He wouldn't talk to us at all. Ammamma would have to coax him to come and talk. But these days, he would talk. And he used to recriminate bitterly with us.
'You don't love me.'
'Why can't you come to pick me up?'
'You left me alone here.'
'I want you to come and pick me up! TODAY!'

In between somehow, he managed to hide his despair. But then, yesterday, when we told him that we were coming to pick him up this weekend, the flood gates broke. He started sobbing.
"Don't leave me here and there and everywhere...."
"I love you. You don't love me...."

And when I told him softly, that we'd left him with his Ammamma because there wouldn't be anyone to look after him in Bangalore, he cried

"Why can't YOU look after me?"

Why can't I look after him?
Because I have to go to office and earn money.
For what?
So that we can save towards a nice house we can buy, where we can stay in after Sonny boy has grown his life in summer camps and day cares.
Because we need to earn the money to pay the daycares and the summer camps which will spend time with him, and entertain him.
Because we need the money to pay a good maid to stay with him, in place of his parents.
Because we need the big car and the eating out and the umpteen toys and the books and the gadgets.

Why o why do we have to make such difficult choices in life?


Suma said...

awwww...JLT..i wish i could make it better! (even tho i laughed at the 'jam' bit)

but its better that he was with his least he was looked after in some sense.

Hugs and more hugs...there are some decisions in life which you take responsibility for and therefore its baggage too. did i make sense there?

Smitha said...

JLT, I wish I knew what to say.. This is going to be pretty much my problem too.. as I am now thinking of going back to work.. It is such a tough decision, isn't it..
Here's hoping that you find a way out!

upsilamba said...

I hope that unsettling feeling have passed and you are back to your old self. It is tough, allae?

JLT, just wondering -- can you find a reliable maid from Kerala --someone your Amma or relatives might know -- and bring her with you to Bglore? What about those SEVA organisations in Kerala? I heard they are pretty good. I'm sure you have thought of all these, but nevertheless, was throwing my two cents.

Vishamikanda, JLT..ellam sari aavum.

Shanu said...

My sis wrks and she faces the same predicament that you do..i guess the solution wld be for all offices to have day care centres in their premises..wld make life easier for all the werkin moms.

Mystic Margarita said...

I don't know what to say, JLT. Hugs, girl. Hope you find a reliable and caring maid with whom Sonny boy will be happy. Have you tried the domestic help agencies? At least, that way whoever you hire will already be background-checked and you'll have better peace of mind.

art said...

poor sonny and poor u

i face this every now and then and anush has still not yet been away anywhere!!

dont u have some leave u can avail for a while??

artnavy here

Suma said...

forgot to year i'll time my hols so that I can baby sit him, okay?

hope that got you smiling just a lil bit :)

u take care and be strong, gal.

Swati said...

:( I know how you feel..almost in the same boat and have felt like this time and again and I know you dont need advice wrote this just to make yourself feel a little better ..hugs

Sumana said...

Ahh that feels real sad and such a touching post. I am sure he will appreciate all the choices and decisions you made for him. But he is too little to get that now.

Just Like That said...

Suma: His Ammamma takes better care of him than I do, honestly. But she doesn't talk twaddle to him like the Acha and she doesn't have my ear.....:-( My heart goes out to my poor son, but then, I have to carry my baggage. and yes, you do make sense.
Next time you're here we shall definitely meet up.

Smitha: Sigh! Its a tough life.

Upsi: Hugs. I have asked an agency in Kannur. Keeping my fingers crossed...

Shanu: Tho' some software firms do have that luxury, its still a far haul before industry turns so Momma friendly. :-( But yeah, one can hope....

Mystic: Thanks, Mystic. I hope so too...

Art: While working, I find it difficult to switch off. And its not easy to get/ask for leave these days. Sometimes I wonder why we did away with the joint family thingie....

Swati: Hugs to you too.

Sumana: Sigh! He is sure having to bear some hard times now, and I feel sorely about the fact that I am helpless to wipe away this hurt of his.

Mama - Mia said...

hugs is all i can offer!

the reason why we keep staying in the same house is to avoid the hassle of finding another amma! the only reason why we bear with her innumerable stupidities! :(

but i like working and really dont wanna give it up. its not just financial compulsion!

am sure you will find way out! hugs to sonny buy too!


Rohini said...

So get where you are. I get periodic attacks of these guilt pangs and 'is this really worth it' thoughts all the time. Downsides of this working mom gig and wanting to have it all :(

Anyway, hope you figure it all out. And find a good maid soon :)

dipali said...

This is heartbreaking. I pray you get some good help soon.

Scattered Thoughts... said...

Well, dont know what to say coz cant think the way you are thinking without being in your situation.

Just one question - do you think all why's you have mentioned in the end of post are worth it!!

BangaloreMom said...


My heart really breaks for Sonny boy AND you JLT....i know exactly what it's like....And I am foolish enough to do it all over again for a second time! sigh!!

BangaloreMom said...


My heart really breaks for Sonny boy AND you JLT....i know exactly what it's like....And I am foolish enough to do it all over again for a second time! sigh!!

Ann Dee said...

Girl, I was almost in tears reading it....I feel guilty leaving our Boomer (1 1/2 yr old lab) home the entire day...what would it be for a kid who'd question and plead - I can understand!

I'm not there as yet but the very thought hum kaise karenge gives me the jitters.

I grew up a loner single child myself coz my mom (at that age imagine) did not want to quit work. I was at grandma's and then at the creche and was being such a pain that my parents didn't dare plan another kid. Makes me a little sad actually. But I understand Ma must have had no option.

Wish you all the best sweets..mean it really! Keep us posted..

Ann Dee

P.S. My friend got a maid from one of those maid agencies and she is pretty reliable. Or you may try get some trustworthy maid from your native place.

Poppins said...

Oh oh ouch. It must kill to hear Sonny say that. Take heart tho' sweetie. Summer hols are almost over. Once he restarts school he's not going to have too much time to brood.

I see some parents who leave their 4 year olds for the entire holidays with their grandparents (1 month with IL's, one month with parents) and the kids are cool with it. This one woman kept saying to me right infront of her son that he troubles her too much so she would pack him off. And that little guy was so cool with it!

I don't think that you subjected him to any cruelty by sending him to ammamma's place. He's just a sensitive boy who likes to be with you, and let's admit this: maybe he knows how to pull the strings.

Dunno what else to say JLT. I know not working is not an option for you, and in this economy not advised either. Maybe it's time you and Sonny had a heart to heart talk. He needs to know why you do what you do.

Maggie said...

Awww. I wish there was something I could say that would make it better. But there isn't. :-(

Big hugs.

Collection Of Stars said...

Oh JLT, I hope you have tided over this phase.

Just Like That said...

Mama Mia: So long as she likes and is liked by Sonny boy, i too am willing to put up with a lot... sigh! Hold on to your house with the Amma.
and yeah, i like my job too. and tha feeling of being more than just a wife and mother. To say nothing of the financial independence.SIGH!

Ro: Guilt pangs do not strike too often, have been quite ok with a reasonably decent maid. But maidless during the summer hols is something I wish on no working mother! You ok?

Dipali: :-( Thanks, Dipali. still not got any, tho'

Scattered: Its not so simple, Scattered.... no stark black and white areas, only greys... and till these summer hols, neither Sonny boy nor we have had it so bad...

BMom: Hugs right back, girl!

Ann Dee: I SOOO want a dog too, you know, but I desist, cos, here, I can barely look after my son, what would I do to a dog? Tho' sometimes, I think a dog would solve matters a bit, if only Sonny boy were a little bit bigger.
Thanks, dear.

Poppins: aww, Pops, thanks. am WAITING for scool to reopen. For him to fall into the old routine.
His Dad is a sucker for the strings he can pull very well, but I don't fall for it so easily. But this time, he was genuinely saddened.. all the more by the fact that all his ocusins at home had their parents with them, he was the only one who had been left by his parents...sigh!

Maggie: big hugs right back! :-(

CoS: thanks, CoS. I'm still on the maidhunt! :-(

Sucharita Sarkar said...

Hi, came to your blog via Mystic's.

Same problems, same maid-issues, same mom-saviour, same child(ren)-why-s everywhere...working moms are really like the jam, caught in between the home and office sandwich, aren't they?

S.Praveen said...

hmm tough choices in life.
My sis grew up in day care centres and I with my grandparents in TN. In fact I loved being with them than parents who had no time for me. Only as we grew up we realised how difficult it would have been for parents.

Artnavy said...

hi there

will be in blore on 15th again

mail me

Just Like That said...

Sucharita: Welcome to my blog. yeah, sandwiched is about right
Praveen: :-(

Usha said...

Oh I feel so bad now. Is it all sorted out? did you find a maid?
As for the choices we have to make there is no ideal solution to this. And in a couple of years the roles would be reversed and it is you who might long for his company while he enjoys the company of his friends and extra curricular activities.
A couple of more years and things will settle down. Oh for the blessings of joint families of yore.

Vidooshak said...

Like everyone else, prayers is all even I can offer. Hope things have settled down in the month since this post...?

Reading through the comments, it struck me that one solution and also a great USE of all these mommy-blogs, could be a group baby-sitting by one of the moms for the brats in that city-- by rotation. That still leaves logistics, travel and help (1 person cannot manage 5 kids alone!) issues open but worth exploring as a way out of this perennial mess....


Ann Dee said...

I almost lost your blog. How're things now? I'm hoping you've figured out some solution.. Do keep us tracked.

A dog can be a great company for Sonny boy..he just needs to grow up a bit. Nine is the best age to get your child a pet, they say. Instills lot of things...responsibility, respect for life, confidence and he'd never ever feel I dont ever since Boomer came into my life.

God Bless and muahs for our Sonny

Ann Dee said...

I almost lost your blog. How're things now? I'm hoping you've figured out some solution.. Do keep us tracked.

A dog can be a great company for Sonny boy..he just needs to grow up a bit. Nine is the best age to get your child a pet, they say. Instills lot of things...responsibility, respect for life, confidence and he'd never ever feel I dont ever since Boomer came into my life.

God Bless and muahs for our Sonny

Just Like That said...

Usha: Truly think that the pros outweigh the cons- joint family.

Vidooshak: hmmmm..we'd need at least 30 Moms, or leave would be an issue!:-) but vaise, idea accha hai

Ann: Oh, you don't know HOW much I long for a dog. Luckily, Sonny boy has inerited my doggy loving genes, so a dog will definitely enter the family... but the timing is what is yet to be decided.
9, you say?
They make for awesome companions, don't they? to say nothing of stress busters! Sigh!