Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Ramblings of a Mompreneur

Most times, I struggle. Sometimes, I struggle a bit more............

What more can sum up a Mompreneur's life in a shorter and more accurate way than this one line?

A lot has been said about being a mother and juggling a job. I'm sure a lot has been said about being a Mompreneur too, but I will go ahead and pen my thoughts nevertheless.

Having been through motherhood and "job" together, I knew how to rope support in on hard days. When there were holidays at Day Care, when I needed to stay a bit extra or go early to work or these minor calamities. Because there was always this "someone else" I could delegate to. Someone else who could pitch in with paper-work, someone else who'd stop my experiment in time, someone else to run that odd errand..........come entrepreneurship, that changed. The mysterious "Someone" disappeared, for one. No Finance department to handle money, no colleagues to handle communication..........and as if life wasn't tough enough, I don't have a cook. Meaning, I cook most days, thrice a day on good days. Suddenly, there were no "holidays"........because how much you earn depends on how much you work.  Take holidays, lose pay. Not days, hours become important. And what does a typical day look like? THAT becomes a joke! There is no such thing as a typical day in an Entrepreneur's life, let alone Mompreneur's......

My life is roughly divided into three types of days:

1. Smooth sailing: Namely, school's open. Day Care is open. All the colleagues come to work. Child is feeling well. I get enough sleep. Clients give reasonable deadlines for work completion. Husband comes home in time and most importantly, maid comes. As the name indicates, "smooth sailing", such days are rare and make me question the 'reality' of such days...........

2. Rough weather: One or a few of the above criteria aren't met. Most days, it is child sick/day care closed/maid absconding. I'm used to my husband turning up at any unexpected/unspecified time, so that's no biggie. Maid's absence hurts a bit, because she keeps the house/kitchen clean. So, I've to do a bit of an additional cleaning, which is ok. A colleague out for some reason is also ok, I can handle with a bit of a late night. Child sick is a true setback (damn Bangalore weather, I receive my fair share of these). Going to a doctor knocks out a few hours off my working day, child getting clingy just upsets the work schedule.............so all in all, this one makes me bleed a bit.

3. "I'm ready to retire" days: These are the days that make me want to quit, throw away all the work stuff and cry myself to sleep. Mere survival becomes a struggle. I recently had one like that. Husband: Missing. Two colleagues: On holiday. Child: Sick. Maid: Absent. Sleep: Practically non-existent. Backlog: Insane. Client deadlines: Shrunk so hard that I could feel them on my skin. These are the days when the proverbial last straw (that broke the camel's back) seems eerily close. Seeing clock tick so that it reaches the next day (hopefully, a better one) feels like the only way one can go on. And I feel like chanting: What doesn't kill you makes you stronger (REALLY?). I guess, I could do with some less strength.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Some battles chose me

Some battles chose me

Swirling in fluid, dreaming an unseen dream
Tiny limbs and features, with a naughty gleam
Eyes opening and closing, dark all around
That's how it looked, my soul on being found......

Then came the birth, slow, steady and long drawn
A blissful night ended, and came a reluctant dawn
Being born as I was, was not a happy thing, I see
I chose some battles, but most battles chose me........

Trotting on my feet, not a care, no worry
I walked out in the open, but was taught to scurry
Being a boy was a privilege, a girl wasn't to be
I chose some battles, but most battles chose me......

Dolls walked in as gifts, after dark strolls off bounds
"You're a girl", I heard, world is full of hounds
Rebelling just reaffirmed, what Mom had told me
I chose some battles, but most battles chose me...........

Being in a bus was a battle, and so was being in a train
Being at work was a battle, so was being in rain
Groping hands all over, eyes that mentally stripped me
I chose some battles, but most battles chose me........

Working extra hours unwelcome, laughing out loud too
Dignity, grace and poise ok, being carefree a taboo
Moment after moment, just learning not to be me
I chose some battles, but most battles chose me........

Then comes one day, a snapping point of some sort
When I see two paths, Do or Die, in short...
I choose to do, to be who I want to be
I chose this battle, although many had chosen me.......

Tongues wag and people tut, but this life in mine
Being alive, to live and love, is nothing but divine
No one takes this right to live, away from me
I chose this battle, although many had chosen me........

Bus journeys are not battles, as I swing the shoe when I must
I am not the one out of control, it's that guy's lust
It's HIS battle to fight, and to win, to keep his hands off me......
I refuse more battles, simply thrust upon me........

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Heads and a lot of Tales - A Mompreneur's world

Hello All,

This post can be treated with a bucket of salt.......or with oodles of criticism but I so needed to write this down that it has ceased to matter what I hear after I write! I guess, I am getting into Aunty Acid mode now ;)

So, rolling back to what I was saying.......

Being a Mom comes with its set of responsibilities. Being an entrepreneur comes with its own set. Cross the two and we have something at hand! Let me just start with how a typical day in life is:

Wake up at 6 (sometimes at 2, 3 or 4 am), work till 8, make breakfast, feed toddler, bathe him (amid cries that wake the dead), get him ready to go to school (he hates the uniform and then follow the golden words I am going to be hearing for a long time to come: I don't like you Mumma), then  somehow squeeze in making lunch (and snack) for his tiffin, drop him to school (once again, amid cries that make me sound like I am the modern Hitler parent!) .......and time to work. Manage whatever work you can until something "more important" pops up - like the plumber, geyser repair guy, computer fixing guy shows up, or you need to go to send courier, buy crafts supplies, or meet X, Y or Z, e-mail the clients, reply to queries, discuss customization.............and voila, before you know it, it's time to pick the toddler up! Go to school, pick him up, feed him again, teach him cycling, run and play with him, manage cooking the missing parts of dinner, feed him dinner, eat your dinner (with 3-4 interruptions as the toddler would go toppling chairs, or will need to pee, or try to poke you in the eye with a toothpick!), and when husband arrives, get to work till you feel like you're dropping dead!

Repeat the next day!

And mind you, I am not complaining. Just outlining for my own sanity's sake.

In the middle of all of this, sometimes I stop and ask myself, why can't I give up on work, or work less, or work differently? After all, I see a lot of women around me having done that, namely, given up work for family's sake.

For starters, I LOVE WORKING. It is as simple as that. Motherhood or not, I would've worked. Managing a house, cooking meals, keeping the remotest corners of the house sparkling clean and waiting on my family forever was NEVER what I wanted to do. Throw in a husband who has forever viewed my dreams like his own and work gains even more importance.

Yet another thing that has kept me fuelled and still does is striving to create benchmarks. Too many people are busy existing and I sure am not about to join the bandwagon. I love to live! And live it to the fullest. The mere fact that my body is alive when morning arrives is testimony that a miracle has happened. I've been granted some more time and I am not about to lose it. And definitely not to the negativity of wondering if I gain someone's approval. Sure I am not the best cook, wife or mother, but the question is, who wants to be? I certainly don't.

I don't eye any trophies no one is about to give to me!

So, life goes on, just how I like it, madly busy but oddly satisfying..........

There are pleasant breaks, like a steaming cup of coffee (strong and sweet, just how I like it) made by husband, yummy Spanish omelettes, late night Coffee Day/Corner House visits, long drives.......and THAT is what makes an Mom entrepreneur's life worth it all. Someone has said, you won't know the value of water until you've been so thirsty that you felt like your throat is cracking up. I don't think I need to..............I've too many blessings to be worried about energy sappers.....An occasional hug and a heartfelt thanks from my son is reward enough for me to tell me I am hanging in in there. A husband who can talk for hours with me and I can return that favour is what makes marriage worth it all.

So amid the whirlwind of life, love and work, I've made a conscious choice. To be ME. To be that pajama clad, PhD holder, enthusiastic cook and passionate crafter me.............unapologetically ME