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Disclaimer: I strongly advocate that Stay at Home Women are working women too, just that the nature of their work is unpaid and has never been monetarily evaluated. However, for the purpose of this article, I am referring to women in regular employment against which they are paid.
I know of several office-going and non-office going women freaking out with the thought of leaving their little ones in their husband’s care. Often my friends would be surprised to hear that I leave her alone under his supervision for days. The awe and confusion in their eyes make me feel proud and off course at times preachy. But trust me, friends, it was a slow and gradual process of letting go of her and building trust on him.
I still remember the first time I left her with my guy for some 30 minutes. Those were one of the longest 30 minutes of my life- I was constantly thinking about her and worrying whether he was able to know what she wants or not. The string of thoughts in my mind read something like this-
Oh my god! I hope she is not missing me and crying for me
Did I do the right thing by leaving her?
I hope he has checked her diaper?
I hope he is paying attention that she is not on the edge of the bed?
Hope, that he is holding her head in the right position
And finally - Ussh! I could have avoided being without her- the Guilty me!
After this incident, I avoided leaving her alone for long. She tagged along with me everywhere I went- from beauty parlours, parks to my office. I would brave cold and heat both but would not let go of her. It was off course taxing and was becoming difficult each passing day. But then, the thought “how can she manage without me” was not leaving me.
This continued, until, one fine day when office assigned task to attend an external meeting, thus leaving me no other option but to depend on my husband. Needless to say, the day was really long but hard work pays and in the evening I learned that she ate better than usual days and slept more. There were no cranky episodes and she met me happily showing no signs of separation anxiety. I breathed easy and sent the minutes of the meeting I attended immediately.
Soon, leaving her with him over weekends for small breaks became a norm. I watched from distance their bond getting stronger. They both started understanding each other’s asks. Without words being said, she would convey what she wants and he became a better reader of her moods. She would long for him and wait for his arrival. At times, I was silently jealous of this new equation.
This eventually helped as when I started traveling out of the station, the biggest hurdle of putting her to sleep at night was crossed without qualms. She would cuddle up to him and a bedtime story would do the trick.
Since then, I have that not looked back. Until and unless she is unwell and the motherly instinct signals not to leave, she hangs around with him. Days when no one is available for her daycare and I am not keen to make her travel in Delhi’s pollution, she is with him at his workplace. They together have devised ways of keeping themselves busy at work- from colouring, sketching to occasional movies and videos. In evenings, I am greeted with a big grin. And why not, it’s better to be away from the ‘bad cop’. That’s me. Isn't it?
Now, let me share that everything NOT is the way you want to happen when your child is in your husband’s care. There are times when the child may eat a lot or may not eat the right things, may not sleep on time, may end up watching a lot of TV etc. But the price of an occasional indulgence is your freedom and the fact that you get to do things which you want to do.
Mind you, all this comes at the cost of some squabbling, some encouragement of ‘him’ as well by you. Don’t forget men of our age are not accustomed to actually believing in themselves on baby care. But then, there is always a first. So the tip of the day, don’t give him an option, just say we are in it together and here comes your turn- quickly hand over the baby with your to-do-list.
So ladies are you ready to let go? And leave your child in your husband’s care? Share your experience…