Friday, August 24, 2007

Home is where the heart is....and my heart is lodged deep within my home. :)

[This post is written by Tharini of Winkie's Way.]

I never knew much about or thought too much about the terms SAHM and WM, before I came into the blogging world. And never have I thought so deeply about my own choices in this matter until I started to understand what a complicated decision it tends to be in many of our minds.

I love being at home. I l.o.v.e it. It is really as simple as that. I am qualified as an accountant, and have worked in consulting before I was married, and after coming here, I was lucky enough to secure a job with a small business firm, as a full time staff accountant. I worked full time, until Akhil was born. That was 4 years ago. And then, predictably, I took the next year and 1/2 off. I took a long holiday to India, and just generally got into the groove of being a mother. And I didn't miss my job one bit. That's when my boss called and asked me to come back. I wanted to work only part-time. He was ok with that. If my son was sick, I wanted days off. Fine, he said. And so I started working again. And Akhil started part-time babysitting. It was the perfect age for him too. At close to 2 years, he needed little periods of separation from me and interaction with the outside world. He got a bit of both, in a home environment. His babysitter even potty trained him for me, as a bonus. :)

When he was 2 and 1/2, he started Montessori, again part-time. It was the perfect arrangement for us. I had some time away from home and kid and got to use my mind in a professional capacity, and then I got the remainder of the time to spend like I wanted catching up with my son and his life. But even thru all this, there was always this yearning to be at home (sounds crazy I know!) and just be in my own space and do my own thing. That's just how I am. I love to just be. By myself. Being alone with my own thoughts does not bore or frighten me. I don't crave for external stimulation. I can always find loads of things to keep me busy in my space. So many new things to learn and discover....for instance...I took up sewing on my own once I had a chance to be home, I learnt a lot of new softwares, photo editing, home video editing, dabbled in a bit of craft work, began to write (my biggest love), caught up on my reading (second only to writing), and ultimately discovered that I have a interest in children's books and would love to try my hand at it. So even when I went to work and enjoyed it, I always looked forward to the times I could be home and do all these things that kept me happy.

So when I got pregnant with Sathya, it was the perfect opportunity to once again break free from those obligations and commit myself to a home life once more. I worked until my 8th month and then enjoyed my 4 walls the rest of the time. Now, he's 6 months old and I am still riding on that high wave of being free to be. I love having the time to actually go to the gym and allow myself a peaceful workout, rather than cramming it into an already packed day. I love cooking fresh meals 3 times a day and feeling satisfied that I am doing something that nurtures my family. I love trying to get better organised in keeping house, and having a clean home at any given point of time, such that if a guest were to drop in unexpectedly I wudnt have to scramble to tidy up. I love having a few uninterrupted hours with Sathya in the mornings, the way I used to with his brother. I would have hated to miss any chunk of his baby days. They're too precious, this is my last baby and time is flying already. I love making myself a hot cup of tea on a rainy day and just watch the raindrops, if I feel like it. And I love that I can just switch on the TV and watch a movie if that's what I felt like doing.

In essence, I just love these little freedoms that you have when you are on your own turf. I think its part of my Saggitarian tendency to not feel bound to anything, else there is the violent need to break free. Work always felt like a restriction of my impulses. I know that sounds utterly selfish, but this is what I have figured out to be the reasons why I do what I do. Sure, the money is tight on a single income. And with 2 home loans to support (here and back in India), we barely manage to get substantial savings. Perhaps that ought to bother me more, but somehow it doesn't. We live simply. As simply as we can and try everyday to be even more basic. Its like what Sheela said in her post....we curtail containable expenses like not subscribing to cable TV, having a very basic phone connection with no extra services, buy only the seasonal veggies and fruits which happen to be cheaper, don't go overboard buying things to do up the house, but instead work towards keeping it clean and clutter free, and in loads of other ways.

My husband is very very supportive. He is not an ambitious person either. In that way we have found ourselves very compatible. We like to drift along with the current, putting our trust in nature and our faith in our spiritual quest. And for my part, since I have learnt to be more and more organised with more and more time at home, he doesn't have much household duties. I see to that. But he is still a very involved and hands on father. And when I ask for help, he gives it without question. And I try to keep things stress free and pleasant for him at home. This works for both of us. I am happy in my element, and he is happy when I am happy, and when he can relax at home. Of course, the day he feels that he would find it helpful if I worked too, I will jump in to help. It will require a lot of sacrifice on my part but I will do it.

In any case, I don't see my SAH position as a permanent one. It is just something that I want to do right now. As time goes by and should my needs change, I would love to take up something of my own. Maybe a home business, or working in the non-profit sector, or getting involved in a cause, I would love to give my time and effort to something that I see would make a tangible difference to things that matter on this earth. I don't know what those things are yet for me....but I have faith that when the time comes, I will recognise my calling. Right now, I am cherishing this time I have for myself, this time to dedicate to nurturing my family in full...and to just be within, in peace.

On a final note...I think what is of value is to be happy today...whether we work outside for a pay or work at home for ourselves. Find contentment....find bliss. And learn to empathise sincerely with all other women and people. As women, we are amazingly resilient and when I see the sheer diversity of all the various choices we make in our lives, and try and balance everything to the best of our human abilities, I feel s.o i.m.m.e.n.s.e.l.y p.r.o.u.d of all of us. I read all the posts on this topic and just marvel at what a range of thoughts there is, and how they all lead ultimately, to the same simple end.....to find happiness, to do our best by our children and family, to be at peace. May we all get there, in this life, without too much heartache....bless everyone!

16 comments:

Dee said...

as usual ...great post. Just reading your post is soothing and peaceful. Hope everyone can find a place that gives then happiness :)

Kavitha said...

Tharini,
Very well written..as usual..
Yet another post which drives home the point that we need to find happiness in whatever we do..
I work outside the home, so, reading your post makes me yearn for things like – “a hot cup of tea on a rainy day and just watch the raindrops, if I feel like it. And I love that I can just switch on the TV and watch a movie if that's what I felt like doing.”
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Tharini said...

Dee : Thank you. The weather outside is dull and cloudy with more potential for rain....and it smy favorite weather, which put me in my happy, soothing, peace place. I think you just felt that ripple effect. ;)

Kavitha: Wud have loved to have you over for a cup of tea. Butthen I forget...that's what DMC is all about. :)

Dee said...

Gawd...that is my fav weather too...my husband just can't get how I can be my best when it is raining and gloomy outside ;)

shweta said...

Tharini,

Beautifully written post.As you said.."May we all get there, in this life, without too much heartache....bless everyone!"
That wraps up everyone's wishes here on DMC.

mnamma said...

Beautiful post Tharini! You have an excellent way of stringing your words together! Awesome :)

Asha said...

You are a good decision maker Tarini!
Once you make it, you stick with it and be happy with what you have.That is essence of happiness and peace in life.Give me a cute $2 kitchen gadget,I will be smiling for days!:D
When Arvind was a resident doctor,we had to live on $34000/year stipend with 2 kids in tow and I managed very well.We had cable, cell ph too but used to cut coupons and buy only the necessities.Now, living very comfortably with much more miney than that and I still manage the finance very well.
Life is better when we are content no matter what we decide!!:))
Congratulations to both you and the hubby for choosing what makes you happy!Enjoy.

Poppins said...

Great post as always Tharini. I am beginning to feel this way lately, the only thing that scares me is that I will become lazy.

I think that I will learn to cook, and do fun things with poppin etc. Or that I will take over the finane planning. But I might end up bumming around, watching TV or reading trash. And still whine to the hubby about it.

Your post gives me hope!

Rekha said...

So well written!!! You put your thoughts in a very simple way :)

RJ said...

Very nice post. I love the way you described your freedom.
"Find contentment....find bliss." This is what my mom tells me many times. Enjoy your little one.

Anju said...

Very well written. I totally relate to how you feel coz thats how i feel and my reasons to stay home after 10yrs of working outside the home. I waited a long time to have my little one and i want to enjoy every minute with him. They grow up so fast!!

indosungod said...

Tharini, very well written piece and I truly admire the peace of mind you derive from the choice you have made. I digress in one point though gloomy days are not my cup of tea, give me bright and suuny any day.

Saheli said...

That was really a pleasant post to read. It had such a sense of satisfaction in it. I am very happy for you that you get to spend time with your "biggest love" - writing. Also enjoy your time with your little one, they do grow up fast.

Kay said...

Tharini!!! If you write a children's book, I'll be your first customer. :) You have a beautiful way with words and have a better understanding of the kids than most of the people I've seen.

I'm at home right now, by my own choice... While I don't totally enjoy being home (I like it but I like working outside home better than at home), I totally enjoy the time I spend with my daughter. Your post on your beautiful 'home' making (I don't mean housekeeping though I'm sure you are great in that area too)... has prompted me to think and make my days at home more enjoyable and work it to everybody's advantage.

Would you write more and often? :) pretty please? with sugar on the top?

Sheela said...

Tharini, your personality seems to align with mine as i read more and more of your thoughts - I know I would be happy at home, I have so many interests and am curious to learn more - and simple life is what helps us be happy with what we have... you said it so well. Again!

GettingThereNow said...

You are so right! We must learn to be happy with our choices - that is the only key to satisfaction. And if we are not happy with the path we chose, we should have the courage to accept it and to try and change paths.