My work day schedule almost for past five years:
6:20am – cock-a-doo-doo, cock-a-doo-doo – snooze
6:30am – cock-a-doo-doo, cock-a-doo-doo – snooze
6:40am – cock-a-doo-doo, cock-a-doo-doo – can’t snooze amymore
Have a quick check on gmail, facebook on iTouch. I am not using my smartphone anymore so I get to check gmail/fb only at home.
6:45am – Rain or shine, pain or fine, dull or brisk, bid adieu to the bed and say hello to the kitchen.
Trust me its very tough to get out of that cozy thick blanket on winter days when its completely dark outside.
Make pre-prepation required for Adi’s lunch like keep handful of rice in microwave, knead dough for paratha, put the veggies to steam whatever is needed for that day and then head to take bath.
7:05am – Out of bath, back to kitchen again, continue with dabba packing and breakfast preparation for all of us.
Adi usually eats cereals and drinks a cup of milk. We eat old fashioned oat meal mixed with almonds and dry fruits.
8:00am – Bring all the lunch bags to living room.
Make sure Adi’s bag is all packed with her snacks, folders, books and get ready to work.
8:15am – Adi and M leave to school. I continue to get ready.
Some days if I am ready by then we all leave together otherwise M comes back from school and picks me up.
Some days I leave around 8 am by public commute if there are early meetings at work.
8:30am to 4:50pm – At work.
Some days will be very busy with no time to take a break. Would have just blinked my eyes couple of times and the clock would have tick tock-ed magically from 8:30am to 4:50pm.
Some days will be very slow.
I eat my breakfast and lunch at desk unless there is a slow day and someone is available to chit chat and have lunch at cafe.
This is my desk. Last time when parents visited us I got the necessary permission and took them to my desk at off hours. Its at 18th floor and Adi was their guide showing them the pantry, restroom, vending machine and the way to my desk. I have taken her to my workplace couple of times when both of us couldn’t work from home and she has a holiday. This girl now knows the nook and corner of my work place.
I have hand creams, some pictures of Adi (year wise), art works by Adi, a cup, a table digital clock and water bottle at my desk. That’s the little girl sitting on the chair pretending to do my pending work and that’s amma giving pose to my camera. She always loves to see my work place and it was a memorable moment for all of us. Parents were proud to see the other side of their offspring and we were later recollecting all those struggles they had gone through to make me who I am today yet not expecting anything from me.
4:50pm – Leave from work. Its a ctrl+alt+del type leaving. If I have pending work I usually continue them from home as there is my offspring waiting for me.
5:00pm – Board the train at source station.
5:10pm – Arrive at the destination station.
5:20pm – Walk and reach Adi’s school.
5:30pm – Pick her up.
Some days she will take more time especially during summer as she will be busy playing outdoors when I reach school. Those are days when I stand back for few minutes and admire my little girl.
5:35pm – Board the bus to home.
If we are lucky some days we will board the bus at 5:30 itself and on unlucky days we have waited till 5:45pm to get a bus.
5:50pm – Reach home. Change dress, wash face and enter the kitchen.
Adi takes her own time. On most days she will be mad over something or the other and throw a tantrum that she is not going to change her dress or wash her face and my response would be silence. I keep her changing dress on the bed, inform her about it and continue with my chores after telling her once that whenever she is done with refreshing herself she can come to kitchen to fix her snack.
She will usually be on the couch or bed for sometime crying over something, then throwing away stuffs if she is really really mad, cursing me, then gets fed up with my silence, comes to terms on her own, refreshes herself and comes to me for the snack. Once, she is back to her own self I make sure that she picks up the thrown away stuffs and puts them back at its place. She does that with her usual sorry and “I will never do this again amma” kind of promise.
I look at this whole thing as the poor kid venting out her own self after a long day at school. I have not made a big deal of it as my reaction at these times have always been being silent and she bounces back to her own self very soon especially so that she doesn’t miss her screen time.
But, I do talk about it later when she is in listening mood and have made it very clear to her on what amma is strict about.
Not changing uniform after reaching home – NO NO
Eating without washing hands – NO NO
Switching on TV before refreshing – NO NO
TV after 8pm on weekdays – NO NO
Not brushing before bedtime – NO NO
TV before lunch on holidays/weekend – NO NO
I repeat these stuff to her like a parrot whenever I get a chance and strictly stick on to these points. You break it once, you will be questioned by the kid next time as “how did you allow me to do it on the other day?”. So, its better to stick on to them no matter whatever is the child’s mood.
6:00pm – Start cooking with laptop on one corner of the kitchen counter top. I watch some shows and listen to songs while cooking. Whatever is cooked now will be used for that day’s dinner (mostly as side dish for dosa) and next day’s lunch. I usually cook one vegetable a day and we take a box full of that with two chapathi for lunch the next day. One good thing that I have inherited from M is to eat loads of veggies. Potato (fried one at that) was the only vegetable I could eat almost till my marriage. But now, I could eat anything except few like brinjal and bitter gourd. Thanks to him.
For Adi, I cook her lunch in the morning as at her school there is no facility to microwave the food and I prefer to pack fresh/hot food for her.
Some days she will order from school. The days I pack, we usually discuss about the menu on previous night itself so that I can accomodate her suggestions as well.
6:15pm to 6:45pm is the quiet hour at home. I will be at kitchen with my laptop and cooking preparations and Adi will be at Living room watching TV. At 6:45pm or 7:00pm she will come to the dining room with her backpack to do home work. This is the time we talk about most things too.
8:00pm – Review Adi’s homework as she eats her dinner.
Between M will come home anytime between 7pm to 8pm asking “what’s for dinner” as he enters the house. He will have his dinner, play with Adi for a while and gets busy with his laptop and calls.
8:30pm – Have my dinner, clean kitchen counter, go around the house to put things back at their places, check emails, facebook, browse for a while, login to work to clear office emails or continue with pending tasks.
9:00pm – Adi joins me at bed. She reads her book while I either continue with my work or read.
9:30pm or 9:45pm – Adi goes to sleep. I continue with blog reading, commenting and surfing in general.
10:30pm – Go to sleep.
Usually, there will be zilch changes to this routine as if its disturbed then I will run around like a headless chicken and get much more irritated. I am a routine lover especially because this way I can plan my free time too. My mind cannot be put to peace unless all the chores list on my mind are checked.
I cannot cook if the sink is full of unwashed vessels or there are onion peels or apple skins (thanks to the man of the family) at the kitchen counter top.
I cannot sit around peacefully if the house is a mess or the clothes lay down unfolded. I crib to no end.
I get tensed if all my weekend chores are not completed at least 80% of them by Sunday afternoon.
Talking about weekend chores it includes cleaning, sweeping, scrubbing, washing, folding, grocery shopping, idli batter preparation. If I plan and execute my chores ahead of time then I will get time to watch a better rated movie at internet.
It took a lot of time and trial & errors for me to plan the evening and weekend chores. On initial days, it will always be a constant struggle as I expected equal share of work to be done by M but eventually I gave up. I mean, he is not bothered if the house is a mess or if the table has moved away from its precise position slightly or if the unread letters lay on the living room floor for days or the trash overflows or the clothes are not pressed for weeks then how will he be inspired to fix them? The problem is with me and my mind. Its me who is at peace when the house is clean so then it should be me who has to work for it right? No, I have not become a saint yet, I do crib every now and then but I have learned or practiced to handle the things that bothers me by myself. How can I account another person for my problems? I have learned that it is much easier to plan ahead and do the chores by myself than to sit on it till last minute expecting or forcing the partner to do it that also leads to skirmishes. It is a physical stress but at least the mental stress can be avoided. I wouldn’t say he doesn’t do anything but he does them at his own time that doesn’t match up with my timings. Like I expect the clothes to be pressed as soon as they are washed, at least on the same weekend but he irons them only in the weekday morning, that too only the clothes needed for that day.
Ironically, all this didn’t matter to me when I was living with in-laws for two years after marriage. Do I feel more responsible as I manage this house where as at in-laws I was just an addition to the existing setup? any clues?
I started this post just to write about my everyday routine but it looks more like a rant to me now..
A question to the readers – How easy or difficult is it to follow a similar routine at India? What would be the challenges? Much appreciate your inputs..
Just for laugh:
Scene: I was typing this post and Adi was studying for her science review test. M enters the room
M: Is my phone in this room?
Adi: (not missing a beat) Of course it is but I don’t know where it is.
(this girl have started watching sitcoms and her instant response sometimes cracks us up totally especially her facial gesture when she delivers the dialogue though I am still contemplating on if she should watch those shows and how I can divert her away from them).