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A Wednesday

June 26, 2024 | By

Reflecting on her journey from a high-achieving student to a homemaker, Smita ponders on the importance of balancing life and encouraging her children to savour their childhood.

Smita Tiwari

A regular day at my desk

It was a usual Wednesday. I snoozed the alarm that rang at 4:50 AM, and after grabbing ten more minutes of precious sleep, I woke up, finally stopping the alarm. There was nothing so exciting about the day. So, I started with my routine. I went to the small balcony in my rented apartment in UAE. I took some deep breaths to rejuvenate myself.

Next, I started with my cooking chores. I fried the boiled potatoes, adding seasonings and coriander leaves to enhance the taste. I switched on my sandwich maker and grilled some golden-brown crisp sandwiches. I tossed some broccoli and beans in a pan, seasoned with salt and paper, cut apples, peeled the soaked almonds, and brewed tea. I packed stirred-fried veggies and sandwiches for my husband and kids in their lunch boxes.

My husband and my eleven-year-old son bathed, got ready by then, and then had breakfast. Meanwhile, I handled the uphill task of waking my six-year-old daughter and getting her ready for school. Once dressed up, all she had after much pleading was a chocolate biscuit.

As a family, we said a small prayer at the door and then went to the bus stop. My kids boarded the school bus at 6:50, and my husband followed them in his car, leaving for his office.

I returned with my cross bag, which I always carry, to secure my house keys and phone. I unlocked the door and looked around with a sigh. The whole house looked nothing less than a wrecked ship. I took a cup of tea and a sticky note and started noting down the tasks of the day:

 

As I sat there with my tea, staring at my to-do list for the day, I couldn’t shake this feeling of being misled. I wondered why my parents and elders told me my life would be set if I scored well in my board exam in class 10th. When I scored very well in 10th, they said my career would be great if I worked seriously for my 12th board exams. After that, they suggested that if I cleared the engineering entrance exams, nothing would stop me from having a wonderful life. Then, they asked me to score above seventy-five per cent in the engineering semester exams to get campus placement. Then, finally, when I got the placement in Infosys Limited, there was some mandatory training to clear, failing which I would get an exit. I did my best there and cleared the training.

With all these achievements, I expected to live happily ever after, but then I married and became a mother of two. I realized that all I was told was a mere lie. The real challenge is to enter a family life, take hold of all the responsibilities, and sail through smoothly. I never expected it would be too challenging to take on the role of a wife, a daughter-in-law, a mother, and a homemaker.

Being a student, just studying now seems extremely simple, but the sad part is that it’s too late to realize this.

Had I known this during my adolescence, I would have blended my student life with more fun, exploration, discovering the other dimensions of my personality, and, at times, doing things that mattered to me so much that time, like missing my class and going out with my friend, being awake the whole night during the hostel days, chatting with friends and having wafers. In those times, I thought these activities should be reserved for later life; once I got settled in my career, I would have all the fun; however, these activities don’t even matter to me anymore.

And now, all I am left with is a desire for some sunshine, some break, and another chance to grow up again.

Ishan and Saanvi

Ishan and Saanvi

I don’t want this to happen with my kids, so I keep counselling them to live their lives to the fullest. Don’t bother about marks as long as you are doing well. Explore all your dimensions and do what you love. This is the best part of your life when you are free from all liabilities. I tell them they are at difficulty level 1, so they should save their energy for the higher level of difficulties that will start haunting them after their thirties.

Watching my kids grow up, I’m determined to teach them differently. I want them to enjoy life, chase their passions, and not get bogged down by society’s expectations. In their laughter, I glimpse the joy I once knew. I love to be around my carefree kids, and now I have started cherishing my childhood vicariously through them. So, while I may yearn for the past, I’m hopeful for the future. By showing my kids that life is about more than achievements, maybe I can rewrite the script – for them and me.

Give your children the opportunity to savour their childhood😊

Happy parenting!

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Smita Tiwari holds a bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering. She worked as a Technical Evangelist in Infosys Limited. Despite her background in science and a successful career, Smita had always been captivated by literature. She left her full-time job to embrace motherhood and found herself drawn back to writing in her leisure time. When she lost her father to the pandemic, Smita’s writing found a new purpose — she sublimated her grief in lyrical prose. Her debut novel, Kabir An Inward Journey, beautifully weaves the universal themes of love and loss and celebrates the enduring connections that define our lives.
All Posts of Smita Tiwari

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