The Empty seat and The Broken tooth

By Diyaa in Experiences
Updated 16:19 IST Mar 04, 2019

I am a ‘stay at home’ mother, according to the new mommy era. I am no more a simple housewife, that I earlier used to be. But my life still revolves around my boys as my mothers did around us.

The usual house errands and chores have kept me so occupied and glued that I didn’t want to look for any other profession to satisfy me. Of course, I kept a few of my hobbies alive or vice verse. But ever since my little one was born it’s been a roller coaster ride for me. I haven’t really got any time to spend alone.

While he’s off to preschool there’s always other things at home that need my quick attention. Let alone being by myself for a single whole day. I see them play together and fight like cats and dogs, yell and shout at each other.

My Sundays are dedicated to their likings, my tv time is no more mine, I have gotten used to watching Peppa pig and Harry Potter with them. My meal hours are usually spent feeding three people simultaneously including myself. No matter how much I enjoyed doing all of it, the human inside me craves for that ‘me’ solo time. I dream of going on solo trips or girls night outs but that seemed an only distant dream for me as of now.

That evening when I learnt of my ailing parents, there was a little anxiety that drove me impatient. I wanted to go see them and be with them. But the bigger turmoil that hit me was taking my boys along to see them.

My parents definitely were not in for this plan. They didn’t want the boys to catch this dangerous virus. I had never left both of them alone. Yes, the older one was now capable of taking care of himself. But younger was very little to stay without me. I adore the mothers who could easily leave their babies away with help of course.

Even though I had a huge family here, when I spoke of leaving them behind, it raised a question mark in their faces. The look felt as if they were asking how would they stay without me or how would I manage without them. It was a matter of few days only. I had the weekend in hand too so I knew they could be entertained enough during those days. Thankfully, everyone agreed and I packed myself a tiny bag that night.

While putting in my warm clothes I immediately opened my baby’s wardrobe to put his only too soon to realise it’s just me who’s going and not them. I didn’t quite sleep well that night worrying about them. Early next morning I kissed my boys and left. My parents stayed three hours away.

That was the first time in a decade I travelled all by myself throughout. I always had someone drop me or pick me. I was a little anxious as I always was accompanied by them or someone but never left alone. I climbed up the bus and sat looking at the empty seat next to me. There was no one here.

No one to talk endlessly, no one to ask for food and water every five minutes, no one to share my personal screen which meant no watching Peppa and Harry at all and the biggest no guilt at all. I swiftly kept my bag next to me and put in my earphones to enjoy watching a show all by myself in peace. I grabbed my sandwich and freely moved down for a cup of coffee, without having the fear of looking after them and my bags and leaving them to strangers while I take a pee-break on the midway.

These things may sound so trivial to some but for us who have never looked beyond their kids or travelled without them, it mattered. I felt like a careless girl for those few hours. I didn’t think much about them too. I knew they were in safe hands and will be taken good care of.

The two days that I spent taking care of my folks were so easy for me. I could give them all the care and attention they needed to recover that would have otherwise been divided with my kids. I guess this trip gave me also some time to feel how important it is to look after myself and have that sole (soul) time without always being in duty and responsibility.

On my way back home, I returned to the empty seat thinking about the relaxed time I had. Though there was always work to do and medical appointments to take care of all this with no hassle. I could concentrate on them totally and still feel relaxed. Not having to pick toys from all

over the house or always playing referee among the two I feel I gifted myself the much-needed peace. This also gave me hope of them valuing me a little more and not take me for granted as I think they did somewhere.

I returned home to see their smiling faces. I could hear the marathon to the open door and give me a bear hug. This is what I waited for. Only then I realised my toddlers' smile was a little different, that he had a fall the night before while running around and broke his first tooth that too by accident.

Aww, I couldn’t imagine the pain and tears he had to go through without me. I hugged him even tighter while his older brother told me stories of what exactly happened. As a mother, I didn’t have to punish myself of the guilt of leaving them alone and thus the consequences of the broken tooth. I rather bravely left this as a part of his growing up challenges and kissed his hurt a goodbye.

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