Are my children becoming orphans?

  Whether you work or not to work outside your home, this is a possibility.

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Calm down please! I know, it is an emotional topic. – But very important.

There are busy spells in everyone’s life. You can get caught up in your job or your husband’s job or it may be a family event, and get into a spin of events. Through all this the children get left out and a bit neglected.

Life as the wife of Air Force Officer has been amazing. I’ve always loved it.  There were the  parties, the gatherings, the formal functions and ceremonies. How one enjoyed the importance and the ranks of one’s husband. There are times in a Base or Colony when all are expected to attend the ceremonies. There is usually some delegation that has arrived from another planet (!) I mean another country and you , the wife have to be the host and make sure all arrangements are done properly. So, you are at the Officers’ Mess for the lunch, earlier you were at the opening of the PAFWA shop in the base at 11 a.m. Then there would be the opening of the flower show, and later the dinner at the Officers’Mess again.   – If you had three consecutive days like this, then what?

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The children too have a whale of a time, when the mothers are too busy to catch them out in their pranks and antics. Naturally, the mother can’t be with them if they have a problem either. Many times the children  are gathered in one house or friends’ place, while the parents, uncles and aunties are gone for hours. They are left to fend for themselves under the surveillance of an elder who may even be a maid or a relative.

Go through several days of this, and I started to feel quite elated and enjoyed the getting dressed up, meeting friends and having a ball.

A time, comes when you feel “What’s wrong with this? So much fun. The children are fine too, so why do I usually fuss so much with them? “

Suddenly it dawned on me.

“This is how orphans live too!”

“How?” I wanted to know.

“Well, they are looked after, and have food, clothing and shelter and people to take care of them too. So, what is the difference between them and your own child?” I asked myself, as realization struck.

“You!” I told myself.

“You are the difference. If you are too busy partying all over the place, and being too busy for your children, then your children can be as good as orphans!”

Realization struck home.

I know, it sounded harsh – truth often does.

But that’s what I told myself, after a bout of three days of partying and being busy. It is okay for a short few days. It is not okay for all times.

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Many people conveniently leave their children with their own parents or the mother-in-law. I’m sure that is fine, some times. – But not as a norm. That is no age of theirs to be taking care of a small child. This is why biologically, they are not designed to have children, and you are.

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The reason why you had the child and not your mother, (she had her own and raised them by herself, remember?) Now it is your turn to raise your own children.

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If you want your child to be your child and different from an orphan, then be there for your child. That means being there wholly and solely.

Recently, I went through hell of every different type.

Who stood by me through it all?

Yes, my own children.

Do you think they didn’t face many hardships too? Didn’t they hear all sorts of things being said against their mother ? That she was of a lose character and what not? How come they stood by me?

Yes, it’s truly the blessing of God. After that, it is because they know, their mother had real good job offers, and refused them without a blink, for their sakes. Always choosing a job where it would be convenient for the children. I consciously chose to be there for them, while they were vulnerable and young and needed their parent.

I know the girls of today have the world open to them. So many attractive job offers and so on. Yet, no job can compete with the value of the greatest job of all.

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“I work morning, noon and night for no pay!” you say.( I said that too. But it was my choice.)

“Who needs a pay for taking care of the most priceless treasures on earth?” It is an honor and a privilege and a maddening, frustrating experience too. Yes, yes, I know.

Staying at home, supporting your husband and children in all that they do is the best option. It is all right to do jobs from home, provided they do not take you away too much from your child even at home.

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You see, there is a lot of talk of quality time. Excuse me, is there a quality time attached to when a child will fall ill? Or when a child will have a fall? Or when he or she is open to a child abuse situation? Is there a time on the clock for that? You can easily pursue hobbies and ‘work from home’, while you take care of the babies.

Yes, there are day cares and especially those in the premises of an organization. Well, those can be considered. For instance many schools now have day care for children of teachers, and day care for employees in many companies, within the premises. That is still a better option. However, to leave your child with your maid should be out of the question. I’ll tell you why…. Shall I spell it out? A simple case of hygiene – are their hands washed when they touch your child? Many of their personal habits are not to be mentioned here. So let us leave it at that.

There are also full time home makers who leave their children fully with their maids, and have a full life of kitty parties, outings, and fun. Please do so by all means, but not when your children are too small and you cannot include them in your outings. Just keep them with you and under your own supervision. That is all I’m asking.

I won’t even mention the topics of child abuse and other horror stories like drugging a child to make sure they sleep, eating up their food and giving them bad habits, (pet peeves of caretakers.) The usual theory among them is “if the mother isn’t bothered, why should I?” Another one was when a maid never let the child touch her toys. Because it will become a mess, and she would have to clean up later, so she would force the child to sit with her and watch all sorts of adult programs on the television. I’m sure you have plenty of incidents too.

Now a days, we have cameras installed. Well, the staff has a full idea about that too. They know which angle won’t show what is actually happening!

The usual belief is that you will get out of the mainstream if you take off from work for a few years. Well, I didn’t work for eight years after my marriage and never had any problem in getting any job. While at home I made sure I increased my knowledge by reading a lot. You all can do online courses, attend workshops and increase your value in many ways. By the time your child becomes school going, you will be fully prepared to get back to the work force. Believe me your mind will be much sharper and your work too will stand out.

Many working ladies are seen to get into a rut of working. Their work no longer excites them, and it shows in their work too. So taking a break is sometimes a good thing too. After all you are doing it for the most priceless treasure in your life. Let me give you full assurance you will never regret it.

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Still, you are the best judge of the fact whether your child is an orphan or not.

Stay blessed my dear Reader, and may your children be blessed too! 🙂

 

Note: Photography by Nataliya Najib and author.

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