Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Back to business!!


My research project is over and the final report has been drafted, approved and sent off to be bound. A little bit of writing work - like what was achieved by this work and how it would benefit society etc - remains. But the strain of poring into the microscope and identifying microorganisms is over. 

Did I enjoy my work? Of course I did. Do I want to take up another project? No, thanks. The next generation can continue from where we left. My house and family need my undivided attention. Husband has been sulking for too long and towards the end he even threatened to throw my laptop into the very river that was the subject of our investigation. I don't blame him. As I have said earlier, I am the only friend he has and it has been 14 years since he retired from service. He has his own opinion on political and social issues and cannot wait for me to get home to listen to his point of view. And apart from the time I served him his meals I would sit down with my laptop either  identifying the specimen that were micro-photographed, feeding data into tables or preparing graphs and charts. Sundays and holidays would be utilized for field work or visits to my Principal Investigator's or Ph. D guide's home for discussion. Summer vacation just came and went. I either went to college or worked at home engrossed in my work as usual. Husband was patient enough but became irritable towards the end.

I now come to my question on the issue.

I am passionate about whatever I do and do go overboard at times. But if our roles were reversed and it was my husband who was busy with some project taken up by him would I feel lonely and left out? I think not. 

Instead of sulking and pouting I would have occupied myself with umpteen chores that now remain unattended in the house. For instance I would have cleared the store room and disposed of the old  news papers and magazines. I would have seen to it that the house was tidied up and looked neat when he returned. And I would certainly not expect him to make tea and snacks for me within ten minutes of entering the house. Lastly, I would find some socially productive work to keep myself busy.

I do not know if I am being uncharitable but if our men folk show lack of understanding ( after all my project work would not continue for the next ten years) it is the woman/women who pamper them who has to accept blame. For my part, I agree that I played a role in making my husband an enabler.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

The international breast feeding week is on and the Home Science Department of our college held a program to emphasise the importance of breast feeding and the benefits it confers to both mother and child. The program brought back memories of the time when I was a young mother. 

Apart from the health benefits the time one gets to spend while breast feeding one's child is very special. It is a very special time ensuring 'one on one' interaction that helps the child bond with the mother. It makes the baby feel secure and wanted. It makes the mother feel like an achiever because this is one area where a dad cannot pitch in and take over.

I do not mean to undermine a dad's role in this area. Lactation is a physiological process and it is the brain that signals it's onset. It is a husband's duty to see to it that his wife gets adequate time with her baby and is in a relaxed state of mind. While it is important to pay attention to the diet of a nursing mother it is equally important to make her feel special.

So, my advise to young mothers and mothers to be is to enjoy the special role that nature has given you. Internet offers tips - good ones at that - but each child is different and nothing can be generalised. Listen to good advise whether it is from your doctor or grandmother but decide on the requirement for your child yourself. The little one is your responsibility - an extension of you and your husband - and deserves the very best.

Happy parenting!