Updated: Nov 24, 2020
One fine evening, while the four of us, my husband, our son (11), our daughter (8), and myself, sat up late chatting after dinner, my daughter curiously asked, ‘Papa, why is mommy the first one to get up in the morning?’
While my eyes beamed at this question my husband was perplexed. The question was unexpected as it is an automated fact in every Indian household that the female partner wakes up early and before the other members of the family. I hate to admit this but it does suck to be the first to wake up at times.
I miss my home and my childhood days. Even when I was in college I had the liberty to sleep and wake up at my own sweet time. Gone with the wind are those carefree days, I sighed.
I looked at her, smiled, and said, ‘I thought no one would ever ask!’
‘O, but I want to know’ she replied looking straight into my eyes, waiting for me to answer. My son joined in too ‘Yes Ma, why do you get up so early before all of us? Don’t you ever feel like sleeping more than usual?’
Now, my inner-self could not control and wanted to scream ‘baby if your dad had some of your thoughtfulness, maybe I would have opted for a day off from early mornings.’ But I restrained myself from saying it out loud. Anyway, this was the right opportunity - one, to gain my kids’ sympathy (being a mommy is never easy). And two, to teach them to pitch in to help mommy whenever they can.
Morning is the busiest time of the day. The doorbell starts ringing from 7.30 am maid, milk delivery, grocery delivery, cook, car cleaner, garbage pickup truck honking. And to top it up Amazon delivery has also started in the wee hours of the day. What? Don’t make me feel guilty about shopping. I get bitten by the online shopping bug every time I am sad or excited... And it certainly is not my fault. It’s the big deals they offer! I know, I know...it’s tempting...Right? Gotcha!
So as I started telling them about how my day starts with so much going on and around. Both my son and daughter echoed ‘ookaaayyyy, it seems like too much work.’
‘Yes it is’ I sighed.
‘Maybe when I grow up I can do your work and let you sleep till late Mumma’, my daughter was polite and considerate as she planted a kiss on my cheek and shared her thoughts about letting me have sleepy mornings someday.
‘I would love that’ I kissed her back as I tucked her in the bed. My son asked us a few puzzles before they both finally dozed off.
Later that night it actually got me thinking ‘Why am I the first one to get up in the morning? There are days when I slog to get out of my bed because of a headache. Winters make me lazy and an hour extra of sleep will not turn everyone’s day upside down.’ 'Or will it!' I wondered.
But, how I wish sometimes that life was as simple as simply the kids put up such complicated questions?
What’s your take on ‘Should the morning wake up duties be shared by all the adults in the family? Or Should it be the female partner to be the first one to wake up before everyone else?’