Mum, Dad And The Surreal Sweetness Of The Afternoon Nap


I am on vacation this week.

Okay, strictly speaking, my little one has school holidays and I am at Mum's; having a wonderful time despite working from home!

Travelling over the weekend, I was totally stressed about the work week and how I was going to manage work and meet my deadlines. The only blessing was that I knew I wouldn't have to worry about my little one during this time. But I also knew I would be working through the week, much to my parents' dismay. But then again, what choice do we worker bees have!

And so it was that the Monday morning dawned after Christmas. After my brother left for his work, me and my little one had breakfast with Mum and Dad; and then, even as they were still chatting, updating me on the status of my various cousins and aunts and uncles, trading latest wedding gossip and generally bringing me up-to-date on the family trivia, my little one got busy sketching and I fired up my laptop. I could see the sadness on Mum's face when she saw me getting ready to start work and I wished I could tell her how much it was breaking my heart too. But then my little one started chatting her up and thankfully she was distracted.

Reluctantly, I checked my email and scheduled the deliverables for the day. Barely half an hour into work, as I was making notes and researching facts for a new article, Mum brought me a hot cup of tea. I told her to be around, linger for a bit; but then got so engrossed in my work, I didn't realise I hadn't said a word to her until I felt her pat my back, smile at me and leave. Only to return in another half hour, with some munchies; and before I knew it, she was calling out to tell me it was time to take a break for lunch!

Ah, the bliss of working from home when you are at Mum's!

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Lunch with Mum and Dad on a workday afternoon was, of course, as surreal as it gets. And then, just as my little one went off to paint a picture, Mum brought out dessert and I mentally told my laptop to wait a bit more. Let me linger a little longer, I thought; let me enjoy these rare moments.

And then, after I helped her clear up dessert and accompanied her to her bedroom; Mum said, "come here next to me; it's okay one day, take a nap..."

I cannot tell you how happy I was to hear Mum say that!

You know for the past eight years, I have taken care of my little one more or less single-handedly. From his infancy till date, I have spent each and every one of my waking hours with him. And as most mothers would agree with me; I have never been able to nap peacefully when my little one was awake; for fear that he may get into some mischief or get into some trouble! What's more, with my work and my little one's scheduled activities and playdates; I barely even think of rest or naps on most days! There's always some class of his or some work thing of mine or even studies when there are exams/tests that are staring us right in the face! 

Even today, as tempted as I was to take up Mum's offer of napping right next to her (on a workday afternoon no less;) I was feeling reluctant to give in to the temptation as I was, once again worried about my little one.

And then Dad, bless him; came to my rescue!

"Go ahead, take that nap, I will sit with him and paint with him. Once you are up, I'll take my nap," he said.

That was all the convincing I needed; and I lay down, next to Mum, sharing the blanket with her, and decided to take a brief nap in her loving embrace.

Of course, that didn't last long. My little one soon came in to tell me he had spilt the water he had taken for painting; and that Dad was helping him clear the mess. I got up immediately and ran to my Dad's rescue; cleaning up the mess and sending him in for his nap; over his protests.

So much for the ethereal sweetness of the afternoon nap!

Nevertheless, as short as it was; this middle-of-the-workday-nap at Mum's made me realise how much I had missed this simple joy of napping. In the day-to-day routine of school, work, exams and what not; I had almost forgotten what it is to relax, to breathe. You know, although this was not a vacation for me in the strictest sense, that short little time when I actually slept forgetting everything around me thanks to my Mum and Dad, really relaxed me more than half a day I might have chosen to spend in a spa!

But of course, all good things must come to an end! And before I could get tempted once again to get inside the covers and lose myself in Mum's embrace, I reminded myself of the deadline I was staring at; and with a heavy heart, but tucking away the experience in the closet of my heart to fondly remember some day later, I fired up my laptop once again and got back to work.

As of now, Mum's making tea in the kitchen, of course; and am waiting for the munchies she's making for us to go with it!

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Parenting isn't easy. Neither is being a work-from-home parent. And working from home when the world is on vacation is absolutely vile! But despite all that, it is moments and experiences like these that make it all worthwhile!




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