Spaced out!

She had me at hello!

Rachna, I mean. She had me at hello, lock stock and barrel. I’ve happily stayed ‘got’ ever since.

She ‘gets’ me more and more with every post she writes and every comment of hers that I come across. There is no drama about her. If plain- speak ever wore shoes, it would be hard put to fill hers. Bushels of common sense and a total lack of theatrics are her personal accessories. She wears them with the quiet elan of an indisputable owner.  I read her and I go, “God, that makes so much sense there out to be a law against her!”

But there isn’t. Thank God for lawlessness!

If I had to ever choose someone to raise my kids, she’d be the one. Her ideas on parenting are awe- inspiring and her values give me the confidence of knowing that my kids would be absolutely safe with her. She would fight for them as a tigress but never molly- coddle them; she would cook delicacies for them painstakingly but stand over them with a steely glare and make sure they finished up their lauki ki sabzi. What more can one ask for?

It gives me great pleasure to host her refreshingly sensible take on life in general and relationships in particular. As you chuckle away at her tongue in cheek humor, don’t be surprised if the point she is trying to communicate sneaks up on you and wedges itself firmly in your mind for all eternity. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

I’d better give her the stage before you lynch me. Drum-roll please…!

It was 8 am on a chilly December morning in Bangalore. There was huge commotion around a stationary school bus. Anxious parents were crowding near the single door of the bus. There were some who were trying to hang from the window panes desperate for one last glimpse, anxiety writ large on their faces. There was another bus in queue. One bus was at the gate. In a jiffy, the driver of this bus starts the engine. People quickly move aside. Lusty calls of “Bye, have a nice day,” “Bye, putta,” “Take care” ring in the air. And, in a second the bus is out of the gate followed by the other one that now witnesses similar scenes unfold.

No, these children are not going to the border to fight a war. They are going to school! Alas, if some alien were to land at exactly the same moment, they would shed copious tears seeing the affection between the parents and the apples and blackberries of their eyes. Yet, if this alien were to land half an hour earlier, the scenes in the homes would be very different. These same parents would be yelling at the top of their voices cajoling bored kids to finish their chores to get ready on time.

Yes, it was one of those rare days when I went to drop my kids at our gated layout’s bus stop. And even on this rare occasion, I just wave them bye once and am gone. Okay, they are just going away for a few hours. And frankly I am happy that they are off to school. I am sure most of the parents are. So, why so much fuss? Why are they almost capsizing the bus by hanging on to it?

You know it is said that a bit of separation is good for continued love in relationships. We all experience that separation when we see off our partner and children as they leave home. Imagine if we were in each other’s hair all the time, all the semblance of happiness and love would evaporate. My husband and I work from home and a lot of my women friends empathize with my state. I mean, who would want a husband’s hawk eye surveying your already terrible housekeeping skills, which vegetables are rotting in the fridge, why is the laundry not folded and why is she talking on the phone for hours when she is supposed to be working?

It was difficult in the beginning, I must admit. But now, we work in separate spaces in the same home. We hardly bother each other in the working hours. And that brings me to the crux of the post. We need to give and take space to have healthy relationships. It is indeed true that distance makes the heart grow fonder. No matter how much you love the person, you need a bit of a break from them to be with yourself, to replenish your energies, to do something that you enjoy and to miss them! If you are a working mom, don’t feel guilty for leaving your child for an outing. If you are a stay-at-home mother or wife, don’t feel guilty in leaving your home and hearth and going out with friends. Yes, women are always guilty of not doing something or even of doing something that they cherish. How terrible is that! Claim your space and also enrich your own relationships most importantly with yourself!

So, smile and bid goodbye to your loved ones. When they come back home, you will welcome them with a warm hug and a sunny smile! And please do have mercy on that bus, will you?

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Picture Mine
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51 thoughts on “Spaced out!”

  1. Lovely post, Rachna!! Every Mom I know loves her kids to pieces but is really glad when they go off to school or are taking their naps :-). Space is essential in every relationship, as aptly described in those beautiful words by Khalil Gibran.

    1. Thanks, Fab! Yes, every mom should feel that way :). Space is truly essential for all relationships. I loved the lovely words by Khalil Gibran too that Dagny matched with this post! Thanks for reading!

  2. Brilliant Post Rachna. And I echo everything Dagny has written about you. Your words keep echoing ever so often, even after we finish reading them. I absolutely agree with what you said. Space is essential in a relationship. no matter what the relationship may be. As you know, I “work” from home and as much as it pains me, I send my little one away to play school just to be able to concentrate on my work and also to ensure that I don’t lose my cool with him.

    1. Thanks so much, Sid! I am so glad you like my writing. I can so relate to “not lose my cool bit.” I am sure my children can amply fill you in on that aspect of their mother :). Thanks for reading!

  3. Ooh! So relieved to meet another mom who doesn’t leave her kids with tear filled eyes 😀
    Have been given accusing looks and the kids have been asked uncomfortable questions about why their mother doesn’t faithfully follow their footsteps. Six year old daughter is more sensible than most of them, “my amma is busy with her work” 😛
    Loved the post, Rachna!

  4. The parents nowadays are going overboard with almost everything when it comes to their kids. When we were young, we were sent to school when we were 3 years of age. Now, they will be waiting for the kids to turn one! Yeah, the babies do not know how to speak yet, they are packed off to school. Why?

    I do agree that we all need our space. I am the most happy person when I am alone at home. I skip gym, I don’t go out to buy veggies or groceries, but am holed up at home and I like it.

    1. So true, Janaki! Come to think of it, we as kids, always went to school on our own, sometimes on a rickshaw and at other times in public transport buses. Whenever my son cribs to me about school bus, I start telling him stories about how it would take me a good 1 hour or more to reach home after walking, waiting for bus, bus ride, some more walk. He shakes his head and rolls his eyes :). And like you, I enjoy my silence. I prefer to work in peace. And yes, I do find kids running around in the room a lot of distraction. So, I like it when they are away at school :). Thanks for reading!

  5. @ Dagny – lovely intro, esp. this bit **with a steely glare and make sure they finished up their lauki ki sabzi.**, my mum could give you both a hug for it 🙂
    @Rachna- as always very well written! My husband and I used to work for the same Org, but thankfully in different business units. Many asked us why we wouldn’t look at moving into the same and we would tell them that being in the same Org (same office) is painful enough to deal with, why do you want to subject us to more of each other, not many would get it 🙂

    1. haha Seeta! Now isn’t is really strange that Dagny even knows this bit about ‘lauki ki sabzi.’ My poor niece cribbed like hell when I made sure she ate that tori ki sabzi that she was trying hard to dump into the dustbin :). And if you meet my younger son, he will tell you horror tales of all the veggies his mommy force feeds him using blackmail and voodoo :).
      I can completely understand your viewpoint about working with your spouse. I would never work in the same department with my husband. And it really helps a lot that we work in different domains. I think it is stifling to both partners to be always around each other. Thanks for reading as always!

  6. Pure and unvarnished common sense. My grown up sons live with me, and we can go on for days without even meeting each other, thankfully. If anything, it keeps the relationship healthy.

  7. Rachna,as usual you have penned a beautiful and thought provoking post which is applicable to all.Those who send their kids to school with tears in their eyes must learn a lesson that the children are not going to a foreign country. Every one requires space for themselves, to be alone and indulge in their favorite hobby without any obstruction.

  8. It took me a while to get over the introduction Dagny wove for you, Rachna. While I know that I think exactly the same of you, I also know that never will my pen be able to write like Dagny’s just did – for you.
    This is a wonderfully penned post. But what is most wonderful about it is your treatment of the idea of ‘space’. I can safely say – the way you are balancing out giving your sons their corners yet being around, invisibly, to do your bit is the kind of upbringing that will show itself proud when your sons grow up. As for giving your spouse his little corner, what can I say except that you affirm my belief in the fact that marriage does not step on Space’s toes – a fear that those not in a relationship tend to carry around their single hearts.
    Thank you for this! 🙂 .

    1. I was thrilled to bits when I read this introduction, Sakshi! I was touched, humbled and felt so proud of myself. No one writes like Dagny! She makes language beautiful. And the way she and I connect, I can only cross my fingers and hope that the bond endures!
      Thank you so much for your warm words about the post and for connecting with the ideas there. What you say about relationships makes my heart sing. I have also always believed that happiness in a relationship is being mindful of the fact that the other person can and needs time away from you to do what they like and to have fun. Why in the world do we get clingy, stifling and suffocating those we love the most? Thank you for your delightfully perceptive comment as always, Sakshi!

  9. I am unable to decide which was the better part of this post, the lovely introduction by Dagny or the post itself 😀 I will settle it by saying that each one was as good as the other.

    Rachna, that was such a lovely post which clearly highlights the importance of ‘space’ in relationships which most couples and parents don’t seem to realize. Increasingly, we seem to be living in a world where spouses and parents ‘cling’ on to their better halves and children a little too much in the constant fear that the ‘big bad world’ and its distractions will take them away. Giving much needed breathing space is the simplest, and most rewarding contribution that every person in a relationship can do.

  10. Dagny – What an outstanding introduction. I am only getting to know Rachna through her blogs, and it is the first time I am stopping by here (yeah! i know I have missed out on a lot of good writing, but I’ll plat catch-up). As a mother, I think the words “If I had to ever choose someone to raise my kids, she’d be the one” say it all.. I mean it just shows what you think of her… And Rachna – I can’t decide which is better .. The Intro or the post.. Both are super! And you are so true about space in relationships.. Every relationships only gets better with time and space.. It is not just physical space, but mental / emotional / social and sometimes even financial space are critical to make it healthy, and survive in the long run.. Very beautifully penned!

    1. Thank you Nischala. Rachna made it easy for me to write that intro by being the kind of person that she is. So pleased to have you here. Thanks for coming by…:)

    2. Thank you, Nischala! So glad you connected with the post. I do agree that space is not only physical but also emotional, mental, social and financial as you have mentioned. Thanks for reading!

    1. Thanks so much, Indu! I am really proud of what Dagny wrote for me and cherish it a lot. Indeed like you, I dearly hold on to my space and recognize the need for others to have theirs!

  11. fabulous post as always Rachna…I love the way you put forth the important things in life…I love the simplicity with which you explain the toughest of things 🙂

  12. Too little space and you start suffocating and too much space and you start drifting away. It’s tricky, you know!

    But yes, distance always does wonders to fondness 🙂

    1. It is tricky, true! More often than not we smother those close to us by being too clingy and possessive creating suffocation in relationships. Yes, distance does make the heart grow fonder :).

  13. I so love the space in time that I get when I work out of home! So, I totally agree with what you say! And, God forbid if my husband and I worked from home!! The scene would be exactly as you described! Good for your husband for being understanding and not stepping on your toes!
    Dagny, your introduction was just beautiful and I agree with every word!

    1. I love working from home because I have a nice schedule and the peace and quiet I need — basically I am in a comfortable space. The adjustment wasn’t easy to begin with but we both figured out our ways to keep out of each other’s hair :). Thanks for reading, Rosh!

  14. A perfectly crisp post with the tone of a confident and happy mother. I hear completely what you are saying about giving and having some space in relationships. I send my kiddo to school and day care so as to get some time for my own work, and I always have questions thrown at me as to why he has to go to day care when I am at home. But I am able to get through my work in total peace, and he comes back happy after playing with his buddies there, eating together and sleeping for a while, so I am not complaining, and also don’t bother convincing others about my rationale. It is to each his own.

    1. Totally with you, Yamini! At the end of the day, we know what we are doing is right, so it is best to shut out the naysayers. Thanks so much for reading!

  15. What an amazing post Rachna! Kept me glued to my computer screen all throughout! Trust me, i am not good at reading (or writing) long posts…but every word you wrote made so much sense…and i just loved the super awesome intro that Dagny wrote about you!

    Your writing style inspires me – it is simple, heart touching and always makes an impact! Great going!!

  16. A wonderful post Rachna. It is a difficult balance to maintain. Space is such a tightrope that you often wonder whether you are doing it right or not.

  17. I have always found it a bit strange when parents say that they feel guilty if they take some personal time away from their kids. Or spouses who don’t go on a short break or two without their partners.
    I think if people did, it would not be such a bad thing for their relationships.

    1. Absolutely not! It will be quite good for all of them. More than parents, I see women doing this. Always on a guilt trip for everything silly. But then sometimes, they have very demanding families or partners. What to say, they take pride in, “my husband cannot even boil an egg!” Thanks for reading, Rickie!

  18. @Rachna: A typical Rachna post. No mincing of words, no pretence and straight from the heart. Space indeed is important, even when you live in the same house. Yes, even when there is no physical space and we live in tiny matchbox houses, we can still give our family space by not being intrusive or offering unsolicited advice. When it concerns kids, the space given is in a different form — by letting them go with their friends, by taking off with OUR friends and with our spouses once in a while. Perfectly resonates with me — as usual 🙂
    @Dagny: I have heard so much about you from Rachna and now I know why she is so fond of you. I am subscribing to your blog right away 🙂

    1. I am deeply honored Zephyr. I haven’t heard about you only from Rachna but from the whole of Indiblogeshwari group. And the way they talk of you, the love and affection they have, is very palpable. More than that, there is a feeling I get of you being deeply respected by everyone who has come in contact with you. Today, I too can vouch for your warmth. With a few words you’ve made me yours. Thank you. I am humbled and delighted.

    2. Delighted to see your comment, Zephyr. Absolutely true! Space does not need to be physical only. It reflects in our attitude to another to let them pursue what makes them happy which may sometimes not involve us. I used to be very possessive but have let myself relax and let go more and more with passing years. Thanks for reading as always!
      @Dagny Zephyr is an inspiration for me when it comes to relationships and parenting. I learn a lot from my interactions with her and from her writing. In a way, I look up to her as a parent. And, she is no longer a blogger friend but family to me. I know she is just a phone call away. I relate to her just like a close friend and a respected elder. Even my family feels very close to her and bonds well with her. Love her for being a blessing to me.

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  20. Rachna, I am not a parent,but this post resonated with me. I have been brought up by loving and no nonsense parents and I don’t really remember ever being mollycoddled. We were taught independence at a young age and I am rather thankful to my parents for that !
    And Thank you Dagny for featuring Rachna here.

  21. And your parents have done very well in bringing you up! Alas, parenting can be quite a conundrum especially the balance bit. Thanks for reading and commenting.

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