My Emotional Pendulum

*This is an old post from 2011 but parts of it is still very relevant to me*

I have realized that whether you are a working mom or a stay-at-home mom, bringing up a child has a huge impact on your emotional pendulum. There are days when you have big arcs on your emotional pendulum, leaving you stressed and frazzled and other days when it swings to the happy side leaving you happy and giddy with joy, making it all worthwhile.

My pendulum swings wide and fast some days, but I try to reign it in when I can, telling myself repeatedly “this too shall pass”. Plus, being a working mom doesn’t make it any easy. I’ve to juggle between two worlds, one that has my child and other is with job. In between it all, I do try to find a little space for myself but that too is filled with innumerable thoughts about her future or my professional road map. Traversing through all these different thoughts, leaves me quite burnt out.

This morning’s events are a perfect example of how I can go from perfectly happy to perfectly unhappy – the emotional pendulum in action!

Just to give a little background. My lil’ girl is confined to home owing it to her finger injury, which is pretty much driving her nuts. She is completely bored with nothing constructive to do with her time UNLESS mumsie is at home. I can’t blame her either. The first week, post-injury, I took a week off from work and spent all of my time with her.  We had lots of fun practicing phonics, reading, playing games and listening to music. Some of my friends came over too to spend some time with her and most importantly take her mind-off the injury. Since, the injury happened on the right hand’s index finger, she can’t color or write to kill her time.  Naturally,  she wants this schedule to continue – stay at home with her and entertain her all day long.

But now, it’s a whole different story.

I resumed work last week and she is at her wit’s end wondering what to do with her time. Everyday is a struggle to find her new things to do to beat her monotony and get her mind off this temporary handicap. You would think games, movies or some TV. Well…we are pretty much done with ‘snakes and ladders’, overdone with ‘Monopoly, have lost interest in ‘candy land’ and have no interest whatsoever in playing with barbie dolls – alone! Plus, OD’d on TV and movies too. Sulking, whining and complaining have become ‘our’ full-time job. “Why do you have to work?”, “why can’t you stay at home and play with me?” are some of her common complaints.

In fact, it’s really hard for me to leave the house and go to work most days. On top of that, mere mention of WORK or OFFICE has devastating results. She immediately clings to me and begs me not to leave. After which, the crying begins. It starts with a murmur, gradually grows to a wail, and just after a short pause for breath, it touches a crescendo, leaving me exasperated. So, I stay back for a couple of hours but when again it’s time to leave, she hits a rewind on her mood buttons and this time the pendulum swings to anger, frustration and irritation. Amidst it all, I am wondering to myself – what did I do to get myself into this?? 😦 You can’t blame me, it’s really really tough – for both of us.

Yet, if in a moment, this shrilling sound would transmute to giggles and laughter, I would be on an emotional high again. There is not much I can do except strive to find a balance – everyday between the happy high and lowly low. *sigh*

So, some people have big arcs on their emotional pendulum – like ME, and others have small arcs. That said, as a blogger put it, “emotions aren’t two dimensional, and the timing isn’t equal like a pendulum, but the theory is that if a person gets really happy, they could get really mad.”

I think life is always rocking our boat – setting our emotional pendulum to swinging. It’s all about finding your center. And the only way to prevent oneself from swinging to any extreme is to not push oneself so hard.

What do you think?

I wrote this post on 27th September 2011 and it’s strange how it is still relevant for most part.

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