This Is My Normal: Noelle Kadar, Jaipur
Noelle Kadar, Artistic Director of the Sculpture Park at Madhavendra Palace and new mom, is currently in Jaipur, where the lockdown has been moderately eased. She shares what her day looks like as she and her husband Akshat juggle work and caring for their 11-month old twins, Hannah and Ojas. “One of the hardest things about motherhood, for me, is having to fit my life into the schedule of the babies.”
7:00 am – I have never been an early riser, so Akshat usually brings both babies from the nursery into our room, allowing me a bit more time to wake up. One of the hardest things about motherhood, for me, is having to fit my life into the schedule of the babies.
7:30 am – We converted the balcony attached to our bedroom into an outdoor playpen (or baby jail) so that Hannah and Ojas can enjoy some fresh air in the morning. We live on a very busy road in Jaipur, so usually, the sound of traffic prohibits us from using our outdoor spaces much. The mornings are quiet now and we’ve never been so grateful for the balconies. Hannah and Ojas love to look out at the big world while I sit with them and think about how badly I need a cup of tea.
9:00 am – We put the babies down for a nap. We try to alternate between babies so they each have an even amount of time with us. This is one of the more complex things about twins, no matter what you do you always feel like you’re not with one or the other enough. They love listening to Jack Johnson and Neil Young as they fall asleep. Actually, we love listening to Jack Johnson and Neil Young. We strictly don’t play nursery rhymes in our house, mainly because neither Akshat nor I want to hear them. Instead, we play the music we like.
9:30-11 am – While the babies sleep we water the plants, make the bed, meditate and try to fit in a workout since once the babies wake up they don’t make it easy and my workouts are often cut short. Whoever said working out from home is easy was either lying or didn’t have young children.
12-5 pm – We have two amazing nannies, Shobha and Gauri. Since the lockdown, we’ve been taking care of the cooking and cleaning ourselves so we all pitch in and support each other. A strict schedule helps us all know when we are free to do housework, if we need to look after the babies, or when we can take a break, space out and look at our phones.
We show the babies the different artworks we have in the house. They love it.
The babies love to climb now, so we make a mountain of cushions and let them have a ball.
We will do anything to keep them entertained! ANYTHING!
One-on-one time is important. Today I played with Ojas which consists mostly of avoiding injury.
We support independent play, leaving the babies in a shared crib to amuse each other for about an hour, or until they begin to cry. This way they learn to be self-sufficient, and we have time to check emails and get a bit more work done.
It was my birthday a few days ago, so we got dressed up to make it feel a little more special. How handsome is Ojas?
Akshat and I usually do the 5 pm feed, otherwise, we use their meals as time to get work or other chores done. Truthfully, Shobha and Gauri are much better at getting them to eat. It isn’t always easy and it is ALWAYS messy.
After dinner, we play. Hannah is almost walking and loves to pull herself up on this one particular chair.
We take the babies up to the roof terrace for the sunset almost every day. We listen to music and Akshat and I usually open a bottle of wine or make a cocktail, which at this point in the day feels really essential.