Cinderella at five pm – the end of day transformation for a working mom

flowerLong before I visited Cinderella’s castle in Disneyland at the ripe age of 26, Cinderella was my favorite fairy tale. Not because she gets the prince in the end or because of the beautifully illustrated ballgown and pumpkin carriage my picture book had, but becuase it involved a transformation. At the end of day long hard work, with the swish of a wand, Cinderella was a different person, leaving behind her drudgery to enter a spectacular world so different that if it were not for the fairy godmother, it would seem impossible.

So when I sat in traffic at the end of the day to go to the daycare, I would think of her often. Because as I walked out, always hurrying, from my office to reach my car, my transformation would begin. My foreheard would straighten and face musles relax. Emails that need answering and deadlines that were looming would for the moment be brushed aside in the rush to get to the daycare in time, and by that very act of brushing aside seem less ominous or urgent. Thoughts about meeting numbers and finishing customer presentation and ever present office politics would be replaced thought by thought about immediate concerns about what my daughter ate in daycare, or whether the traffic would let me make it, or how I could get her to play more with other kids, or learn a second language. And I would join a stream of people into the elevator and out of it, see each of them as human, imagine what the evening would hold for them.

And the transformation continued as I sat in traffic. My car, though not a pumpkin carriage, would become a place to sing silly songs and dump snacks and discover last Tuesday’s half finished kid nutrition bar in. By the time I reached the daycare, I was no longer a woman interested in topping her KPI’s or meeting her¬†deadlines but a mom. Who didnt mind if her dress was askew but was in a world of colorful curvy crayon lines and spilled Goldfish and beeping, talking, glowing, moving toys. Big smiles, hugs and plans of pulling together a reasonably healthy dinner. Then a bath full of soapy bubbles and free splashing, and the books, the same ones we knew by heart and maybe a new one. And I would be in this world till 8, till the kids slept, and when they did, the day would come back to me. Not with a vengeance, but a slow trickle of reminders. And this mommy costume, the one that lets me be sloppy and silly would fade away.

The thing is, I know I am a mom all day. Of course. And I know, like Cinderella, that the dishes and deadlines will be waiting for me. But for a few hours I am a different person. A transformation so amazing, that if it were not for all of us doing it every day, it would seem impossible.

Last 5 posts by Amrita Bakshi


  1. joysree

    we all experience cindrella’s magic spell in our life some way or other but this post help me tosee it from that angle.

  2. ketakimd

    Too good of a post!
    Such a nice perspective of looking at everyday’s rush n routine. thanks so much!

  3. Tana

    Such a beautiful post, Amrita! Congratulations on being able to see and experience the magic and wonder of motherhood!

  4. Nice post! I found myself smiling reading through your post. It’s so wonderful that you are able to see the magic in being silly and sloppy and being able to forget your other wordly worries even if for a couple of hours! It’s like a second childhood on a loan:)

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