Being a parent is a feeling that absolutely cannot be put into words. It is easy and hard- all at the same time. You swing between exhaustion and elation so often that eventually the lines start to blur. But it’s awesome!
Before I became pregnant, my husband and I constantly questioned our ability to give up our life as it was, at the time. We read all the blogs we could, spoke to as many friends (who were parents) as we could and tried to figure out a pattern. There is not one single kind of parent or parenthood experience out there. For the most part I would categorize them into these 5:
- The complainer: The parent who constantly complains of how their life has changed after a baby. Who talks only in past tense, and tries to live life vicariously through you.
- The Struggler: The parent who will give rise to every hidden OCD instinct you may have. Constantly struggling to keep it together, this parent seems like they are on the brink of a breakdown and seriously need to unwind.
- The Adventurer: The parent who thinks all the stuff people talk about on Baby center is common & old school. This parent is the pioneer of all things new age from advocating formula feeding against breast feeding to engaging in infant yoga to naming their child “Mango”, this parent is as unconventional as can get.
- The Stickler: The parent who’d prefer death over doing the opposite of “What to expect, when you’re expecting” says. This parent is constantly researching, can possibly give up showering in favor of reading the 5000-word essay on breast feeding frequencies. This parent is likely to have a panic attack if something goes out plan, or the way it’s referred to in India- if they are asked a question outside of the syllabus.
- The gangsta: The parent who reads all the information, does all the research, tries the baby yoga, struggles occasionally, but for the most part just goes with instinct, good sense and wings it sometimes. This parent knows that life does not stop because they had a baby, accepts that it’s going to be difficult at times but also knows that there is no bigger joy. This is the parent that knows for a fact that in the end, you gotta do what you gotta do. Basically, me! 🙂 Nah! Just Kidding. I try though!
Just like each child is different, so is each parent, and there is no way to decide which is better than which. Just because somebody is a complainer, doesn’t mean they are taking care of their baby any less than I am. In fact, they are probably doing a much better job. But it’s the constant complaining that undermines all that effort.
When I was pregnant a very dear friend (sort of an older brother really, and the biggest gangsta dad that I know) told my husband and I that those who complain about babies deterring them from “living” their lives, probably weren’t really living their lives the way they wanted to, in the first place- True Story SB! He told us the key was in adopting some new stuff and letting go of some old stuff.
Till we had the baby, this was just another piece of advice. The first time we went out after the baby, this Became a reality. We realized very quickly that life doesn’t stop because you had a baby. It takes on a new direction. You have new purpose, renewed energy and new plans.
There is no doubt in my mind, that when you have a baby, there are times where you will have to give things up, your needs may be on the backburner to accommodate those of your baby and maybe, just maybe you’ll have days when there is no peace.
But when your baby smiles at you for the first time, rolls over, or starts crawling, you know that everything was worth it just so you can be here in this moment.
The hospital in which my baby was born is an hour+ away from my house. It’s the best in my city and we made the trip every 3-4 weeks in the beginning and now every 7-8weeks for her vaccinations and checkups. Every time we meet my daughter’s pediatrician, he asks us to talk about her. I give him all the updates, talk of her achievements, milestone progress and discuss whatever concerns we have. At the end of it all when he says, “You’re doing a fantastic job, guys”, there is no bigger award in the world!