Parenthood etc.

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!

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From cooking dud to cooking stud..How?

It’s been the longest, forever-est time since I last wrote here and it kills me,  that I haven’t had the time to do the one thing that I enjoy the most-writing. But anyhow, I’m here now back to writing and it’s wonderful.

So, I recently joined a new job. It’s fantastic and I love it. I work for a fashion start up which is focused on sustainable fashion. It’s a novel concept and it’s introduced me to so many different  aspects of fashion, sustainable, responsible and ethical. That being said, I made a few good friends in my new workplace as well. We bonded so well and in no time we were having lunches and afternoon cocktails and then I invited them over to lunch one day on the condition that I’ll cook for them. I made spaghetti bolognese and a chocolate fudge cake, and I wanna say “Holy what????”

I never imagined last year  this time that I could cook something like that. Admitted spaghetti bolognese and chocolate fudge isn’t rocket science but coming from somebody who could barely understand the lack of salt in a meal.. lemme tell u..it’s a big deal!

Its the learnings of living on your own. With no mommy standing behind you directing your every move, and with no elder sister periodically walking into the kitchen telling you some recipe hacks- you tend to learn a lot!!! When I moved out of home, all I kept thinking was how I’m gonna be eating takeout and microwave dinners every night. Uggghhhh imagine your taste buds dying slowly and steadily coz you ate too much TV dinner. I’m pretty sure that’s what kept urging me to learn and try to cook new things (or cook in the first place). I picked up new recipes from the hundreds of websites that tell you all the best ways to cook and plate and present a dish. I discovered some recipes on my own, though I’d rather say I stumbled upon them. I also fabulously picked up a few cues from my mom and some from my stylish chef girlfriends and after about an year I can now say I can whip up anything you wanna eat. And I’m proud!

One of my achievements has got to be that I single handedly cooked an authentic Indian meal for a party of 10 to the most glorious of praises. Come on!! That’s gotta mean something right? In a way my whole cooking quest started off as a means  to an end and then it slowly became a challenge to push myself and see how far I can go and now it’s become a source of happiness and it’s an extremely interesting a hobby to have.

I wonder if anybody else thinks this way but the fact is that cooking is a mirror for your feelings. Literally! How you feel can actually be tasted in the food you make. When you’re angry, and I mean really really angry and you’re cooking, the food never tastes as great as you want it to. So I make sure not to cook when I’m super upset. I want to put as much love and affection and good wishes in the food I make because it isn’t just me eating the food now is it? I’m feeding it to my friends and family and I don’t want any negative energy passing on to them through my food.

I don’t have any children, atleast not yet and I hope to have 1 someday and I want to train myself to drain my negativity and replace it with positivity, especially while cooking. I imagine myself cooking wonderful things for my growing baby and I would need a technique to push the negativity out so I can put all of my love even from my deepest reserves and all of luck in the food I make for my child.

Getting back to the original topic of discussion, I also learnt much to my surprise as much as I thought cooking is difficult or even Herculean for that matter, it actually isn’t. All of you men and women out there who think cooking isn’t for them or that it’s a waste of time, I urge you to try it. I don’t mean you take a class and you learn fine Italian cuisine. I mean just go through your kitchen cabinets and your refrigerator put together all the things that you can find (or are atleast edible) look up a few possible things to make using one or all of the things you found and just go about it. There is no such person who cannot cook. Everybody can cook!!! And I mean EVERYBODY! You may not cook well, or fast or in variety but that doesn’t mean you can’t cook. Trust me, coming from the biggest rebel against cooking (simply because it was too messy) it’s definitely true!

Do you wanna take up the cooking challenge today? 🙂