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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In pursuit of a Prince (Chapter 1)

Ever since she could remember, she always figured her husband would be like one of those guys you see in American movies. Charming, suave, well spoken, well groomed, tall. Handsome wasn’t necessarily on the list but well-groomed, well-spoken and charming trumps good looking any day. She’d daydream about him brewing coffee in the morning; making breakfast on weekends, even cooking on weekdays sometimes. An Indian girl’s American dream! Oh wow! More than anything else, it was the cooking she really looked forward to. It wasn’t as if she was a bad cook or an inexperienced one, quite the contrary but she just liked the idea of being cooked for. A dream of sorts for her, we could say. So she dreamed and dreamed and dreamed about her perfect man and his amazing cooking skills or atleast the idea of him. After all, a girl can dream, can’t she?

As it is in all Indian households, when she was old enough (atleast by their perception) to get married, her parents began looking for alliances. They weren’t closed minded people, oh no they most certainly were not! They, in fact kept asking her if she had a special someone in her life. She kept responding “No yet”. She said she was waiting..waiting for ‘The One’. She told them that she wasn’t going to go looking for him but she would sit back and let him find her. She was convinced that match making activities and online marriage portals wont lead her to him. He was going to carve the path that would lead to her. She had convinced herself that this was how it was meant to be. But you can’t really explain concepts such as these to Indian parents, can you? So what do you do? You give in and you hope that they inadvertently end up creating the bridge that will lead Him to find you.

Being caring and loving parents that they were they listened to her entire monologue on finding The One. They contemplated and subsequently confirmed that she did in fact want to get married, but her reassurances just confused them more. But she said, she wanted somebody who could cook. Parents being parents, they didn’t think it was as critical a criterion while selecting a possible husband for their precious darling. And I mean come on! What are you even supposed to say? “Our daughter won’t marry you unless you cook?” That would just sound like our daughter can’t cook. People will just think we didn’t teach her anything. She will come across as spoilt. We can’t risk that! Oh no no no!

So they searched and they met and they introduced their darling to several lovely boys, but she didn’t show too much interest. She returned from each meeting with a new deal breaker every time. The first one was too obsessed with his work; the next one was too obsessed with his looks. The third one seemed to love boys more than girls, and the fourth one smelt funny. The fifth, sixth and seventh were either too educated, too laidback or still connected to his parents with an umbilical cord of sorts. No! No! No! This was not working and she did not want to do it anymore. None of them were right and none of them were Mr.Right. The one she was looking for was just lost, needle in a haystack…you think? Her parents thought it best for her to find somebody on her own. Disappointment turned into sadness and soon depression, and bordered on thoughts like maybe she was being way too picky than was acceptable, maybe she didn’t know what it meant to recognize somebody for their inner beauty? Maybe she didn’t even know what went into deciding what was right for her in terms of a partner? Nobody trained her on the art of selecting a life partner, so how could she possibly be expected to know? There needs to be a rule book on things like this!! Ugh..!! But even amongst all these depressing thoughts, there was one underlining feeling, actually more of a faith now that you think of it. Faith that made her believe, that she was going to find him. He’s literally right around the corner, and when she finally meets him, she’ll recognize him for who he is: The One.

To be continued…