‘Bachche- doosron ke liye achhe’ (kids are good for others), said a male lead of a Hindi tele-serial in an advert. It instantly struck to me that I had a pretty similar view not too long ago! When my wife & I found out about our pregnancy, my initial reaction was one of not delight or ecstasy but of cluelessness.
‘Damn! I am not ready for it; we are not ready for it!’ was what echoed in my mind even after a few weeks while the whole world went ga-ga about the great news.
‘It’s a feeling one realises only when one is a parent’ – my mom has been saying since time immemorial about the ‘I am on cloud nine’ sentiment and, as expected, I kept ridiculing her – ‘Mom, billions of people have kids, it’s no big deal, stop making it sound like a huge achievement’.
As time flew by and we went through the various scans, reviews and prenatal sessions, the immense scare deep within me refused to die down.
I was, on one hand, amused at all the stuff couples do while expecting babies and on the other, still trying to fathom what I was going to do when the moment does arrive. A few of my learned friends said ‘chill, it’s normal to have jitters’.
One of my close friends once depicted the experience of handling a baby as ‘feeling the most blessed person in the world one moment and feeling like strangulating the monster the next’ – a bit extreme on both fronts, I thought, sporting a nervous smile in response.
28 months down the line, I can see where he came from and can relate to that chaotic phenomenon aka ‘being a parent’.
I had nightmares, and to be fair, every single person who has experienced this did warn me that life would never be the same. While a part of me was terrified, another was in constant denial, thinking, I’ll cross the bridge when I come to it. Giving in to the ‘I am a parent, I will be freaking tired all the time’ emotion and accepting that life (or whatever is left of it) sucks big time, most of the time, I am still fighting hard to convince myself that the change has been a good one. 😦
This guy is weird – is probably what you’re thinking, reading this. Yes, life changes but it’s a wonderful feeling; a little smile from the baby when they see you makes you forget all the fatigue and depression of life and makes you feel amazing – is what most people say!
I dive deep inside and ask myself – what is the main issue, dude?
- Are you commitment phobic? Scared of carrying the added responsibility? Given the fact that I am quite the opposite in my professional life, I doubt it.
- Is it the selfish you whinging about the change of priorities, as the happiness of the baby now comes first? Maybe it is.
- The fact that there are no holidays, no team to support you (for us immigrants, the lack of family support is a critical one), no appraisals and promotions makes it a hell of a difficult job, that doesn’t even have its KPIs set for you to evaluate your own performance.
The reality is, I would have never been ‘ready’ to be a parent.
So there was no right time per se; the fact that it happened unplanned threw us off guard for sure. The biggest fight is that I like to analyse everything in life with logic and guess what-babies don’t follow logic.
But amazingly, over the last couple of years, I have learnt to be more patient, more receptive to seemingly illogical behaviour, more attentive to tiny details, and more jubilant at little moments of joy. Yes, when you see her copy your mannerisms, behave in certain ways that are so ‘you’ and offer unconditional, innocent love when you take her in your arms, your heart does melt.
Admittedly, I have grown with her, become more mature, more caring and understanding – a life lesson, I wouldn’t have learnt otherwise. At the end of the day, I indeed feel all the madness and frustration is worth it, every bit of it!
I am still new to the job and a WIP. What is your take on parenting?
Till the next time,