December 8, 2011

How a child can change your life

Every time I get a call from a friend, the question which I get asked is as to how I am coping up with the change and how I am liking the different lifestyle. The fact is it is a big change and nothing which you could have thought will explain how the things are going to change. There are changes in every aspect of your life. Something as simple as just going to buy groceries to more elaborate shopping for oneself, all of it changes dramatically when you have to feature in a small person who loves to go out and explore, but would also be finicky about the kind of place and that she gets her food on time. Timing is everything in this whole process, with knowing your kid's schedule and being prepared about what would be required on a trip out.

Taking out time for myself has been the biggest challenge which I am faced with. You can have a help but getting yourself to trust completely that person and leaving your child is something which I am not too sure about. My mother says you have to trust someone or else just give up everything that you wish to do and sit at home. That is a choice which I have to make. Or the other option is some member of family from either side is present at home. I am not very thrilled with that option either. I think I have been ever too comfortable in a place which I call my own since the past 10 years and now if there is a constant other presence I am not too sure I would really like it. Nevertheless, I can't say for sure as I have not been there. But this is certainly one option where in I can just be sure that it is perfectly fine for me to leave the house for a few hours and go any place. But, then the trade off is in the way you want to teach your kid to do some stuff. There would be two different kinds of instructions which the kid will receive and that I am not too sure would be great to build a good solid foundation on the manners and habits which I would like to instill. For example, I can say that I do not give books in Tee's hands simply because I know she does not know what is to be done with them and hence she will just crush the paper to make noise. My help does at times give her books/ news paper in her hand which I have said NO to, and she does it because it is simple for her to keep her occupied such than play/ talk to her.

I was recently talking with a friend and she was of the opinion that when you do not let the child move about on the floor, explore, they do not end up moving about and learning to roll over or crawl. A friend of mine has experienced this first hand as she was working and hence the baby was in the care of the nanny most of the day. And she believes the nanny was in the habit of keeping her daughter in the pram through the day as it was simpler to move her about and also easier to manage her.Hence, she feels her daughter has started to crawl very late and is in general lazy as is used to being carried around or in a pram and is not used to exploring on her own. These might just be cases, but there might be many such things which will arise and hence the apprehension. I would love to have my freedom back and move about, but I think it is also in me to bring up my daughter to the best way I can. I have to prioritize and see what is it that I can let go and what I can not under any circumstances.

One of the main things which I need to start is working out. This is something of a priority for me and have been putting it off for long now. Now, for this I would like to leave Tee for an hour with my help and get this done. I feel some time being apart is fine but I am personally not comfortable in leaving her for prolonged periods. By this I mean, I would not like to leave her until she is able to tell me when something was wrong and she did not like it. Until then I think I should be around to ensure that the things are the way I want it to be done. For some reason I can not imagine that someone would take care of my kid the way I would. And this is where I see the truth when its said its good to have family stay with you if you wish to work or be away from your child for a long period. The fact is I do not want to leave Tee, not that I can not. I can. I can if I wish to trust my help to do the things as I would like it. But, will she?

A child truly changes your outlook to many things and opens up new emotions which you have never experienced. Its difficult and so many times you just feel frustrated with your situation and wonder why can't someone just take over for a while. And, then you realize, unless you really blindly trust the person who will be taking over, there is no true break.

I just had no clue its so hard being a mom!


  1. yeah it happens that way - we want help but then we are not too sure/comfortable about the help we get, we want some time apart & yet we constantly think about the baby at those times, its a constant tug -of war - always being pulled this or that with every decision concerning the child, the kashmakash!

  2. Loved this post! U r so clear abt it and that's what I liked.
    This is exactly what I don't understand when people tell you to have a kid and be done with it!?!

  3. @Sujatha: How much ever I want to do something, eventually something happens or there is a change in the schedule

    @Swaram: There is really no being done with it.... it just starts!

  4. There is no one right answer to this dilemma - so much depends on the person you are and the kind of help available. I realised (actually my mom realised before me) that I would be a worse mother if I was at home 24/7 with my kid. Luckily, I was able to get a really good helper, and I am also a laissez-faire mother who is okay if my helper takes some decision on her own (and when I want it done my way, she listens). For me, this arrangement works better than having grandparents stepping in. Well, I don't have the grandparents option anyway but I couldn't live with my parents or my in-laws even if we were in the same country.

    For you, I sense what might work is someone trusted to babysit for a couple of hours so you can get some me-time. A reliable maid or a willing grandparent might be the solution. Yeah, they might not do things exactly as you like but for a couple of hours that should not matter. With maids in India, it might be hit or miss - I've heard of maids falling asleep instead of watching the baby, but I've heard of lots of decent ones also.

    One thing to consider - historically, mothers did not look after their children on their own full-time. There were always family, neighbours, household help pitching in, and this variance in parenting style might actually be beneficial for the child too.

  5. my sister has bought Board Books
    specially meant for babies and Parul enjoys them a lot! also she enjoys the noise paper makes so Didi gives her some paper to occupy her while she prepares to feed her etc.
    As Didi says -
    The best parenting techniques are the ones that work for you, your family and the baby, leaving you sane and baby happy and secure. In the end every one’s personality, family and financial situation, interests are different and every baby is different.


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