A new daddy tells you what it means to be a parent

I clearly remember the day, and especially the moment, when my wife told me that she thought she was pregnant. A thousand thoughts passed through my mind in that split second. It was an emotional roller coaster ride. I experienced multiple emotions all at the same time. Till that point in life, I didn’t know this was possible. What I felt in that instant was very different from falling in love, getting your heart broken, or losing a loved one.

In those months that we spent being pregnant (I feel both the partners are pregnant as pregnancy is not just a physical thing; it is a state of mind) all our priorities slowly changed. So we got the house painted, something we had been being too lazy about and had putting off for few years. This was followed by some new furniture, but now obviously with the baby in mind. And while the painters and the carpenters had turned our house into one big construction site, almost unlivable, the doctor’s visits, the medical tests and scans had to happen at the right time. The baby won’t wait and give you time to finish off your chores first, even before it is born!

We went on our last vacation with just the both of us, though my wife likes to call it the “babymoon”. But even then our baby was already with us; it was the three of us rather than the two of us as our baby was alive and kicking (literally!) We couldn’t rough it out like we used to on our backpacking trips earlier. For the first time, we flew a distance of only few hundred kilometres whereas previously we would have taken an overnight bus or a train. And once there, we took it very slow and spent most of our time relaxing and doing nothing else.  And our first priority always was eating healthy and staying fit, if not for ourselves then at least for the baby.

Some feel nine months is too less a time to become prepared for being a parent, some feel this period is too long, and yet some feel both ways at different point of time during their pregnancy. I trust nature to have designed what is best, and that we have what we have. So it is best to make the most of it and enjoy this experience. You may become pregnant again or even go for a third child, but the first time only comes once.

Today, over a year after we first came to know that we were having a baby, our son is growing up fast. Sometimes, when I look at him, and look at us, it amazes me how different life has become for us, how our priorities have changed. But during this time I’ve also realized that having a child need not be an ordeal for either parent. I’ve realised from my little experience at this that being pregnant and having a baby is about taking care, but not being scared. At most times, all that is required is a little common sense and a clear head.

Many people feel having a kid changes life in a way that you can’t do things that you could do earlier. But the truth is you can do all that and more, only that you have to consider that little person in the equation as well! And this is very important because if you stop doing things because of your children, it will only foster resentment and bitterness.

I’m having a lot of fun raising my son with my wife. And while we may think we need to teach our children what is right and wrong on their path to becoming an adult, the fact is that children end up teaching us even more! So I’m learning a lot of new things on this journey as well.

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