Leave new parents alone

Close friends of ours recently joined the gang of new parents and I’ve seen them change completely from the time they used to be just a couple. Change in their behavior, habits and perspective became apparent in the early stages of their pregnancy. They were baby-proofing the house, reading a lot on pregnancy and parenting, showing up for regular check-ups and so on. They no longer attended nor hosted late night parties and were on a health trip thus beginning to reflect a new self. Undoubtedly, they were showered with a list of Dos & Don’ts from their respective families and well-wishers, transforming them into parents even before their baby was born. In short, their priorities had changed.

The co-existence of parents and non-parents in our world make up for contradictory opinions and the latter aren’t dissuaded from judging the former. Being a non-parent, I have at times judged couples for their messy houses or when their kid cries at the top of his/her voice and throws tantrums in a restaurant or in a flight. I’ve heard people complain about women nursing in public and how inappropriate that is and not to mention the upbringing of a child by a single parent. At work I’ve overheard conversations among co-workers who frown upon working moms when they request for flexible hours or work from home more than once a week. More often than not it would end with such statements:

“She’s hardly in the office”

“She comes in at ten and leaves at four”

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Over time when my friends had children, who I love so dearly, I came to realize that parenting is extremely difficult if not taxing! It’s a full time job in itself even if you are not the primary care-giver. Being responsible for another person’s life comes with a whole lot of challenges that you tackle day in and day out and more so if your child is a toddler, who is incapable of communicating his needs with you, is yet to begin speaking but is in the crying-laughing-sleeping stage. Each day with your baby, could turn into a hurdle which needs to be crossed while simultaneously striving to live your regular life.

So which one do new parents choose? There are times when new parents want to be emancipated from their regular life. Between giving their baby a nice oil massage and a bath, they forget to pamper themselves! The dishes most likely have piled up in their sink and the only clean utensil in their house is the baby’s feeding bottle, they stay awake all night only to put their little one to bed, only to realize that their house is cluttered with baby toys. Perhaps they haven’t had a vacation in more than a year and they probably don’t remember the last time they met their friends or had a late night and a few drinks.

 

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That said, parenthood is a conscious fulfilling choice these individuals made and they are doing their best to perform these new tasks with diligence & responsibility. While we may not be able to relate to most of the things they do, let’s respect their choices, and give them a little leeway! We could all do by being less critical and perhaps more empathetic when it comes to new parents. Let’s leave prejudices behind and offer to help and be supportive whenever there is an opportunity.

Have you ever felt that you are being judged? Do share your experience with us.

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