One Year into Parenthood
Friday marked One year of our son entering into this world. Last time when I wrote about my journey as a father of a 100 days old baby I was filled with joy and so much more to do for our son. Between my previous post and this one, many things changed. We (My wife and I) have decided not to thrust anything on him but we will try and teach him and keep him active as much as possible without the intervention of electronics because it looks like kids love to watch colorful things. Televisions and Mobilephones being the culprits of making them delve so much into it, we decided to avoid as much TV as possible for him. This post is all about my learnings as a new parent and how we are coping with this to build our lives around our son.
After delivering the baby My wife and baby came down to Chennai and didn’t stay with her mom owing to her health condition. My mother came down to Chennai to be with us and take care. They all were with me for exactly two and a half months. Then my wife and baby went to be at her mom’s for 3 months and at my mom’s for 3 months. I was so hoping to spend a lot of time with them but unfortunately both the parents want their share of time with their grandson Sigh.
Lockdown and the lost time:
When finally my wife and son came back to Chennai to be with me I was looking forward to coping with the lost time with them and within a week of their landing, Lockdown was announced. The situation was terrible with Corona and all but I was really happy since I could stay home 24 hours and catch up on the time I missed with both of them. You see that light at the end of the tunnel ?. I was so glad this happened.
Parenting isn’t a Joke Part 2:
If the first 3 months are crucial, the later stages of his growth journey are even more crucial for parents. By the time they came to Chennai, he was almost in his 9th month and learned to stand. Now that he understands better we must be careful in whatever we speak because you know, kids learn from what they see and hear. Another trouble we had to overcome was when being at his grandparent’s he was very keen to step out of the house often but now that the Corona cases were rising, we couldn’t take him out except for our apartment’s small playground.
I’m not going to lie, my wife and I had huge disagreements in the initial days of our marriage and we try and resolved them as soon as possible. I turned out to be a hot-headed person but I didn’t realize I can spew so much anger. Now, that our son is here we must tone down our fights, and especially I should learn to be calm and composed. I don’t want to be that toxic parent and surprisingly, I learned to control my anger to the maximum and not explode. The same with my wife, our fights have reduced comparatively less than it used to be and we are still heading towards not fighting at all. On the other hand, our son is doing things on his own right from dancing to blabbering and trying to eat. We are both so proud of him. So, here are some of the lessons I learned as a dad during this whole year.
Lesson – 1
As a parent even if you don’t want to pressurize your kid to do things, there is external pressure from other fellow parents of elders from the family. You know them, they would ask about the baby’s activities like Is he walking? Is he running? has the teeth grown? and all those non-sensical questions. We must not succumb to that pressure. They are tiny creatures and they are not robots to perform the same task as every other child. Babies take their time to do things and each baby does it at different times. It is completely okay if your kid is not walking or blabbering or eating on their own. Just don’t pressurize them but teach them. If they are really in a mood they will learn. Pressuring might push them to hate that particular thing.
Lesson – 2
It is more important to keep them away from Digital devices especially TVs and Cell phones. Let’s ask ourselves why do they need to be exposed now? I could find two possible reasons 1. If the kids aren’t eating and create trouble while the parents handover their mobile phones or play some rhymes on TV which can be termed as distraction feeding. There are a couple of possible troubles in it. If the kids get used to eating while watching, then this particular activity has to be repeated else they will create trouble and it is hard to change, which is really harmful to their eyes at a young age and these are really addictive. Instead of forcing them to eat, you can leave them be and whenever they feel hungry they will come straight to you. Yes, as a parent is a tough decision but if you want them not to watch TV or indulge in cellphone while eating this is the key. It has worked for us and I would suggest giving it a try. 2. When the mother and father are busy at their works plus if the kid is not sleeping we must keep them entertained. This is the time where we cannot do anything but fall back to the gadgets. The key here is either one of them should be there with the kid to keep them engaged, there are a number of Instagram pages where you can find different activities for kids and we can try and use couple of them which will be educational and engaged.
Lesson – 3
One must be very patient in handling the kids. Our anger will affect them seriously and leave a scar forever. The kids understand their parents well, even if they don’t understand our words they form a perception on their own. For example, when I and my wife dress to go out our son automatically comes to me because according to him when a male gets dressed they are going out, I’m slightly troubled by this but working on to change the perception of the kid. So, when an event keeps playing often in front of their eyes they grasp it differently. So, we must be very careful about what we do in front of them. Be as friendly and kind as possible, this not only helps you bond with them but they will learn to trust you.
Lesson – 4
This is especially for Dad’s. Even in my previous blog post, I mentioned the father’s learning certain skills to take care of the baby. It is very vital because kids are not your wife’s responsibility alone but yours too. Learning certain things will help you bond with them. Be it teaching them to eat or playing with them instead of meddling with your cellphones. Wouldn’t you be happy if they call you Dad or appa or Naina? That would make you happy and proud when you are behind them uttering those words. So, be as much support to your wife and kid.
I’m still trying my best to be as good a father as I could, fulfilling our son’s need and keeping him happy and safe. It is easy to be a toxic parent but being a responsible one is really tough but do remember, they are in this world because you want them and not because they want to be here. They are not our investments to give returns. So, treat them tenderly and be there for them. They are our bundle of joy and they deserve to be happy and not broken.
Happy Parenting ?