Notes on Life

Having A Child

Veena, 6th October 2017

youtube: The Back-up Plan “It’s Awful”

We are a group of 4 mothers who catch up 15 mins early for some fun talk when we pick up our kids at school. I am by far the oldest in the group by a decade at least and I was so surprised when one of them commented and the others immediately seconded that I have so much energy and make everything look easy.
It was then I realised that what appears to be so is not actually so. I used to travel in lot in my previous life (when I was working ). I used to come across these women/men traveling alone with one or more children and used to wonder how they do it, looking so unfrazzled, juggling the kids, luggage, food for the kids, handbags, passports etc. And I realised when I travel with Sahana I probably look the same, even though it’s certainly not as easy as it looks.

Have no doubts about it…having a child changes your life totally. Irrespective of whether you decide to continue working or quit to be a full-time mother (using mother as I am yet, in my circle of acquaintance, to come across a full-time dad or a dad a primary caregiver), your life, as you know it, is over. In most marriages these days, you still remain your priority but after you have a child, you will never ever again be the priority n your life. Before you think of yourself, you think of your child’s wants, needs, interests and you take a backseat. And unless you have a supportive husband, your relationship comes after you.

Even the best of marriages suffer post children for the first few years. You have an infant who is dependent on you for everything and that puts everything else in the shadow. Before having children, it’s extremely important that the couple talk through their roles, expectations of each other, what each is willing to contribute and document it so there is no ambiguity. Yes, things keep changing but keep the communication channels open. If the change is hard to adjust to, have a grandparent look after the child for an hour while you talk and recalibrate.

Having a child is the easy part. Bring up the child is a lot of hard work. It’s like the park scene from the movie “The backup plan”. Watch it…it’s hilarious and while it’s is exaggerated, there is a grain of truth.

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