Sunday, September 28, 2008

Two years of parenting ...


The picture on the left was taken the first night Deep came home from hospital, 6 days old, at about 2 am in the night when he finally decided to take a short nap. The one on the right from his second birthday all excited after cutting his birthday cake !!! How time flies ...

Its been an amazing journey ... intensely hectic but at the same time supremely rewarding. Two years of hands-on / on the job learning ... parenting is like diving into the deep end of a pool from a 10m board without having a clue about swimming ... there is no way to learn unless you take the plunge. Here are a few insights from experiences till date :

Maid in Mumbai : For a working couple in Mumbai ( where reliable day-care is a distant dream ) ... if both of you want to retain your jobs ( and sanity ) the first thing you need to finalize is a full time maid. We postponed this to the fag end of Piya's maternity leave which resulted in last minute fire-fighting to get just about anyone on the job without adequate screening. 

Our travails with maids could be the subject of another post ... suffice to say here that we had to change about six before we got one who's with us for the past nine months. In between maids we somehow scraped through by taking alternate days off or sending an SOS to our moms and flying them down from Kolkata !!!

Work Life Balance : You start to realise what's all the hoopla about work-life balance. For years I'd worked insane hours rarely leaving office before 9pm ... and this continued after marriage coz Piya herself worked late. Half the weekends were spent drafting reports and clearing piles of emails ... Well, all that quickly changed.

I needed to be back home by 7pm to see what the latest maid was upto ( Piya had to continue working late - compulsions of Software industry / US client etc ). Bringing work home was futile as Deep took to my laptops ( plural as he managed to spill tea on one and plucked out a couple of keys from the replacement ) as those proverbial ducks take to water ... and the weekends were packed with more to-do items than my outlook calendar had meetings on weekdays.

Net, I had to change my work ethic to fit in everything between 8.30am - 6.30pm ... gone were those coffee breaks and pleasant chit-chat with colleagues ... focus on work is the mantra at office ... and everything else other than work ie. "life" away from office !!!

Diapers cost shitloads of money : Do the math ... 15 bucks a diaper*10 diapers a day for two years ... And its not just diapers, all stuff to do with babies ie. baby food, clothes, toys, accessories are all strangely priced ... all exponential-inversely proportional to size & utility ... 

No wonder my current financial status is looking similar to the i-banks ( those few which are still in business ) ... almost bankrupt and in need of some urgent capital injection !!!

Dramatic lifestyle transformation : Gone are the days when we would decide to eat out on a whim, catch a late-night movie after office or just pick up the car keys and drive out on a weekend morning without any definite agenda. 

Watching movies now is strictly at home so an investment in a DVD player and home theatre is mandatory. Eating out and babies dont really gel ... no wonder so many restaurants have a no-kids policy. So, eating at home is in and eating out is out literally !!! 

Going out with a baby even to buy groceries is such a logistical nightmare ... more pre-work probably than I would need for a week long trekking expedition ... Diapers, bottles, infant formula, tissues etc etc. Not to forget the pram ... lugging it down to the car, folding and shoving it in, repeating the whole process at the destination and then again once back home. Net, take a "Baby's day out" should happen only when absolutely necessary !!!


  1. I have a 5 yr old and a 9 months and agree with all what you have said. Still its fun. When are you going for the second one.

  2. hey udayan ... a very nicely written post :) ...

  3. UD, how do you find time to write blogs then???!!!