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MOM and DAD together make the best TEAM
The moment a child is born, a pair of parents are born too. And from there starts the journey called parenting.
I have two daughters, a four year old and a six month old. Just like any other couple, my husband and I were both very jittery when we were expecting our first daughter. Its one thing to play with babies and it’s an entirely different game to be responsible for them. A panel of experts recently said in Pampers blogger’s meet- “Parenting is not a skill we are born with, we acquire it”- and I couldn’t agree more. My husband and I were ready with our sleeves rolled up to embrace this lovely learning experience.
Post- Delivery, my husband and my sister stayed with me in the hospital for the night. I was in pain and discomfort so was tossing and turning on my bed while my newly born daughter was resting in her father’s arms. It was extremely cold. I saw my husband constantly gazing at her with all the admiration and warmth of this world, carefully pulling her cap so that her ears are covered well. Despite the freezing cold, I was melting in my heart. Who says mothers are the only good care givers?
From Day Zero, my husband and I have been a team. We have both picked our roles in this parenting journey per our strengths, with the common goal of holistic development of our daughters. Set gender roles of fathers and mothers do not bother us, what bothers us is the fact that our daughters should get the best of both worlds.
As parents, we consciously and unconsciously leave a huge impact in the minds of our children. Kids imitate us- in their expressions, behaviour, body language and even thought process. So it becomes all the more significant to do and say the right things- they are always watching and listening- even if they pretend to be playing!
Our elder daughter is a bright little chirpy birdie. She is often lost in her own world mimicking her favourite cartoons and singing her favourite songs. She is very gentle at heart but tries to put up a brave face always. She calls herself her own favourite and oozes with self-love. When she is not seen for a long time, she is always up to some mischief- which mostly is putting lipstick/nailpaints/ cream or painting and scribbling on the walls of her father’s study. She seldom has any stranger anxiety and fears none. Sometimes she is also ready to get down from the car to scold the “uncle who honked on us so hard” (yes, we are working on fixing this :) ). She can talk to any person walking on the street and is also capable of discussing all her life with them. She can be bossy and can follow too. She can be sweet and can be a nut too.
I am not sure whom does she get each of these traits from, but when she goes out and feeds a stray pup with all her love, when she helps her great grandparents walk, when she shares her tiniest piece of chocolate, when she cries her heart out when sad and knows the exact reason- we do feel we’re doing some things quite right.
While I teach her to emote, her father teaches her to gather after. She often has heart-aches like recently a stray pup she used to feed had died, she kept howling for the entire day- I wept with her too. Her father was the one who comforted her.
While her father sets an example of how women should be treated by men, together we teach her to squash all gender norms. She sees her father massaging my head when I have a headache. She sees him cleaning her up after every trip to the loo (as I recently had a surgery and can’t lift her), she sees him change the younger one’s diapers as many times as I do, she sees him feeding them both, putting them to sleep, being so gentle and warm with me and all other women of the house. More than anything else, this raises the expectation bar for her, she’ll never settle for a lesser gentle-man as a friend or even an acquaintance.
While her father does a lot of things the society might expect a woman to do, I do a lot of things a society might expect a man to do. For instance- the whole world feels awkward that her father doesn’t know how to drive while I do, she feels awkward if she sees the keys in his hands and not mine!
While he often indulges in pampering, I take up the role of the disciplinarian- there is a role reversal here a few times- a constant game of good cop and bad cop. So on most of the days her father would give in to all that she demands and I try to control. But on some days when he refrains, and this mostly happens when she wants chocolate, I sneakily enter the kitchen and hand her not one but two.
While he does numbers with her, I teach the language. While I teach her leadership, he guides her to be an effective team player. While I nurture her nurturing side, he nurtures her passion to paint. While he teaches love, I teach compassion. While the world teaches her competition, we teach her self-actualisation. While I teach her to scream and shout when she’s happy, well, he joins me too.
So to sum up I’d say- just like it takes two to create a child, it takes two to love, nurture and raise a happy child, as well.