The agony and ecstasy of parenting

The agony and ecstasy of parenting

Parents' Day

I am now only a housewife,” says 27-year old Deepti Ahuja who is expecting her first child. From being a full-time professional to giving up on the smallest of pleasures, isn’t easy for an individual in the contemporary context. But it isn’t any easier being a parent! 

Parents’ Day falls on the fourth Sunday of July every year. This year 27th July being the day, Metrolife spoke to few parents and few to-be-parents on issues of parenting. One might laugh at the question, ‘How many burps should I ensure the child takes while feeding him?’

But these queries and anxieties define what parenting is. This role doesn’t come with a guide, leave apart a rulebook. And the result has varied effects in different circumstances. 

Take for instance, 31-year old Shilpa Wadhwa, mother of 11-month old Aarohi who spoke to Metrolife as her daughter wailed at the top of her voice! 

“She doesn’t like to see me talking over phone,” informs Shilpa recollecting her days of pregnancy when she had to Google about almost everything different happening in her life.

“I am a total Google mom! I had to face unique situations during my pregnancy and had to resort to Google for answers, since living in a nuclear family doesn’t provide you with the support and guidance of elders. Of late, my daughter has got into a habit of biting everyone she meets. When I stop her, she smiles thinking its a game.

So I Googled and found that I need to show that her action is hurting me and she discontinues,” says Wadhwa. Her husband Pawan Hora adds, “Just the other day I was tired and fell asleep after coming home. Aarohi is used to playing with me at that time and started jumping all over me in the middle of the night. That is when I called her name in a loud and harsh manner and she got scared and started trembling. Though, I slept over it but felt guilty later.”

Such trivial instances of our lives, but significant for first-time parents of a one-year old. But situations are more challenging for those whose children have grown up. For the “new generation wants logic for everything,” says Seema Kumar, a journalist in mid-50s. Being a single child of her parents and having a single child herself, Kumar says, “What our parents told us was sacrosanct! We never reached the level where we had to be scolded, for one look of our parent’s eye would make us slink out of the way. But these days, the children ask us ‘Why do you think we are doing wrong?’” 

Kumar, however, admits that her anxiety level is not as much it was of her mother while she was growing up. But today this mother of a 23-year old girl feels “there has to be a compromise from both the sides. Children need to be given the independence to do what they want, but be a little more respectful with the parents.”

For the old, the present generation is seemingly brash and thus the to-be-mother Ahuja is already prepared to deal with a “brat”. “I was a brat all my childhood, so I am expecting my child to be the same,” she says laughing aloud. “I am OK with my child being naughty but I can’t see him or her being disrespectful!” Such are her aspirations as she enters the seventh month of her pregnancy. 

Almost every individual prepares themselves for such roles in their life. But in between we forget to thank those who have prepared us. Happy Parents’ Day!

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