The Truth About Being a Parent

The Husband and I had been married for seven years when we found out we were pregnant. We’ve always wanted kids. We never made special efforts to avoid having them. But somehow Baby Z took his own sweet time to come into our family. All through those seven years, we were calm and never really stressed about not getting pregnant. Our logic was – if it has to happen it will – and we both had complete faith in God and his timing. And we’re so grateful for this lil wonder in our lives today.

But I do remember my ‘couple’ days. When it was just the two of us. Life was so much more organised and predictable. We have a group of friends, other couples who we hang out with – two have kids, and one doesn’t. And we used to watch both sides and smile. Life really does change you after babies. The reason I write this is because ever since Z was born I’m slowly realising that motherhood is HARD. No one tells you just how exhausting it really is. It is bone tiring exhaustion 24/7. And I’m only two months in.

There’s this article written by a Ms. Venugopal doing the rounds on the internet today which talks about just how tiring it is to be a parent. The sleepless nights, the exhaustion and the fact that your life is no longer completely yours any more. I understood the point she was trying to make. in fact this is just a small excerpt from her article

“Since deciding to have a child is perhaps the only irreversible decision that one can make, it simply makes sense that it be evaluated on reality and not on celebrity-endorsement or marketing slogans. And the reality is this. Parenting is the most difficult experience you would ever have. It isn’t just about changing diapers, sterilising bottles and staying up nights with a colicky baby. It’s about having to put someone else ahead of you. Every day. It isn’t always possible. It is, in fact, never easy. And you have to do it for the rest of your life.”

(read the whole article here)

But then she ruins it by bashing moms in general and suggesting that women who make the decision to have a child are women with no ambition and that parenting in general is overrated.

I have friends who chose not to have kids, they are wonderful unselfish people with generous hearts and loving families. They just don’t want to have kids of their own. And I get that. It’s a perfectly normal decision to make. But to go one step ahead and judge those who do chose to have a child is completely wrong. I agree that being a parent is not for everyone and that it’s time people spoke about the extremely hard first few months (or years) in a more realistic tone. You do not (miraculously) forget the pain of childbirth when your baby is born and you still feel tired at 3 am when you wake up for yet another feed even after 8 weeks of doing it daily. Your memory is a mess and your health takes a beating with the change in schedules. Your moods are all over the place and you rarely have time for your husband, your friends or most importantly – yourself. Claiming that parenting is exhausting is oh so true! And no matter how many books or blogs you may read prior to the baby about this, you never really realise just how hard it is until you actually experience it for yourself.

Ms. Venugopal is also right when she says “Having a child is indeed a life-altering experience, much like high-altitude trekking or swimming the Amazon. There are times when you can’t believe you decided to embark on this insane activity and there are times when it feels like it is worth the pain. But sadly, unlike high-altitude trekking or swimming the Amazon, you can’t check out of it midway when you find out that it’s too hard and perhaps not worth the effort involved” Now, I do not agree with the comparisons she’s used but the point that it’s life altering and irreversible stands true. What she doesn’t realise however is that in spite of all this, parenting can be and more of ten than not is one of the most satisfying and fulfilling experiences of our lives. Raising a tiny human is going to be hard – of course it is. But it’s just not possible to put down in words just how tremendous the feeling of joy is when you catch a glimpse of a toothless smile or when those tiny fingers clasp yours, the way your baby follows you across the room with his eye and the way he snuggles into you for a cuddle  – not comparable to ANYTHING in this world (IMO) And just for that, the rest is bearable. You do not forget the pain of childbirth, you do not forget the sleepless nights or the fact that you take 4 days to write one blog post as you no longer have the luxury to write it in one go – but your feelings for your baby take over and are way stronger than any negative ones you may be experiencing.

Another mum from one of the forums I am a member of wrote a reply to Ms. Venugopal’s article and I think it’s a cracker of a reply.

Well, I’m off to hug the source of all my exhaustion and steal a few kisses from the lil monkey 🙂


2 thoughts on “The Truth About Being a Parent

  1. Hi Minty! Thank you for pinpointing exactly where Ms Venugopal’s article derailed. Exhaustion, being disconnected with the baby and motherhood in general, feeling regret etc are all plausible and acceptable effects of parenting but that does not mean that those did not feel so have to be labelled as unambitious or trying to propagate a myth. Your observations are crisp and to the point and I am really grateful for you quoting me here. 🙂

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