Everything in this world comes with a price tag

Everything in this world comes with a price tag!!. Why this sudden realization of materialistic nature of world cropped inside me? This insight actually keeps on popping in my head since my daughter was born.

Everything in this world comes with a price tag - Nibedita Bose

I am a mom who has to take the charge of the turbulent ship of parenting of a 3 month old alongwith her hands-on spouse who was equally naive about parenting as her.  My mother was there to support me during my delivery and she stayed back for couple of months after that. But prolonging her stay was not a feasible option for her. Following months witnessed a completely different persona of mine. I fretted, got irritated and almost gave up lot many times. I took refuge of Google-dev, got myself enrolled in n-number of parenting forums and fished out internet to amplify my awareness about parenting nuances. My mobile phone bills soared with the long duration calls made to my mother & mother-in-law to discuss the changing color of poop of my daughter. Joining back to work became a distant option for me.

As time passed by, the level of challenges to be a nuclear mommy sky-rocketed.  Activities like taking bath & answering nature calls took record minimal time to get completed. Other household errands took place only when ‘her highness’ doze her beauty sleep. I went green with envy for those ladies who had the presence of elder generation at their home and enjoys the wonderful cushion of support system to handle their kids. Sometimes I also did felt selfish about my change of mindset about nuclear family, a concept which I liked till now.

But, few interaction with one of my neighbor who was incidentally a new mom (her kid is only few months elder to mine) staying in a joint family set up compelled me to review the backdrop of my cribbing. Initially, I was jealous when she discussed about her spare time which she spends on browsing social networking sites & watching movies. The kid also looked so occupied & happy in the company of grandparents & extended family members. But, then the lady confided with the ground level quandary of parenting in a joint family. Her MIL apparently believed in ‘force-feed & chubby = healthy’ baby theorem. Even if the mother wanted to give the baby a break from force feeding she was instilled with the guilt of being a lazy parent. Doctor’s advice was challenged many times by the experience of the elder generation of her family. Introducing cow’s milk to the baby transformed in an ego-issue in her household which disrupted the mental peace of otherwise synchronized family.

These discussions gave me enough food for thought. I oscillated in the dilemma about this matter of upbringing kids in nuclear versus joint family. It reminded me of an instance which my MIL mentioned. They were staying in joint family set up and every time she had to discipline her kids, she had to pull them to her room as other elder members outside may object to her actions. In Indian family set–up challenging elder’s behavior is generally considered quite awful. So it becomes a sticky situation where your parenting would always be under pressure of family influence. Above all, even kids are smart enough to sense these tug-o-war circumstances after a while.

However, this fact also cannot be denied that presence of grandparents helps to nurture the personality of a child. This I can vouch on the basis of my own childhood. My individuality has a strong reflection of my grandparents. Their presence at home also wipes out any working mother’s security related tension for the child. Their rich experience of life takes away lots of burden from the parent’s shoulders.

Here the Devil’s advocate fraction of me intervened. A nuclear family parent can acquire tons of tips from various parenting sites & books and also can take advices from other elderly people but including them in their parenting is always their own discretion. However, in joint families not acting upon on elder’s tips can always invite uneasy state of affairs.

So, as I mentioned ‘Everything in this world comes with a price tag’. While the joint family parents’ bears the price with losing their sovereignty or say on their kids upbringing; the self-sufficiency & independence to mould their own parenting style costs the nuclear family parents of managing all affairs all alone between the spouses. Ahhh….another dilemma of parenting!!!!

Nibedita Bose is an ex-Team Manager and now a SAHM trying to sail through the changes of life. A mother of a 1.5 year old who loves to read & blog.

  • Hi Nibedita.
    Indeed, parenting is not easy whether in a nuclear family or in a joint family. The mother has to adjust either way. And yes, becoming a mother and taking care of a child teaches us a lot of things. It sets us thinking so to say.

    • So true…prenting teaches us so many thing… 🙂

      • **parenting**…sorry typing through my phone 🙂

  • Glad to see some body is touching the touchy topic of money and kids…

    • Glad that you liked it 🙂

  • Rachna Parmar

    I have felt the pinch myself being a mom in a nuclear family. My mom had passed away after my marriage, and I have missed her terribly all these years. Mil helped me as best as she could, but for all practical purposes, it is hubby and me shouldering all responsibility.

    • But being a nuclear mommy has evolved our parenting styles …right 🙂

  • oh yes, in my case my in-laws try to become my daughters parents.. they take control over her.. its nice that they take care of Bunty when i am at work, but feels bad when they try to impose their ideas on her.. 🙁

    • It must be such a dicey situation na!!!…i had read your post of bunty’ confusion about calling ‘amma’….. it is tricky!!

  • Fab

    So very true!! The previous generation didn’t have issues like childhood obesity and the like to plague them. Being set in their ways, it is extremely difficult to talk to them and make them understand the significance of whole grains or letting the child eat or stop eating when they want. A joint family is not all roses as people usually make it look!! Though, of course, there are always exceptions :-))

    • Yeah…right it is so difficult to make them understand our parenting concepts…..and as i mentioned you have to pay price either ways 🙂

  • Parenting styles in a joint family are so very different from the style adopted in nuclear families. In a joint family, if the parents scold the child for something, the others in the family are quick to protect the child or reprimand the parents. And this actually confuses the child, for he does not know what is right and what is wrong and later the perceptive and smart children use this to their advantage, which is just not right! There are pros and cons of everything and as you rightly said, everything comes with a price tag! 😐

    • Yeah…the child gets confusing signals everytime. The discipline slacks a lot in case of joint family parenting.

  • Amrita

    Here i dont sit on the fence, i somehow prefer the raising your child yourself approach. i am all for the nuclear family – totally.

    • Even I feel Nuclear family parenting is way better 🙂

  • Whether in a nuclear setting or a JF setting, Nibedita, your post and the discussion proves that new parents have a whole lot of learning work ahead of them and there are no dearth of uninvited “mentors.” To some extent, this is comforting, but to a much larger one, it is an annoyance and a source of “anxious conflict.” You are never allowed to trust your instincts, and you are forever confused which line of action to pursue. No matter what you do, if anything goes wrong, you will have some lobby or the other to sit on the branches and caw, told you so.

  • So aptly said ‘ You are never allowed to trust your instincts, and you are forever confused which line of action to pursue. ‘. And parenting anyway is a constant learning project 🙂