Getting out of the Parenting Mode

“So do you guys sneak out time for each other? I hope you do?” asked a friend who came visiting us (read: V) earlier this week. An old friend from school, he and his wife and us (A&I) were all batch mates. We lived together earlier, were room-mates and a got married one after the other. In a lot of ways, our lives have almost run parallel, except that V joined us along the way and our friends are still sometime away from planning a baby.

Getting out of the Parenting Mode

The question made us go into an awkward pause. We both shook our heads and replied in the negative.

“You see, I’ve hardly been with V in all these 14 months. I’ve almost skipped 6 months of his growing up,” said A.

True… for various reasons A has missed much of his son’s growing and it feels extremely unfair of me to ask him to eke out time for me after a day’s work. I love watching the father-son duo come up with games, laugh and gurgle when they get together. I am consumed by the spectacle of unadulterated fun that the two have and as much as I want, I hate to be the game spoiler!

Almost a month before V was born came our birthdays in August 2011. I was in Jamshedpur for my delivery with my parents while A was alone in Delhi. As old fashioned I am, I am a little sentimental about birthdays… one has to spend it with the people they love and all! I was upset to be away from A on my birthday and 4 days later when he turned older, it almost broke my heart that he was all alone. And that’s when the little fear entered my heart… life would change forever now that we were going to become parents! It will never be about ‘us’ anymore… it will always be about the baby.

Will we ever be the same again? Will we still be in love as before? Will we still long for each other’s company? Will we still miss each other when away? I had no definite answers. I tried to answer them, but every time I found myself adding the baby to the equation. At that time, I must agree to felt very very awkward.

14 months later: Yes, life has changed.

We no longer sleep late into the weekends. There is always V waking us up just when the sleep gets deeper.

We don’t sleep holding each other anymore. V sleeps between us. He refuses to move to his own cot.

We don’t hold hands anymore. V disentangles our fingers every time we put them together.

We don’t hug each other anymore. Because V comes and makes room for himself right between us.

We kiss however… and thankfully V likes that! 🙂 Except that he thinks we are showing off! *eyes roll*

We were never a couple who indulged in extravagant PDA or an active social life… going out for us meant watching the Friday release, an occasional dinner and an exotic lunch at Oh! Calcutta. But yes, we both cherished our tender moments of togetherness. I loved doing nothing with A. Just cuddling up and spending the day in each other’s arms on a lazy weekend. We spent much of our week drowned in our careers, spent weeks away on official tours, spoke scarcely through the day, yet we were a couple that was almost joined at the hip! All that has changed.

Today, our conversations revolve around V. Our little universe, of Appa, V and Mumum is picture perfect.  And for every missed opportunity telling V’s Appa that I love him dearly and that I wouldn’t change a thing about us, is a little promise…

A little promise that I would work harder to keep our love alive… I read somewhere that a child who grows up watching his parents be in love and its importance for the child to see that his parents care as much for each other as they for him/her.

While parenting is a life-long commitment, and I fear I have lost myself in it, I hope to wring myself out of it every now and then and look at myself as a partner, lover and wife.

“We’ve just started gymming together… so yes… we do get away every day for something that we do together,” I added.

We just returned after a movie (date), with V left with his nanny at home. And I pulled out pictures from our younger days, when we started dating more than a decade back. The pictures brought back lovely memories and warmed my heart…

Yes… it feels good to step out of our parenting mode and be a couple again.

A former TV junkie & workaholic – turned – stay-at-home-mother – recently turned work-at-home – mother Rituparna Ghosh loves herself as @VeesMother (my twitter identity as a parent). Her son’s student, she is learning the ropes of parenting every day. Rituparna blogs at http://onboardthemommyship.wordpress.com/.

 

  • Lovely post and echoes every new parent’s life 🙂 we haven’t seen a movie together since ages. Eating out? Doesn’t look that enticing anymore! What with one of us caught up in keeping the ‘little star’ entertained, sometimes we end up eating alone, one at a time.
    Love has a different expression now!

  • Rightly put Rituparna…. you need to find time and space both…but things evolve on their own… V seems to be fun to have around and keep you busy….Like the gym idea….

  • Lovely post. Reminds me of a post I blogged about similar to this
    http://www.vevisia.com/2011/10/love-after-baby.html
    But I love the father-husband more than the only-husband despite of the other girl in his life whom he loved more 😀

  • Fab

    Lovely post!!! I know, watching a movie now is a twice a year affair!! Kudos to you for taking the effort to carve out time for each other alone, most Indian parents just give it all up after a new arrival in the family :-).

  • 🙂 Yes, Indian parents tend to forget about themselves after the baby arrives. V is super fun and our idea of bonding over a common cause is always reiterated when V demands both our attention!

    @Sirisha – Lovely post and I have so many ‘dittos’ in that list of yours. Yes, the father in my husband is a brilliant, brilliant man and makes me fall in love with him every single day. 🙂 Read this: http://onboardthemommyship.wordpress.com/2012/06/17/child-is-the-father-of-man/

    @ Reema – I know what you mean! In our case its usually me feeding V while keeping the decor of the restaurant in place and A gobbling down his food so that he can entertain the kiddo later. *phew*

    @ Desi Traveler – Oh hell yes…the gym is the one fun thing we are doing after more than a decade!

    @ Fab – We’ve had a very unusual love story. http://thefullninemonths.posterous.com/pages/meet-the-parents will tell you some of it. 🙂

  • Absolutely agree about getting out of the parenting mode and into the couple mode every now and then!!