The Pre-Parenting Checklist Manifesto

Check Check Check. Checking off items from a list almost always gives a different high – I call it the “Check Check Check High” (Similar to the Runner’s high or Writer’s high). If you are a checklist-kind-of person, you’d know what I mean.  And if you’re not, trust me becoming a new age parent will make you a “checklist-person”. There simply is no other realistic way to survive and thrive.

The Pre-Parenting Checklist Manifesto - Pre-marital Checklist

All my life, I’ve created several zillion checklists and followed another billion checklists (yes! Some checklists are not to be followed 🙂 , and worthy only of the Recycle Bin!) – Be it for studies, exams, work, hobbies and interests, work, home maintenance, cooking, cleaning, de-cluttering, etc etc.

After I got married, many of my friends used to ask me if there was any kind of checklist to figure out your readiness to enter into matrimony. I wish there was. But I didn’t find one, so I created my own Pre-Marital Checklist based on my personal experiences. Be sure to check it out and see if you agree.

Now that I am a parent, a lot of friends and family ask if there is any kind of checklist to figure out one’s readiness to take the big plunge into this life chapter called “Parenting”. Dr. Google did not help me either on this one. And I thought based on my (limited) experiences as a parent, I could create one. So here I go.

NOTE: This is by no means an exhaustive checklist. It is just what I feel are critical to parenting and raising healthy, well-balanced and well-rounded children.

No Criteria Response (Yes / No)
1 Are you patient? Borderline patient? Are you willing to be patient?
2 Do you have the ability to learn, un-learn and re-learn from every day experiences?
3 Can you stay positive in spite / despite everything? – If not immediately, at least can you spring back to positivity in due course of time?
4 Are you in control of your reactions and responses – at least most times? If not, are you willing to try to control?
5 Are you healthy and energetic? – Physically and as a part of day to day life?
6 Are there no major medical ailments which can inhibit your everyday tasks as a parent?
7 Are you / spouse a good storyteller? If not are you willing to start learning / trying to spin a yarn today?
8 Can you and your spouse play the role of Gandhiji’s 3 monkeys?, i.e., Pretend to be blind, deaf and dumb when the situation warrants?
9 Can you put someone before you (almost all the time)?
10 Are you financially stable and secure to take care of the needs of yourself and your children?
11 Can you let-go of perfection? Are you willing to accept that being perfectly imperfect and imperfectly perfect are the only possible ways to move ahead?
12 Can you be attached to people, but detached from outcomes?
13 Can you answer questions, and yet not answer them?
14 Can you ask questions without knowing the answers yourself?
15 Are you willing to accept that you don’t know and will never know everything?
16 Are you ready to re-calibrate your own expectations of yourself? And of your family / friends and the world around you?
17 Are you willing to make a long term investment of time, money, love and emotions into one person without having any clear view on how things will be in the future?
18 Do you know when to shut-up and when to speak up?
19 Are you willing to re-define your priorities? – in terms of your personal / professional life so you can play a role in the growth and development of your children?
20 Are you willing to have a part of your body, mind, heart and soul away from you for the rest of your life? – especially relevant for a mother
21 Are you ready to invest your time and life in the most important part of your personal legacy?
22 Are you willing to be the best possible YOU?
23 Can you laugh at yourself?
24 Are you good at multi-tasking?
25 Are you an optimist by nature? Even borderline optimist will do
26 Are you / spouse good in teaching and explaining things?
27 Are you / spouse good in photography
28 Are you willing to spare the last piece of your favorite food, even though you’ve not had it for a very long time and are craving to gulp it down your throat?
29 Are you willing to let go of every physical / materialistic object without any real expectation of what condition it will be returned to you? – mobiles, laptops, iPad, cosmetics, clothes, etc.
30 Can you be silent and yet convey so much, and speak up and still convey nothing?

I think if you score at least 70% overall, you’re good to take the plunge. Just my view. What is yours? Leave a comment to let me know.

Nischala Murthy Kaushik is mother and philosopher rolled into one (the philosophical streak emerged after she became a mother – essential for balance, she believes). She is an Engineer and Management Graduate (IIMB Alumni) by Education, IT/Innovation/Marketing Professional by Employment, Google/Blog/Twitter/Social Media Lover by Era, Writer by Passion, Dreamer by Compulsion,  Student of Life by Choice, Eternal Optimist by Necessity and Chief Happiness Officer of LIFE by Realization. She blogs @ Nischala’s Space, Thoughts and Expressions AND VERVE : The Quintessence of my Life . In addition, she is also as a guest blogger in several sites of global repute; and her blogs have been featured in several Best-Of lists and on the Directory of Top Indian blogs. She tweets @nimu9 and is also listed among the 50 Indian Women to follow on Twitter.

  • That is quite an exhaustive list…. the one about playing Gandhiji’s 3 monkeys takes the cake! but tell me why no.27 ? photography?