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Bonded for life and for the better

Shabia Ravi Walia

Updated: October 3, 2011, 2:18 PM IST
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Recently, I was reading 10 important statements of wisdom from a well known ex-cop. And one of the pearls of wisdom was: "Do not have a baby if you are not ready for it. The arrival of a baby is truly life-altering." I was forced to think how true that statement was. Whether you are ready for a baby or not, this milestone in your life truly alters the course of your life. It changes you, the way you think, your relationships, your perspective on life, just about everything.

And to think that one little bundle of some kilograms in weight can be capable of so much seems too far-fetched until you have experienced it yourself. I had always wanted to have a baby and over the years had also been told by friends and relatives how it's a huge decision, how it will change my life etc. But it's only when I had my bundle of joy did I realise what an impact she has had on our lives.

For one, there are no decisions now which do not involve her. Every single activity in our lives now depends on when she wakes up, when she goes to school, when she eats, when she sleeps, when she goes down to play, when she's at her best behaviour, when she is cranky, where can we take her, where we can't.... the list goes on.

If we are going to a restaurant we have to choose one which is kid-friendly and also serves something for her. If it's a flight, it has to be some hour when she is up to it, so no more low cost airlines for us. If we have friends over, it has to be a Friday or Saturday night when she doesn't have school the next day. On weekdays all activities have to end by 9 pm so that she can be put to bed.

The movies we go to watch have to be kid-friendly with no violence or adult content. The meals we cook are low on salt and calories and are on the healthier side. The banter we have at home is always guarded, cautious and in check, lest she pick up something objectionable. What we watch on TV depends on whether she is around or not.

But while I am writing all this, I realise that all the changes which have been forced on us because of her are in fact for the better. We all sleep early and get up early now. We have healthier meals. Our socialising is limited to weekends, preventing late nights on weekdays. We don't verbally abuse nor do we raise our voice. We eat and pray on time so that she picks up the good habits. Instead of watching mindless television, we read, paint, dance, sing and play games. We talk about positive and fun things rather than the negative bits of news we saw or heard. We let go of small unworthy things and see the broader beautiful picture.

Yes, life has changed - but in more ways for the better than for the worse. The house seems full and happy with her childless banter. We laugh more listening to her blabbering. We sing nursery rhymes with her. We do yoga so that she learns the virtues of exercising early in life. We hug, laugh, kiss and pray as a family. We behave childlike ourselves after being adults for the better part of our lives. We swing, slip down a slide, topple from a seesaw, all to see our daughter break into laughter. We make fools of ourselves to see our little princess smile.

In so many ways, a child teaches us not to take ourselves, or for that matter life, too seriously. A child teaches you to live in the moment and live it fully. And since your child thinks you are her hero, it always unfailingly makes a better human being out of you. So there may be moments when you do not have time for a shower or you have to miss out on a girls' night out only because your little one has to be put to bed but the rewards far outweigh the limitations. You may lose some sleep at night because your little one tosses and turns but there is a lovely reason for you to wake up every morning when she turns to you and says: "Good morning mamma.... You burnt the toast... aap buddhu ho gaye" or when you are down with high fever and she places her hand on your forehead and says: "Don't worry Mamma... Sia is with you, sab theek ho jayega."

If that doesn't make you feel better, what will? I am willing to let go of some moments of freedom if it means being bonded in the shackles of my daughters love for life. No doubts about that!!

Till my next post! You can write to me at
First Published: October 3, 2011, 2:18 PM IST

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