Last night, we returned home late – physically exhausted and ready to hit the sack. The little one felt otherwise, inspite of bathing and dressing her for bed. She wanted to play, and we as helpless, groggy parents squeezed out our last pieces of energy to humor our little offspring.
She finally nodded off and as I returned to bed after placing her in her cot – the husband, half asleep, asked me, “When will our life be normal again?”
And I immediately knew what he meant. The hands-on, doting father missed being the husband, lover and friend.
‘Normal’ meant unplanned long drives.
‘Normal’ meant late night movies and being one of the last few to leave the mall.
‘Normal’ meant dancing all night until early morning.
‘Normal’ meant enjoying a quiet dinner just chatting about important and trivial things in life.
‘Normal’ meant going where his friends were going without worrying about baby meals and diaper changing facilities.
‘Normal’ meant binge-watching Game of Thrones, or Impractical Jokers or F.R.I.E.N.D.S. without keeping an eye on the toddler to make sure she’s within an arm’s reach.
‘Normal’ meant sleeping through the night.
I smiled at his rhetorical question and I was pretty sure he fell asleep before I could bring myself to answer. So, my answer to your question my love – is this.
Life, will never be ‘normal’ again. But as we accept the fact that we’re now parents to a little human we decided to bring into our lives – this life as we experience it will become the new normal.
Excited squeals and arms wide open when you get back home from work will be the new normal.
Teaching her new skills each day will be the new normal.
Rejoicing and celebrating her firsts will be the new normal.
Being surprised with how much she has learnt simply by observing will be the new normal.
Staying up with her on sick days and holding her close until your heart bursts with affection will be the new normal.
Going back to work the next day with panda eyes yet concern and not anger for the little one will be the new normal.
Parent teacher meetings will be the new normal.
Bitching with fellow parents about school fees, teachers and atrocious homework will be the new normal.
The sooner we accept this way of life, the happier we will be.
I know for a fact that a lot of people feel this initial discomfort about being parents, but are embarrassed to talk about it with others. And this is why I choose to talk about this here today.
The society glams up parenthood. When you ‘have been blessed’ with this little ‘bundle of joy’, how can you possibly be unhappy about it? Don’t you enjoy playing with her and watch her grow? Isn’t it natural?
Well, if the ecstasy of parenthood is a natural thing, so is the physical and emotional pain. Those days when you just want to wing it and leave that diaper on for 8 hours straight are just as natural as dressing your little doll up in cute little pony tails.
So parents, don’t be afraid to discuss those challenges. Get someone to listen to your problems with the same enthusiasm with which you share videos of your baby saying mama for the first time. It will help you feel lighter.
And you will be surprised to know, that you are not alone.