Parenting…blissful journey ?an adventure ? ever lasting battle ?
A warm welcome to all the readers of my article. In this series of article I will take you all through beautiful/ adventurous journey of parenting.
The opinions and tips presented here are from my experience of interacting with would be parents, happy parents and frustrated parents in my day to day clinical work.
During one of my busy practice day a young couple dropped in for consultation without an appointment. The couple seemed stressed evident by their dull sunken faces. After a formal introduction when I enquired about the reason for consultation both were hesitant to initiate the conversation. With a little prodding it was revealed that the couple got married recently after two years of courtship. Both were software professionals , working in the same company and looking forward to growth in their career. Since the time of marriage couple were fed up answering the same question by their parents “ when are you people going to give the good news ?”. At one end was their career and at the other their parent’s wishful expectation.The couple themselves were in a dilemma regarding this issue and sought an opinion.
I think every couple can relate to this scenario. As an answer to this , let me start the series with the first phase of parenting –
Decision making phase : whether and/or when to enter parenthood. This is an important decision repercussion of which last throughout life. Hence the need for the couple to discuss, think from all angles and not just make an emotional decision.
The first question which comes up is “ are we ready to take up this responsibility , to welcome a precious being into our life?”. Every person would have a dream about their life partner, about how they are going to lead their life, about their career, investments, social life…..but when it comes to plan parenthood , there is almost always anxiety , fear of future, question whether they will be able to handle it or not and at the same time a sense of happiness beyond words.
This sense of fear is based on their own childhood experiences of watching their parents, opinions of their siblings and friends based on their experience as parents. When you look into all these you get a mixture of optimistic, positive, encouraging as well as scary, negative, discouraging opinions.What every couple have to remember is that the decision is solely theirs’ and both need to be comfortable and support each other in this important decision.
The responsibility of nurturing another life in their woumb lies with the would be mother. She needs to be ready not just physically but also emotionally. In the current scenario where both partners are working the career might take a minor blow, becoming second in priority. The thought of others getting ahead of you is itself frightening to a few women apart from that additional expenses, medical bills needs to be worked out. On the other hand delaying/ postponing this phase has its own disadvantages which in extreme case could be irreversible ( increased incidence congenital anomalies in children born to females above 35 years of age ).
Would be father has the responsibility of providing stability for the family. The priority shifts from social life –parties, friends to family life. It is aptly said the mother carries the child in her woumb for ten months but the father carries the child in his head ( responsibilities ) throughout his life.
Once the couple have made the decision and are ready for the responsibility they enter the second phase of parenthood-“Anxious waiting period”. Shall discuss about the same in the next article. Please feel free to provide your valuable feedback .