Thursday, 5 July 2012

Which Daddy strongest? I say both:)

Okay great. So what I believed in for so long is finally vindicated by a suitable specie. The morning newspaper tells me how a Male Tiger is exhibiting parental instincts by protecting his 2 cubs as the tigress died a few days ago. Woo hoo!!- he is a TIGER! So if he decided to nurse his kids when the need arose, a male human should also not feel "any less tiger of the house" if he is required to take care of his- OWN kids :)

I was born in a family where my Grandmom enforced and almost forced Men of her family to "dare not do the household chores". Hence the kind of influence my Dad had on my young, impressionable mind was- "Its not a Man's thing" for a lot of daily chores that my mother would almost get killed doing but never complained. While I still have some preset, rigid notions of stuff that Men should certainly never do- like buying vegetables and fruits or cutting bhindi or baigan- I have mellowed down with some other things which I believe is OKAY if your man wants to do.

I know its more out of lack of choice and self interest but as I told you - If a Tiger can do it, its okay for my Tiger to do it too. Things which have slipped into my "Okay for men to do" zone are related to Parenthood and just that! Since I was raised the way I was, I had zero expectations from my husband to help me with kids. When there are zero expectations, even a 1 percent help seems like a big (very big) deal. So when Saurabh would be up all night, rocking Viraj in his arms, I would get so emotional (the hormonal imbalance ably helped this overflowing). Whenever he helped me in preparing a milk bottle for the kids, I would try and stop him but his insistence on not over burdening myself with small things where he can help too- often made me thank my stars that I had him and pity my Mom for doing it all alone :). Of course my Mother in law was instrumental in letting this happen as she (even if she did not like it) at least did not object to it. In fact at times I saw her encouraging Saurabh to relieve me of tasks like maintaining a vaccine schedule or overseeing the kids if I wanted to sleep at odd hours after a long day.

However when I got used to Saurabh being a Hands on dad- entered my Dad who would stare at him whenever he held V or N his arms to put them to sleep. We decided to lessen Saurabh's interference into the woman's world in front of my father but one day when Nev was crying inconsolably and I was just half way through my lunch, I dared to ask Saurabh (in front of my Dad) to check(only CHECK and never change- trust me I never took advantage of his willingness to be part of parenting by making him do things he would otherwise not want to do- like changing the diaper too ) if the baby has shat in his diapers. My dad almost dropped whatever he was holding in his hands and quietly told my brother-"Yaar tu mat karna ye sab".

I am not saying my Dad was wrong :). I love him for how he raised us. He might not have changed our nappies, but he never let us cry too :). So what if he never patted us to sleep, he always peeped into the room when we were sleeping to kiss us Goodnight. But at the same time what Saurabh has done or is doing for his kids by being a father who is on top every thing related to them, is damn right too. No- not just because it suits me- I am sure men who do dusting around the house or helping in folding dried clothes also suit their wives- but because you are no less a MAN if you help the woman who got your babies into this world.

So while I am okay with Saurabh being a father- I promise you Papa- I will never let him down in your eyes by making him do things you do not want him to(or even in my head men should NOT do)- Because I hate it with equal vigor (I have your genes after all!!)

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