It takes two to reproduce and it takes 2 to nuture

brought to you by Ruchi Gupta

Law of nature is beautiful in itself; it is robust and logical. While it is a universal truth that it takes two (Father and Mother) to reproduce, many people do not understand that it takes them both to nurture that life. Male and female gender are unique in themselves both in terms of physical and personality traits. While both contribute equally in life but their contributions are different and hence they work best as a team. It is also completely true that one can step in the shoes of another but as a team they become stronger and more capable.

Irrespective of mentioning this, we cannot ignore the society we come from; where there is a hard line between the tasks of a man and a woman. Our society is rigid in its own protocol. Though our education trains us to be a better individual and gives a clear insight of what is right and wrong but society's baggage always influences our thoughts and actions. The upbringing of a child is supposed to be completely a mother's role. Family members do not expect much from a father and he gets the privilege of being the bread earner. Even if fathers want to participate in child care, their apprehension of not being able to do it correctly stops them. In all the cases mothers want and look forward for support from their husbands from day1 of their parenthood. Studies also prove that fathers' involvement in children's care and upbringing raise healthy, happy and confident children.

Now we are seeing a drastic change in our society as well.

Mine is a love marriage and the reason he stole my heart was gender equality; that was always a prerequisite for me. I am a firm believer of equality and especially when it comes to gender. I love to step back and change myself for my family but it has to come from within and not forced. I get very uneasy with forced thoughts and start retaliating. My husband has always respected my space for that matter.

Life was different when we were two but started changing the moment we were going to be three. I come from a nuclear family and did not have any experience with kids. Imagining myself becoming a mother often gave me goosebumps. On the contrary, he comes from a joint family and had been raised with a dozen of cousins, so he was very comfortable with the idea of handling a kid. From the very beginning it was clear that it will be he who will mentor me in this leg of life. We lived in a joint family and that was another blessing to support my first experience.

Somehow in my mind, I kept thinking that I just have to give birth and rest will be taken care of but I was wrong; I realized this sweet-bitter truth the moment the doctor gave my baby in my arms. From that moment on, I was accountable for her.

Hospital days were ok because my mom, mother in law, husband and staff were there to support me. All the work from nappy change, to baby bath, to putting the baby off to sleep was taken care. The baby came to me only for feeding but that too was a big task for me. Soon the days slipped from hands, my mom went after a week and we came back home from hospital. Few days later my husband resumed work and the day came when I had to step up and take onus.

I remember the first bath, when my hands were trembling and I kept giving false courage to my heart that I could do it. I was drenched completely whereas the baby was hardly wet and the room was flooded with water. I remember crying the whole night for not being able to do things correctly. My husband took charge of the situation the next day. We saw a video on YouTube and learned baby massage steps and bathing techniques. Technology rescued us and we did a great job together. We bought a bathing seat and it proved to be of immense help. Using and changing nappies endlessly was a tiring job and again being tech savvy parents, we firmly believed in removing iterative jobs so we introduced diapers. Yes, initially my husband and his family were not very comfortable to break the old nannies rule. We started with a night routine and religiously followed the hygienic routine. That was the first night we slept for four hours at a stretch and next morning were beamingwith joy. Diapers were a great help and gave us good freedom to move about.

Owing to this routine, the next day was better and the next one was even better. The moment my husband returned, it was his duty to take care and give me some time for myself. He was diligent and patient to provide me that support. Our routine was fixed: one of us pacified the child while the other hurriedly prepared the feed. In those 3 months, we forgot all about “date dinners and hanging out with friends! It was all about the baby and we were thoroughly enjoying our new roles!

There were times, I was tired or wanted a break and he was the only one to come to my rescue and shelter me. He gave me time to step out of the house and spend some ‘me' time, sleep for few hours and wake up fresh. While I charged myself again, he was bathing the little one, preparing bottle feed, changing diapers and doing every bit of it alone.

It was my decision to quit my full time job that was snatching the peace away from our life and stay back with the family, while he could concentrate more on work. I put my best foot forward to focus on my children's growth and now when they are growing I am trying to balance my career and hobby as well. While his job is very time demanding, he still makes sure to spend quality time with them. We in collaboration are giving both quality and quantity time to our kids.

We as mothers always think that we know best for what is good forour kids; as we spend most of the time with them. But in our case the chemistry of my two daughters with their father is completely different. They gel so well that I feel jealous sometimes. Once he is with them,they are completely papa's girls. Sometimes I have to point out that I am feeling like an outsider between the three of them, they just laugh it off. They tease me together as a team but I feel blessed and thank my God to give me such a supportive husband.

We have to understand that it takes 2 to raise a baby, a healthy and happy baby! I am very fortunate that my husband was an equal parenting partner and played his daddy role with perfection. Every time I see our daughters and the dad together, I realize there is so much they learn from him, so much they pick up from him. I am sure our kids will have the best traits from both of us and will have a very happy childhood and life!