We are family!

27 Mar

So one of the major changes for us since moving to NYC has been the fact that it is pretty much just the three of us alone, all the time. All weekdays and all weekends.

I am not really complaining as the last time the husbadoo and I were alone was in August 2012 , a week before Bandar was due. We then had family stay with us in the order of – my mom, my dad, my mom again and sis, my father in law, my sister in law, my mother in law, my dad, my sis, my mom, my mother in law! Phew! I am leaving out numerous aunts and uncles visits during this time and a stressful trip to India sans the husbadoo.
Everyone in both our families work and they all made solo trips with a few exceptions like my mom and sis together once. With the exception of my MIL who retired when Bandar was 6 months and came for a few months at a time to be with us, the other trips were a few weeks each. I know both families spent a small fortune on tickets that year without accepting a penny from us and really showered Bandar with a lot of love. We had a part time nanny employed but our families somehow felt obligated to cover that half day of care for us and  wanted to help out and be there for us and we did not particularly refuse or encourage.I am eternally grateful of course, and we got Bandar to 13 months without much incident, thank God. Takes a village to raise a child and all that good stuff!
But with family living with you, things can also be very stressful, especially desi families who don’t hesitate to judge/ voice opinions/ comment on every single thing! It was just really very hard to manage the relationship with ones parents/ in laws right after you have popped out a baby, are struggling to breastfeed and pump for a good year, manage stressful jobs and  take career decisions.I think I might have spoilt some relationships for life during that year with my caustic tongue , nasty temper and retorts.
I will also not hesitate to say it was the hardest year for our marriage overall. Poor Bandar cannot really be blamed. Both the husbadoo and I do not handle stress well and tiny issues grew into major fights under hushed tones so that our folks wouldn’t know. Instead of a unit of two , we grew overnight into a unit of four (including the person who was with us at that time). Everyone of course intended the best for Bandar but communciation lines, egos, traditional views – all got in the way.
Also, what the husbadoo and i realized when we analyzed our situation was that there were certain topics that we each were over sensitive about. I for instance, took every single statement made by anyone to imply I was a bad mother for whatever reason. The husbadoo was overly sensitive about any minor statement relating to his career plans or job situation.
We also came to the conclusion that we had always been completely different individuals but when it was just us, there was a lot more give and take. We picked our battles – I gave in to him not shaving for a few days and he gave in to me keeping the house messy sometimes. With one more person from our families in the mix taking a point of view, the balance tipped.
The biggest thing we lost that year were a few traditions that we had come up with since our wedding and were really minor but important to us. Ordering in food on Fridays, getting bubble tea on weekends, watching some TV shows together as we ate dinner. All these things made us stronger as a couple and we lost a lot of these for a few months.
There are a few things I would change about that year.
1)I should have employed a full time professional nanny rather than our part time Desi gossipy one. This way family members visiting would not have felt the onus of childcare was on their shoulders and would have instead had a more relaxed time.
2)I should not have lost my temper and messed up relationships that are important in the long run. I should have kept my mouth shut and done exactly what I wanted without retorting in any way.
3) I should not have been guilty about anything that led me to be so defensive that entire year. I was doing a damn good job managing my child and my career and I should have held my head up high the entire time instead of sulking and flaring up at the slightest comment.
4)The husbadoo and I should have spent more time connecting that year. We started getting lunch together once a week or so and this helped us just talk, disconnect from family and focus on each other. We started doing this after Bandar was about 9 months but ideally should have been something we did right after Bandar was born. Dinner dates were not really easy for me to do at that time as again I was petrified about being judged for ‘ working all day, and leaving my baby at home, while I went out for dinner.’ So lunch worked out well for us and it was fun making up a story about having a work lunch and heading out in our separate cars to meet at a pre decided spot. It was almost like dating all over again.
Hopefully there will be other kids for me to put all the above into effect!

After my MIL left in October 2013, we were alone for the first time with Bandar and got a few weeks together in Austin before the husbadoo moved to start work in NYC in November. We joined him in December.
So I am definitely enjoying the closeness of being just the three of us in a new city and raising our little one the way we want – however disorganized, messy it may be.

2 Responses to “We are family!”

  1. Little Fingers March 29, 2014 at 8:15 pm #

    Oh dear I have the exact same story to tell with some minor changes here are there. I started working when Chucky was 2months old, I picked fights with every single person in the house including my mom, my dad, hubby,MIL and FIL. I had same issues struggling to breast feed and pump and measuring love with the quantity of milk I collected.I wish I enjoyed my motherhood better. After 11 months we moved from NJ to OR and that’s when life started getting beautiful. We are so capable of managing work, baby, home, cooking and even we got time to travel, dates and sex. I even breastfed Chucky for 2.5 years where as it thought I wouldn’t even able to do so for 3months.I really wish we knew how capable we two are and didn’t take any help from others raising the baby first year. I don’t think we will have a second baby, but I would definitely write my experience in my blog for others who are going through same boat.

    PS:I did email you the password of our SA days to your email.

    • popgoesthebiscuit March 29, 2014 at 9:57 pm #

      So nice to hear others have had the same kind of experience. Like you, i wish i had enjoyed motherhood more that one year but it was hard with the circumstances. The message for new parents is basically this – Do not put yourself in a position where you are dependent on others to raise your child.Hats off on the breastfeeding till 2.5 yrs! I did 15 months and that itself seemed hard. Totally know what you mean about initial issues with pumping etc..I used to hide and sneak to put the pumped milk in the fridge and mix it quickly with previously pumped so that no one would see and comment on quantity! So silly now when I think about it as it really was between just me and my child but I had to do stupid things like that the whole year to avoid discussions/ arguments.
      I will definitely check that email ID now! Can’t wait to read your love story:)

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