How to be a man – Raise a Child

Google search of how to be a man throws up 1,53,00,00,000 results (wonder who searches such stuff)? Now, I will also add my own version to this quest of discovering manhood.

A woman gives birth, a man does not. A woman nurses the child, which a man cannot. But, after nursing, which is gender specific, how and what led a woman continuing the primary caregiver role? How and what led a man to be what he is today – an arm-chair expert, bossing around the family no matter what his own capability is, carrying the belief that since he is the primary bread-winner, he is a know-all though he is actually a pain in all the wrong places. I have all the issues with this being of a man, which I was myself, rather still I am.

After the birth of twin daughters, I always wanted to be with them contributing to their day-to-day upbringing. Finally, after they turned 2.5 years; I put down my papers, my wife started working full-time with her own enterprise that she considers the first child, and I started my journey of a stay-at-home-dad (SAHD).

Now, I realize what this experience is teaching me. I recognize what a woman goes through being at home, taking care of the children and the house-hold – a thankless task, and if the woman is a working professional herself, consider that too. The man just for the sake of putting in 8-9 hours of formal work and only he would know, how much he actually worked in the age of whatsapp, facebook, tea break, gossip break, meetings etc, that he takes it for granted what the woman does in the house the whole day for his family and the bugger gets to order around everybody when he is back. Ok, ok, not all man would be such a**-holes, but many of them are, and all of us know it.

To be a man – I would like to propose a mandatory period for the man to be involved in the upbringing of his child / children till they turn 18. Every year, man should get to spend minimum of 2 months with his progeny so that he is aware of what the woman gives to the society and how he can contribute to the betterment of tomorrow’s citizens as an active parent.

Consider the benefits- Man becomes more civilized, becomes aware of the gender divide, understand what goes into what he takes for granted and moves his back-side and his mind, for once, for his own children. As this makes man more open-minded, his violent instincts will get curbed – less road rage, less aggressiveness, less spitting around – less of all unwanted behaviour. Assuming that man at the least, would not want to set a wrong example for his own children. Though he keeps doing this all the time when he is in public currently, for that matter, even private.

Man gets to be more accommodative, more progressive, more tolerant, more persuasive – more of all the wanted qualities, once he starts staying at home for an extended period with his children.

On the economic front, for the service class to get 2 months of paid leave means that organizations will have to create new jobs. For the current 6 jobs, one more job will be created, as a rule of thumb, meaning 16% more employment. For self-employed, they will also need to come up with their own replacements in this time-frame. See, job markets suddenly start looking better.

Of course, man will not be ready for this change over-night, as he has looked down for centuries on what woman contributes to the society. However, if we have to build an inclusive society for tomorrow’s citizens where there is mutual respect, peace and love, this change has to happen.

The man has to learn to be a man. The sooner, the better. Raise a Child.

I am living my dream as a parent

  • I am working 24*7, 7 days a week, for the last 9 months of my life.
  • I do not get any weekly off, rather my work increases on the days of festivals, national holidays.
  • I do not get to sit at a place for more than, say, 5 minutes, have to always be on my toes, running around.
  • There is no financial payout – no salary or perk or incentive.
  • My appraisals keep happening every day, every hour, every minute.
  • There is no fixed time for lunch. I am lucky that I have never had to miss my lunch though dinner gets missed out almost once a week, and breakfast is completely ruled out.
  • I have not slept continuously for more than 2-3 hours, at max, for more than last 3 years of my life, as my work requires me to be awake at all god-forsaken hours.
  • I do not get to toy with a smart-phone during working hours, which is 24*7, rather I do not have a smartphone at all, as my job does not require it as such.
  • I do not get time even for a loo break and have to hold back for hours if my work so requires.

Wondering, what is the connecting link between the title of the blog and the above statements? Do I sound like a typical rat-racer for whom the work is worship or what (barring the statement of no financial payouts)?

I tell you, I am a stay-at-home father for my twin daughters and I am living my dream.

  • I get to be a part of my daughters’ growing up, every day, every hour, every minute.
  • I get to do the most rewarding job – being with my children – feeding, playing, putting to sleep, waking up, cleaning up, bathing, dressing, putting up with tantrums, pulling my hair out.
  • I get paid in hugs and kisses at the most unexpected times and also when I cry for help.
  • I try to decipher the health of my children from the colour/ texture/quantity/smell of their poop.
  • I feel awkward, I provide entertainment, I feel out-of-place, I feel stupid – wherever / whenever I go out.
  • I have realized how many corners can a house have, how many minutes can be in an hour and how many hours in a day and how at times, sun sets even before I realize that sun rise did happen.
  • I am getting to know how to feel dead-tired and ecstatic, simultaneously, well almost, unless I bump into a wall with my eyes open.
  • I have started to know my own self better with all my weaknesses staring at me, point-blank and nowhere to hide for me.
  • I have started to realize how difficult a woman’s life is, how important a woman’s life is, how much taken for granted a woman’s life is.

I tell you, I am a stay-at-home father for my twin daughters and I am living my dream.

Welcome to my blog, where I try to chronicle my journey of parenting, joy and distress, anguish and fulfilment, happiness and misery, frustration and bliss; all at the same time as I try at growing up together with my daughters.