Life · Work life balance

What babies teach their parents 

Having watched my sister and sister in law raise their kids, I knew having a baby would change our lives. Traveling would change as we know it. Sleep and time alone would become more valuable. I also knew that one can manage both work and family expertly. You can have it all. 

What I didn’t know were the little things my baby girl would teach me! Yes, the same little human who needs help changing her clothes and soiled diaper, can teach adults many things about life! 

Time is an essential resource

    Yes, the above is obvious and one does not need to be a parent to learn this. However, once you become a parent, this concept gets drilled into your head like no other. I can remember so many hours in the day spent watching reruns of the Great British Baking Show or when I was younger, How I Met Your Mother. Our days of watching television are so far gone, that it makes even having one in our home unnecessary.

    Time between feeds and playing with the baby now consists of exercise, catching up with each other or friends and family, and working towards our professional goals. Relentless prioritization is critical.

    Mornings are the most productive 

      I had a great habit of waking up at 5 AM a few years ago. I’d wake up, get my coffee and begin writing. A consistent practice over a year helped me write my first book, Persevering. Even though it was a habit I enjoyed, it was difficult to maintain long term. Understandably, there are a thousand reasons to hit the snooze button. 

      Now I have a natural alarm clock in the form of my daughter, who wakes up hungry at the crack of dawn. After her feed, some precious snuggles and putting her back to bed, I make my coffee and begin working. In fact, that’s how I wrote this blog!

      Easy to say ‘no’ to things

        It’s become so easy to say no to things as a new mom. There are committees I no longer have the time or energy to be a part of. There are conferences I cannot justify flying to. There are projects I know I cannot give my 100% to. 

        Since our baby is so small and still requires me physically for her nutrition, any time away has to be carefully planned. An event would have to be worth its weight in gold for me to attend it. This is a lesson we should all follow, regardless of having kids or not. 

        Re learn concepts from the eyes and ears of a baby 

          One of the most fun aspects of being a new mom for me has been reading books to our daughter. In just a short while, we have collected a wide variety of them. Ranging from the typical- alphabets and numbers, to Spanish and Hindi language books, Indian mythology and religion, world geography, planets, astrophysics (yes, there are books on this for babies!) and more. Following her gaze as she discovers the colors, textures and sounds on the pages, is easily the highlight of my day! She is also an intent listener and hums as we read out the text. You can’t help but marvel at their innocent view of the world. 

          Reading with her daily has re ignited in me, my childlike sense of curiosity and wonder. It has made me realize how truly incredible our world is and what a beautiful life we get to live on earth.

          Try, try and try until you succeed 

            Trying to soothe a crying baby gives you a lot of humility, patience and determination. You are going to do whatever it takes to calm her down and will try all avenues until you succeed. Failure is simply not an option!

            The satisfaction that comes after you realize you were able to solve her problem and placate her, is like no other. I couldn’t help but wonder why we don’t use those same principles in our work lives or other relationships too. If only our philosophy was to keep trying till we achieve what we want to, there may be fewer failures or dissatisfied people in this world. 

            Renewed sense of determination

              Your child becomes your source of inspiration. 

              I find myself thinking about our baby while working out, vision boarding and listening to educational podcasts or a MasterClass. I think about how her world will be affected by the personal and professional changes we make today. For example, working out makes me stronger and more energetic. It releases endorphins and keeps me happy. Happy moms have happy babies!

              Our daughter also inspires me to think bigger when it comes to my professional goals. I don’t see her as a limitation, but a force of good urging me to do better. I’d like for her to find positive role models in her own home. This thought alone fuels me. 


                My sister gifted us a book called ABC Bedtime to read to our baby. It’s a book that goes through the alphabet listing words and phrases that help a child think of sleep. D is for dreams, G is for goodnight, I is for I love you, etc. I no longer need to read this book to our daughter as I know it by heart. I’ve also changed a few of the words. C is for cozy, S is for her Snoo and G is for gratitude. Having a little baby makes you feel so blessed. 

                It’s not just having the baby that makes you feel thankful, it’s also the other relationships in your family that you become grateful for. We are so blessed to be surrounded by family members who dote on our little baby, bring groceries while visiting us, and play with her so we can take a quick shower or catch a wink of sleep. In the last 3 months, I have cooked a total of 2 meals. This is only possible because of tight family support and our nanny. It’s also why after 10 weeks since childbirth, I feel refreshed and energized to begin work! 

                Lean on others. You don’t have to do it alone. 

                  While there are many single parents around the world who crush it every single day, I am so glad to have a loving partner to raise our daughter with. Being a team has taught me so much in a short while. We discuss things about the baby and have learned to lean on each other for support. Sometimes one partner ends up doing more than the other, and that’s okay too. We dream together about the future and delegate tasks. We trust our baby is completely safe in the arms of the other partner. 

                  If you replace ‘baby’ with a business, that’s how it should be too. We should hire people who treat the business like they would their own. Who you can trust with your eyes closed. Just the way you would hire only the very best nanny to care for your child, or marry the very best person you meet in this life, you should also hire the very best candidates to work with. That may mean hiring fewer people and paying them much higher. 

                  You don’t have all the answers

                    Our child woke me up at 4:30 this morning. After brushing my teeth and changing her diaper, we were ready to get down to business- her feed. Our baby is a little grazer. She feeds slowly and takes her time with her meal. Around 6 she was done feeding, burping and mild snoozing. I was just trying to put her to bed when she began crying. After trying for about 15 minutes, I was at my wits end. I couldn’t figure out what she needed. I was also exhausted by then and starving. I hate to wake my husband up so early because he does the last feed and therefore needs more time in bed. But, desperate times call for desperate measures. I woke him up and within a minute he was singing to the baby and walking her around. He took her into the backyard and showed her our wind chimes, our Japanese maple tree and the beautiful big sky. She calmed down and was ready to go to sleep when he stepped inside. 

                    Incidents like this happen every few days and reiterates the idea in my mind, that I don’t have all the answers to all the problems our baby sometimes poses. I also should not have to wait to ask for help until I am totally desperate. I can ask for help earlier and not feel guilty about it. We do not have all the answers. If we did, we would not need friends and family. 

                    Being present and in flow

                      After trying many different things, I have finally made peace with the way my days are now structured. The advice my dad gave me when I was 15 and in grade 10 still rings true today. ‘When you work/study, give it your 100%, and when you are play, give that your 100%. Don’t mix the two.’ 

                      When I am with the baby, I give her my all. Singing songs, feeding her, reading books, and giving her tummy time. Whatever she needs and will make her smile and laugh. When I get time away from her to work on my goals I give that my 100%. I have come to realize now that I need both. I need my work and I need our family time too. And the best way to enjoy life is to look at it in terms of blocks and just being present. 

                      Put on your own mask, before putting on the mask for a child

                        This is the final lesson and really the most important one if you are in the workforce and looking to gain some insight from this blog! Unless we are individually fulfilled, we can’t expect to give a great life to our babies. We all have our own needs, dreams and goals. Some of them might need to be modified after a baby, but surprisingly not all the major ones do. They remain the same. The push to prove ourselves, the need to live out our full potential. 

                        Sacrificing your own goals to live out what society expects us to is not a great plan. According to our pediatrician, ‘the best thing you can give a child is a life full of love and laughter.’ And that can only come if the parents themselves are happy. 

                        Are you happy? Happiness comes from living our life to the fullest. And that could include several things outside of a baby. Such as work, play, travel and love. 

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