Kids Health

Being Baba: Bringing in the new year with a baby

Climate change, political issues, social issues, crimes against women and children, pollution…there is a lot to worry about and I know that we can all do our part to make this year better than the last.

By Mihir Joshi

Happy New Year everyone! I know, I’s quite late to be wishing you but hey, this is my first column this year. This isn’t just the start of the year, but also the start of a new decade and here’s wishing that this one is much better than the last.

This was my first New Year’s Eve with my son Neil understanding what’s happening around him. I mean he was born in August 2018 but in December 2018 he was just a wee baby and couldn’t really do much. This year, however, it was really different.

So how does life change once you become a parent? I know we all really look forward to New Year’s Eve. Many of you might be used to really late-night parties with friends on New Year’s Eve too. Well, if you are new parents you know how this one turned out and if you’re expecting a baby this year, let me tell you how you’ll probably bring in 2021.

If you’re lucky, like us, you’ll have friends with babies or young kids. Why do I say that? The answer is simple. You cannot keep up with people without babies on a party night and they, too, will never be able to relate with what you’re going through on such occasions. Being a parent is a full-time job. You can’t say “time out” for a party night. As far as your baby is concerned…it is just a night. They have no idea why that night is special or interesting for you. They need to eat, change diapers, wear night clothes, get ‘dudu’ (mommy-time) and go to sleep!

That is in case you have babies under the age of one or just thereabouts. We were a little lucky this year though. Neil is now 17 months old and is super inquisitive about everything. We went to a friend’s place on December 31 and we were quite convinced that both our kids would be out by 10.30 pm, but they surprised us by staying up till a little past midnight. Of course, the next day he made up for the late night by sleeping a lot but we made an exception and let him stay up late because he seemed super excited and energetic. That said, we had gone there with complete preparation to get him to sleep.

Now that this new decade has begun, I was just thinking of all the things that are going to happen for the very first time with Neil. The first in a list of many firsts is – Montessori!

He’s just begun going to Montessori a few days ago and I’ll tell you more about that next month after we’ve spent a little more time there but he’s already started! It is just half an hour to 45 minutes for now but soon they’ll transition him to an hour and then two hours! We did this for two reasons. One was because we wanted him to meet more kids his age and starting Montessori at 16 months seemed like a good idea. And the second was to ensure that my wife Neha, got a little time for herself as well.

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For full-time stay at home moms, I can’t tell you how important it is to even get an hour or two to themselves. Of all the professions in the world, I have the most respect and admiration for stay at home moms. All you ladies who are doing this to raise your babies deserve all the love, respect and support in the world. It is the hardest and often the most thankless job. So, on behalf of me and husbands everywhere, please accept a massive thank you here right now. Dads, if you’re reading this and your wife is a stay at home mom, go hug her and give her a kiss right now. And make sure you let her know every day how amazing she is!

There is so much to look forward to this year. But at the same time there’s so much to be worried about as well. Our country is going through a massive change right now. The planet itself seems to be changing. Climate change, political issues, social issues, crimes against women and children, pollution…there is a lot to worry about and I know that we can all do our part to make this year better than the last I’m sure but for now, when I look at Neil, I can already say that 2020 is going to be an amazing year for me. I hope it is a brilliant year for you too.

See you next month!

(The writer is a singer-his debut album Mumbai Blues won the GIMA Award for Best Rock Album in 2015-hosts his own talk show-The MJ Show and does live Hindi commentary for WWE. Follow him on twitter @mihirjoshimusic)

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