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The Joys of Parenting

& what we can learn from our Offspring

New Era CEO Ejaz Shah

By Ejaz Shah  —  15 September 2020

Parenthood... Parenting...

The joyous time in your life. A blessing. You nurture them, you give love, watch them grow, you feel love.

Love…Nurture…Grow…Love…Nurture…Grow… who am I kidding…?!

Screaming…Crying…Sleepless nights…Dirty nappies…Vomit on my new shirt…Vomit on my old shirt…Vomit on all my shirts…

I was excited at the thought of being a first-time dad, but when my first daughter was born, I was terrified. Not because she was an ugly baby, oh no, she was the most beautiful baby I had ever set my eyes on. But the thought of being totally responsible for another human being completely terrified me. The feeling wasn’t as daunting when the second one arrived, I was experienced, I had been here, I could do this…surely?! But when the third one arrived, optimism went out the window. Terrified is not the word. PETRIFIED. I was petrified. It was me against a house full of girls!!

Was I being punished here?! I mean daughters are blessings, I 100% agree with that. I am a blessed man but at times I felt like an atoned man. They’re not sweet angels, don’t be fooled, they’re devils in disguise. Take my eldest child, she’s always right, like always right, I’m the parent but she’s always right?! And that sweet smile of hers…ruthless! The middle one, I’m sure I have spent ¾ of my life savings on her alone, but I always say no to her, I don’t know how it happens?! The third one, the less said about her, the better. I am too scared to even talk about her and she’s just turned one!

I mean I love them to the moon and back, which parent doesn’t love their children. But if I made it to the moon, I’d stay there, for a gooooood while. It is not easy being a parent. 

Parenting is a role which you can never be prepared for. Read as many articles as you want, as many parenting books as you want, babysit as often as you want. All the knowledge and experience in the world, cannot prepare you for your own ‘bundle of joy’. I mean I had my fair share of experience with my nieces and nephews, but was I prepared? Oh no! I can clearly remember soon after my first was born, the nurse asking if I wanted to put her clothes on. She was so small and fragile, I graciously declined and watched from afar. 

My Three Angels

New Era Joy of Parenting

My first born aka ‘always right’, was a very good baby. She slept through the night, ate all her food and kept most of it down! We were constantly reminded of how lucky we were to have such a good baby. Looking back now, she’s nine, and I don’t know where the time has gone. I was apprehensive, scared and in new territory, but time really has flown. If I was to give any advice, it would be to cherish each and every moment you have with your child, because it’s true, they really do grow up fast.

My second child, ‘the big-money-spender’, is six now. To her credit, she was a delightful baby, like her sister. However, two months in and a small rash on her forehead developed into full blown eczema all over her small body. My baby really did suffer. She spent nights awake, itching, bleeding and crying. My wife and I would rotate shifts between us, staying up to look after her.

New Era Joy of Parenting

My first born aka ‘always right’, was a very good baby. She slept through the night, ate all her food and kept most of it down! We were constantly reminded of how lucky we were to have such a good baby. Looking back now, she’s nine, and I don’t know where the time has gone. I was apprehensive, scared and in new territory, but time really has flown. If I was to give any advice, it would be to cherish each and every moment you have with your child, because it’s true, they really do grow up fast.

My second child, ‘the big-money-spender’, is six now. To her credit, she was a delightful baby, like her sister. However, two months in and a small rash on her forehead developed into full blown eczema all over her small body. My baby really did suffer. She spent nights awake, itching, bleeding and crying. My wife and I would rotate shifts between us, staying up to look after her.

It was a testing time for all of us, and one of the main reasons for my move to Pakistan (I’ll explain this more in a future blog). She missed out on a lot in her early years, due to her eczema, but has that held her back – hell no! She’s making up for lost time, in supersonic speed (and cost)!

And finally, the one I fear the most, my youngest.  An angelic baby for the first 6 months of her life, she would lay there watching her sisters like a hawk, entertaining us with her babbling. As soon as she hit the 6 month mark, she stepped it up a gear or two! She causes havoc around the house, nothing remains in its place, the window blinds are her climbing frames, my laptop her personal stomping ground, our phones she uses for her practice catapult shots. It’s not just me, she bullies her sisters, her mother and she doesn’t stop until she gets her way! She runs our house. 

So advanced

Jokes aside, even though they are so similar in so many ways, they all have their own individual little personalities. So, when it came to ‘parenting’ and where something worked with one of them, it didn’t necessarily mean it would work on the other one too. With every child it was like being back at square one again and starting a new trip down the parenthood lane. You have to learn new methods of feeding, bathing and putting them to sleep, it’s all one big learning curve. Though one thing I have noticed, the kids of today are way ahead of where we were when we were their age, they make us look dumb!

I recall an incident when my brother was around 4/5 years old. My dad had recently purchased a VHS player (google this if you do not know, they were big in my day!) and the old VHS cassettes could only be inserted into the video player one way, if you forced it in the wrong way the VHS player would throw it back at you. So, on this particular day we had a room full of relatives gathered, joking and laughing together and I was sitting there watching my brother trying to insert a VHS cassette into the VHS player. He tried every side and seemed to be at it for what seemed like forever! Finally, he succeeded and managed to successfully slot it in. The joy from the elders as a result of him successfully completing this, what now seems like such a mundane simple task, was euphoric. Everyone was clapping, cheering and praising him for simply turning on a VHS player and inserting the cassette. What a smart boy?! I mean my one-year-old uses my mobile phone more efficiently than me! She dives straight into YouTube, skimming through all the videos until she finds one that takes her fancy!

I suppose in our days the VHS player was the equivalent to the iPhone of today, when it comes to latest gadgets. Times have changed, we’ve become so much more advanced than we ever have been, especially in the last 10, 20 years and so have our children, they do today what we will learn to do tomorrow!

‘Wave-gate’

When my first-born was around 4, we headed to our local shopping centre, father and daughter, me in the driving seat, her dressed in her favourite fairy outfit, in her car seat. Shortly into the drive I was cut off by an impatient driver, not wanting to curse in front of my little fairy, I signalled instead with a rude hand gesture, mouthing the curse words out purposefully to the driver. Instantly my eldest turned to me and asked, ‘baba what does this mean?’, as she performed my rude hand gesture back at me. Under pressure, I said the first thing that came to mind ‘oh baba was just waving at an old friend beta’. Thankfully and to my relief that reply seemed to satisfy her and we continued with our journey.

Once in the shopping centre we entered the lift to go to the floor we needed, alongside us was an elderly couple in their eighties. The couple were delighted with my first-born’s fairy dress; her fairy wings attached to her side and the little crown on her head, she soaked up the attention, grinning from ear to ear. The elderly couple were to leave a floor before us, and as they exited the lift, they turned around to wave goodbye to us. The last thing I saw, as the doors closed on them, was the look of sheer horror on their faces. As my gaze dropped down to my little one, I saw why. My first-born was enthusiastically waving back at them, with the same rude gesture she had seen me use earlier.

“But baba, you said that’s how you wave to friends?!”

“No no no darling, baba was angry when he waved like that”

“So that’s an angry wave?”

“Yeh beta angry wave”

Nothing more was said, and we continued with our shopping with ‘wavegate’ put firmly to the back of our minds. This was not a story I wanted to repeat to the missus.

Later that evening when we sat down for our meal, much to the disappointment of my first born, my wife had cooked vegetables. 

“But baba, you said that’s how you wave to friends?!”

“No no no darling, baba was angry when he waved like that”

“So that’s an angry wave?”

“Yeh beta angry wave”

Nothing more was said, and we continued with our shopping with ‘wavegate’ put firmly to the back of our minds. This was not a story I wanted to repeat to the missus.

Later that evening when we sat down for our meal, much to the disappointment of my first born, my wife had cooked vegetables. 

Tears, tantrums and much pleading later, my wife stood firm, the food had been served and it was all she was getting. As my wife took her seat, my first-born rose on hers and with the most passionate of moves I’ve ever seen her display, she went into a continuous display of my ‘angry wave’, right in her mother’s face.

Change is coming

NEW ERA the joy of parenting

Change is happening all around us whether we like it or not. We are changing, time changes us, it changes our priorities, our way of thinking and our outlook on life. Successful and more at ease are those who learn to adapt and adapt quickly.

So, whilst we struggle to rear our offspring to the best of our capabilities, what can we learn from them? The key thing I say is simplicity. A child is simple, they’re still grasping knowledge and understanding, so they look at everything in the most simplest of ways.  

This as adults we know, is usually the best of ways to tackle matters, especially when faced with a problem or when a key decision has to be made.

 

NEW ERA the joy of parenting

Change is happening all around us whether we like it or not. We are changing, time changes us, it changes our priorities, our way of thinking and our outlook on life. Successful and more at ease are those who learn to adapt and adapt quickly.

So, whilst we struggle to rear our offspring to the best of our capabilities, what can we learn from them? The key thing I say is simplicity. A child is simple, they’re still grasping knowledge and understanding, so they look at everything in the most simplest of ways.  

 

This as adults we know, is usually the best of ways to tackle matters, especially when faced with a problem or when a key decision has to be made.

 

However, we adults, we like to think and think and think. We are experts at creating mountains out of molehills by overthinking. Let’s just simplify matters and take it easy.

Secondly, have you noticed how children pick up new things? They are constantly observing their surroundings, monitoring everything around them, constantly feeding their imaginations and growing wiser for it. We adults get so consumed with matters at hand, that we adapt a tunnel vision and lose all sight of all the great things we have surrounding us. I have made it a habit to take time out weekly to try something new, explore a different avenue, experience something different. It’s made me grow and helped me switch off from day to day matters. I strongly recommend this.

As I finish this blog, I simply say to all the parents out there, you’re doing great! Don’t be hard on yourself, take each day as it comes, and enjoy as much of it as you can, because time really does fly. And grow with your children, learn to switch off, learn to simplify, learn to observe and take in all the good that is surrounding you.

But before I go, a warning. Children, they observe everything. EVERYTHING. I have lived to tell the tale above, learn from my errors…

Please feel free to use the comment section below to share your parenting tips or disasters! I look forward to hearing all your tales. 

To become a member of the New Era family, register your interest here, I look forward to welcoming you.

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