a new life

Our lives have changed so much in the last eight months. To be fair, it changed quite considerably in the nine months before that. And hence we had a good amount of ramp up time to prepare for the life we live now.

Tara has changed our likes, dislikes and preferences in most areas. Be it the types of articles I read, or the apps I am interested in, or the restaurants we like or simply the way we eat. One of the things that Tara has most influenced is how we manage our time. And even though we are FAR from being that super organized family, we have made a lot of small and some big changes in our lifestyle to match Tara’s needs.

My bottom line statement wrt to all these changes is this – “she makes it all worth it.”

So what are the big and small changes that we brought about our lives, to make parenthood work for us.

  • Use Instacart, Google Shopping Express and Amazon Prime as much as we can to avoid the trips to stores. We have not been to any other store but for Madras Groceries, Trader Joes , Whole Foods and Safeway, in the last eight months. No Babies R Us, Target, Costco, Buy Buy Baby. We order everything online. Every Friday night I order the needfuls while I am nursing Tara. Yes it strains my eyes to do this in the dark. But I like starting the weekend with all things I need to make the next week happen ๐Ÿ˜€
  • Use DoorDash to pacify our palette from time to time. We love trying out new restaurants and cuisines and ate out pretty frequently. But DoorDash works the magic for us now.
  • Cleaning is outsourced. Outsource as much as you can. While we had the family over, we even used a cooking lady.
  • Make the weekday count – here is all we try to fit in our week daysย 
    • Car Wash – at work
    • Dry Cleaning – at work
    • Hair Cuts – early morning
    • Eyebrow Parlor trip – Lunch time
    • Groceries – Monday or Friday
    • Laundry – Fri night
    • Water the plants – Wed
    • Steam/Bake Tara’s food
  • We eat dinner at 8:00pm every day. Immediately after I come down after putting Tara to sleep. Agam has taken full charge of making the rotis, heating up food and laying the table. I am so thankful to him for being such an awesome partner. He even marinates and grills the fish on light days. Early dinner gives us the time to do “our things” between 8:30-10(for me)/ 11:00(for Agam). I snooze at 10 religiously. Only exception is Friday nights when we watch something on TV. We don’t see any TV while Tara is around. Out things vary for each of us – for me it is mostly some work, some whatsapp with family and some light reading it flipboard
  • We have simplified our dinners. Sunday – lemon rice, Tuesday – Fish and Salad, Thursday Fish – Sides (Mushrooms, Asparagus, steamed veggies), Friday we mostly order from Door Dash and remaining three nights we do Dal, Veggie and one curry. This has reduced my weekend cooking load by half. And we are eating way healthier than before. Also I must thank Google for taking care of our nutrition at lunch and breakfast.ย 
  • Every weekend there is one chore day and one fun day. Sundays are fun days mostly. Fun days start with breakfast/brunch and a small outing.
  • Facetime with family is a weekend morning activity.
  • We saved our self by not imposing a strict nap routine for Tara. She sleeps 3-4 hours after she wakes up. And we follow that loosely and let her tell us when she needs to snooze. We used to be more paranoid before. But now we just let her guide us.
  • Tara’s bed time is 7:30pm and on most mornings she is up by 6am. So we also wake up with her and stuff our mornings with whatever chores we can finish – like folding laundry, ironing, garage fix up, checking mail, throwing trash ๐Ÿ˜›
  • During the week, Agam drops Tara off at the day care by 8:15am and picks her up at 5:15pm. This gives me time to prep her dinner after coming back and take her in my arms when she comes home with Daddy ๐Ÿ™‚ Somedays we wrap up her milk and dinner by 6pm and go to the park for swings.
  • I have started hitting the gym twice a week in the morning between 8-9. Agam is good about his stretching and diet. I am the one who needs the discipline, so I that’s how I spend my mornings if I am not finishing chores.
  • I spend Saturday morning prepping Tara’s food, sterilizing her bottles, chopping for our week’s meals, and making a good breakfast for all of us ๐Ÿ™‚ I love it when the three of us eat together ๐Ÿ™‚ While I am in the kitchen, Agam gets ready and vacuums and finishes other chores, while we each take turn spending 5-10min burst of high activity time with Tara to keep her engaged. She plays with her toys or watches me do my thing in the kitchen from her little gate. Her little play area is our melting pot.
  • We pick our social events more carefully now. One event per weekend and try not to do more than that. Social events are a big energy drain for me. A few years of rest can do no harm ๐Ÿ™‚
Kids are a lot of work. More than you can imagine if you still don’t have some. But they make you value your time. The way I see it – you can choose to make them fit in your schedule or you make your schedule work around them. I see a lot of benefit in doing the latter. I have never been as productive as I am these days. I am also super motivated at work in the eight hours I spend there, because I know I don’t want any emails labeled as before I leave work at 5:00pm. And no I am not the only one who leaves at 5:00 in my office. All parents do that. One of the things I love about Google is that no one judges me if I leave the office at 5:00. In fact I am often encouraged to leave earlier if it makes a difference to Tara’s schedule. ย 
So now that we do all of the above, life must be chill? No it is not. It is far from being so. But our new lifestyle is worth it. Because Tara makes it so. There is lots to improve on –
  • Giving each other time outs as Tara is growing up and both of us don’t need to be with her all the time.
  • Fixing some health stuff
  • taking time out for readingย 
  • planning Tara’s next steps – I wish we could get better at that. We just tumble rumble with each month. I don’t mind it. But may be we can help her with her milestones some how.
  • and so on…
Life is going to keep evolving. The idea is to try keep pace with those changes. It will never be the same again. And it does not have to be. It is all part of growing up ๐Ÿ™‚

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