H for Her v/s Him

I have often spoken about my relationship with  Sr. T. We grew up in the same small town in Bengal. We were batchmates studying in different schools, had labeled each other as arrogant based on other people’s perceptions and went on to study in Kolkata in two adjacent institutions for three years before I moved out to Delhi. We suffered heartbreak in our individual relationships coincidentally at the same time and finally got in touch through Orkut in 2009 when he was working as a Doctor in Kolkata and I was heading a Bank branch in Mysore. It took us very little time to realize that we were meant to be together and in June 2011, we became a couple officially (a detailed post on our love story is available here).

Our honeymoon period barely lasted five months before I lost Ma to pancreatitis. Our relation underwent a sea change as he turned out to be my Rock of Gibraltar in the most vulnerable stage of my life. The loss was irreversible but the pain became bearable with time. Eventually, like almost every other couple, we started having fights about my OCD to keep things in place (read books only) and his frustration at my refusal to give up on eating out every alternate day. But our similar priorities and outlook towards life made the foundation of our relationship strong enough to survive tough times.

This was until Tuneer popped out into this world in September 2015. Trivialities suddenly started becoming issues. The decision to run the AC at 26 degrees (as I wished to) against 27 degrees (his idea of a perfect temperature for a newborn baby) almost led to a war-like situation at home. The kind of diapers that were to be purchased for the baby (disposable v/s reusable) and the need of a baby carrier (his refusal v/s my insistence), were few of the many items that put us at loggerheads. Penguin Dads like Sr. T definitely deserve a shout-out but the truth is that a few of them also end up giving tough times for opinionated mothers like me.

Those days when it was just him and me
Those days when it was just him and me

As Tuneer started growing up, our areas of disagreement extended to health, food choices and finally education. When it was time for us to choose a preschool, I wanted him to start early on while his father wasn’t even willing to let the boy go out of his sight before turning three. We reached a mid-path and enrolled him in a preschool at 2.5 yrs. Thankfully, the preschool happened to be the most preferred one for both of us (the Principal scores an extra point for making us feel so!).

By the time, the school admission saga began, we had understood our difference in roles as parents quite clearly. I was the hyperactive and way too involved mother while he was the laid back and stress absorbing father. There was a sense of calmness once we accepted that the other’s parenting approach was beyond repair. We had mutually agreed to disagree.

Like I mentioned in one of my previous posts, the boy barely had any training for the future school interviews until the red alarm went off and the first school admission notice came out. Until then, Sr. T’s only expectation out of his son was that he should grow up to be a good human (the word ‘good’ has layers of definitions here). My focus was towards more practical things and I was concerned about the present situation of the kids’ refusal to answer any questions in the interaction. 

If at any point, I shared my worries with Sr.T, the father, highly partial towards his only child would defend his son stating, “I studied in a Bengali medium school in a small town. If I can become a doctor despite such odds, then this boy will also make something out of his life. He is already getting much better exposure in this age of technology.” The man’s hangover of having watched the movie 3 Idiots for the 500th time was never going to get over.

Lack of options had made Sr. T agree to Tuneer’s formal learning for interview preparation. But after the first selection list was out, he refused to let the boy ‘waste’ any more time in such learnings. This, despite the fact that we were not going ahead with getting the boy admitted in that school. According to Sr. T, Tuneer had learned enough ‘routine’ answers to sustain all future interviews.

I have consciously tried to pass on my love for reading to Tuneer. We have our bedtime stories and most of the gifts or prizes from me are always in the form of a book. But how does one concentrate on reading when the father keeps signaling the son to come out and play with him! Sr. T has already made it amply clear that he is going to get involved in the boy’s education only when Biological sciences become a legit subject. Until then, his motto in life seems to be, “I won’t teach and I won’t let his mother teach as well.”

The love for books
The love for books

I also need to mention the second layer of support here – the set of grandparents who have long categorized me as an overly strict mother. No conversation is complete with my father and in-laws without their last words being, Don’t scold the kid. This is his age to be mischievous. Besides he is such a quiet boy.” Basically, it is a continuous struggle of me v/s them, especially his father.

But let me give out the secret twist to the actual scenario here. Despite so many viewpoints, mostly contradictory to mine, the ones that mostly get implemented are decided by me alone. This is for the simple reason that Tuneer spends the maximum time with me while his father does a weekly visit and his grandparents take turns in coming to be with us. In conclusion, the final authority in matters related to Tuneer is mostly me (though I consciously try not to make it seem so evident!).

There’s one last point that I would like to mention before signing off for the day. Despite our disagreements and arguments, Sr. T and I consciously make it a point to let the differences out only in Tuneer’s absence. Because, as parents, we realize that what might be a casual fight for us could actually be a point of distress for the toddler. 

Hope you enjoyed reading this post. I will come back with a fresh post on ‘I’ tomorrow again. In the meanwhile, you can check out the previous posts in this series here.

Author: Sonia Chatterjee

Who am I? An Ex-Banker turned Blogger/Writer/Solopreneur. Any qualifications? A Postgraduate degree in Chemistry followed by Post Graduate Diploma in Management. I am still trying to figure out how and when I can connect all these dots to what I do presently. Have I done any real work? If two years in Market Research and six years in Banking (three different Banks though) as Branch Head can be considered as real work. Where do I live? After a nomadic sixteen years in Delhi, Bangalore & Mysore, I am back to where it all started from - Kolkata. My favorite things - Food, travel, books and my three and half-year-old toddler son What is this blog about? Sonia's musings is an attempt to channelize emotions through words and pictures hoping they touch a chord with my visitors.

39 thoughts on “H for Her v/s Him”

  1. Hahahhahaha… the perfect bond between a husband and wife. Being married but without a kid I can relate to a lot of emotions and habits at both the ends. Both of you are proving to be really good parents and the balance maintained is what is important for the kid. Keeping things sorted and simplified for the toddler showcases the concern you both carry without an iota of doubt.
    Your posts are extensive yet engaging. Every line is a journey in itself and every moment shared is like a memory on the wall.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mother will always have veto power over Childs education, discipline, school and anything and everything that comes. Till the child, if he is a boy, grows up and says I have a wife who will take care of me from now on. Girls keep company of mothers even after getting married. But mother is all powerful, if she chooses to use her veto.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I enjoyed reading the post, that photo was the show stealer here 😀 it was great to know your journey as him and her when Tuneer was not born and I also agree with your thoughts on not arguing or starting any serious discussion in front of the kids.
    We are enjoying our parenthood, she is also very fond of reading and Peppa Pig is on top chart for kiddos today it seems 😀😀💜

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am constantly at loggerheads with my wife over our daughter’s upbringing. My wife firmly believes it is necessary to make a child self-sufficient at an early age and we were always arguing about when to start allowing our daughter to cross the traffic-filled road outside our apartment building by herself. She is now in the eighth grade and she crosses the road by herself and in fact, goes to shops and purchases groceries and other such items. This summer holidays my wife is planning on allowing her to ride to the library which is some distance away on her bicycle. I have refused to allow this till now. But looks like I will pretty soon lose out in this fight too.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I can totally relate to every single word of the post. You portray all the emotions very honestly. I am also the strict one like you and my husband is like the chilling one, don’t worry, they will learn, they will do.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The relationship you have with Sr T is of great understanding, although it is amusing how he still manages to grate your nerves for the most trivial things. 😀
    My husband says almost the same things to me when I’m after my kids to study. Getting into a good (subjective) school or scoring good marks is not a parameter to make it big in life, he says. We moms know that too but it wouldn’t hurt to prepare our kids for it better, right?

    Like

  7. Wow! What a wonderful love story! The picture says it all. It’s common that views differ and mostly in the journey of parenting, it’s difficult to find a couple on the same platform. So, have to find a midway considering what is better for our kids and of course, keeping away the disagreement or the small fights from the eyes of kids.
    One more thing dear, even I was there in Mysore in 2010. The world is so small!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. That you’ll don’t air or display your differences in front of Tuneer is the best thing you’ll are doing. I loved reading about Tuneer’s parents, i found the post mushy and it made me go awwww through it. You two seem like the perfect example of opposites attract, and work well together. One of my favorite posts of the series, Sonia.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You have so beautifully described an important aspect of every parent’s life. You are, first and foremost, a person, and differences are sure to arise, especially in an area as critical as parenting. But it takes a responsible person to know where to draw the line and how to keep the kids away from distress. I am sharing this post with some err, warring couples I know! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hahaha it’s like you described my situation! My husband and I only started disagreeing after the arrival of our son. Thankfully, we’ve been on the same page for his education but our distinct personalities lead to some amusing experiences!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Ha ha! Enjoyed every word of this post. Even though me and my husband have different perspectives, he leaves most of parenting decisions to me, as he is out of town most of the time. So it has worked out well. Also now my kids just turned 18 and 20 so no need for heavy parenting. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. There have been many incidents in my life as well where I assume that I am the primary decision maker for my daughter since father dear is busy at work and grandparents make rounds to stay with us. Yes, there have been differences between us as well when it comes to my daughter. And I am always labelled as the strict one. Even my daughter says so.

    Like

  13. Her Vs Him… Such a family next door kind of a post…But still so unique and refreshing… that’s the beauty of your writing Sonia.
    And I think the Her vs Him is the God’s gift to every family… His way of maintaining a balance… or his way of saying brainstorm, argue, discuss and come out with the best solution for the little soul I handed over to you…
    Loved reading it!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I loved this post, Sonia. What struck me is that my mum also passed away four months after my wedding and I know what you mean when you say that Sr. T was your rock of Gibralter then. It is heartening to read that you guys share a relationship of mutual respect and love. I smiled at so many places. I also remember all the yudhs G and I had over trivial matters once we became parents. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Marriage is definitely a blend of two personalities.. in our case my husband and I do agree on parenting techniques do. Our fights are I’m a spendthrift going with the flow and he’s the cautious one spending only on planning our vacations 😜

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Being married to a man who understands me I can so relate to everything you have mentioned in this post (Apart of parenting :)) You two are adorable. Happy to see that you guys are doing your best to be the good parents to Tuneer. God bless you both. Always be happy 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Good to go through your bonding(fighting) with Sr.T.
    yes, some loses are irreversible and inevitable also.
    By the way, i am totally agree with Sr.T, though i am not a parent but after guiding some juniors and students what i felt and realized those actually i believed always that interest in the subject,reading habit(obviously it will be) and the books…all these are enough to make a bright future.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Everyday my feeling of you being my long lost sis is getting stronger. I am so much like you, hyperactive mom, fussy (only for OCD) wife, and indulgent D.I.L lol
    Love to know you as a couple, you guys are super awesome.
    BTW, I was also in Karnataka and in Banks 😉 didn’t I tell ya!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. You guys actually fought over one degree temperature difference of the AC? :O :O :O
    Unbelievable!
    I understand your POV, ‘coz I’m also like you… more of a perfectionist, the orderly one who always has a plan, AND a backup plan in case the first plan doesn’t work! But I’ve also come to realize that Sr. T’s approach is also required, when it comes to raising kids. Otherwise, they can just feel too pressurized and not have enough faith in the Universe, that things WILL turn out okay in the idiot.
    And yes, 3 Idiots can be watched anytime, anywhere.
    Sorry, couldn’t drop by yesterday, wasn’t feeling so well. Will finish my round of H, then start on I after lunch.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Another so relatable post. time before kids is so special. I can understand when parents have different view about the education on child, I have been thru or i sould say going thru it every day. I loved Tuneer’s Peppa pig book collection.

    Liked by 1 person

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