How Parenting is (Kind Of) Like Any Other Job

Parenting is by far the best, and hardest, job I have ever had. While there is nothing quite like it, I couldn’t help but notice some parallels between parenting and the more familiar professional arenas:

Investment banking: The hours are insane and the sleep deprivation is real. You are sleeping 4-5 hours, maybe. The rest of the time you are feeding, changing a diaper, or trying to calm down your fussing baby. It comes out to be like 130 hour week. Take that Wall Street. Money Parents Never Sleep.

Consulting: Consulting people always like to say that “everyday is different”, consulting “keeps you on your toes”, because “you are constantly learning”. It’s the same with a baby. No two days are the same. Today she might sleep like an angel, and tomorrow she will go on a sleep strike. One day she refuses to eat and the next she will eat nonstop. Just when you think you have a routine nailed down, there will be a growth spurt, or sleep regression, or teething, or cold, or something. There will always be something new to figure out. Something to keep you on your toes.

Healthcare: Tending to all and any discomforts. Regularly coming in contact, and becoming very unfazed and familiar, with all kinds of bodily fluids. Unlike a doctor, you are never not on call.  

Law: There are few black and white rules, but exceptions abound. You try your best to avoid those slippery slopes, while following the spirit of your parenting principals as much as possible. Some will try to strictly follow the letter of each rule, while others will heed more to the changing times and circumstances. Most decisions are made based on facts and circumstances, and “it depends” is almost always the right answer.

Tech: The initial rewards are not insignificant, but full amount only realizes when your child steps out of your private nest and into the big public world. You pour your heart and soul into your baby, hoping one day everyone else will value her as much as you. And despite the statistics, you fervently believe your baby is a unicorn. Meanwhile, you live in sweats and PJs, and snack 24/7 because proper meals, like real clothes, are a thing of the past.

Education: You are nurturing and inspiring little minds, and it is extremely rewarding and meaningful. You are making a world of difference and humanity literally can’t go on without you. Yet support, appreciation, and recognition are painfully lacking. You regularly pay for both necessities and extras out of you own pocket, even if you can scarcely afford to, but you do it because you love them.

Like all jobs, there’s a fair amount of Zoom calls, because it’s only way to introduce your baby to friends and family these days.

Unlike any other job, there’s no vacation or PTO. Ever.

P.S. My husband astutely pointed out that these disproportionately highlight the downside of having kids, and who would after reading this? Here’s what convinced me: FOMO.

2018 Remembered

2018 was easily the best year of my life to date. The year started with Vincent turning 28 and I turning 30(!). Leaving my 20s I remembered friends who reached 30 a couple of years ago saying that 30 was a turning point for them, that it was the age when everything fell into place. Now that I have spent most of the year in this new decade, I heartily agree with my wiser friends. 2018 brought along a slew of changes, some small and others more monumental, but all were undeniably positive.

In May, Vincent and I celebrated our marriage with our closest friends and family in Newport, Rhode Island. It was everything I had ever wanted, from the fairy tale backdrop to being surrounded by the people dearest to our hearts.

In Julywe spent two weeks in Hawaii for our honeymoon. We divided our time between visiting beaches of all colors (white, black, red!), driving through rain forests in Hana,  flying over the active volcanoes on the Big Island, and waking up to the most beautiful sunrises. We also had the best Thai food out of  a food truck 🙂

In August, Vincent started his new job and we spent a few glorious weeks in SF / Bay Area, where we discovered our love for Burmese food (and all other Asian food in the Bay Area).

In November, we moved to Pittsburgh and began the next chapter of our lives. I applied, and got accepted, to a psychology graduate program and found research opportunities at two psychology labs at CMU. I ultimately chose to focus on the research projects at the labs for now and postpone school until the fall.

In December, Vincent and I went back to New Orleans on Christmas and spent a few days stuffing our faces with various Cajun delights and strolling in the French Quarters.

For 2019, I don’t have any resolutions, except to continue striving to be the most authentic and thoughtful version of myself and to keep building a life that is full of joy and meaning. To all my readers, I wish you the very best in love and life in the brand new year.

Lessons In Love

As much as we all seek love, understanding love and more importantly, knowing how to love, can be elusive. What I know about love is largely shaped by three individuals: my mother, my best friend, and my husband. Together, they have shown me what love is and how to love. I could never thank them enough for their infinite wisdom, kindness, and yes, love. By sharing the insights I learned from them, I hope to pay it forward and help others find the love they deserve. Continue reading →

An ode to Fall

Growing up I used to love Spring, with all the flowers and bursting pastel colors. Somewhere in my 20s Fall took over as my favorite. There is something about these in-between months (or weeks depending on where you live) that is undeniably romantic and wistful. There is an intoxicating mingling of feelings of excitement and forlorn – the anticipation of sweaters and warm beverages intertwined with the sadness of bidding summer farewell. The precious golden days of fiery foliage are inevitably followed by dreary rain and fallen leaves. Part of the magic of fall is its brevity. Unlike summer and winter, Fall is here one chilly morning and gone before you know it. It never overstays its welcome. Could one ever get enough of it? Continue reading →