Tag Archives: parenting

MY $.02 | The Chicken and the Egg of Priorities and Choices

I run a couple of small businesses right now. I also advise two others. Much of my time is spent helping the people I work with identify priorities.

What should they be focused on? What is their priority?

It is the priority that dictates the choices we make. More often than not we’re in position to make choices based on our priorities. I’ve worked with people who cherished such constraints. So much so that they would create them artificially (I believe creating artificial constraints is an incredibly powerful force, depending on the constraints you dictate of course). I have my own philosophy on creating constraints that I’ll write about at some point — as time permits.

If we focus on the priority we can be motivated in good times (or when there is no other choice). We can also be demotivated because of the constraint that we’ve committed so much time to; that may not be working out as well as we had planned.

There is always then a discussion about whether or not we have the right priority. That’s an easy discussion. Because often times, it’s easy to change. Simply adjust the priority and you either have new goals that are more attainable or, you at the very least, have no priorities that can be invigorating purely because … they are new.

These are easy discussions at work. At home, they are sometimes not so easy. The choices we make are more permanent. Which is why I think it’s most important to realize that before the priority, came a choice.

Instead of the priority dictating the choice in our personal lives we must never forget that it is our choices that dictate our priorities. To go to college (and beyond). Where we live. What career we choose to pursue (and what environments we choose to work within). Who we marry. And perhaps penultimately, whether we choose to have kids.

Each one of those choices dictates another set of priorities. And along the way, each one of those decisions elevates a set of priorities and clarifies a future set of choices.

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Of all the choices, the most unique one is the decision to have kids. Whereas all other choices are ones that are designed to make you better, to advance your self — I’ve often told the people I love, the people I work with, the (few and far between) people who (stumble into) asking me questions about life — I’ve often told these people that the two most selfish decisions you make in your life should be (1) the career you choose (and as a subset, the jobs you take and the people you choose to work for) and (2) the person you choose to spend the rest of your life with.

Those are the two most selfish decisions one can make. And if made selfishly, they end up being the most valuable decisions and personally advancing decisions you can make.

KIDS--An--HalloweenKids, however, are something else. They become the most selfless decision you can make You have to embrace and realize that more than anything else, all decisions from the moment of conception or birth forward, are made with their life, their livelihood, their success, as the top priority.

I often hear parents talk about life with kids as a limitation and restriction on

KIDS--Jaanu--Halloweenchoices. I don’t feel that way. I never have. And after this past year and this past few weeks as time to reflect around the annual approach of important Indian and US holidays — I realize kids aren’t restricting.

They were my choice. They were more honestly our choice. Our BEST choice.

And they will always be, as a result, our top priority going forward. Ourselves, dutifully, practically, deliberately, in service.

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TMLFYI… | Awesome

IMAG0377Less in the amazing and extraordinary connotation, and more in the humbling vein. The past few weeks have seen you in the hospital for your 6 month shots and for a mysterious scrape on your head that just appeared — we’ve gone from calling it massive head trauma, to a flesh wound, to a scratch, to a light scrape. But it existed. And you could feel it. And that’s what matters.

But watching you on the hospital bed, sometimes ignorant to what was about to happen, sometimes immediately reacting to what had just happened, and just as quickly. forgetful of all that pain, was awesome.IMAG0376 Because these pains are just the beginning. More bumps and bruises. More heartaches. More pain — physical, emotional, or otherwise.

To think of how unbearable these two circumstances were for us already, makes thinking about how we’re going to raise you and be there for you in future situations (note: in ALL future situations) awesome. In the words of Billy Ocean, simply awesome. (Pay attention at the :12 mark, and ignore everything else in the song.)

 

 

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TMLFYI… | A Teardrop

ANAIYA--TearAbsolute silliness, the world will tell me. But it works for me. It’s obviously not sustainable nor is it remotely realistic. I’ve actually already failed.

But I’ve committed to myself that when I’m around you and you cry, I will drink your tears. By holding you in my arms, by squeezing you like nothing else in the world matters, and by slurping whatever teardrops are rolling down your cheeks with an insatiability I wish I could direct to all aspects of my life.

“Daddy drinks your tears.”

So today my love for you is a teardrop. It has worked so far. And I’m willing to do it for as long as it works, and I’m willing to try it for the rest of your life if there’s a chance it will work ever again.

That’s fatherhood, I guess. From where I stand right now, that’s an example of fatherhood.

I love you, munchkin.

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TMLFYI… | Reach

Anaiya--ReachDoes this qualify as the greatest thing that has ever happened to me in my life? If not, it’s close. It’s darn close.

Your amazing Mom, as usual, woke up this morning with you and took care of you while Daddy shook off the lingering effects of a night out with some friends. I pushed my wake up from 6:45 to 7:45 and the extra hour was necessary.

I came down refreshed and ready to head out to work, but then things got interesting. You were on your playmat, your once favorite playmat now turned least favorite place to be playmat, so your fussiness (I say fussiness by your standards recognizing that for any other being in the world, it would qualify as mild, borderline unnoticeable, discomfort) was expected. But what happened after changes how I will se the world for the rest of my life.

You reached out for me.

You were uncomfortable on the mat. Your mom picked you up. And you stayed a little uncomfortable.

Then you looked at me and you reached your hand out to me. You wanted Daddy. I took you, and you stopped fussing. You were happy. I was over the moon. And your mom was gracious — because she does all the work and yet somehow, you still wanted me.

It’s a beautiful moment. When I handed you back to Mom so I could head off to work you looked back at me and reached out. Again. Which is the shot I caught on camera here. The original moment is captured in a more permanent and easy-to-reference place: my heart. For the rest of time.

Today my love for you is best defined by reach. I’ll never forget your face when you started, and your calm when I held you. The most perfect of father-daughter moments, and the first of many to come I’m sure. 

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PDA | Anaiya | Happy First Mother’s Day!

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(Photo by Shannon Christopher in Savannah, GA. Hire him if you’re down there.)

Hi Mumma,

I’m growing up fast aren’t I. I’m saying that here, to you, because I know if we even imply it around Daddy he’ll get teary eyed and cry (by the way, can we work on that?) It’s my last day as a three month old. Can you believe it?

It’s also your first Mother’s Day. It’s better if we make this post about you.

I know you can believe how fast I’m growing because you spend every day with me. I’ve been around for almost four months, and you’ve been around every single day since — but the truth is, you’ve been a Mom for much longer. There’s no denying it actually because it’s all documented in the book I wrote you on your birthday.

When I first wrote that I was still figuring things out, but the world makes more sense to me now. You. My Mommy, make more sense to me now. And watching you in action is the reason why I feel the most comfortable around you and in your arms. Sure, I love everyone I meet! We proved that in Savannah didn’t we? It’s hard for me not to like people when even random passersby say things like “she’s the absolute cutest” or “look at how happy she is.” But there i s nobody in the world like my Mommy.

I love when people look at me and comment on how happy I am. I wish I could get into the conversation with them (lord knows I’m trying) and tell them why!

It’s because of you. How you take care of me. How you play with me. How you feed me. How you put your whole world aside for me. How you take me out. How you help me see the world. How you take me to music class. How you play peek-a-boo by using the soles of my feet to cover your eyes. All of those things make me so happy, Mommy.

How could I not be happy? You sing Pharrell’s “Happy” to me at every waking moment. As an aside, I hope when I grow up, I’ll be able to sing like you. If not, I’ll be equally happy sitting back and watching you sing, just like Daddy does. And I’ll smile with him when you forget the words or just make up your own.

You’re a Mommy. You’re my Mommy. You’re the best Mommy I could have hoped for. And even though I’m only (almost) four months old, I want you to remember the most important thing ever. When I’m teething. When you’re sleep training me. When I’m just cranky because I’m a baby and I’m allowed to be. When I’m being stubborn and not letting you finish feeding me.

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I want you to remember that every single time I smile, it’s because you put me in position to. You made it all possible in the first place, and now you make it all possible every single day.

Smile with me, Mommy. You’ve earned it. Happy Mommy’s Day!

Love,

Your Munchkin

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TMLFYI… | Stretching

Today My Love for you is Stretching. It’s all about stretching.

I could watch you do this for hours. And the interesting thing is, I have. There is no more adorable moment than watching you unfurl yourself and extend to the most far off points of your bassinet. You’ll turn. You’ll stretch. You’ll simultaneously shrink and compress your parts of your body while extending others — like your body is competing with itself. Everything will fluctuate. Side-to-side. Out and to the right, down and to the left. Straight as an arrow to crescent shaped.

I love it. At 7am before work, at 8pm after dinner, or at 2am when it’s usually just you, me and the TV (or the past few nights, Kindle and a book on getting you to sleep healthy.) I absolutely love it.Anaiya Running

I do not shy away from facts. And all evidence points to the fact that you are the greatest thing the world has ever seen (and the most adorable.) Happy one month birthday, munchkin. You’re stretching and expanding our definition of love in ways we could have never imagined before.

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