I increasingly feel that babies were meant to be raised in a joint family or an extended family system.
Let’s look at the mundane reason. There is a lot of busy work with raising a baby. The Pareto rule holds here too….80% of the fun part of having a baby comes in 20% of the time. The rest of the time is going through the motions of diapers (no pun intended), feeding, putting him to sleep, etc. In a joint family system, many of these chores would be divided, effectively increasing your fun-time with the baby. Not to mention that we might be able to sleep better with some help.
But more importantly, babies give a lot of joy and an extended family makes it easy to share that joy. I think a lot about how different things would be if I was in Kanpur with my parents, who can’t wait to meet Hridyan. It is probably worse for Hrishi’s parents who lived with Hridyan for 3 months before returning to India. Our siblings, and other extended family are all so eager to meet this little guy. There are so many people whose days would be lit with his wide smiles, coos and aahs, attempts to sit and roll-over …that it feels wrong to have him all to ourselves. We are capturing as many moments as we can and sharing them online…..but sometimes I feel it just makes the yearning worse. It’s like looking at the photograph of your favorite chocolate cake recipe.
I can’t wait to head back to India this time …