Monday Musing: Two Men and Two Babies

Monday, February 16, 2009
Thank so much for all of you who tuned into, commented on, and emailed me about last week's posts delving into the male mind. Truth be told I am still overwhelmed by all the reaction and commentary and hope you'll go back and check out the posts and comments again, especially since many of the authors chimed in to answer the questions you posed. Thanks again to all the guest-bloggers--every piece provided a diving board for robust debate that definitely got people talking, both in and outside this blog.

There were actually two more pieces that were supposed to run on Friday to close out "Testosterone Week." However, I was a bit predisposed and couldn't post them--My husband and I had our little baby girl S on (oh so lucky) Friday, February 13th! My husband Sandeep actually authored one of the pieces that was supposed to run last Friday--it will run, with some modification, tomorrow morning.

And--believe it or not--the other guest writer, Satya Patel, whose piece was supposed to run on Friday ALSO had a baby girl over the weekend! He and my husband now joke that, if you want your wife to go into labor, write a guest-blog and call them in the morning.

More on new motherhood--for the third time--in the coming weeks. In the meantime, welcome to the better-late-than-never last two days of Man Week. Here is Satya Patel, brand new father for the second time, on some tips for a successful marriage.

Satya Patel lives in the Bay Area, where he spends other people's money by day and plays "Daddy" and "Boo" by night. When he wrote this post, he was busy trying to come up with a name for his soon-to-be-born baby girl. Now I can only guess he is busy overprotecting her...!


My son was born a nearly bewildering three years ago. My amazing wife of almost seven years is due to give birth to our precious baby girl very soon. My wife's jovial father lost an excruciating two year battle with cancer at the beginning of this year. My own father underwent double bypass surgery four months before my wedding day. Life delivers perspective with all of the subtlety of a woman in labor demanding an epidural.


It's this perspective that I've learned to try to keep in mind as I wage war on myself and others in my role as a son, father and husband. I'm no wiser or less fallible than any other man or woman, nor do I try to be. I'm simply satisfied knowing that I attempt to live each day so that at its end I can say that it was, in sum, a happy one (not a perfect one). Not that they have always been or will always be happy days (I can recall many tough days and nights during the first year of marriage!). But it's the goal of happiness for me, my wife and my children, and the example set by my parents, that helps me make better decisions and take better actions than I might otherwise. I'm blessed to have a family that I adore, a job that's more fun than work and friends that I cherish. When I have those things, how much can it really matter that I do more chores around the house than I would like to do or that I have less time to play golf with the boys than I used to have? Those seem like small sacrifices, when I can remind myself to have perspective.


Unfortunately, actually remembering is certainly harder to do than just wanting to remember. But hey, I'm just a man, and we know that no one (especially women!) expects us to get it right all of the time!


So in the spirit of "Desiderata" and "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten," two of my favorite guides to life, here is my far-from-complete list of reminders for maintaining the perspective needed for a successful marriage. Satisfaction guaranteed or your money back!


Marriage is work. If you don't, it doesn't.


Listen (with your ears AND eyes). Women talk to be heard. Men act to be heard. Neither wants to be ignored.


Bend but don't break. It's hard to repair shattered glass.


Let go of expectations. Expectations are usually based on assumptions. And you know what they say when you assume. So assume nothing.


Over-communicate. On the stuff that matters to you. Pick your battles. Know when to say you're wrong, even if you're right.


Ask, don't tell. No one likes to be told to do something. Or how to do it.


There are no wrong feelings, only those that you don't understand. Don't try to understand them or change them. Accommodate them.


Sex. There can never be too much (yes, even the oral kind).


You are important. You can't make anyone else happy unless you are yourself. Find your other passion and chase it. Your spouse and children are only part of what defines you.


Make time to live like newlyweds. Your children will thank you.


Say thank you (often). For the big and small. To each other and your kids.


Kids are built to survive. You will do more good than harm, as long as you try.


Want it all. But take your time getting it. Our parents had less but seem somehow to have gotten pleasure from more.


Perspective. Cling to it. Everyone is both worse off and better off than you.

31 comments:
The Grown-ups said...

Deepa,
Congratulations to both you and your husband. I hope the labor wasn't too bad and even if it was, you can now return to champagne cocktails and sushi. Cheers!

shona said...

awesome list! Congrats on all the new babies!!

auntie n said...

this is beautiful and exhibits a great understanding of the demands of modern marriage...every couple should read it...

Anonymous said...

OMG ccongratulations!!!!!!!

a.j.p. said...

"the goal of hapiness": this is soooo important. We have to make our marriages happy not wait for them to be. Thank you!!

Congrats on the new babies!!

Anonymous said...

people still get oral sex after theyre married? Will someone let my wife know;)

Anonymous said...

I stopped and read "kids are meant to survive" three times. Sonsny of the fights we have involve the "right" way to raise kids. Good to remember this. And calm down...

Anonymous said...

Wow busy weekend!! Congrats!

Nice post...reminds me a bit of " lifes little instruction book"...except with sex!!!!

Sarah E said...

great post--I am forwarding it around. The best advice is often the simplest. Thank you. Best of luck with the new additions.

Anonymous said...

So sweet--congratulations!!

T.K. said...

I am jealous of your wife! Wonderful perspective and it sounds like you are a great husband and father. Many many congratulations!

Ina said...

Deepa, I have thoroughly enjoyed the male mind series! It has made me and many of my friends, and their friends, think about their assumptions about gender roles, marriage, parenthood. Thank you. And this is a wonderful post to sum things up. To all of you: Congrats on the new additions!!!!!

Jasmine said...

"You are important. You can't make anyone else happy unless you are yourself. Find your other passion and chase it. Your spouse and children are only part of what defines you."

EXACTLY. I think forgetting this is why so many women are unhappy post-kids.

Sohini said...

This is such a wonderful post! And it puts alot of our back and forth from last week into perspective. Thank you!

Avid Reader said...

Congratulations!~

Anonymous said...

LOVE this post. Anything for a little bit of reflection and perspective. we are often so hard on those we love best.

Anonymous said...

"Make time to live like newlyweds": This reminds me about the post of you going to Mexico without the kids. Oh how I wish...!

CONGRATULATIONS, how are you blogging with a newborn?!?!

Rani said...

Beautiful piece! All the best to you and your family!

Archana said...

Congratulations to Deepa and to Satya - what a coincidence!!!

Bootylicious Nari said...

On the sex bit I have two points;

1. Sex. There can never be too much (yes, even the oral kind).

Um, isn't men who are usually the ones unable to keep up with a womans' capacity for multiple orgasms? Where and who are these men that are always ready and raring to go and who keep on going like an energizer bunny? Please, I need their stats and data a.s.a.p.

My experience has been that it is usually the woman who is disappointed with the quantity and quality (especially the quality) of sex in a relationship.

2. One commenter responded to that with;

people still get oral sex after theyre married? Will someone let my wife know;)

Um, well, why should WE let her know? Shouldn't YOU be the one giving HER oral sex?

Is this a desi male thing? Expecting oral sex but not giving it?

I mean, if you are giving that to your wife and pleasing her with it, listening to her directions and all that, don't you think she would be reciprocating?

Again, the whole view here on sex is from the male point of view.

It seems you want more quantity (for yourself) but are not concerned about the quality (for your wives).

Give and you will receive!

Anonymous said...

It is silly to turn these comments to sex! The post is so holistic, that's why its beautiful! Sex is one part of the happy marriage formula.

Thanks for writing this, enjoyed it! Congrats on your newborn!

Gina said...

Wonder post! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Lovely, lovely piece, I hope you won't mind if I send it around to people who need a dose of perspective.

Anonymous said...

hey something is wrong with the site--i was trying to leave a comment before and it wasn't working?

i really love this piece--it should be published in a paper or something.

JAYA said...

CONGRATULATIONS DEEPA!!! HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING THE BLOG FROM THE BEGINNING AND FEEL LIKE I KNOW YOU! HAHA. ALL THE BEST FOR A HEALTHY HAPPY BABY GIRL! HOPE YOUR BOYS ARE TREATING HER WELL! WELCOME TO THE THREE KID CLUB!

Ela said...

Loved last weeks posts and love this one as well. It's nice to see all the thought men have put into these pieces. Actually, I told my husband about it and he tuned in and for Valentines Day, he wrote me a long letter, some of it was in response to the posts! He had never written me a letter before! It was pretty great. Thank you.

Kaya said...

ohmygosh, the comment about the subtelty of a women in labor had me and my husband rolling on the floor laughing. satya, you are a wonderful colorful writer! congrats on your new baby!

Nimisha said...

"Perspective. Cling to it. Everyone is both worse off and better off than you."

This gave me goose bumps! What a great male voice to add to all of last week. It's funny how you can read one post and be kind of mad about your lot in life, and then read another and remember to appreciate what you have...

uncle said...

i will speak from on;y where a 60 something "uncle" as you call us can speak: be good to each other, love each other the way you did when you first married, remember we are all human and feelings never stop being hurt. but they can always be mended too.

Nivi said...

Oh what an amazing post! Thank you Satya! And congratulations Deepa and Satya--girls are the best!!

parutron said...

this'll be great to pass onto sy. when he marries se. or to si. when she marries d. or s.!!! teee heee.

congratulations again! the timing of it all was nothing short of amazing....

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