It giveth and it taketh

My response to the “how has it been going as a parent” question these days is – “It giveth and it taketh.” 

There are these moments of sheer awesomeness interspersed with moments of “Oh god – there goes another one of my well laid plans.”

That’s the interesting thing about what “it taketh” – it says a lot about me and my expectations of the process. The more I plan and I expect, the more I feel “it taketh” and the more I find myself needing to learn to let go and grow.

In that sense, parenting is a lot like other great journeys (school, challenging projects, engaging jobs, marriage, etc.)  – it is what you make of it. The more you give, the more it takes out of you and the more you grow in the process.

On parenting

My wife and I became parents 4 weeks ago. Parenting promises to be the mother of all learning journeys. And, my main emotion is one of gratitude after witnessing a miraculous process.

As we headed toward this parenting journey, a few folks tried convincing us that “nothing can prepare you for this.” But, they also told me that before our wedding, graduate school, and other such important life moments. And, they were always wrong. So, that didn’t really deter us.

Our preparation went a really long way in making this as smooth a transition as we could have hoped. As all those who prepare know, preparation can never prepare you for 100% of reality. But, it’ll take you 70% of the way by giving you a good sense of what to expect. And, that 70% makes all the difference in the world come match day.

In the spirit of sharing lessons, I’d like to share a parenting resource that I have been updating since we were expecting. I plan to keep it updated for the foreseeable future. It is a Google Doc I call “A Learning a Day Dad Notes” and is accessible on In it, you’ll also find a link to my wife’s doc for moms that she has generously agreed to share as well. These notes contain links to another Google doc where we also shared our pre-arrival shopping list. The pre-arrival shopping list was an intense process because expectant parents are a very profitable segment for retailers. And, it took us a lot of effort to separate the signal from the noise and ensure we were spending our money on stuff that would actually matter.

My notes are true to style, i.e., brutally honest. So, I hope you find it useful. You’ll see multiple resources mentioned in the doc. But, I’d like to give a shout to the one website we found incredibly useful – Lucie’s List. Thanks, Meg, for a wonderful website. It is my go-to.

Finally, I don’t want this post to just be a resource dump. So, I’d like to share a passage by the Lebanese American poet “Kahlil Gibran” whose parenting philosophy I hope to live –

On Children by Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

The depth of this passage always blows my mind. Our daughter’s name, Samvita, means “consciousness” and her name will be a reminder for me to conscious about the many wonderful ideas this passage points to…