Indian cricketer Pragyan Ojha and wife Karabee recently welcomed their first child, a baby boy. The new mom and dad are excited about the young member in the family and are naturally experiencing a range of emotions at the time. Ojha, who has represented India in Test, ODIs and T20 matches, talked to Express Parenting about the feeling of becoming a parent, taking care of the baby and sharing parenting responsibilities with his wife.
You are a parent now. How does it feel?
It’s pure adrenaline rush. Lots of excitement and anticipation. Of course, lots of worry too. It’s a huge responsibility and we need to get this right. But right now, we are taking one day at a time since Karabee is recuperating and the baby is getting adjusted to our crazy world.
What parenting advice have you got from relatives and friends so far? Are you reading parenting books?
It’s a long list of advice. Mostly for Karabee, and I’m usually a bystander. Right from feeding the baby to bathing him and helping him sleep. And coping with those difficult days when he is cranky. And yes, I did read a bit and googled a lot on parenting.
What have the first few days been like? Any challenges?
To be very honest, I’m probably not even going through half of what Karabee is going through. The biggest challenge is to really understand the baby — when is he hungry and cranky for sleep or if there is any health-related discomfort. Sleep cycles have gone for a toss. She wakes up a couple of times sometimes to feed the baby and to check on him. Even I do rounds to check on him. We have a lot of help coming our way but it boils down to us showing up.
Some cricketers like Dhoni have also won hearts for being doting parents. Any tips you picked up from your colleagues?
Well, not that we talk on a regular basis but yes, when they call, we exchange notes. It’s funny how the conversation changes. But, honestly, I have been maintaining this — men really have it easy. It’s almost like Karabee’s show and I’m doing my best to support her, ease her off everything else so that she regains her health while tending to the baby.
How are you two sharing baby care responsibilities?
I have learnt to change nappies. I think I’m managing well when it comes to soothing him while he cries. I’m just waiting eagerly for him to learn to speak. But I’m more like back-office staff while my wife is the CEO. She is pretty much running the show and doing a fabulous job of it.
How else are you spending time with your baby?
I spring into action mostly when he cries. Of course, the cuddling time is also something I look forward to. He is my centre of attention. So everything we plan or do is around him. It’s a very tough job but a fun one too.