How being a Software Engineer prepared me for Motherhood

Flowchart for when I need to pee

Long before I became a Mother, I became a Software Engineer. I wasn’t one of those people who ended up there because it was the easiest career path to break into. I was one of those kids who wished upon a falling star that I could become one.

Alright, I can hear your snorts. Let it out… let it all out.

Done?

Close to nine years in the industry mean that I have seen enough things to gather life lessons. But what I least expected was that it would help me deal with a toddler, who has early onset of the Terrible Twos.

Two minutes of silence, please.

You see, there are two kinds of problems with toddlers — the recurring nightmares and the one-off what-the-hell-just-happened problems. The second category ones are NP-Hard. They’re not even worth the effort. For the first category, because most of these are time sensitive (Eg: He just puked and is contemplating swimming in it), I have algorithms in place. And I react like clockwork. I even take the time to fine tune them for efficiency, so that they can be passed on to other struggling parents. They usually just respond by calling me a weirdo, but I know you speak with gratitude in your hearts, fellow parents. I know.

With the husband and I working different timings, we usually have a daily sync up meeting over the phone to discuss how our Product is going. We conveniently blame each other for any mistakes, or a third person who can never be contacted to confirm. This system works for us, just as well as it did at work.

Oh, joy.

We also have retrospective meetings to analyze stuff like why our System broke down in a friend’s birthday party. We, then, watch as it happens again in the next party, trying to recollect what we discussed in the meeting beforehand, before giving in to the madness and joining the kiddo in his screaming fit.

Maybe that’s why we haven’t been invited to a party for a long time now. Hmm. Oh, well.

Threats do not faze me anymore. When the kid is playing like all is right with the world, and suddenly walks up to me and yells “I need toast now, or I will scream loud enough for the neighbors to come running” (even though he’s just had his meal), I do not flinch. This momma has been hardened to deadlines and crazy demands. She laughs in their faces, clicks her tongue and says ‘Pooh-pooh, is that all you’ve got?’ Heck, she thrives on them.

Dear Universe, please don’t take this as a challenge and dial the crazy up. Thank you, so much.

Babies are like our clients. Sometimes, they have requirements that are hard to decipher, and sometimes, they’re just physically impossible to solve in this universe. If you point this out to them, however, you risk a major temper tantrum. So, instead, you tell them you’ll do it, wait for them to cool down, then come up with an alternative. Now, this backfires sometimes. That’s when you do build something that mimics what they want, while feeding them the alternate solution. Kind of like how you tell your toddler that he is eating chocolates, when he is actually eating dates.

I can go on and on, but I’m afraid this is all the time we have for today.

Do not worry, though. I will be imparting more wisdom in the coming blogs. You may go now, to sob into your handkerchiefs with relief, and rejoice.