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Parenting is perhaps one of the toughest jobs in the world. It’s a job whose complexities you realize only once you have taken it up. It’s a job which tends to get difficult with each passing year not to mention the heartburns with all the worrying it entails. The funny thing is most of the pressure is self-affected. The need to be a perfect parent is so enormous that you are relentlessly pushing yourself to the extremes. Not always bearing the desired results, if I may add.
Needless to say, I fell into the trap as well. I wanted to do everything perfectly for M and still do. I wanted, no still want her to get the best of me and from me. And in that endeavour, I pushed and pushed myself. Remember that I’m a working mother. So, I’m anyways shortchanged for time and this strange compulsion of fitting into the picture of a perfect parent, that is painted everywhere I look, left me with no breathing space. None at all.
Thankfully, it didn’t last long because I realised one thing soon enough. I realised that a parent is just an ordinary human being and if a human is fallible so is a parent. I’m but a flawed parent and the sooner I learn to live with that the better.
I'm a flawed human being and a flawed parent. And it's OKAY. #motherhood #parenting Click To Tweet
What I needed to do was to make a sincere effort and not push both of us, I and she included, to an extreme that leaves no space for being, well, just human. There is an important lesson in here as well. If I show her that a parent is fallible and flawed too then maybe she’ll remember to be kind to her shortcomings, to someone else’s faults. Much needed in today’s world, I’d say. They need to be prepared to face disappointments after all.
A parent is just an ordinary human being and if a human is fallible so is a parent.
So, now whether it is packing cornflakes or oatmeal for her breakfast or skipping her bathtime on extremely busy days, I don’t fret. I don’t need to give a proof of my love for her with every step I take. And even if I do, a four-course meal is certainly not the benchmark to keep in mind. Then there was a time when I wanted to keep M away from my phone as much as possible. Remember I told you how as a pregnant lady I would often judge parents who gave their tabs or phones to kids. Well, safe to say, I was just naive then. But now if letting her watch rhymes on my phone in the office bus is the only way to keep her from crying then I don’t mind doing it. If letting her watch rhymes on my phone is the only way to catch up on some well-deserved rest, it’s okay. And it’s also okay if I make mistakes or lose my calm because I’m a parent, not a saint.
“No matter how calmly you try to referee, parenting will eventually produce bizarre behaviour, and I’m not talking about the kids. Their behaviour is always normal.”
― Bill Cosby
There is not one right way for parenting. It’s different for each parent. Of course, at the centre of it all is love, plain old love but the ways are diverse as diverse as the parents themselves. So, what is right for you might not be right for me.
“Your kids require you most of all to love them for who they are, not to spend your whole time trying to correct them.”
― Bill Ayers
I have made peace with my right. Or, maybe I should say that I am trying to make peace with what I can do and not fuss over what someone else is doing. So, it’s perfectly okay if my daughter is potty trained a few months later than someone else’s son. It really is. I’ll be a parent at my own pace not at someone else’s prescribed speed.
Many many years back when I was in nursery our household help had told me something which has stayed with me to this day. A part of it fits well into parenting as well. So, I thought why not share that with you?
I think I was gloating about doing very well or perhaps I was comparing myself to someone when he told me about two things, lessons I have kept very close to my heart. First is never to gloat. Second to never be in a race with someone else. I have followed these principles most of my life. Yes, there have been times I have faltered but I can sincerely say that I have always fallen back on these very words as my guide in some of the toughest times in life. And today I intend to incorporate this into my parenting as well. I just have to be a better parent than I was yesterday not a better parent than you or the woman next door.
I’m a flawed parent and I accept it. Raising a child is not just that. It’s raising the next generation. Perfection leaves no room for improvement but being flawed does. Maybe that’s what I want to teach my child while also making my life as a parent easier. Hence, a flawed parent is what I shall happily be.
Tell me, what do you think?
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