#MommyTalks | I’m A Flawed Parent

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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.

 

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A Flawed 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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Linking to #mg hosted by Mackenzie Glanville

 

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20 thoughts on “#MommyTalks | I’m A Flawed Parent

  1. Better to be flawed and real than be feigning to be a superwoman or man. I believe kids learn from us so it is okay to be flawed because we all are, and they will only accept this by seeing us because nobody is going to turn out perfect in the end, no matter how hard they try. Been there, dont that, Nabanita. Not worth aiming for perfection. Just being real will do!

  2. Better to be flawed and real than be feigning to be a superwoman or man. I believe kids learn from us so it is okay to be flawed because we all are, and they will only accept this by seeing us because nobody is going to turn out perfect in the end, no matter how hard they try. Been there, done that, Nabanita. Not worth aiming for perfection. Just being real will do!

  3. We are all flawed Naba because we are human. There is no perfect parent; there cannot be. I’ve made so many mistakes and continue to because we are also learning on this journey. Besides, as parents too we have our own lives to live. I treasure my me time and couple time. I am certainly not one to ‘sacrifice’ myself for parenting. And hence it is okay to do what works for you. Just be real. Your kids will love you for it.

  4. At the centre of it all there is love! Well said. It is the truth isn’t it, and if there is love and good intention then our children are the lucky ones.

  5. Hey Naba why do you judge yourself so? Parents are never perfect . Are yours ? So why do you aim to be one ? Methinks you overthink . Just go with the flow and enjoy these days with your little M .

  6. We all are flawed – as human beings, firstly, and as parents/spouses,siblings,friends…And, that is what makes us unique.
    It’s always better to live our life our way than to emulate others and lose our peace of mind!
    I am so happy reading this post, Nabanita. There is someone out there who is not trying hard to lead a “picture perfect:” life, nor trying to be picture perfect!
    You are doing a great job, my dear!

  7. Naba, no parent is flawed unless you are an abusive parent. And there is no one definition of success. We each do it in our own way which in the end is always the best way.

  8. We all are flawed as a human being and as a parent as well. There is no need to be perfect, I believe or flaws make us human and lovable. There is no need to take added pressure to be a perfect parent because parenting is instinctive. Nice post.

  9. You’ve summed it up pretty well in that last paragraph. In life and in parenting or even blogging, I’d say your only benchmark is yourself. To improve on ourselves given our commitments and constraints. Each of us has to walk this path on our own.

    That said, I do believe that there are inspiring writers out there and parents who have guided me when I needed it. Plus I have my own mom as a model. So I’d say finding the balance between the two works well.

    Having flaws is not a problem. Unless it prevents us from growing, either as people or parents. I don’t think you have to worry about either though. You’re just fine. 🙂

  10. Impressive write up Nabanita. Fretting over small things take the joy out of parenting. I keep reminding myself about the memories that my kids will have of me, when they grow up and I know I don’t want to be remembered as someone who was hyper, anxious and always worried. This imagination keeps me on track 🙂

  11. I agree with Suzy above here. No parenting is flawed unless it is abusive. Perfection was and will continue to be a myth for us humans. Being a parent or not doesn’t matter here. No matter what one does, something will fall short. We just need to accept it and do the best with the cards in our hands.

    You are an amazing mother! Like I’ve said before, if I ever get to be a mother some day, I’d look up to you.

  12. We’re all flawed people doing our best for ourselves and each other. Acknowledging our own imperfections and knowing which to tackle and which are liveable with is part of life. Lovely post

  13. We are human! Parenting is not a sprint but a long marathon so we need to pace ourselves. I think that if we can be the best parent we can be then that’s ok. Lovely post. #mg

  14. That’s a brave statement not many moms make. They strive and strive harder burning themselves out in the race to be perfect. I am sure M would be real and a genuine person since she is raised by such a wonderful mommy

  15. There are many lines in this post which are my favourite and my most favourite is ‘perfection leaves no room for improvement but being flawed does.’ We are all flawed as humans, as parents but the important thing is that we improve and become a better person, a better parent than who we were yesterday. The compass should be in the right place, inside us.

  16. This took me a long time to accept as well. I had very poor examples of parenting growing up so I had an ideal of what the perfect mother should be and I aspired to be that mother for my kids. Problem was every time I aimed for perfection I fell by the wayside. I did eventually realized that of course I’m going to fail at being the perfect parent because I’m not a perfect human being. In the words of Jane Fonda (from an interview with Oprah Winfrey) “We aren’t meant to be perfect. We are meant to be whole.” That’s a philosophy I raise my kids on and it’s been working great! #mg

  17. parenting is not an art.its a natural process where we share our culture and civilization we have inherited.when a person doesn’t inherit culture/civilisation in its purest form,parenting too will take a hit in wrong direction. parents personality is defined by what they have inherited and it really affects kids.so its simple,if parents have lived right way,then you need not fear that your kid can go wrong.since environment around too plays role in shaping kids apart parents,you can see from far how the kid is engaging with the society after inculcating behavior learnt from parents. its really simple,we should always be there for kids but should watch from far and you should be agile when he/she is doing fatal mistake.

    decades back people never talked about parenting like contemporary educated people coz parenting was natural process for them where civilization/culture they have inherited will guide and transform kids into better beings.contemporary society don’t have that culture or practices in a family,so people feel parenting as pursing b-school degree.we have too many articles and blogs about parenting which are unnecessary.

    i have learnt what affection is from my mom and what intellect/wisdom is from my dad.a person is not complete human without these two.THERE ARE CASES OF EXCEPTION OF SINGLE PARENT AND MY COMMENT IS NOT ABOUT THEM..so motherhood brings kid closer to mom out of affection and father makes existence of kid more noble and his intellect will make kid to think beyond emotions.so fatherhood is less emotional. here there is nothing like gender superiority,parents play their role to perfection.

    hmm am not a parent,i have written after seeing how my parents were when i was a kid.being kid or being parent is same when you know how life works.but most of my relatives are not opting for kids cuz modern kids are leaving their parents at eldercare,so they thought its better to enjoy life themselves instead of investing on kid who don’t show same affection after growing up.since we can’t change environment in modern world or we can’t have same culture we practised decades back,its better to not to have kids and it will help population control which is already over-crowded.

    when you don’t have enough time to dedicate for kids,then its better to not to have kids.it will be painful to both kid and parent. why to have a half-cooked dish knowingly,its going to spoil your day.

    its simple,at the end of day, the culture in your house decides kid behaviour. we should consider parenting as natural process,then only kids will grow into wholesome beings.OK MY COMMENT IS VERY HARSH AND I KNOW THAT. BUT SOMEONE HAS TO WRITE THE TRUTH THAT IS BITTER. DON’T BECOME SAD OR ANGRY,READ AND FORGET OR DELETE IT OR IF IT HELPS YOU,I DUNNO WHAT TO SAY.AM INSTINCTIVE

  18. As a mother of a 2-year old, I can relate to your post in every way. I am SAHM. But, still, I find it hard to be the best version of me all the time for him. We all have our shortcomings and I too have learnt that its okay.

  19. We are all flawed parents. There is no such thing as a perfect parent. I don’t think that a “perfect parent” would be a good parent at all. Children need to see flaws, imperfections, weakness and humbleness. If we were perfect all of the time, they would beat them selves up for not living up to our standards. Pen x #mg

  20. Perfection doesn’t exist, it’s an illusion we use to beat ourselves up a out. It’s all very subjective; my idea of perfect could be someone else’s nightmare! We each have our own ideals which we try to live up to, but an ideal is theoretical, not practical, we can only do the best we can under the circumstances we’re in, and according to our own criteria. #mg

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