Life, Motherhood, Parenting

Are You a Good Mom?

  

I am the most perfect mom there ever was… Said no mom ever!!

In fact there are millions of us asking the same question to ourselves each day, day after day… Am I doing it right? Am I a good mom?

It doesn’t matter whether you are a working mother or stay at home mom (SAHM), whether you have one child or four, whether you breast fed till 2 years or formula fed since day 1, whether you have a brigade of helpers or a one woman army, stay nuclear or in a joint family. This question plagues each one of us.

I feel our generation is stuck in a weird spot… we are not as selflessly devoted as our mothers have been and we can’t be too detached as well. We are ambitious, we want career, we want our own space, we value ourselves way more than our mothers did, we want an identity, we want to spend time with our friends, party late nights and go on fancy vacations…. yet we want to be the mom whose child points to all body parts and acts on rhymes by age 1, knows all alphabets and numbers by 18 months, recites poems and gayatri mantra by age 2, who makes beautiful crafts with you, fares well in school show and tell, builds smart models with his legos, greets all elders politely, eats by himself, oh! and of course speaks impeccable English too!

Managing all this within 24 hours of a day is not practically possible and so we constantly guilt trip ourselves for a variety of things. Several research experiments over the years have also proved that women are hard wired to feel more guilty than men…. its in our genes to care for others around us or maybe society has planted these seeds too deep in our psyche. So, its natural for mothers to keep winding themselves up on whether or not they are doing enough while fathers blissfully go about their business.

Since I have had VMJ I pay more attention to different parenting styles, approaches and theories of parents around me. And I have realized that most mothers are good mothers, despite their shortcomings, busy schedules, health issues, other constraints or despite their unmotherly personality.

I am not motherhood police, but for the sake of simplicity I feel if you are doing the basics, you qualify to be a good mother:

  1. Being there for your children and providing emotional support: Children thrive on love and attention. If your children get lot of cuddles and come to you for comfort when they scrape their knees or are having issues at school, you are on the right track.
  2. Taking care of their health and well being: If you care to keep your children healthy and give priority to their hunger and sleep over your own you are doing a great job.
  3. Investing in their future: If you worry about your children’s future from time to time and invest in making it better by way of giving them good education, values, good health, you are a brilliant mom.
  4. Spending time with them: If you spend time with them doing activities that make your children happy and loved, you are an amazing mom.
  5. Playing the bad cop from time to time: If you turn those pretty please requests down tactfully sometimes and refrain from buying everything your children ask for, if you maintain you are the parent and not give in to unreasonable demands… even though it makes your child hate you for a minute… trust me it means you are a brilliant mom.

Stop bashing yourself, ignore what others say or do, focus on building the loving bond with your child and enjoy motherhood. You are a great mom!!

Love,

-A

Festivals, Mundane musings

Rakhi & The Changing Paradigms

Rakhi just went by and most of us celebrated the festival with their families. Social media was abuzz with the whole jingbang – mushy messages, personalized gifts and rakhis, pictures of the celebration…

As I scrolled past pictures after pictures on Facebook I realized girls who don’t have brothers and boys who don’t have sisters were awfully quiet about the festival and understandably so. Rakhi is traditionally celebrated between a brother and sister only. Then like a whiff of fresh air I saw a post from a friend who doesn’t have a brother and her note about how to her Rakhi has always been a festival celebrating her 2 sisters. And it made so much sense! 

Post Rakhi I was talking to my husband’s cousin and she said how her daughter feels it is a very sexist festival. The younger generation women don’t need a man to protect them and they are right. I am not a feminist but let’s be honest, for generations now we have seen sisters protecting sisters, sisters nurturing brothers, sisters raising younger siblings and sisters being the lifetime pillar of strength. It’s high time we acknowledge this and improvise our customs and traditions to suit the changing dynamics.

Won’t 2 brothers or 2 sisters have each other’s back in times of need? Won’t they be there to care and support each other through life’s ups and downs? Do they love each other less than a brother and sister duo? Moreover, it just doesn’t seem right to celebrate a festival with our cousins but not with our own sibling just because they are not the right gender!

In fact, with the decreasing family sizes it’s more important to cultivate the love between siblings than ever before, irrespective of whether they are only girls, only boys or both. It is a festival that celebrates sibling love… lets extend it to all siblings and spread the joy. 

Love,

-A