I plead NOT GUILTY
It was a Friday night and we were all seated at the dinner table. As I served the food my 9-year-old shrieked – “No spinach please!” I could immediately sense my husband’s piercing eyes on me as if asking – “Why doesn’t she have the greens?” Even before his looks could transpire into words I retorted back, “Don’t ask me why !!”
My daughter has already fractured her hand twice and sadly both the instances were in my presence. I felt guilty beyond words and blamed myself immensely for not being prudent enough to react in the fraction of a second between her run and the leap. I still get flashbacks of the incident. I am also sure I would have blamed myself equally had this incident happened in my absence. After this people asked me, “Why didn’t you stop her from jumping??”
She was not potty trained till the age of 5. Trust me, cleaning a 5-year old’s bum every morning is not something I enjoyed. But she just wasn’t ready. Who is to be blamed for it?? The mother??
The child doesn’t perform as per expectations at school. You get to hear “The mom hardly gets time from her own merry making to get involved with the child.”
Motherhood is indeed a monumental job be it for a working or stay at home mother. Mothers provide the physical, emotional, spiritual support and inspire their children. They are supposed to be the role model to them and set the right benchmark. We do the best to our ability but it is also a 24-exhausting job. So, stop this “Blame the mother” game. In my parenting journey I have realized that people are going to be judgmental about you and your parenting style but be unapologetic and stop feeling guilty for doing it your way and having a life of your own.
The best part of this journey for me has been that I have done it my way. My husband has participated in a very superficial way till date. We keep having the discussion and he keeps agreeing that his active participation is much needed. Parenting never came with a blue print. I faced my own hardships and did my own permutation combinations. It’s a long way ahead and eventually I would know if I fared well. As of now I am the best judge of my situation and I refuse to apologize for my decisions. My yardstick for right parenting has never been:
How soon she did it? Children accomplish milestones in their own way and own time.
Did she top the class? In life her competition is not going to be with the 30 students in her class. So, stop feeling the peer pressure.
I refuse to be deterred by these short-term success or failure.
“Love yourself first and everything else will fall into place.” Over the years I have realized this is so true.
Stop feeling guilty for digging into that tub of ice cream after putting her to sleep.
Stop feeling guilty about those girls’ night out that will help you rejuvenate and be ready for the coming week.
Go out for solo vacations or with your girl gang or your husband without the kid if permissible. This break is much needed to keep your sanity intact.
Train your feet not to turn towards the kid’s section as soon as you enter the shopping mall. You came to shop for yourself and you do not need to compensate for the guilt of shopping for yourself.
Take the ownership of your kid’s imperfection and tantrums. But do not blame yourself solely for it. Parenting is a shared responsibility and also the school and society has a part to play in shaping up the child. Identify the shortcomings and rectify them instead of fretting about it.
Parenting is a journey. Learn from your experiences and challenge yourself to do better. Because you want the best for your child.
Stop putting yourself up on a pedestal and stop being amused when people call you a “Superwoman” because as a parent you will often be at crossroads. Sometimes you will do it right and sometimes you might end up doing it all wrong.
Just own it all and bid the guilt goodbye!
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