Welcome aboard this blog train – My Parenting Mantra. We have some awesome bloggers who are going to drive it for over a month. We promise to bring you some enriching contents that will add to your own parenting experience. Thanks to Harshal who blogs at www.missharshala.com for introducing me. Meet all our blogger moms who are part of this blog train here.
I am, for lack of a better word, a half-way mother.
Let me give you an example. I love cloth diapering from the cute bum prints to the positive ecological impact. But, I won’t give up my disposable diaper for nights. Similarly, I love breastfeeding but I happily expressed milk in the first 3 months so that my hubby could feed my son while I slept for more than 2 hours and held on tentatively to my sanity. And, I keep trying to sleep train but when my baby cries in the middle of the night it’s just easier to cuddle him into our bed than faff around with patting him back to sleep or worse, letting him keep crying.
In the first few months of becoming a mom, I used to feel immense guilt for these decisions. I kept promising myself that tomorrow I’d be stricter or more loving or more patient towards a certain cause (like elimination communication which is on my wishlist) so that I could adopt it completely. And, each day I would fail and get upset at myself.
It’s taken me nine months to learn that it is okay to be a half-way mom.
No one expects us to be perfect. The last time I checked, our spouse, in-laws, parents and even our children know that we are simply human. In the early days of becoming a mom, I was always scared that something I would do would permanently scar my child. I must wean my son off the nipple shield or he will never learn to breastfeed without it. I must put a stone on my heart and sleep train my child or he will never learn to sleep by himself. I must start taking him to the potty once he is six months old or he will never be diaper free. And, I must do all of it now at once lest it is too late.
Lets take a deep breath and here and try to think of how many 10 or even 5 year old you know that don’t sleep by themselves or are still in diapers. None right? The reality is that it is only us that set these impossibly high standards and then feel bad for not achieving those goals. Your child, he is just want to spend some happy time cuddling up to his favourite person in the world.
The thing about motherhood is that no matter how much you read up on it while you’re pregnant, the actual experience is completely different. When I was pregnant I was inspired by a handful of moms I knew and I had a long list of ‘decisions’ I had made. I would always make my child sit in a high chair for meals. I would ensure my child was fast asleep by 8pm. I would totally baby proof my house and only buy the most essential toys. You get the drift.
There was only one thing I didn’t take into account – the fact that my child was an actual human being and would have preferences of his own! It’s only later I realized that most moms I was looking up to were only ‘perfect’ in the 1-2 areas that they believed were the most important for their child. Today, I know many moms who each day try their best but most play to their strengths when it comes to parenting and that’s how it should be. I can’t even begin to imagine how much more tired I would be if I did in fact listen to my pregnant self and try to be be ‘perfect’ in every arena!
So my parenting mantra is simple. Let’s collectively remember that while it is great to aim high and conquer the world, it is also okay to have tried and got as far as you possibly can. It is perfectly okay to be a half-way mother.
Enjoyed reading My Parenting Mantra? Don’t forget to read what our next blogger mom Swati who blogs at www.thepriviledgedparent.wordpress.com says about her Parenting Mantra. Also, do comment and let us know your opinions. We are all ears.