Initially I was going to write a mushy feel good blog on the occasion of mothers day but then the overload of Mother’s Day special all over social media, watsapp and newspapers kind of killed my spirits as there was enough “fancy” written and read. I chose to write on the darker side of motherhood. We ought to thank our mothers for all the good she has done but also all the struggles she has overcome! So here’s an ode to the battleship named – Motherhood!
Forget the 9 months of pregnancy and the gruesome labor/childbirth. This is a just a drop in the ocean of motherhood battles. The real test – emotional more than physical comes when you have to raise that God’s gift! Test begins Day 1 and never ends…
When you become a mother suddenly your existence as a woman, wife, daughter, friend, sister takes a backseat. The world sees you and judges you as a parent first! The only person who wont judge you as a parent first would be your boss because its not in his/her favor to do so (which doesnt work so well for you). Every milestone that your baby meets is somehow directly related to your efforts. Baby is thin, you are not feeding well and you start doubting your milk making factory – which by the way is the most frustrating feeling and many mothers give up on breastfeeding due to societal pressures of creating chubby cheek hanging babies. Baby is fat, great! Relatives love the cheek pinching and flab curls in your baby. But if the excess fat makes the baby walk later, then its another issue that the mom has to address. Everybody in their good intent desire for the perfect chubby yet active baby who meets his/her milestones way in advance ! The desire of the perfect baby comes as a huge burden for the poor mom who ends up taking advice from elders, friends, doctors and google. Information storms and overloads her sleep deprived soul.
Once baby turns toddler, the toddler is judged on his mental abilities, his speech, his confidence and once again the mom is pressured to make sure baby excels in all. I realized this when I started taking my toddler to the park and all I was doing initially was secretly comparing his abilities with other kids and then discussing with other moms what they did so the baby was better than mine. And the other moms did the same. While we are inflicting our babies in the rat race sooner than later we as Moms are too bogged down from the pressures of producing perfect children.
While we are given credit for all the successful abilities our children demonstrate. As mothers we are the first one to take blame for all the failures. If our kid does something silly, stupid, wrong its somehow always the mothers fault – why I ask many people including my husband and relatives and the most common answer is because the child spends most of the time with mummy. Are they wrong – Not really! But am I wrong – Not really either. Here’s why – I as a human I am accepted for my qualities and faults. My family more than anybody knows where I lack so by that logic they cannot expect an imperfect mother to suddenly raise a perfect child. I would never want my child to have my faults but I cant realistically want him to selectively just pick up all my goods. So technically to raise my son to be a perfect individual I have got to conquer all my fears. This concept alone has become the biggest motivation for me to overcome my weaknesses. If you want your kid to have a successful career, you better have one too. If you want your kid to adopt a healthy lifestyle then you should get moving yourself. And the list goes on…This quest for being the ideal role model applies to both the parents and grandparents. The mother might have a larger role in early years of parenting but a growing child will pick up many more aspects that will form his personality from other influencing members in his/her life.
I have seen so many mothers question their parenting when a child falters. In all probability these thoughts would come to my mind as well if something were to go wrong. This is so tough to address because there is no right answer. I would be wrong to say that the parents had nothing to do with a mistake but it is also wrong to put the entire blame on just parenting. As a mother, you have to give your best and while giving your best be aware that your best is only one of the drivers that will drive your childs life. And you cannot influence other factors like the mystery of genetic traits, peer pressures and societal advancements.
Raising a child is in many ways a burden, but this burden ought to be shared by all in the family. Motherhood is both a blessing and a burden and it will stay this way. Dont let the burden overpower the softer and happier moments. Your confidence will reflect in your child. Your ability to accept and improve upon your weaknesses will make your child wiser and help overcome the many challenges the life will throw at him/her.
So next time anyone complains about your child lacking somewhere, accept it if there is truth in it! Focus on your childs strengths while guiding him/her to get over the weaknesses. Some of them will correct while some will stay and as long as the strengths make your child responsible, successful and happy you have done your job well!