When I see mothers around me, I feel they are running in this rat race to be a perfect mother. Everybody wants to be the best mother and bring up the ideal baby. Why do we all forget that each child is different and so is every mother? We are constantly comparing the kids and our mothering style to those around us.
It is important to remember that you become a mother when the child is born. This is a full-time job you start where you have no prior experience. To add to this, children do not come with a manual making it easy for us to handle them and their problems. Any number of books or prenatal classes or research you do on Google, can prepare you for this journey called motherhood.
To make matters worse, in India, everyone loves to give free and unsolicited advice. With all this information it is natural for all mothers to be under pressure to be a perfect mother. I feel there is no right way of parenting and raising a child and thus, the concept of a perfect mother is wrong. I want to be a good mother and not a perfect mother, because I know this is something I possibly cannot achieve. My advice to all the mothers running in this race is:
When it comes to how to bring up your child, only trust your instincts. Nobody understands your baby the way you do. You have known this child not since the day you conceived him but when he was just a fragment of your imagination. You will hear many old wives’ tales and tips on how to bring up your child.
Do not feel judged if you are not following any traditional methods or are not listening to what people around you say. You might take a wrong decision but so what; you can decide how you want to bring up your child. Do not stress if your child does not walk on his first birthday or is not potty trained by the second one and co-sleeps with you till the third. Trust me by the time they are 18, they will walk and will only poop in the pot and will want to be alone in their room to sleep. Just follow your maternal instincts and enjoy your motherhood journey.
Do Not Compare
Either you are a working mother or stay at home mother, do not compare yourself to others. You will do something better than the other one whereas some things you will not be able to. There is no point in comparing and worrying on how worthless a mother you are. There are somethings which you will be able to teach your child whereas there are some which you will not. It is not only a mother’s job to ensure the child knows everything. Fathers and other family members can contribute as well. Do not compare, believe in yourself, you are the best.
Do Not Ignore Yourself
While running in the rat race or while enjoying your roller coaster ride with your baby, do not forget yourself. Take out time to take care of yourself and do things you enjoy doing. Do not sacrifice your life. You can enjoy life with your baby too. Take holidays with them, go out for meals with them, go shopping. Be happy to make sure the kids are happy too.
My Way to Be a Good Mother
I have decided I want to be a good mother and not a perfect one. Somethings I want to do and I hope I am able to do with my daughter are:
- Be there for her whenever she needs me
- Teach her how to live and enjoy life
- Tell her how priceless she is and how she should always know her worth
- Practice what I preach. If I cannot set an example I do not think anyone else can
- Take care of all her needs
- Take out time to enjoy and have fun
- Teach her to love unconditionally
- Let her make mistakes so that she learns from them
- Do not force her to do things she does not want to do
- Give her a good education and give her many opportunities to learn
I am not sure if I will achieve this or even if this is the right way to bring up my daughter. But again, this is my decision and my life with my daughter, I will enjoy it. We both will make mistakes but we will learn together and become better. I will always tell my daughter,
“I am not a perfect mother and I will never be. You are not a perfect daughter and you will never be. But put us together and we will be the best mother and daughter we would ever be”