I have been JUST a mum for the last 4 years. Brutal! I feel that I am degrading not just myself, but discrediting all the mums who have made a choice. People wonder:
1. What we do all day and
2. Why are we always tired when we get so little done
Some of the least offensive comments moms get to hear are, "2 years old and still breastfeeding?”, “Where did your child learn that from","Maybe you should think about a tummy shaper now.", "Aren't you bored of being at home?", " Maybe you should get a job." "What do you do on weekends? Don't you want to have a life of your own?"
Not long ago, I had a life. I was carefree, social, outgoing, career oriented, skinny, pretty, stronger and smarter. I had an entirely different motherhood planned. I would be like a celebrity mom.
Just like sports-persons, moms have performance pressure too. And don't even get me started on peer pressure. We forget that not just our physical appearance, but our mental outlook and emotional quotient are all unique and no two people are alike. Not even twins.
Whenever I have my parenting meltdowns, I wish my kids had a switch that could be turned off. Or that there was a parenting helpline to deal with “situations”. My same 4-year-old son who will say no to lollies as he loves his teeth, refuses to wash his hands after using the toilet and needs to be bribed or yelled at.
Is there a rule-book to parenting?
1.THERE ARE NO RULES
When I found out that I was pregnant, I started following everything nice. The perfect diet, exercises and lived in the perfect environment. After giving birth, I turned to websites, blogs, books and podcasts to solve every little problem. I even learned the correct lyrics to lullabies from the internet. I stressed to death to put him in an eating routine, story routine, sleep routine, bath routine, toy routine and there were no stop signs down this road. I was completely losing my mind. Even my mirror reflection startled me because I had started to look crazy.
So I made a few changes such as letting my son follow his body clock for sleep and not insisting on “early to bed”.
2. EVERY CHILD IS DIFFERENT
When my daughter was born and after watching little girls around, I had a misconception that this time, parenting will be a cruise. I don't need to run around and rescue her from eating worms, breaking the unbreakable or looking out for falls as she wouldn't be climbing every possible nick and corner like my son did. All I wanted was to dress her up in a pretty dress every day. The epiphany got to me a little too quick when I realised that my little girl does it all and does all of it to the extreme. The extreme that I had never seen my son going to.
“Is it because she is a second child? Is she too pampered? Is she an attention seeker?” AAAARGHHHHHHH!!!!
So I decided to relax and let my daughter be.
3. MY HOUSE IS MY HOME AND NOT A MUSEUM
Every time I had people coming over, I became a stress ninja. Spotless kitchen, no visible toys, empty dining table, no unfolded laundry on the couch, no clothes on the clothing line, absolutely no dirty dishes in the kitchen sink, all rubbish to be taken out including the recyclables and finally enjoy. Such paradox.
We have 2 little kids who will make a mess every 30 minutes, play with toys, leave a ton load of dirty laundry, spill food and drinks every-time, leave plates, cups, spoons, forks to be washed.
My home belongs to my family and my family belongs to my home.
Bringing up a human being takes many different human beings. It’s a form of art. Any form of art, be it painting, cinema, music, dancing or writing requires a lot of input. It needs publishers or producers or museums or sponsors to make the thing public, fans for motivation and critics for improvement. Therefore, instead of sulking over the challenge, I let people judge me, criticize me, advise me and for those who do it; love me. I am a mom and the life I once had is definitely dead. Nevertheless, here I am, happy and content. I am loving it!