Helicopter, Crunchy Granola, Wine, Tiger, Dragon, Exhausted, Competitive, Frenemy, Hot Mess
Sounds like some random words I threw together, right? Wrong! Apparently these are types of moms. Hot mess?!! Really?!! Like the classification into 5 typed based on psychological and parenting profile wasn’t enough, we have some more categories circulating in popular media.
Some more descriptions to read and wonder where we fit in. Some more qualities to read and wonder where we are lagging. The information overload online, the Whatsapp shares of “What to feed your children” “What to teach”, the images of picture perfect drawings and handwriting driving us up the wall. Well, I guess they do. I look at them, scroll through if I don’t see any real content or concern being shared, because I hate having unread chat in my inbox.
I have a full time job running the Operations of a company apart from following my passion of being a Fitness Coach. So, my days begin at 3:30 a.m. and end at 9:00 p.m. I am on my toes for all of these 17.5 hours. And when I say on my toes, I mean it. Unless it’s absolutely necessary, anything unrelated to my work, can’t get a lot of my attention.
So, which means I am bringing up my son to be an independent human being who knows how to take care of himself (as well as a 7 yr old can) or ask for help from the right people when needed. I am there to hear him talk about what hurt him, upset him, what confused him and what was hard for him to do. But, I completely discourage whining, sulking and a behavior which expects his parents to run to take over, the moment the going gets tough. He is taught to fight his own battles and empowered to do so.
I believe this is what he has to do in his life. Fight his own battles. His mother can’t come running every time. I mentioned Whatsapp earlier. It’s great when I can get in touch with one of the mom’s getting details of the homework or some class activity my son isn’t sure about. But, except for one instance when the targeted bullying was making his daily life hard, I never reached out to another mother to fight for him. And well, I called her and didn’t text. And I had a conversation, cause honestly the other kid was a KID too. Unaware what he was actually doing. I wonder if my mom would have done this if we had the current technology when I was growing up. Would she have texted/contacted other parents complaining about their kids and trying to fight my battles? Probably not. She would have done the same what she did. Snapped at me when I complained and whined. Told me to stand up and fight and advice me how.
Apart from the lack of time I can give him, it’s also maybe coming from the fact that I grew up like this. My mom started working when I was around 9 years old. Suddenly I was not only responsible for myself, but also my little sister. Whether her clothes were ironed, whether her bag was ready. In a couple of years I was even responsible for her finishing her homework, eating her meals and her general behaviour(Fail :P). By the time I was 12, mom started getting busier and I was forced to learn the basics of cooking, be responsible for a lot of other chores like running the washing machine on the weekend etc. I hated the cooking initially but then I took to it. Now, I enjoy it so much that I look forward to the weekend to experiment around, even coming up with my own recipes!!
I like how I turned up. Independent, responsible, eager to learn and experiment, most times fearless, confident. According to me, these are some great qualities to have and I would be mighty proud of myself if my son gets them too.
So, now coming to the crux of the matter….. I think they are great qualities but they aren’t the only ones. They aren’t the ones for each kid in the whole world. What I want to teach my son, how I bring him up is based on what I want to see in his future. What I, personally believe is good for him. That doesn’t make it the best way. Each parent has the right intentions for their kids (not talking about the exceptions, talking about the majority) These intentions stem from the parents’ own experience, upbringing, dreams, values and reach. They aren’t hard coded rules and shouldn’t be looked as one.
I believe I will be a successful parent if my son can sustain himself, is happy, healthy, compassionate and overall a good human being. You might measure your child’s success in becoming a doctor, owning a mansion, moving to USA or being a popular actor. We need different kinds of people in the world. The diversity, the various ideas, backgrounds, opinions, upbringings make this world the interesting place that it is.
I know a lot of parents would disagree with me here. And this is what it is all about. I am ok with you disagreeing. I am ready to see your point of view. I am not going to tell you that your method is wrong or mine better. Or what a magazine says or a child psychologist and how you should follow that. Maybe we can discuss this in a healthy fashion if both of us want to share.
So let’s stop telling each other how a kid should be brought up, what they should be fed, what they should watch/not watch, which sport they should learn. Let’s share our experiences and stop. Stop judging and let a parent do what they think is best for their child (unless that is harming others)
Let’s embrace the diversity and stop the judging. Let’s be the role models our children need. Let’s be what this world needs. Tolerant and loving.