I have been lazy lately, to write. Some days there are thoughts that I want to note down and some days my mind draws a blank. When I really have to write it down, I put in Facebook and its done. I know that’s not a good thing. I need to write to get better at it. So let me collect some thoughts here everyday (I hope). My friends keep telling me to write, they go to the point of nagging me, which is a good thing. I while away scrolling through the colorful notes and pictures on Facebook and Instagram. Well that’s me. Have you faced situations where in your mind you want to change, but you just don’t do it. You are conscious of the fact that you are not making the change, and yet you don’t make the change.
I have been going through some parenting challenges lately. Parenting is the most difficult mental task one can undertake. You never know if you are right or wrong until many years later. My generation of parents I believe, is so hooked on doing it right and dreading the results that we miss this moment. We are constantly hounded by ‘what-ifs’. What if my child does this, or that, or turns out like this or like that. We don’t have enough faith in ourselves or in our judgement because we fret about the end result – when our children are like 20+ and need to walk on their own. The absolute moment when you leave your child’s hand and he/she walks out alone.
I always think, how did my parents do it? Anyways, with the recent challenges I learnt two things –
1. One baby step at a time – yes ‘baby’ step at a time. The key is breaking it down and taking one baby step at a time. The best analogy I have is the 5K training I attended. I got up from my couch and signed up for a 5K training. The training span was about 2 months. The task on day 1 was to run for a minute and walk for 19 minutes. Just one minute. As long as you stick to the plan, you will achieve the goal of running a 5K. Children are smart and can do many things at a time, but a behavior change has to be made one step at a time.
2. Its give and take – all the way. A parent child relationship can never be all-give or all-take. Never. It has to be give and take. Keeping that balance is the key to healthy parenting. They need to feel like a partner and not order takers. Do this, do that never works. Parents also have to mind their Ps’ and Q’s. In a recent conference call at work, someone reference to the parenting saying ‘Do as I say not as I do’. That never works. Children are naturally wired to ‘Do as I do’ rather than ‘Do as I say’. It is so important to do your part for them to do their part. I strongly believe, that the best environment for nurturing their innocence and help them grow into independent individuals is an environment of love. Where there is love, there is everything else. Love doesn’t mean agreeing with them all the time. Love means being with them, Love means listening to them, Love means taking interest in their everyday life. They go through struggles and challenges everyday. The challenges in an adult’s view are molecular but those are the child’s biggest issues. Obviously they don’t need to worry about a project deliverable or paying the bills. So the boy on the next table not sharing his toy is a big, big problem. I have read somewhere that the best thing you can give your child, is your time. I did not have this awakening as soon as my children were born. It took time.
There are many more essentials of parenting. These are what hit me in the last week. Many people have said this over and over that when babies are born, parents think maybe the next stage will be better. As we progress through the stages we realize the previous one was better. We reach the conclusion that newborn was the best. Change the diaper, feed the baby, swaddle and hold and that’s it. The rest of the issues are what you as a new parent needs to get used to.
From my parents life I know that they can never stop parenting. Even today I call my father and ask for guidance. He is parenting me to parent my children. Of all the roles I have played, the most challenging and the one I love most, is being Mom.