Motherhood, a word so strong it evokes a flood of emotions in every single soul. The joy of being a mother is incomparable. When your little ones come running towards you and give you a tight hug, all your worries, tensions and tiredness melt away in their warm embrace. Once you are a mother you wake, sleep, breath and live for your babies. It is natural. As enchanting as it may sound, motherhood is not a simple job. We all make mistakes that reflect badly on our child. Here are five parenting mistakes to avoid.
1. Setting the standard too high: A lot has been written and said on the subject. New mothers receive many parenting tips from family members, friends, neighbours and sometimes even a strangers on a bus happily. With such tremendous pressure to be a perfect mother we often set our standards so high that at times it becomes practically impossible to fulfil expectations. We want nothing but the best for our kids. Their health, education, daily routine, likes and dislikes become our priority.
But I think keeping our approach practical is important. Be it our method of parenting or as expectations from our child it is always better to know our strengths and play to them. Similarly, the expectation from our child should be under check. Each and every child is different. No matter how much we try to make them an all-rounder, they will shine in the way that comes naturally to them.
2. Forgetting our own lives: Let’s just sit for a while and think about our day. What have you done for yourself today? Let’s not include your monthly salon visit in this discussion. Talk about a regular day. Did you write the poetry that’s been stuck in your mind for many days? Or did you read the magazine that was delivered? Danced to your favourite song? Soaked your tired feet in fragrant oil you purchased from the supermarket last month? The answer may be a yes, no or I shall do it first thing tomorrow. But we know it will be put on the back burner once the chaotic morning drill starts.
Mind you, until and unless you are happy with yourself, you won’t be able to make others happy. Don’t let yourself be lost in the melee. You are not just a daughter, daughter-in-law, wife and mother. You are a woman first. A person who has her own dreams, desires and interest. Save a little time for yourself. At first, it will be difficult. But once you will firmly practice it, you and those who are dependent on you will understand the important of your ‘ME’ time. Love yourself!
3. One Style Fit All: This is probably the worst parenting mistake we can make. We apply the same magic formula to bring up our kids forgetting that they all have different personalities, likings and capabilities. You can’t possibly apply the same method of parenting to all your children. Kids behave differently even under the same conditions. You can teach kids how to do something, but it is up to them to replicate or bring in their own style.
Do not compare your kids with others or even with their siblings. Help them retain their individuality. Teach them to soar high while analysing their abilities and limitations.
4. Blaming yourself for everything that went wrong: Admit it, you take all the responsibilities of everything that goes wrong in your house. If your kid is not eating well it is your responsibility. If he or she is not scoring good marks it is your fault, your failure. Come on guys, why is it always you? Kids fall sick he fingers are all pointed towards the mother. You are instantly filled with guilt and go into damage control mode. Stop whatever little you have been doing for yourself. You literally become your kid’s shadow. Until and unless some other person among family or friends certifies you as a good mother, you can’t stop panicking.
We don’t trust our own instincts. We need certification from others that we are taking good care of our family. You won’t stop until your family or friends certify you as a good mother. Please realise that things go wrong, every day, everywhere. You can’t possibly be present everywhere and make everything right. Don’t blame yourself.
5. Take it easy and enjoy parenting: Being a mother is not some sort of exam in which need to score high, or some battle where if you blink you lose out to your enemy. It’s the most beautiful bond between two individuals. Live its beauty, feel its magic, soak in its warmth. Don’t make it a matter of life and death, or prestige, or a competition. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Love your child, take care of her or him. But don’t forget yourself. You can’t and shouldn’t try to attain perfection.
Make mistakes, it’s human. Happy parenting!
For more information read her inspirational woman interview.