The “Perfect” Mom
From the time we become mothers, we’re constantly questioning and second-guessing our decisions, especially since we are millennial mothers.
“I hope I’m not under-parenting.”
“I hope I’m not over-parenting.”
“I hope I’m giving my child enough space.”
“I hope I’m spending enough quality time with my children.”
“I hope I’m doing the right thing by letting my kids decide how much they want to eat.”
” I hope I’m not doing the wrong thing by letting her decide how much she wants to eat.” because it may not be enough according to the norm.
“I hope my child is interacting enough.”
“I hope my child is spending enough time with herself” and isn’t too dependent on others.
There are endless things we are constantly contemplating about. Whether we discuss it with our moms, our sisters, our friends or just in our heads. We have all been swamped with that whirlwind of motherly doubt.
We’re always in a state of dilemma about multiple things but then there are days where we feel we are doing everything just the way we’re supposed to. Each child and each parent is different and I think in today’s world with social media influencing so many of our decisions it’s important to stand back and have objectivity. We need to ask ourselves simpler and more basic questions.
Do this work for me and my child?
Is my child happy?
Am I happy?
“Happy” doesn’t mean days without tantrums and days where everything with your child and you go smoothly, happy means being satisfied at the end of the day about how you felt during the day, about how you handled your and your child’s emotional ups and downs, happy means enjoying the rollercoaster ride of being a mother. It means being content and rooted in the choices you’ve made for your family. It means being at peace about leaving your child and going to work, it means being happy about spending all your day with your children or it could mean balancing your time between kids and work – we all have different lives, different priorities and it’s empirical that we stay true to what matters most to us as individuals, not what is projected on us by some set ideals or rules.
It’s about accepting our situation, our decisions and the choices we have made. About respecting our own intuition and inner voice and making peace with our own version of reality.
Most of us remember our moms to be perfect, I remember her showing me the world, I remember us laughing and spending hours talking, eating, cooking together, bonding. I remember her giving me the space I needed and I remember her being there every time I needed her.
What I don’t remember are the hardships she was facing at the time, especially when we were toddlers. Children love being with their mothers and being perfect or imperfect has no impact on the love they feel for their mommy. They only need us to be happy so that we in turn can share that joy with them. Someone wise once said you can’t pour from an empty cup, take care of yourself first.
So let’s all be “the perfect mommy”, the mommy you are supposed to be to your child, the mommy your child needs. The unique you, that makes you special. All mothers are perfect mothers, none like each other yet a lot in common. Let’s not judge each other’s lives, instead, let’s inspire and support each other on this journey.
Let’s promise to not be so hard on ourselves, to not let overthinking take over the little joys of being a mom. To be grateful for the privilege and joy that is motherhood.
PS: let me go and check if my child has eaten the 1 tbsp recommended food intake of lentils for her lunch. Oops!
– Written Exclusively for CoCoGram by Ayushi Arora. Ayushi is an educationist and the mother of two lovely girls. She heads Nido, The Learning Nest.