Well! How the high and mighty have fallen. Lol… when I look at last couple of months I can’t help but feel how wrong and lame I was being about “rules” of parenting. I had tons of self made parenting rules and regulations. How to behave in front of my son, what should he eat, what should he drink? I was extremely particular about screen time or I should no screen time. I had become a drill sergeant. Frankly all rules/notions/prejudices make sense till the time everything is happy go lucky. You commend yourself for being able to do things the “right way” but situations change. Last winters I felt as if I was championing motherhood. My baby boy was cozy, warm, healthy and happy. He had just started solids and it was exciting times. This year everything I thought or planned went to dogs. All the things I swore I won’t do as a mom, I did each one of them and trust me I have zero percentage of guilt for doing these. After two trips to ER and admitting my little one in hospital twice for common cold, made me felt like I was a big time loser but no point in self pity party. When things get tough, you have to gather yourself and make changes to set things right.
Therefore, this post is going to talk about don’t be hard on yourself and to all the people out there who tend to judge parents especially moms, when they see them doing certain things. I just want everyone reading this to take a deep breath of positivity in and let all the judgement out.
Moms do use a phone and it is not a SIN
Next time you see a mom on phone while she is walking her child or in playroom, don’t judge her. May be this is the only time she has for an important conversation or even if she is catching up with her friends, that’s ok, she needs some adult time too. Just because she is a mom doesn’t mean she is no longer her own person.
It’s ok to have screen time
Oh my god! I can’t even begin to tell you how particular I was about screen time. I was judgmental (not proud of it) and would always ask my friends/parents “why don’t you try something else?”. When my boy was admitted in hospital, the only thing that distracted him from all the probing and prodding was his rhymes on my phone and YouTube. In that moment, I would have done anything to make him comfortable and I did that. The positive side to watching videos is he picks up a lot of actions, gestures, words and relates to a lot of objects in his surroundings.
Don’t judge parents in middle of an argument
Don’t judge parents if you see them arguing in public or having a loud disagreement. I know it’s not ideal, I know how it may sound but one thing any married couple or new parent would tell you is that marriage is not easy and parenting is even harder. The happiest couples are tried and tested over and over. Meltdowns are common, disagreements are common as well. What’s important is, leave their business to them. They are already way stressed and don’t need your judgment as well. As far as parents/couples reading this are concerned, don’t worry, “This too shall pass”.
Moderation is the KEY…be it food or play
Another thing I used to go nuts seeing other parents do, was giving their kids tetra pack juices. I am still not a huge fan of it but at the same time I am not crazy strict about it either. When my son fell sick all i wanted was for him to eat or drink anything he likes. He obviously didn’t because he never had taste for all that stuff. Now, I let him have it some times as special treat. At the end what matters is your baby eats and drink when he or she is sick. Nothing else matters.
Toddlers throw things and tantrums… RELAX… it’s not a BIG deal
This one is actually one of the most common factor, don’t judge parents if you see their child screaming or throwing a tantrum, or refuses to sit in stroller or doesn’t want to wear his jacket or throws stuff when frustrated. It’s not like parents give special classes for their kids to behave that way or they are enjoying. If anything else they are trying their best to stay calm and not lose their shit. As a person watching just remember toddlers are little human beings trying to understand our world. They get overwhelmed and don’t understand how to express because their language is still developing.
Sometimes, it is important to remind ourselves that we all are humans. As the saying goes, “To err is human”. Despite constantly reminding myself about not to be too hard on myself about parenting, I have done it. I have tortured myself with my own negative and harsh thoughts, I have judged myself if I didn’t follow my own set rules and for what? What did I achieve out of it? Did it help me become a “better” mother, if there is such a thing? Or did it help me become a happier mother? The answer is NO. Life has changed 180 degrees from being a mom to an infant to a mom of a toddler. Life is busier, funnier, crazier, more tiring and more rewarding. As I continue on this amazing journey of motherhood, only fact I would like to emphasize in the first post of this year is “Don’t judge parents, be kind to yourself”.
Mum Mum Ma