Growing up, my world revolved around my family or at least until when I was a teen. Life just took a different course then – I had my board examinations, then entrance tests for different colleges, graduation, started working, soon I was married and had kids. Well, it did not happen at that speed but it did go as a natural progression. All the way until I had my kids. From my childhood to my teens, I was always under my parent’s guidance and somehow they knew what is the next step, they equipped me well to take care of my life beyond that, but what threw me off course was not knowing how to handle a human being whose sole existence was dependent on me. When I turned to my mom she had almost forgotten how it was to raise a baby.
“I don’t know how I raised you both, it just happened. I had no time to sit and mull over what to do and how to do. Plus today, the information on the internet confuses new moms more than it helps.”
This coming from my mom made me realise that I was on my own when it came to this new role in my life. While my mom and my hubby were my support when required, my baby was solely my – responsibility, a job where I could not take loo breaks or coffee breaks when I wanted. There were no leaves or an option to quit. I felt like a really terrible mom and a person. I had always loved kids, had been good with them, that this just jolted me.
Baby Dove’s Real Mothers Heard Survey states – 70% mothers admit feeling overwhelmed by the amount of advice they receive and 75% admit to feeling unable to cope at times
And I got plenty, more so because I was a lost lamb. I had read so many books on pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, and delivery but realized that there were no books on how to really raise a kid. No ‘ What to Expect in your role as a mom’! Many years have passed and I still don’t see one.
Yes, there are enough authors talking about motherhood through their eyes, but no one book that sets standards and has sure answers, because there can never be one. Babies and kids are as unpredictable as you would ever expect them to be.
I still get advice every now and then and conflicting one that too. A few months back we decided to stop teaching my elder one as he was old enough to be responsible for his studies (he is in grade 5). While I was not comfortable doing so, I braved myself as this made sense to me. I do believe –
If they will not fall, how will they rise?
Just before his exams my hubby quizzed on a few topics and realised that he was lagging behind. This completely threw -my hubby over. My husband was of the opinion that since we had taught him for the last four years, we should continue doing so especially seeing that he wasn’t well prepared. We had a long discussion on parenting after that. However, much to his dismay, I stuck to my guns. I did help him out a little bit though wherever, I thought he needed guidance but I was firm on no spoon feeding.
Similarly, I am sure, you, as a mother, must also be receiving advice from all quarters. Especially, when it comes to raising your kids. While some of you maybe resolute like me and some may give in to these pieces of advice. My take is that follow your heart and your gut as I personally believe that a mom knows her child the most and that’s why she can judge what’s right and wrong for them. I know none of us are ‘born a mom’ so, be an informed parent and then take decisions based on your gut. Just the way Baby Dove believes – trust your instincts for there is no right or wrong way of being a mother.
I am sure we all must have faced a lot of situations in our lives where we got a lot of advice from every corner, what did you do then? Did you take the advice or did you stick to your view of parenting? Did the advice help you or did it confuse you further?
We would love to know and share your stories on the blog. Do write into us at [email protected] or comment below to share your story.
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Chitra & J.Ramaswamy says
Loved reading this piece. Well written, insightful, candid.
Honestly, there is no single all-fit method of parenting. you are constantly walking a tightrope, trying to see what works best for your kids. the same set of rules most often don’t apply to multiple children in the same family, for each child is an individual entity though they may have borrowed same traits from the parents. Parents continue to learn the tricks of the trade after becoming grandparents!
As for advice, it’s the only freebies you’ll ever get in life, that too in loads. Best, as you’ve rightly stated, is follow guts and the heart. Most often it’s instinct that works.
However one word of caution: no doubt parents are a child’s best well wishers and mean well for them; yet there are situations where parents’ EGOs are most overwhelming so that they land up ruining their children’s lives – this so often happens in adulthood, and sometimes even during a child’s student days.
One good example of this is even seen in our epics – Ravana sending Indrajit to his death despite knowing all the odds are stacked against him and the demon clan, known that he is fighting an unjust war. This is just one point in example.
Prerna Sinha says
Chitra ma’am, so true. I am myself learning every day. I just try and do what I think is best for my kids, rest I believe they shape their own destiny. We can only inspire them and guide them but have said that I have my insecurities as a parent all the time. I guess we can’t ever be sure.
Advices we all get it every time but still we finds our own way which suits us best. I agree there is no right or wrong way. in Parenting. Nice to read about your story Prerna.
Prerna Sinha says
Thanks Upasana, I am sure we all have many such incidences, will you like to share yours and we can feature it.