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The Happy Mother Pledge: I Promise Not To Become A Meddlesome Parent When I Am Old

Posted: October 18, 2017

I promise to take the happy mother pledge, to be reasonable and not meddlesome in my grown children’s lives!

Since I became mother, I keep learning new lesson of parenthood almost every day – sometimes by interacting with other moms, sometimes from elders, sometimes by reading various articles of parenthood and sometimes from movies. While the movie Taare Zammen Par taught me to respect uniqueness in my child, Dangal taught me to believe in my child’s potential and help him/her to achieve what he/she deserves. It also taught me to accept my child’s failure and success equally.

Often too much information and suggestions make me confused. But then while I am learning what to do as a parent then simultaneously I am also learning what not do as a parent. Especially because of unsolicited advice — our parents, aunts, uncles, in-laws never miss a chance to bombard us with the stories of their experience.

Often our elders think that the younger generation does not know right way of cooking, raising children, managing office work, managing household chores etc. They fail to understand that while we would like to learn from their experience, it might not even applicable in today’s times. With every new generation, technologies, trends, concepts changes and younger generation likes to amend with new changes. Change is inevitable and accepting the change is the only way to adapt it.

For example, the use of diapers. Our older generation thinks that its not good for baby’s skin and cloth is a better choice. But when they had their babies, there were no diapers. So if now when we have it then why not use it?

But elders are wary of accepting change and think that their time was better, and what they did was the best approach. It’s really hard to change their beliefs, and most of the time it just ends up in argument. The conclusion is derived that people from the younger generation do not respect elders and want to do things by their own choice. This way the generation gap keeps widening. But they do not understand that this is not about disrespecting the elders, this is about accepting the changes and living in the times. Even if we need their suggestion, we back-out for the fear of getting judged and getting that look “I had warned you but you didn’t listen”.

Even though now I get annoyed over the instructions from older generation, I am afraid when I come to their phase after a few years, I would do the same with my children. And I would not even remember how I felt when people tagged me a rebel or disrespectful. Therefore I am writing this article to remind myself at the later stage about the things which I would not like to repeat with my children.

These are the promises I am making to myself and my child. I hope to follow these when my time comes.

You are an Independent Individual and not merely my Extension

I do not think of you, my child, as merely my extension. I would like to see you evolve as a distinct individual. I promise not to force my beliefs, my wishes on you, but to assist you in achieving your dreams. I would like you to perceive me as your associate and not an interfering parent.

This promise I have started implementing by letting you do your things on your own since very young age. I am happy to let you take your decisions of which clothes to wear, what games to play.    

No enforced decision about career or marriage

Though I strongly believe in institution of marriage, I will not force you to get married. I might suggest you to get married when you reach the right age, but it would be your choice. Having baby is most wonderful thing but when to have or adopt or not will be your decision.

You can choose your career as I chose mine. I will not give you any advice for continue working or will not show any displeasure if you choose to leave your job after having baby. I will always be there to support and encourage you.

No unsolicited advice or interference

I promise to myself that I would try my best to avoid giving unsolicited advice or interfere in every decision. If you believe that what you are doing is right, I will not stop you unless and until it has any adverse effect on your life. If the decision has adverse effect, I will be the first one to oppose.

While growing up, I will try to give you the right upbringing and morals. I will teach you to trust your parents so that when you are in trouble, you would come and seek for our suggestion. At the same time, I will teach myself to trust you.

No advice for putting more chilli powder in your children’s food to make them familiar with Indian food or applying haldi on face to make them fairer.

You don’t need to follow our legacy or our name

Whether a girl or boy, no one should be forced to carry their parents name. Nowadays girls seem to be in dilemma over choosing a name. Girls choosing husband’s name over father’s name often feel guilty for deceiving their parents. Or vice versa. But my child, you can chose whatever name you want to have.

I don’t consider your carrying our name a sign of your love and respect for us. No matter what name you choose, we will always love you and we know you will have the same love and respect for us.

You are not my Caretaker

I did not bring you to this world because I wanted a caretaker when we grow old. I became a mother because I wanted to experience motherhood and nurture a life. I brought you in this world because I wanted you in my life. After you came in my life my world has become more beautiful and meaningful. With you I learnt to enjoy every moment and it’s my pleasure to give you a better future.

Earlier people assumed that their children were their guarantee for a good old age. And that’s why sons were preferred over daughters. But I am happy to see that many people from the generation of our parents have changed that belief. They gave equal education to their daughters and at the same secured their own age old financially.

I would like to continue what they have started. When I am securing your future, I will make sure I financially secure my old age too. I don’t want to make you feel accountable for my wellness. You can enjoy and enrich your life while I sit back and see you happy.

You are not my Entertainer

Now when I am busy with my work, I ask you to keep yourself busy with your own work or watch do something else. So when you grow up and get busy with your work, if you expect me do the same, I will not perceive it as ignoring me and will not try to emotionally blackmail you with the lines “Maine tumhare liye apna career daav pe lagaya and all”.

I will make myself understand that you need your space as now I need mine and get annoyed if you disturb me. I will be happy to share some quality time with you when you are free from your chores.

I am not your Obligation

Now while I go to work, I keep you with the maid or in the day care. Hence, it would be acceptable for me to have a maid for taking care of me while you get occupied with your work. Your love and respect for me will not be proportional to the time you spent with me.

While I promise the younger generation to be a happy mom always by adapting the changes, I promise the elder generation to follow some of their suggestions and not hurt them.

Published here earlier.

Image source: pexels

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