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A mother writes an interesting account of her life, living with over involved parents around.
Read an interesting “parent” quote on the Internet the other day which went something like this:
“Anyone can have a child and call themselves a parent. A real parent is someone who puts that child above their own selfish needs and wants. ”
I might be making a lot of enemies by starting off a post that goes against what seems to be an army that is growing by leaps and bounds. No, I do not mean army of the defense kind, which by the way, are also growing by leaps and bounds. No sir, I am not talking about armies of men, artillery, and weapons, though I think that would be a very cool topic to muse about, NOT!
I am talking about armies of Men, Women and what they create together and how they take care of those creations. Before the dirty minds, can switch to whatever dirty conclusions they jump to, I will try to explain what I am trying to but a little wary to write about.
I see them everywhere. I see them walking past me, walking in front of me, walking behind me and most of the times walking all over me!
I am talking about the burgeoning army of over-involved parents who I am going to refers to as OPDs(Obsessive Parenting Disorder-lies). I see them everywhere. I see them walking past me, walking in front of me, walking behind me and most of the times walking all over me! They might not be aware that they are doing this, but I know their tactics very well. I see them all. Their sole purpose in life seems to be to trample on the feelings and self-worth of poor old-fashioned parents like me who believe in the age old adage of “Live and Let Live!”.
I belong to those shrinking club of parents who believe that taking care of kids involves feeding them, clothing them, talking to them, helping with their homework, playing with them a bit, making sure there are no issues going on with them and tucking them into bed with a bedtime story. I thought I was doing pretty good until I started running into these OPDs. In the beginning, it was just one or two of them here and there. Soon I started to see more and more of them and it has come to the point now, where I can’t seem to take a step without them stumbling over me and frankly that scares the hell out of me.
While I would not say I hold a Phd in researching these OPDs, I would say I have been subjected to their presence and ideas for so long, that I might as well have done one. Maybe then, I could have felt some self-worth – a self-worth that has been trampled upon as these OPDs started to walk all over me.
They are up at, God Knows what hour making sure that the ‘most important meal of the day’ for their kids holds up to its lofty claims.
I look at them. They are up at, God Knows what hour making sure that the ‘most important meal of the day’ for their kids holds up to its lofty claims. There are nuts, there are precision cut veggies, there are fruits of every kind , there is perfect looking organic milk sitting in a sparkling glass, there’s whole grain bread and to top it all, there are mom/dad looking like they got ready for a photo session and not for making breakfast. And here I am struggling to determine what breakfast I could substitute for the Cheerios that ran out the day before that I had completely forgotten to add to the grocery list and I am not even out of the bed yet and I see these FB posts from these OPD friends of mine.
“Oh! Look we made a Veggie grilled brown bread cheese sandwich topped with chia seeds for our twins!” says one proud mama. Sure enough there are 2 perfect sandwiches sitting on beautiful looking plates. Plates, I would not trust myself with, leave alone 2 brats! I want to reply to her in all caps – “FOR GOD’s SAKE, IT’S NOT EVEN 6 am yet!”
But I am too chicken to do that, so I type – “OMG! You are done with all this and it is not even 6 am yet! You rock!”. I should have added and “I suck!” I turn to the other side and go right back to sleep forgetting completely that I was supposed to wake up early to go get the quintessential cheerios. I wake up 15 minutes later to find a plethora of replies to the FB post. 90% of them are other parents, posting their own accomplishments in making a breakfast that has the right amount of iron, potassium, magnesium, fiber, vitamins and protein. There are even photos of these picture perfect breakfast. 10% are looser parents like me who go oh my, wow! etc. I drag myself out of bed, determined to have a no-cheerio breakfast on the table. No such luck! The most I could do is make a hurried scrambled egg my daughter scowls at. I give up.
In the background, I see clothes ironed and neatly laid out.
In the background, I see clothes ironed and neatly laid out. Oh crap! I forgot to do the laundry of my kids’ school uniforms. I pick them up from the laundry basket, smelling them. Seems ok. Maybe I still stand a chance if I were to iron them. Now, that’s my life!
Jokes apart, I wonder if this kind of over involvement in day to day, nay, moment to moment happenings of a child is healthy. There seems to be a kind of timetable in the parents’ schedule book on when their kid should get up, what they should eat, what classes they should take, what extra-curricular activities they should participate in etc, etc. While this might sound like too much for the kids themselves, I wonder how the parents get the time and energy to be full-time planners for their kids’ day. Not only planners, but willing participants as well!
After all this, where do the OPDs get the time for themselves? Time to pursue their hobbies and doing things that interest them. How and when do kids overtake OPDs lives so much that their every thought, every plan, every activity revolves around them? Most importantly, why do they allow it to happen? Surely their kids are not asking for it. Then why are they drawn into this vortex of being the perfect parents and nothing else – whose only dream seems to be readying their kids for Ivy league or being a doctor or something as profound!
I hear so many of the OPDs complaining about how 24 hours in a day are just not enough for doing all the things they had planned to do.
I hear so many of the OPDs complaining about how 24 hours in a day are just not enough for doing all the things they had planned to do. How their health is suffering, how they don’t have time for anything else other than their kids. How their schedules revolve around those of their kids. I am not sure they are complaining or bragging. What I do see clearly however is a complete lack of down time for themselves and their kids. Leave alone pursuing their passions, it seems like the OPDs don’t even have time to take some time off to breathe properly.
I wonder what will happen 10 years from now when their kids are all grown up and fly the nest. How will these OPDs fare with their primary purpose in life is taken away from them would be interesting to see. Would they find the time and energy then to take care of what they sacrificed at the altar of their kids’ future? Or would it to be too late. Only time could tell.
“Mom! There are no cheerios….no cereal at all. What are we supposed to eat for breakfast?” I heard my daughter yelling from downstairs. Yikes, I had forgotten to get the cereal again! I guess there is no hope for me or my children!
Child on swing via Shutterstock
I have been an aspiring writer for a while now. I realize I am happiest
Being honest in the telling of a story is a precious skill indeed!! There are many paths to parenting and most of us may get lost along the way, several times over, in the journey. Only honesty can keep us from being judgemental and only honesty will help us seek better paths. So long as we are doing our best for this moment or at least trying to…that is enough.
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