Good Mom, Bad Mom; Who Has The Right To Rate Me As A Mother?

Posted: April 9, 2019

Women have made their mark everywhere, with no field left for them to conquer. Why then, are fingers still pointed at a mother’s ways to raise her own child?

Along with innumerable tags and labels assigned to motherhood excluding perils of body shaming, postpartum depression, mood swings, etc., are the social standards of ‘good or bad parenting’. Mind you, nothing in between counts! It’s like either a hero or a zero, no parameters for the strugglers who are making a constant effort to improve.

On an average most of the mothers are a failure for the society as well as the in- laws, who have their set of fixed standards. Who cares if they might be sweating their blood for the loved ones?

Every woman has an inborn instinct of love and care, she may not be kind and considerate to everyone she bumps into but when it comes to her children, there is no stopping her. She devotes every possible asset to raise this ‘piece of her heart’ with resilience. Still she is judged and jolted at every step of her journey.

I have every right over making decisions for my children in accordance with my spouse till they are mature enough. I am not answerable to anyone regarding my actions.

Your choices are weird

Why should it be something odd if I choose for them to learn Taekwondo travelling 3-4 kms, rather than a skating or dance class being conducted at the apartment premises? After all it’s we, the parents who drop and pick up our kids and not the society, then what’s all the fuss about?

You’re not teaching them ‘culture’

Last week when I strictly refused to play Holi with chemicals, one of my ‘wise’ neighbours quipped: “You should indulge in every festival, only then your children will learn essence of our culture.”

I did not feel like sending my child to be exposed to something that could be harmful. But can someone explain what getting into it unwillingly was going to teach my kids when we are all talking about strong terms like ‘Consent’?

You aren’t feeding him well

When a child is underweight, you aren’t feeding him well, and when a child goes overweight it’s again you, his mother who is responsible for the bulge. I don’t know whom the naysayers must be targeting in case like mine where one of my boys is lean while the other fuller.

Oh, he’s too shy. Oh, he’s a ruffian!

One of my child is disciplined and quiet, he’s called shy; while the second is outspoken and exuberant, he’s marked a ruffian. I am frequently asked why are they poles apart. Is it their year of birth that has to do something with their behavioural patterns? ‘Coz the boys share same set of parents as well as extended families.

Nope. It is the difference in their personalities and not my parenting. As we know each child is unique, so is each mother. Hence her parenting postulates are absorbed by each of even her own children varyingly.

Keeping away the trolls

Earlier I used to be blunt in my remarks if someone poked their nose in my ways of parenting. But now I have reached a stage whereby such comments hardly matter. I have stopped giving explanations to prove my point as I have lately realised they only hear what they want to. Like any other human, even I am a learner; I have the humility to accept my follies if I realize that there could have been a better way out. But that does not give the trolls a licence to spit rubbish or humiliate in name of advice.

I am a proud parent blessed with two amazing babies. I enjoy every small detail of my children irrespective of what people say. I cherish their wow moments with the same indulgence that I caress they ouch’s. I certainly look up to the loving and composed mothers, and marvel where do get so much of sanity from? But that in no way makes me feel low; I derive more energy and get charged with positivity around me.

There is a loud shout to stop comparing children on basis of their results as every individual has some or the other extra ordinary quality. Why can’t we vouch to respect every mother for her own unusual way of rearing, cause if children are the future; mothers are the present!

A version of this was first published here.

Image source: a still from the movie Secret Superstar

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