My Child’s Imperfections Are Not My Fault; I Plead “Not Guilty!”

Posted: May 23, 2019

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Parenting is a shared responsibility then why blame the mother all the time for everything that the child cannot do? Is it fair?

It was a Friday night and we were all seated at the dinner table. As I served the food my 9 years old shrieked, “No Spinach, please!!”

I could immediately sense my husband’s piercing eyes on me as if asking, “Why doesn’t she have the greens??”

Even before his looks could transpire into words I retorted back, “Don’t ask me why!!”

“Blame The Mother” Syndrome

My daughter has already fractured her hand twice and sadly both the instances were in my presence. I felt guilty beyond words and blamed myself immensely for not being prudent enough to react in the fraction of a second between her run and the leap. I still get flashbacks of the incident. I am also sure I would have blamed myself equally had this incident happened in my absence. After this people asked me “Why didn’t you stop her from jumping?”

She was not potty trained until the age of 5. Trust me, cleaning a 5-year-old’s bum every morning is not something I enjoyed. But she just wasn’t ready. Who is to be blamed for it? The mother?

The child doesn’t perform as per societal expectations at school and you get to hear, “The mom hardly gets time from her own merrymaking to get involved with the child.”

Motherhood is indeed a monumental job for both working and stay-at-home mothers. Mothers provide the physical, emotional and spiritual support to inspire their children. They are supposed to be the role models and set the right benchmarks. Everyone does this to the best of their abilities so stop this blame game.

I do it my way!

In my parenting journey I have realized that people are going to be judgemental about you and your parenting style, but be unapologetic and stop feeling guilty about it and be proud to have a life of your own.

The best part of this journey for me has been that I have done it my way. My husband has participated in a very superficial way to date. We keep having the discussion and he keeps agreeing that his active participation is much needed.

Parenting never came with a blueprint. I faced my own hardships and did my own permutation combinations. It’s a long way ahead and eventually, I would know if I fared well. As of now, I am the best judge of my situation and I refuse to apologize for my decisions.

My yardstick for right parenting has never been: How early did she do it? OR Did she top the class? Children accomplish milestones in their own way and own time. I am absolutely comfortable with this! And in life, her competition is not going to be only with the 30 students in her class. So stop feeling the peer pressure. I refuse to be deterred by these short term successes or failures.

So, moms:

“Love yourself first and everything else will fall into place.” Over the years, I have realized this is so true.

Stop feeling guilty for digging into that tub of ice cream after putting her to sleep.

Stop feeling guilty about those girls’ night out that will help you rejuvenate and be ready for the upcoming week.

Stop feeling guilty about going on a solo/girl gang/partner vacation without the kid(s) if possible. This break is needed to keep your sanity intact.

Stop feeling guilty about shopping for yourself. Train your feet not to turn towards the kids’ section as soon as you enter the shopping mall.

My child is not perfect… neither are you!

Take the ownership of your kid’s imperfection and tantrums. But do not blame yourself solely for it. Parenting is a shared responsibility. The school and society have a part to play in shaping up the personality of the child. Identify the shortcomings and rectify them instead of fretting about it.

Parenting is a journey. Learn from your experiences and challenge yourself to do better. Because you want the best for your child.

Stop putting yourself up on a pedestal and stop being amused when people call you a Superwoman because as a parent you will often be at crossroads.

Sometimes you will do it right and sometimes you might end up doing it all wrong.

Just own it all and bid the guilt goodbye!

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