Perfect parenting. What is this all about? Why does a mother feel so pressurised about her parenting skills? This is something that has been bothering me ever since I had my first child. Recently I came across this article on google, titled “how you can be a perfect mother”? I mean what? We are humans too. How the hell can you expect us to be perfect? And who are you to decide what perfection is?
Every mother, does everything she can, in the best interest of her child. Her major part of the day revolves around her children. We breathe and live for our children’s well-being. We want our children to be successful and happy. And we would do everything in our power for that.
Every mother may have a different parenting style, but the end result will always be the same. Why do we doubt our decisions? The most common topics that doubt our perfect parenting are: breastfeeding (I don’t even want to start on that), screen time, treats, processed or jarred or canned food, the number of extracurricular activities (I mean seriously?), early schooling, day care, messy house, this list is endless.
We mothers experience the strongest pressures of being the perfect parents. Why are we being judged so much? Why do I have to worry from the minute we wake up until we go back to bed?
There are certain things that I need to remind myself every day. I am doing the best I can. My kids have clean clothes to wear, food to eat, we enjoyed some nice cuddle time before getting started for the day, they had play time at the park, they had their mommy and daddy when they needed them and we had a dance party just because we felt like.
Maybe I couldn’t breastfeed my child, but why does that give you the right to judge me. Do you know what problems I went through? So, what if I let them watch TV or tablet for some time because I needed to get some work done or maybe catch up on a little sleep. so, what that I gave them store bought cookies once in a while. so, what if I haven’t filled out their baby albums even once, so what if I have toys everywhere around in my house. The more important thing is I was there for all their milestones. I was there when they needed a hug or wanted to listen to “I love you” 100 times a day. I was there when they needed help with their school work. I was there when they sprouted their first tooth or when it fell, I was there when they took their first steps. The more important thing is that they know that I will always be there to empathise with them, to make them feel warm and loved, to trust them, to hold their hands and have their backs when they need it.
The irony of all this is that, in seeking perfection in parenting, our parenting has become less effective. All this worrying, lowers my self confidence as mother, leading to less enjoyable and more stressful parenting.
Parenting is all about the “how” than the “what”. Its about how we are sensitive and in tune with our child’s needs. How we inculcate independence and happiness in our children. As I read somewhere, “there is no way to be a perfect mother, but a million ways to be a good one”.