Off late a lot is floating on the Internet to help one understand the kind of ‘Mom’ she is.
And like everything else – the ‘Cool’ Mom seems to be everyone’s inspiration. A fellow mother, who I usually go to for quick advice, told me the other day on phone, “See I am a cool mom, but a strict one too! So when he knows I am angry, he will say sorry also. Because I am the only one who really scolds him!”
Another mother, a cousin of mine, whose daughter is a teenager now; had once said to me, “I rather be a cool mom and spoil her a bit; at least my daughter won’t hate me tomorrow!”
These statements don’t really matter to you as much when you are still not a mother yourself. And like they say, parenting is the easiest thing to have an opinion about, but the hardest thing in the world to do. And when you are in it, doing it first hand; and not just observing or participating in someone else’s journey – you realise that everything – every action, every emotion, every milestone, practically every day – needs so much more of you than you ever thought it did. All your energies are always consumed in the thoughts about your children – their ‘now’ & their ‘tomorrow’ – from the most trivial stuff to the bigger decisions of their lives. What to feed? When to put to sleep? Is he tired already? Is it time to get him some new toys? When will we enroll him in a pre-school? Which one? When to give colors? What if he falls? When to hold him and when to let go? What are the wrong habits that are forming unconsciously? How to avoid them? How to inculcate some values? Will he have a happy life? Will he always be this obedient? Will he be able to handle the stress that comes with age, gracefully? Will there be enough clean air for him to breathe? Will he be safe in school? In life?
The list can just go on and on; and your mind will never run out of things to worry or ponder about. And this is regardless of the ‘kind’ of mother you are! Whether cool or maverick or working or stay-at-home; somethings never change. You can never sleep one night straight without half your mind being alert to even the slightest of movement or sound that your child makes! And your mind, can never ever completely switch off from the thoughts that revolve around your child, wherever you may be.
Having said that, there is another pattern that this generation of mothers feel more than the previous ones. They are all highly possessive & over protective. We get mats so that our kids never fall on the ground, we sterilise not only the bottles but also the toys, we worry about SIDS like no one’s business (probably the previous generation didn’t even know the word SIDS!), we only believe in giving the best to our children. And I think that’s where we might be wrong. Our parents did the best of what they could. But we believe in doing THE BEST! From expensive baby products when they are infants to branded clothes while they are growing up to just the best school in the locality to IPhones when they are teenagers! Somewhere the ‘cool’ quotient in us, takes away from teaching the kids the value for money or discipline or life in general. Going the materialistic way, we are taking away from their true nature. My one year old child gets more excited seeing the pigeon at our window and cares little about the quality of the toys that he plays with. Fisherprice is great, but he cares a damn! For him it is just a toy – regardless of the price or the quality or the brand. And it is my duty as a mother to not pollute his understanding of life, where at this point he values his favourite people (his Masi or Nana or Papa); then Nature (the various birds that visit us, the dogs that he feeds everyday & the plants that he waters every morning with his father) ; and then maybe his Toys (though there is yet no favorite that has lasted longer than a week or formed any special sort of an attachment ever!) Point being – as a child, with a clean slate mind and heart – he doesn’t value materials as much as living beings; and whatever tag you want to give yourself as a mother, do not ever be the one who took away from him his basic understanding of life. The GenNext needs ‘Responsible Mothers’ more than any one else! If we want to retain this Earth as an inhabitable place, we must be really careful & watchful about what we are passing on to the GenNext.
So…. What #Kind of a Mother are you?