The Parent I am and the Friends I am grateful for

The Parent I am and the Friends I am grateful for

I’ve often wondered what kind of a parent I am.

Am I the compassionate, doting mom who never raises a finger against her child?

Am I the kind of mom who feels like yelling at a kid who defies all boundaries of authority, no matter how mild the transgression?

Am I the ‘super mom’ (a term I personally detest) who flies about making sure that everything is perfectly in place right from the child’s school supplies to her emotional needs?

Perhaps I am the mom who lets go, allows the child to make mistakes and watches as she ends up learning from them and growing up.

Or hey, maybe I’m that mom you see walking in the park, headphones plugged in, music blasting away as the kid plays on the swings and the monkey bars.

I’ve come to the realisation, nearly 10 years after I’ve donned this mantle of parenthood that I’m every mom. No, not everyone’s mom, thank you. I have enough on my hands managing just one kid.

Depending on the situation, I morph from one mom to the next, flitting(not flying) between each role as the situation demands it. It’s necessary that we don’t confine ourselves to these narrow, bracketed definitions of what constitutes motherhood.

It’s also made me wonder why I like to read and write about parenting. I don’t call myself an expert , frankly because I don’t think we can ever be an expert in parenting. What works for you will never work for me, not all the time, so why should the converse be even remotely true? (Aside: Don’t stop reading my blog though!)

There is something though that binds all us parents together- a sense of overwhelming kinship. It’s the feeling that we’re not alone in this journey and that we’re all doing okay. All of us.

I’ve had some of the most wonderful co-parents  (calling them friends seems frankly inadequate) that it’s incredible how much we’ve learnt from one another.
The parent I am, Mom friends

My 2 am friend:

This mom and I had our kids a week apart and back then, it was more than we could handle. We’d text one another at odd hours of the night, knowing that we’d each be up nursing, feeding, diapering or settling the baby to sleep and we wanted to ensure this was normal, this feeling of helplessness. In a strange way, that helped. We exchanged notes on everything from colic to insomnia, weight gain to milestones and assured one another that it was fine to be snappy and irritable. We even joked that we should write a handbook for new parents about how the first 3 months post baby are sheer torture with all the exhaustion. Hey, maybe we still will!

My all-time friend:

I can’t really think of a label for this mom but our kids first met in the playground. However, their bond brought us moms together and it’s one that I cherish! We’ve seen each other through really rough times. We dispelled one another’s fears about insufficient weight gain for the kids, took them to the same doctor, spent hours at each other’s homes while the kids tore the place up and when both our spouses traveled, we were there for each other, opening our homes and hearts. Gy would practically live in her home on occasion and cry pitifully if I took her away. How do you measure the heart of a mom like that one? I can’t, so I won’t try. Just grateful for her in my life.

My heart-to-heart friend:

We stumbled upon one another in the blogging world. From there we’ve gone on to forge one of the strongest friendships I’ve ever enjoyed in my lifetime. You know those cheesy romance movies where people complete each other’s sentences? We do that with thoughts! I’m not kidding! I’ll start saying something and she’ll finish thinking it for me. Freaky! I know! At this stage of my life, where I’m handling the tween kid tantrums, the despair of battling it alone on most days and feeling overwhelmed by the kindness that a child her age is capable of, I find an empathetic soul in this friend.
Every once in a while I call up each of these friends. I tell them I’ve lost the plot and I don’t know what I am doing in this entire parenting game and I’m not even sure if I’m screwing up my child’s life with the rules I put in place. Each time, they hear me out with love, prop me up and tell me exactly what I need to hear:

You’re doing just fine.

And the truth? Nobody knows anything more than you do. That’s the only truth that matters. So, go on out there and find your moms-in-arms. We need an entire regiment to help us through this battle and they’re the best ones to have in your corner.

*Footnote* This blog(originally on blogger) crossed 200,000 page views today. Thank you for reading and supporting me all along, dear friends, readers, fellow bloggers 🙂

281 total views, 0 views today

Comments

comments

21 thoughts on “The Parent I am and the Friends I am grateful for

  1. It's been four months and the dominant question on my mind is am I being a good mom. Is she really in good hands with me? One of the reasons for me to love blogging is that I get to read and know about the thoughts & experience of others moms, like you with this post, and it helps me in more ways that I can expressed.. 🙂

  2. I know that feeling and I also know the dangers of falling into borderline post-partum depression, so hope you've got all the support you need. I know I'd have loved to be blogging back then and having a huge community to support me too 🙂 But I am grateful for the friends then and the friends now and without them, I'd not be as comfortable a mom as I am today 🙂 You're doing fine, Naba. Just fine. Your posts say that all the time 🙂

  3. I don't know what kind of a parent I am. Sometimes I am the kind who just wants to run away and find peace in a cave in the Himalayas. Sometimes I am the one who over does stuff. Mostly I am the one who makes S smile. And I have learnt that she is the one that matters, though it is okay to be the other moms once in a while.

    I agree about the mommy regiment, such a necessity and like yours, they remind me every day that I am doing fine.

    PS: Congrats on the Page views.

  4. I veer from one mom type to the other. I think we need to be them all at different times. And I too enjoy reading parenting experiences not only because i'm looking for a solution to a specific parenting problem but because sometimes it's heartening to know that there are others going through the same rough spots like me and that me and the kids are okay the way we are. That takes a load of stress off my head.

  5. I know it might sound weird but I have never stopped to think what kind of a mom I am. Maybe, it is because I still feel that I am clueless about what I ought to be doing as a parent and just go by my gut instinct, something that has been the case from day #1. Trying to fit a mould can be pretty daunting.

    I loved the beautiful way you've captured how every mom tries her best to morph into the role parenthood demands of her.
    And yes, Internet and Blogging world has gifted us friendship of many people sailing in the same boat that sure helps in reassuring that the milestones, the setbacks we face are all so similar across parents and kids around the world.

    Heartiest congratulations on hitting 2,00,000 views. May your wonderful blog has many more of this fantastic milestones 🙂

  6. Totally agree that none of us has the plot, just bits and pieces of it :). May we each make the best we can of it, as I'm very sure you will. Gy is a lucky child to have you as her mom, I hope you know that <3.

  7. Different situations demand different parenting strategies. We all have been all these types of moms in our parenting journey. It is a blessing to have such supportive friends… what would we do without them! Their presence and assurance makes the journey a lot more comforting and enriching too!

  8. True Shailaja.. We are all beset by doubts and during the times when are low, we really need that kind of encouragement and sisterhood and perhaps, an honest feedback when we really feel like one. Congrats on your pageviews milestone 🙂

  9. You know what's coming, don't you? Nobody want's a dads-in-arms group 🙁
    We're not a bad bunch, you know.
    Sigh!
    Congrats on the milestone- May you continue to smash those records and keep those numbers climbing.
    And yes, 'You're doing just fine'

  10. Congrats on the milestone Shailaja! It's a big one!
    From the little I understand of mothers and motherhood, each Mum is different. They have shades of each other I them but I feel there is a inherent style that's unique. You are wonderful and your friends must have given you the support then and now. You are doing just fine 🙂

  11. Just like the other commenters, I am different parents at different times depending upon the mood and situation. And congratulations on the milestone. Wish you many more such milestones and loads of happiness with the blog. Lots of love.

  12. The topic of Parenting is huge ,mysterious and alluring as our Universe and the fact that your post has crossed a major milestone in terms of reading proves that every generation has something to offer.

    When my son was growing up I made many friends. Some have stayed on while others have faded as beautiful memories.

  13. Well-articulated, Shailaja. I reckon this is a question all thinking moms ask themselves. I think it's always a good idea to not wiggle into a mould. It's too early for me to say this right now (kid is only 1.5 years old you see), but I am going to be a little bit of this and a little bit of that–as the situation demands. I also know I am going to trip and fall, but I am going to rise again. For the sake of someone I have brought into this world, I am going to do my best to be a decent-enough mom. I so want my daughter to be brave, confident, strong, and compassionate, among other things. And you have done a great job with this post by reminding us that we need to be 'every mom'.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

error: Content is protected !!
%d bloggers like this:

Parenting and Blogging Tips by email? Sign up here.

Once a week, you'll get a new post and once a month, a newsletter with features and updates.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.