Surprised at that outburst? You should be. And with good reason. Because I am really not the kind of person who’d make declarations like that. So fine, maybe I’ll think it in my mind a zillion times (and counting) but I wouldn’t actually shout it out.
Here’s what brought it on. All in a very nice way. Yes, I have a story for you.
I was all set to write a post about my experience with a Kindness Challenge – but an early morning phone call with Vidur’s classmate’s Mom triggered this outpouring.
You see, I am feeling the tinge of sadness already about school coming to a close for my son. 12 years of it. It seems like only yesterday that we were anxiously waiting for the admission list to be put up for Grade 1. Yet, the years seem to have flown by. 12 glorious years.
During this time, I’ve naturally become friends with many parents and Vidur’s classmates. I’ve enjoyed being that Mom who can be totally relied on to deliver whatever it took – ferry children, ferry teachers, be the “purse” in an emergency, the spare pencil box and other stationery, the mobile phone, the first aid box, the safety pin, the comb, the costumer for skits, the ideator, the sounding board, the substitute-Mommy – you name it, I’ve been it. And loved it. They’ve bestowed me with the “cool” title!
I am honored to be appreciated both by the school and other parents, many times over. And as the years went by, I’ve seen other parents and thought, I am not that kind of Mom!
I am not that kind of Mom who…
- carries her child’s school bag
- does her child’s homework
- comes to school in her night clothes
- screams and yells at her child
- complains to the teacher about her child in front of the child
- complains to the teacher about her child in the child’s absence
- complains to her spouse about her child
- complains to other parents about her child when they rant about theirs
- carries tales about other children to their parents.
- shares her child’s shortcomings with other parents
- rants about her own woes to other parents
- has crazy expectations from her child
- scolds her child in front of others
- gets angry at a poor report card (never had one of those, but hey)
- minimizes her child’s fear and says, Oh, come on you’re dreaming
- refuses to listen to her child’s side of the story
- doesn’t take her child’s ideas seriously
- is afraid to be honest
- pressurizes her child to perform
- fights or argues with her spouse in front of her child
- compares her child to others
- hesitates to show affection
So that’s not even the tip of the iceberg, but you know what I mean.
I’d like to include “rants about her woes to her child” …thing is, as Vidur grew up, I am a wee bit guilty of that, but I’ve been rewarded with great advice. He’s so serene and easy to talk to – and when he puts his arm around me and says, “Mi, what happened?”, it is like he turned on a switch – sigh. You know what they say, out of the mouths of babes.
I feel blessed to realize that I have friends who are not that kind of Mom either! There’s one particular parent who always praises her kids and highlights all the good things they do, saying “If we don’t encourage them, who will?” I am totally in agreement.
Parenting can be tough. Make that IS tough. But I’ve realized that when we’re open minded enough to learn along the way, the journey is a pleasant one. Nobody is perfect, and nobody has to be. I’ve been stupid on many occasions, but at the time, I only did what I thought was best. When I realized in retrospect that maybe I should have acted differently, I didn’t beat myself over it. I simply embraced the learning. Which is probably why I am a happy Mom.
No, I am not that kind of Mom who lives in regret.
I am the kind of Mom who’s proud and supportive of her child and watches him grow, in wonder. Love and logic, that’s my key!
At this stage, with exams just around the corner, I see a lot of Moms in a tizzy over their children’s performance, and with good reason. I am anxious too, but I don’t think it does anyone any good to show it. Instead, I am practicing staying calm. This is the time to motivate and encourage these 12th graders that yes, they are capable and can ace their exams. Not remind them of that time when… (fill in the blank with a negative).
This is the time to believe in them and make them believe in themselves.
This is also the time to make sure they are well nourished, in body and soul and take time off to regroup their energies.
No, I am not that kind of Mom who’ll stress herself out over her child. Oh, I’ve had my worries in the early years…but I learned to let go with time.
What is funny is – children manage very well; it is the parents who’re the problem most of the time, eh?
What do you think?