Hard but these are the Lessons I learned as a Mom

lessons of a mom- Parenting resources by ZenParent

Hey – I almost drove myself over the edge trying to be the mother that ‘people’ instructed me to be and repeatedly pointed out directions I should take. The worst was probably – “You are too fat to be a good mother”. Really? What does fat have to do with being a good (or bad) mother? Anyway, the truth is I struggled and sometimes still struggle with loads of issues to the point of wanting to quit. But you know that you can’t quit being a mom right – it’s a job of a life time! So in my 16 years of being a mother, I have tried to be a good student – absorbing and learning whatever this ‘job’ throws at me. Quite sure you have had some great and some extremely vexing moments but you too learned something from each situation.

1. This is possibly the simplest and most common sense lesson and yet sometimes I still err – it is the smallest and littlest things that matter the most. I learnt that children pick up whatever we decide to ‘leave’ for them – when I would be grumpy inevitably my little darling would have a frown plastered on her sweet forehead. At the times when I am mischievous and grinning because I am plotting a prank (yeah – I do that a lot – try it), she is also continually smiling and everyone is a lot more relaxed. I am certain that despite not wanting her to – she will remember the times that were and are not so good, and so it is my ‘job’ to give her what’s best.

2. Life has its way of tripping us up and there are a number of times when things don’t go our way. It was during one of these ‘down’ times that I was really upset, to the point of tears. She walked up to me – nestled comfortably in my lap, wiped my tears and said “mum you know this time will go away so don’t get so upset. You are ruining your time now worrying about something that may never happen”. Simple yet profound – live in the present is what she taught me.

3. My mum was perhaps the most patient and resilient person I know, but being the youngest, I used to think that none of that passed on to me! 🙂 However, when I became a mum, I realized the futility of being impulsive and impatient and the true of value of patience. You cannot expect the child to keep up with your levels of urgency or frenzy but rather you need to stop and quieten down to match the baby steps of your child. Realizing this has made it lot easier to deal with her growing up phases, professional and personal struggles like a personal loss and even a close one’s demise.

mom lessons- Parenting resources by ZenParent

 

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4. It’s amazing how open minded and accepting she is of new approaches, technology and even stuff that still shocks us as adults. I must admit that I had some rather conservative and narrow minded approaches to a lot of ‘new-fangled concepts’, while she would just say ‘each to his / her own mum’. She taught me how to accept new ideas and concepts and believe me this really knocks off a lot of unnecessary burdens.

5. When my daughter was 5 years old, I had hurt my lower back and was completely out of action for about 6 days. This is when I learnt that support, for those you love and those who love you should be unconditional – even if you are a tiny 5 year old. She would feed me soup with a spoon, brush my hair, wipe my face, neck and hands with a cold wet towel and other such thoughtful things that I did not know that she could do. This incident inspired and strengthened me to stand stronger and taller especially when those who matter to me are troubled.

6. I have learnt to remain positive (at least more often than before). We have been through some really hard times and it was really tough to see any good in that but what I observed in my daughter was that she grew stronger and more resilient and is a lot more confident when dealing with troubled situations. If her group of friends are missing in school, she believes that she gets more time to focus on her studies or when there is no electricity for long hours in the sweltering heat, she decides to make funny faces into the candle flame – being a mother has taught me to look for what is good in situations (way better than being a grumpy spoil-sport)

7. I admit – being a mother is a job that is never off duty. Relentless and on-going it does get tough. However, when I did go about like a maniac trying to ‘do the right things’ for my daughter, I realized that I never had any energy left to do the fun things with her or even unwind for my own sanity. As she grew, I observed that she would pick up a book, or run around in the garden or just lie down listening to music – she was stopping, unwinding, taking a break. Funny how such a simple thing escaped me – the mum. Life is tough – no point making it tougher – imagine learning how to take a break from your kid!

life of a mom- Parenting resources by ZenParent

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8. Okay! so life is serving you lemonades – chucking fast balls at you – you are not alone. I realized that without remaining calm, I would often overreact in many situations and make them bigger and more unwieldy than before. Being a mum makes you want to be a good example to your child and being calm and stable even in the most trying times, is exemplar.

9. I miss being a kid – I was the youngest of 4 children and was crazily pampered by my dad especially. Having lost my eldest sister, mum and dad to death, I realized how to differentiate between what’s important and what does not warrant attention. Being a mother has made me understand that spending time with my child and husband and those I love is time that is best spent. My daughter exemplifies this trait – if she is playing with our pet, she is completely immersed in doing so and nothing can distract her – for her the attention he needs is what is important at that time.

10. I am an indulgent mother – can really pamper her. However, I have learned that kids know the art of manipulation and use it deftly. So I have realized the importance of putting my foot down and not giving in, irrespective of the theatrics and the ‘I don’t love you’ drama. And you know what – I now can do this better with other people too – used to have a hard time saying no.

11. The most valuable but hardest lesson I have learned though, as a mum, is that sometimes letting go and stepping back is the only sensible thing to do. I had heard from people and older relatives about how dramatically a child changes when they hit the teen years and I believed that this would not be true for me – you see that was my thought process. My daughter became a teen and suddenly I was dealing with someone I believed was a complete stranger. I desperately tried to hold on – to her wanting me for every small need, to wipe every tear, to heal every little cut or bruise – but I was failing. The harder I tried it would seem that she was struggling even more. It was like trying to hold onto sand and the tighter I gripped, the faster it slipped through. We grew apart – or so I believed –and it broke my heart. She then told me that she didn’t need so much support and felt that I was being overprotective – that hurt too but I realized that I was being selfish and focusing only on my needs as a mother. I let go – stood by her side but refused to rush in at every little sign of pain or trouble. She walked right back – appreciating the space and privacy and yet very comfortable and secure in the knowledge that mum was there – but would not choke her with love.  Does any or all of this sound familiar – if yes – welcome to the world of motherhood!

A fun take on how a tired mom feels…Click here!

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