Sarath turned 7 a couple of months ago and I keep thinking about how fast the time flies by and also keep reflecting on myself as a parent. As parents, we always make mistakes and are learning along the way. But, today I thought I will write about the few things that I learn’t in the past 7 years.
1. I learn’t that as a parent, I will always worry about my actions, decisions, words and everything in between. I will worry if I am giving them the proper essential food, if I am giving them enough hugs everyday, if I am being too strict with them and yada yada yada. But, my conscience is mostly right. I know better about my kids than anybody.
2. I lean’t that to succeed as a parent, I need to listen. I need to listen to every word that comes out of my kid’s mouth. They will never give me a proper answer to the questions I ask. But, they have their own way of telling me about their life. It is all about paying attention. If I am not paying attention to them, they do not pay attention to me. Period.
3. I learn’t that each kid is different. Tricks that work on one kid do not work on the other. Sometimes, it is so daunting but sometimes it is wonderful to see how different Sarath and Sanjay are.
4. I learn’t that sometimes, I need to put myself first. It’s like they say in the airplanes – we need to put our oxygen mask first and then help the kids. This is the biggest reason I started working out. Also, when I have to work on weekends and leave the entire house and kids to S, I do not feel guilty anymore.
5. I learn’t that I am not a super woman. I cannot do everything by myself and I cannot take care of the kids, have a clean house and be sane all at the same time. So, these days I find myself not worrying about the messy house. I rather enjoy the time I spend with my kids.
6. I learn’t that I have to ask S to help me. Otherwise, he is clueless. Initially, I was very frustrated that he wouldn’t help me. But, later I realized that he does not think like me and so does not realize that he needs to help me. After I asked him to help a few times, he now knows when I need help and what I need help with.
7. This is probably the most important thing I learn’t: S and I have our own ways of doing things – be it cleaning the kitchen, or folding the clothes or putting the kids to bed. I realized that I cannot ask for help and also ask him to do it my way. Sometimes, he does things better than me and also faster when he does it his way 🙂 So, win-win situation for both of us. And the kids also love it when he does things differently.
8. S and I decided that we will not judge other about their parenting or compare our kids to other kids for everything. But, that is the most difficult thing to do.
9. S and I learn’t that the quality of our relationship makes a huge difference in the way we act around the house and the decisions we make. Kids can sense our moods better than we think.
10. We learn’t that there is not right or wrong when it comes to raising kids. We do what works best for our family and our kids. This kind of thinking is so liberating. As a new mom, I felt like I needed my mom’s and MIL’s approval for many things. Now, I know that I am never going to get a 100% approval from either of them and I am okay with it. Just like each kid is different, each parent is different.