Friday, August 2, 2013

And as I continue to learn

This last weekend I celebrated anniversary of my motherhood, or in much simpler words, my son celebrated his 7th b'day. He was excited for this milestone because as per him, he is a big boy now (officially) and (again as per him) he can make his own decisions.

As for me, I am trying to get a handle on the fact that where exactly did time fly?
I mwan, wasn't just yesterday when I had to rush to the hospital in the middle of the day when he just decided to come unannounced and so much before his time?
Of course, those 3 months he spent @ NICU seemed like hell at that time.
There were even more difficult phases as he was growing up
but all in all, as I look back to all these years and specially to the moment when it all changed, I realise this phase of my life has taught me a lot of things.Each relationship is different and unique and so is my bonding with my kids. Being with them, interacting with them, juggling life as a working mom, everything has contributed to those lessons. And today, I just wanted to take a deep breath and jot down these, for my own sake, so that I can remind myself of these at a later stage in life:

a) When you are a mom, the whole world judges you for each and every action: your mother in law, the kids school teacher, your kaam wali bai, your pediatrician, you boss, your friends and the ones we always forget: your kids. Having kids taught me to have a thicker skin and take these judgments with a grain of salt. I don't care about anyone else's judgment and I do not intend to change my ways based on what others think about me. The only judgment I do care about is my kids. I do care and value what they think and how they perceive my actions and behavior.And if I have to change and explain, I will.

b) Patience, patience and Patience: For an impatient person like me, this was the hardest lesson to learn as my son was growing up. Kids take their own time to do things, they like repetition and sometimes their record gets stuck on just one particular things. As a full time working mom, I was always short on time. But then those incidents where son wanted to play "Old McDonald had a farm" in a loop while going to school or the time when it was raining hard and I was trying to get him into his car seat and he wanted to buckle the car seat all by himself or those mornings when all I wanted was to rush through and get to work in time and all he wanted was to button his short by himself, wear his socks and shoes by himself - all these little yet significant things have taught me to just take a deep breath at times and just flow with the moment. Because no matter what, my office is not going to crumble without me reaching there on time on a day or two, I am not going to melt soaking in the rain and Old McDonald actually doesn't sound that bad if you sing along with it. But these moments with my kids,once gone, they are not going to come back.

c) Kids are more resilient and understanding than we take them granted for. So give them credits when it's due: We like to treat them as kids and pamper them but they observe and understand so much and most of the time, they act much more mature than we expect them to. As my son was growing up, as a family, we did face some difficult times at certain points. And being away from the family in a foreign land made it all the more difficult at times. But at such trying times, whether it was the night when I had to drive my husband to ER in the middle of night because of acute stomach pain, or the time when I was dealing with a difficult second pregnancy with my husband working in a different city or the days when I would be upset over something, Aayush handled all those with so much maturity and responsibility that it was difficult for me to even believe that he was just 5 yrs old then. For the entire one year when his dad was away to a different city for his job, he missed him like hell and often broke down. But never did he make it difficult for me. And till date, this 7 year old is my biggest pillar of support at all times and I tell him this quite often.

d) When he is wrong, he needs to know it. And better from me than from somebody else.
I have seen too many cases in my close family itself where parents, specially mothers ignored to correct the mistakes of their own kids. Parenting is not just a chore or a title. It is a responsibility, to shape  and guide a kid as he/she grows up. So, if they make mistakes and I do not tell them, they will never know the difference between right and wrong. And however, unpleasant it may seem to point out the mistake, it is worthwhile to sit and have this conversation early on rather than seeing face the consequences later in life.

e) I am human, I'll lose my temper. I'll shout at them at times and not be at my best behavior also. Early on, I used to feel really really guilty about this and used to beat myself harder on this. But with time, I have learned to a) Try to isolate myself when I see myself getting mad about something b) And if, I still end up losing myself, handle it in a more graceful way.Talk to the kids about what happened and why I reacted in that way and also apologize to them.At the end of the day all that matters is how I finally ended it.

f) Last but not the least, my most effective tools in my toolbox: Lots of hugs and to tell them that I love them a lot.

No comments: