It so happens that, unfortunately for me, I happen to be a young mom. Relatively young to be the mom of a 2 year old. So every tom, dick and harry thinks of it as their God given right… slash that…. DUTY… to advice me on how to bring up my kid.
Everyone is an expert… married, unmarried, having kids or not, cleaner, grandma, teacher, plumber, corporate executives… Every single person i meet is an expert on parenting. Of course every one of them have raised and looked after every single child on the face of the planet! The experts that they are… they would know that every child is different… not every child copes and responds the same way… And they would also know that their child/children is/are obviously not the same as mine. But no, I’m supposed to follow exactly the advice that they give. Because, they are the experts after all…
And I’m just a new mom with no brain or the ability to care for my young one. And of course, i don’t do the best I can for her.
I while away my time jumping hula hoops and piercing my belly and using my baby a cushion to jump on. So they obviously have to educate me to save my poor kid from my ignorant and diabolical clutches.
Every single one of them gives me unique ‘tips’ and ‘tools’ to handle my kid. All different ones mind you. And many contrasting ones at that!! “Put her in school now!!!” As opposed to “Don’t put her in school now!! Let her be a kid”. “Teach her rhymes first” against ” Don’t teach her rhymes, teach her the alphabet and numbers”. It’s such a fierce and competitive world out there that everyone has a problem with how fast or slow the next kid is. “Ohhh!! Your daughter doesn’t speak as yet?? You need to talk to her more!” Or “use picture books to teach her stuff” and another one “no, no, use visual tools to teach her”. This is a good one “She’s not speaking because she only watches tv, and you don’t teach her anything”. And everyone wants a plump, chubby rotund baby. A thin kid cannot be withstood. I could write a book on how many different weird food items i have been asked to feed my kid to make her ‘plump’. “You aren’t feeding her enough” , “Are you feeding her at all?” Or “you’re not feeding her the right stuff”. This one got to my nerves “You feed her rotis? Are you insane? Kids should be fed only rice and ghee and the like” , “don’t feed her inside the house. Take her outside and feed her” , “show her books and feed her” , “make her listen to music and feed her” , “let her eat how much she wants” as opposed to “force feed her”. And her social skills are always under scrutiny “she sticks to you because you don’t let her go out” , “you need to leave her with strangers and other faces so that she gets used to them” (of course i should! God forbid, anything untoward happens, again the blame would be in the reverse, “it happened because she was left with strangers, whoever does that”). “You still carry your kid? Whoever does that?” As vehemently opposed to “why are you making your kid cry? After all how long are you going to carry her?”…..
And there’s soooo much more that i could go and on about. But for now, this is all i remember.
A humble plea to the experts out there; I know you mean well but imagine a single cup being filled with ounces of every possible beverage in the world and being continuously filled beyond its capacity. Nothing stays in and whatever does tastes pretty bad.
There’s only so much a single person can take. News flash!!!! I actually want the best for my kid!! I know it surprises the hell out of many people but that’s the truth. You don’t spend 24 hours a day, (most of it alone) with my kid. You don’t know what ticks her off. You don’t know what medical issues she has. You don’t know how she eats and how she doesn’t. You don’t know what she likes and what she doesn’t. And that her tastes keep changing every minute. You don’t know how she socialises and how much she speaks or not. You aren’t seeing her throw temper tantrums and be stubborn. You don’t see her fits of anger. And most of all you aren’t seeing what I’m doing and how much I am doing, what rhymes i teach her, what games i play with her, where i leave her, what activities she does with me.
So, Yes!!! I will be defensive of my kid. Especially when someone raises a finger or brow at her because they feel she’s not ‘upto standards’. (Not chubby enough, not smart enough, not fast enough, not bright enough, not tall enough, not pretty enough, too clingy, too stubborn, too angry, etc etc etc.) So what if she’s not perfect? So what if she’s not chubby enough? So what if she’s too naughty? So what if she spends more time in the kitchen with me?
Every kid is different as are most mothers.
As well as you think you mean, there’s only so much I can take. I would really appreciate your advice in times of need. Your well meaning advice will be solicited when necessary. For those of you who wish me the best from your heart and advice me, thank you.
Of course, there are days when I myself will feel all that you say. There are days when i will get sooo frustrated with her I’d eat my own foot if it would keep her away from me. There are days when I’d want to lock myself away in the washroom and let her cry but I am human…. And then…. i will need to vent… not wince in more pain while the salt of more advice is sprinkled on my freshly wounded self….
Sorry if any feelings were hurt in the process of the overflow of my frustrated emotions. But my cup took all it could bear and before it cracks under the pressure i thought i should release a chapter of pent up emotions…..
Maybe i should just let things go as a few good friends suggested. But i feel i let go as much as i could in the last 2 years….
But at the end of the day all that matters is that we’re happy…. so here’s my attempt at it.