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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Perfect parent - reality or myth?

Perfect parents - is there such a thing? As a mother of two boys I always fret and stress wondering if I am doing the right thing. Every decision is fraught with what ifs? And if I do follow through with a decision then comes the thought - did I do the right thing? Or will this decision have life long repercussions?

You know when I was a young child/ girl/ woman and went through the growing up phase I blithely went through life rebelling against my parents and really miffed at my parents when they vetoed my decisions. As they say what goes around come around:) My parents always told me that. Now I can appreciate their feeling much better.

Right from the overwhelming feeling of oneness when I felt this movement in my tummy through the almost 48 hour labor and C section for my first son to the moment I held him wrapped tight in a blanket, this warm wiggly little person who I carried for 9 months - as I gazed at his warm melting brown eyes so much like his dads, his tiny fingers stuffed in his mouth, and his look of annoyance and wonder at this alien land, new noises - my heart just swelled with this fierce protective feeling like no other as I clutched him to my bosom - promising to cherish him and be the bestest mother in the world to him - I gave a goofy grin to my hubby and told him I will willingly do this all over again:) My hubby thought I was nuts!

Then when it was time to have the second baby - I was assailed with doubts - will I be able to give the same kind of love, will I have the same protectiveness or will it be less? Will I have a place in my heart as my heart was already full? But lo and behold when my second one came along the feelings were equally as intense and fierce and yes my heart just expanded and enveloped him.

Now comes the interesting part. Am I being the perfect mother? Guilt is everpresent sneaking in berating n self defeating. I always find myself lacking when compared to others - I don't follow nutritional pyramid while feeding my kids, I did not make food from scratch, I did not stitch their clothes, I did not make funny faces with their food, I did not.......But I did do a lot of other things - I nursed them, hugged them, fed them, kissed them, held them, crooned and cuddled them, and most importantly love them so completely.

What I have realised is that there is no right way or wrong way, there is only your way. As a parent we have our intuitions and know our kids, as a mother the bond more stronger, intuitions more sharper. Guilt is always there - will be there I have accepted that. I have also accepted the fact that if I try to be the perfect mother then not only will I not be happy but neither will my kids. You do what you can and know that you have done your best.

Just when I was getting comfortable being a mom - boom diagnosed with Parkinson's. My past five years has been an emotional hell hole mostly because of the intense guilt of not being there for my family. trying to deal with the ups and downs of the disease is hell enuf but then being made to feel like an inadequate mother, being told that I am insensitive and uncaring mother, because I dare dream to do somethin with my life!

I have this to say - we all have our own ways of showing our love - just because I do not hyperventilate or do not react a certain way does not mean I do not care! My kids know it and that is all that finally matters in the whole scheme of things - not what the world thinks but what you and your kids share.

Do not let others opinion mar your relationship - it is tough enough being a parent without the added guilt - Perfect parents? I think we all are, warts and all...follow your gut:)
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