As my son grows each day, I am growing with him in my role as a parent. In the beginning, I was practicing to juggle between my work and my role as a mom. In doing so, the balance was very well achieved but somewhere something went wrong because unknowingly my motherly love got mixed with the toxic emotion of stress, this toxic emotion came in from somewhere and it just sneaked in. I really don’t remember when it came in and got mixed with the color of my love …..
Maybe sometimes, I used to over do being a mum. I used to work when my son was at school or sleeping and tax myself. I was really being very hard on myself in trying to become a good mom. I would be with him all the time but gradually there was a separation- I was physically there with him but mentally doing all the stuff that was supposed to be done while he was playing. And all this happened so slowly and suddenly that I didn’t even realise that my work was creeping in and taking space of me as a mom.
I very clearly remember a time when I used to sit with him and give him my complete attention (away from TV/mobile/ipad) only while he was studying or doing academics. I used to pin point every single mistake that he would make and completely ignore on all the wonderful work completed by him, even the stars given by teachers !!!! I used to scold him for one single crooked letter in the full page of beautifully formed alphabets. This made him really angry and he used to throw tantrums. I got even more frustrated with these new tantrums. In my perspective, he was making mistakes and writing crooked letters, and when corrected, he was throwing tantrums. I thought I was failing as a mom….
I was blessed by an opportunity where it dawned on me that I am frustrated with myself and not on my son. I started realising that I am not doing things that I used to love doing before (because I was a mom now !!!! as if its a life imprisonment…)
I changed and started doing things which I loved doing, buying things I liked, eating things I liked and pampering myself. As I felt loved and got filled with love, it became easier for me to pass that love to my son and other family members. I believe that taking care of myself is taking care of my son. I cannot have a life of deprivation and sacrifice to make others happy. Happiness begins with me. When I am full of it, I give it out. So I started giving myself a lot of “me time”.
I feel that there has to be a lot of emphasis on giving “free time” for the kids also. In this time, the child does all that he wants to do.
Also, “special time” is equally important where the parent spends time with the child engaging and commenting on what the child is doing.
I remember times when I used to quickly work on replying to emails and completing my household chores when my son was watching TV. I later realised which I do now is watch TV with him, laugh on those little jokes and ads which are important to him. All that he wants is me and my attention which I can give by showing interest in doing things that he likes to do. So now I combine “free time” with “special time” without intruding his space. And let me correct myself here, he does not need my attention- he needs my love which any child wants from his parents.
So now, once I have given myself the “me time”, giving “special time” to my child is easy. And then the special time is not just with academics, it is while playing down in the park, watching TV, cooking food, serving food, while playing games on ipad or playing board games, while just doing some silly things which don’t make sense.
Today and now, I am able to separate the toxic emotion from the pure emotion of love. I now see my son’s homework and do not pin point only to the mistakes rather very casually tell him that it is important to learn from them and not repeat them again. Secondly, the frustration of making him study is gone and my son says “lets read together”. It so happens that I am tired and he still wants to go on reading because this special time is wrapped in a blanket of “love” that he gets from me and that I get by engaging in “me” time.