When you are expecting your first child, your hormones rush in and with all that joy comes thoughts that you are about to embark on the most difficult phase in your life i.e. pregnancy. Of course, it is a tough journey but I wouldn’t name it the most difficult!
Being a mom of two, now a tween and teen, has taught me more than that! Life as a parent hits you hard once you embark on it, making you believe that each phase that you are in, is the toughest. Only to be outpowered by your next phase!
I reflect and feel that time just flies and my daughters are just growing up. It’s only human to also think about all the things you couldn’t do, this year – I want to focus on the lessons this year gave me. I have penned down 30 lessons in parenting that I have learnt over the years, from my mistakes and successes as a parent. I am sure the list would be different for each one of you, but there are eerily more similarities than differences.
We might be raising different individuals, but the mistakes and failures we make at every step are broadly the same. After all, this is our first journey in this life as a parent too! You don’t have to be perfect, you just need to give your 100%!
30 lessons in parenting
1. Pick and choose your battles. You can’t win every one of them.
2. Just because you don’t get it, doesn’t mean it is wrong.
3. The more time you spend with them when they are younger, the less you will HAVE to when they are older.
4. Don’t equate mom and dad- they both have their own superpowers.
5. If your child has never hated you, you probably haven’t been a good parent!
6. I chose to be a parent. Wasn’t forced to take this up. I need to step up and take that responsibility.
7. Children are never “difficult”. They are just struggling to articulate and express what they are actually feeling.
8. You will never be able to give everything your child asks for. That doesn’t make you a bad parent.
9. Yes, grades are important. But your child’s mental and physical well-being is way more important.
10. When you raise your voice at your child, you are teaching them how to react when they can’t handle a situation or a person.
11. When you express your love to your partner, you build your child’s foundation and perception of love too.
12. When they watch you being respectful, they realise that respect is the most important brick in every relationship.
13. Hug them, kiss them, love them and co-sleep with them. In not time, they will outgrow your embrace.
14. There are no rules to parenting. There are only rules to how you want to parent.
15. Yes, grandparents will spoil the children ‘coz they have realised that there isn’t much gained by being strict as parents.
16. Siblings WILL fight. You don’t need to pick sides. Ever.
17. As a parent, you will always feel your child is not eating enough.
18. You may know the playbook to everything but your child will not follow it. ‘coz they are not you.
19. Sometimes no therapist, no friends or no gift can do what your parents can do for you.
20. Most of the time, all they need is your time.
21. If they choose screens over you- the problem is not the screen, but you.
22. As parents we CAN do it all, just not all at the same time.
23. Realise that your child is an individual and is not obliged to fulfil all your expectations
24. Don’t worry about what the world thinks of your child. What matters is what they think of themselves.
25. Your child may not remember how fat or thin you are/were. But how you treated your body that housed them.
26. Your kids will and should know that they have the exclusive superpower to make you happy.
27. Read the book they like for the 50th time. They aren’t going to be little forever.
28. They will love someone you didn’t approve of, but remember you did it too.
29. They will get hurt, and they will fail. Let them. Experience is the best teacher.
30. There’s 27 years difference between my child and me- and I need to accept this to understand that they can’t act or think like me in every instance.