A small incident happened today, one which opened my eyes into the complex world of parenting and children. It was nothing serious, but it put me into a bit of a mood, and I can’t help but wonder and ask myself whether parenting is a another word for rivalry. Parent vs. parent and child vs. child. You know, how we can all be friends and act happily until a certain topic is touched upon, and we all turn defensive and eye each other warily?
Are we all friends up to a certain level?
It’s all new to me firstly and foremost because this is my first time at being a parent and secondly, I was never raised that way. Do parents, rather mothers, judge others all the time? Am I secretly being judged each time I go out with my child? If I forget the baby’s nappy cream and change the baby in a public changing room with other mums, am I deemed irresponsible? If I feed my baby food from a jar rather than freshly cooked meals, am I called lazy behind my back? Are we all players in this game of parenting – and what if I don’t want to play according to the rules?
Parenting is not a competition but certain people make it feel as such. They make you act all defensive and you find yourself defending a fact which should not even be questioned. And if like today’s episode the fact has nothing to do with my parenting skills or my baby’s development, why did some people make me feel as if I ought to hide beneath a rock and not come out until some things change? Why did I let it get to me? Why did I find myself hugging C that bit harder?
It’s scary that I’m not even one year into parenting and I’m already fearing the competitive tendencies which C and I will surely encounter in other parents and children. I’d like for C to grow up as I did – I’d like for her to try out things in life, to realize that although you can’t be good in everything you want, you can try. And if you make a mistake, you rise up and try again. You do your best, you make yourself happy, you live your life and let others live theirs. You have to learn that life is about compromise and you can’t be perfect in everything. I may not be the ‘ideal’ housewife but I bake a mean cake. I may suck at simple and logical things, but I love a tough cookie. I’d like to be good, rather great, at everything, but I know I’m no superwoman.
I’d like for C to retain her sense of innocence and belief in the good-nature of the human race for as long as she can.
This rant is now over. I felt a weight on my chest which I just had to write about. You’re probably wondering what unleashed this mish-mash of a post – it was nothing too serious. But it got me wondering.
And now I feel slightly better 🙂