I’m not really in the habit of talking about being a mom so much, as I think it bores and annoys most people. I remember back when I was single, I thought about parents, especially new parents as smug, self-righteous and overbearingly annoying, especially when they are bragging about their kids and offering you unsolicited advice on how to become a good parent even when you’re not even a parent yet, or have no plans of being one.
And so, when I became a parent, I promised myself I wouldn’t be this type of annoying person who would post plenty of their kid’s pictures all over the internet and post updates about the teeniest developments on their kid’s mundane existence. Or swoon over the proud moments when their kids get the littlest achievements in school, etc. I promised myself I shall never become a stage mother. Ever. My kid’s achievements will be hers and hers alone. Not mine… and definitely not to make up for my lack thereof.
But I like to be a smug parent once a year, at least on my blog, where people have a choice to be subjected to such smugness or not. So, here goes my annoying once-a-year blog about my not-so-smug parenting experience that I hope could be useful.
If I have any good piece of advice to share to all moms out there, it is to STOP overdoing it! There is this one famous celebrity in the Philippines who keeps saying, “Benign neglect is better than malignant concern,” and I’m kind of like that as a mom. I don’t live my whole life for my daughter. I try to keep a balance in between caring for myself and my family. I really don’t want to lose my individuality and freedom in the process. Come to think of it, this rule applies to all relationships.
Parenting is one of the toughest things to do. At every stage of your child’s development, you’d think that the next stage will be a lot easier than the one you are dealing with right now… but no. Each stage has its own unique difficulties. But you learn a lot in the process. Not just about your kid, but about yourself as well, and also about life.
Not smothering your child and not being all over the place will let the child have some independence. Letting your child do certain activities by themselves — eating, dressing/undressing, tidying up their toys, etc. — helps to build confidence at an early age.
Giving your child his/her right to privacy is another important matter. Most overly excited parents are posting too many pictures of their kids all over the internet. The internet is not a very safe place, especially for kids. And also, your child is not a picture object. So be more respectful and sensitive of their right to privacy. As for me, I would only publicly post pictures of my daughter that will not allow her to be properly identified in person, hence, giving her the privacy she deserves.
Right now, the most challenging part for me is instilling discipline. Especially since she is quite a stubborn person, totally not unlike me and my husband. Stubbornness runs in the family. Especially among women.
One very important thing I have learned about this special experience is to be more patient. It’s really good for me because it has helped me to deal with adult people also who have the propensity to be juvenile and childish.
Despite the hardships, I find parenting to be so much more rewarding than I ever would have thought or imagined. It is not really for everybody. Back then, I did not even know that it is something to which my very limited faculties and capabilities could actually even hope to endeavor someday… but here we are. And we make the most and the best out of it.
The love between a child and a parent, I would say, is the purest one of all. And that receiving your child’s love is the ultimate rewarding experience you’ll ever get in this life. I’d say you haven’t really experienced true love at all until you become a parent… and that’s just about the smuggest thing I could ever say about being a parent, so I will end this blog right now.
Oh wait, I have one more coming — best of all, it has unbelievably made me want to be a better person, and to be a good role model for the first time in my life! (That’s really the last bit!)
Happy Mother’s Month to all the mothers and mother figures out there!