Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Automatically Liking Someone Else's Child

Is it just me or do people expect you to automatically love their kids because you are a mother?  I get the distinct impression that they do.  Hhhmn.  Maybe something is wrong with me but I don't agree.  Let me clarify.
I love children.  Even before I became a mother,  I felt like I had the mom gene.  I love children and they were naturally drawn to me.  At one point in time I even considered teaching children.  Now, being a mom myself I must admit that I have additional emotional feelings/connections for children.  However, I do not like rude children.  I do not mean the run-of-the-mill mischievous or even, naughty child.  I am talking about them bad-ass kids you just feel like smacking upside the head (yeah, I said it ... don't get all judgemental like you've never thought of it), you know the type I'm talking about.  They are totally out of control and think the world owes them a favour, or they are too cute to be polite and that manners isn't cool and so it's not for them.  That description does not go for teenagers (we all know they are a special kind ... lol).  I am talking plain ole BRATS!
Now the parents of these kids like to act like their kids are everyone else's problem but their own. They also feel like because they are kids you must LOVE them.  Whatever!  I've got news for those parents "they are not my problem and I don't have to like them".  As a matter of fact I feel parents of out of control children need to take control and stop holding the world hostage for your kids.  I am very aware that some children suffer from behavioural and other issues (not talking about those)and my heart goes out to those parents.  But when you have a rude child because they are just spoilt and in disciplined I do not feel obligated to them or their parents.
You may say I have these feelings because my child is still too young and so I do not understand.  I will agree that disciplining a 19mth old is vastly different from that of a 5, 8 or 10 year old. However, I do think that instilling discipline begins early.  At 19mths he is very wilful - he will bite (or try to), slap and pinch to get his way.  These are behaviours I do not tolerate and let him know that they are not acceptable (even though he is a cutie).  You can rest assured that any behaviour I will not tolerate from my child, I surely will not tolerate from another child.  No child is too cute or young to learn discipline and manners.  Way too often parents with this mindset find themselves facing much bigger problems in the future.
I am certain that regardless of future occurrence I will always love my son unconditionally.  He may not be perfect to others and he might have unacceptable behaviour to others (even myself), but he is mine to love and cherish and I will.  I will love him enough for those persons who for whatever reason may not like/love him.  I will also do all I can to guide him in the right direction.  I also urge other parents to try this approach.  Do not rely on others to love you children for you and do not take for granted that others will love or tolerate your children (even if they are also parents).
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PS: Maybe if we all do our jobs as parents, giving enough love and hugs while instilling discipline, everyone will eventually be able to love and tolerate each other.  Worst case - we may all love ourselves.


Sunday, 21 April 2013

Unsolicited Advice

The topic of this blog has been on the front burner for several weeks.  You see, since becoming pregnant with my son, I have been bombarded with advice.  Some welcomed, some ... not so much and most are unsolicited.  I find that people are keen to give advice to a first-time mom, whether or not she wants it.  You get advice ranging from what shoe to wear (I was expected to quit wearing any shoe with a heel - like really now), what foods to eat (only eat vegetables and take vitamins - uuuum, all the food groups are important including the junk food group *ROFL*) and what was recommended acceptable behaviour "in my days" (guess what? this is my day now - back off).
Then comes the baby and an entirely new set of advice, especially when you return to work.  Some of the advice are coming from people whose children are absolutely atrocious.  People who I would never dream of taking advice from and people whose parenting examples  I would never deign to follow.  They make recommendations that seem so detrimental you would almost opt to believe your child cannot possibly survive unless you "do this" and "do it now".  Like seriously, how then did I successfully manage to have my baby survive maternity leave with me as primary caregiver without these advice.  Uuuugh! Really now! Sigh :-(
Since beginning my journey as a parent (proud mommy of a very happy, well-adjusted 19 month old boy)I have learnt to weed out the good ideas from the bad ones.  Or as my mom aptly puts it "take it all with a grain of salt."  I have learnt to follow my instincts and whenever there is a doubt, I ask people I trust for advice; my mom,  his paediatrician or other parents that I can rely on.
After all that, let me now say that I can understand where the bearers of these unsolicited advice are coming from.  Many of them mean well, even if the advice is ill-timed and unwelcome.  As the proud aunt of an absolutely adorable one-week old nephew *grins* I now find myself wanting to give advice (gasp) *bigger grin*.  However, I have found that based on my own experience with unsolicited advice so fresh in my memory, I almost always find the will power to restrain myself.  Also, I am totally confident that my brother and his lovely wife are going to be great parents and they are doing a splendid job thus far.  Whenever I am asked for advice I give it.  Otherwise I am content to step aside and watch them find their own way of doing things with their son.  The fact is, my hands are filled with my own.  I am thoroughly enjoying this ride called parenthood and want them to enjoy their own.
It is nice to share experiences, but hold off on giving advice until you're asked or at least until the person seems to be in need.  Being available with a shoulder to lean on, is quite enough.
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PS: Every experience is wonderful and challenging in its own way.  All the differences/diversities are what make each person's experience uniquely their own.  Let us all allow each person their own.  Nuff love xoxo.