Being a mom is a blessing in disguise. It’s a blessing exemplified by a magical experience at the end of every day, when in a split second, an overexcited toddler, who wouldn’t finish her milk, wouldn’t eat her dinner and wouldn’t go to bed, peacefully falls asleep and literally turns into an innocent poor little angel whose only fault is wanting to explore life and trying to make the most out of the day.
At that very moment, I savor motherhood like there’s no tomorrow. I enjoy the responsibility-free evening when I can live at my own pace but still have her in my life. But then again, I tend to be left with a sense of guilt for not putting on enough entertainment shows, for not offering yet another dinner option when all first three proved to be a complete fiasco, for not being able to wrap my head around what she wanted or how sleepy and grumpy she was but still refused to sleep, for always having the last straw and never having the required amount of patience.
Leave it to moms to deal with guilt trips, to dig up a worry or concern when there is really no need for any.
“I’ll do better tomorrow,” she gets me thinking as soon as she falls asleep. “I’ll teach her more and show her more. I’ll give her more time to play without sticking to a schedule. I’ll read her favorite book over and over again. I’ll be more responsive when she wakes up at night.”
How? Your guess is as good as mine, for parenting is such a slippery task that is getting more complicated by the day at a time when studies about how to raise children are a dime a dozen, thus making the task even trickier. It’s okay to let babies cry it out to sleep, several studies said, only to be followed by other researches that defied this technique and warned against its dangers. When your child throws a tantrum, just ignore them, watch TV or continue doing whatever it is that you were doing, some doctors recommended, just as a whole panoply of studies proved that when a child’s needs are dismissed or ignored, they develop a sense of mistrust of relationships and the world.
How much TV is okay a day? Is it allowed at all at her age? Is it really that harmful? If so, how can I get her to eat if not in front of it? And how can I get her to sleep through the night? When should I get her off the pacifier? Was the pacifier a good idea to begin with? Vaccines, can we reach a final verdict thereon? Is Peppa Pig really a bad influence?
This is by no means a call for answers because I’ve heard enough of these to keep me confused for a lifetime. And hitting the nail in the head doesn’t seem to be an option when it comes to parenting. Still, I’ll do better tomorrow. Still, I’ll love her even more tomorrow and I’ll keep believing that parenting is not about techniques, studies or experiments but about making a child happy and fit as a fiddle and about warding off any kind of harm come rain or shine…