I have a few confessions to make:
- I bribe my kids at dinner time with the tablet to get food into their mouths.
- I let my daughter stay up with us most nights of the week.
- Sometimes I let the TV help babysit while I work (or write) at home.
- When we go out I do not always make sure that my kids’ clothes match their shoes.
- I take them to McDonalds once a week where they can have chips and soft serves and play in the playground.
There, I have come out and said it. Yeah, I know, pretty bad right? Or maybe not? Perhaps you can also relate to some of these “bad” parenting techniques which you sometimes employ out of desperation?
We are living at a point in time and place where it is tough to be a parent. It is not because our kids are different now, but because of the expectations being placed on parents. You get the TV, internet, magazines and other mothers (even non-mothers) telling you what to feed your kids, what time to put them to bed (and how), what activities to do outside of school hours and what not to let them do. Then when you feel like sharing some insight with others about your family life on social media, you have to think twice in case it would attract the wrong kind of attention and criticisms from others who do not share your values.
We may not all be perfect parents, but we all have our own ways of showing love to our children and sometimes we just do what we can given our circumstances. I am not saying that my ways are right or better, but they reflect what is important to us and what works in our situation. In our family with young kids, my number one priority now is safety, then fostering a balanced and positive environment for them to grow up in. I also want them to spend lots of time with both my and husband’s families as I want them to understand family values and develop a strong and proud sense of their cultural roots.
Although my craft skills are far from perfect, I attempted to make a Grug outfit for my daughter on her very first book day at daycare (which someone mistook as a doggy outfit). I don’t spend hours researching and making healthy meals for the kids, but I try to make sure they get fruits and vegetables in their daily diets. I want them to understand it is not about being perfect, but it is about trying. And when things do not work out, it’s OK to be able to laugh at yourself (even if I have to make a fool of myself trying to make this point).
I take time to look after myself because I believe my own mental and physical health is the foundation for me to able to care well for my children. My husband and I also spend time to work on our relationship because we believe if we can demonstrate our love to each other in front of our children, that is how they will learn to love.
So although I am not doing all the things deemed necessary to be the model mother, I feel comfortable we are on the right track.
Originally published on the author’s blog