10 things I will never apologise for as a mother

10 things I will never apologise for as a mother

The best way you can be a good mother is to follow your conscience.

Written by Debjani Arora |Published : June 23, 2015 5:41 PM IST

I am not talking about breastfeeding in public or choosing to bottle feed over here. We moms are judged on these two parameters, and everyone loves to impart their unsolicited advice. What I am talking about is those small decisions that you make for the benefit of your child that the entire world (or even your loved ones) abhor. They might be quick to judge you arrogant, careless, heartless are just a few of the labels you will gather as you decide to go your way. But as a mother, I learnt the hard way that there are few things you should never say sorry for.

Here's my list.

Being a part of my daughter's bed time ritual

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I am a night owl and have started to realise that even my daughter is one too. She can stay awake post-midnight and still wake up on time to get ready for school. But that doesn t mean, I allow her to stay awake past 12 am, especially when we have guests around. I like to laugh, talk and gossip with the family then pick up my baby, walk into my room and shut the door. I am careful not to leave the door ajar, which might convey the impression that the party can shift to my bedroom. I have chores to do in the morning, get my baby ready and much more on my priority list for the next day. Here are 10 ways to help your baby sleep better at night.

Food stains on the sofa

I try and make an effort not to snap at my daughter if she spills water, milk or food on the floor or the sofa. In her attempt to explore and be self-dependent, she tries to pick the glass, eat her own food and wash on her own. While these are wonderful things she does, she gives the family more work to deal with cleaning the food stains from the sofa, mopping the floor, removing chocolate milk stains from the coffee table, etc. This makes others angry, but I have stopped saying sorry to others (read family) over these petty things. Stains on curtains, sofas and writing on walls are a part of a toddler s growing up years. I would definitely apologise if my child misbehaves at someone else's place though. Here are 10 weird parenting practices across the globe that will shock you.

Deciding to skip playgroup

I was always skeptical about early school (playgroup). Many well-meaning relatives quizzed me since she was 18 months old about when she would start playschool. A few weeks back she started going to school in the nursery class. So when other kids her age went to playgroup, she stayed at home with my mother enjoying a lot of structured and unstructured play.

Today at school she manages herself well, plays, make friends readily and is compassionate towards other kids. I am not sure whether these qualities came to her because she spent most of her time with her maternal grandmother (who is also a trained teacher), but I don t feel guilty for not sending her to a playschool at 18 months.

Deciding against a cr che

When I had to get back to work, one and a half years after my daughter s birth, I decided against sending her to a cr che. I received a lot of 'gyan' from my friends and family when I asked my mother to babysit.

Although my mother willingly came to my rescue, many people told me that it was a wrong move. I know that my mother is ailing and not in the best shape when it comes to her health. But I didn t have the heart to leave my baby at a cr che while she was too young. I am also aware that a time will come when I have to keep her at a cr che. But what I decide for my daughter is entirely my call and no one else's business. Many mothers have to leave their babies at a cr che because they don't have a choice, I was lucky I could count on my mom.

Choosing a hobby class

Few months back I tried to enrol my daughter in an arts and craft class. The teacher thought that she was too young to draw because she wasn't even two and half years old. I assured her that I don t expect my child to make perfect drawings, but to have fun with colours and scribble on pages which she usually does at home, but in a structured manner. She was astonished to hear that, saying I am the only parent who didn t tell her to make an artist of my child. She doubted my parenting skills. But I want to be this way, send my daughter to hobby classes for fun and recreation not to pressure her to perform, even when she grows up. Guess what, I didn t send my daughter to that class, but I believe that it s never too early to indulge in a hobby. Here is how art based therapy can help heal autistic children.

Allowing my daughter to play with cars

I am totally against stereotyping, and so is my family. It is only now that my daughter started to pick up her teddy and her dolly to sleep with; else it was cars and planes that she was interested in. I bought neutral toys shape sorters, Lego blocks (not the Barbie Lego), animal miniatures and never forced her to play with dolls. Today she loves her kitchen set as much as she loves her teddy and mini cars. And that's perfectly fine.

Saying 'no' to a family get-together

It is okay, trust me, it really is. You can refuse a family get-together for various reasons, and you don t need to give anyone any explanation. I have done that, got a bad rep, but I am okay with spending those moments with my child just playing with play-doh.

Allowing my baby to cry

I am always in favour of giving your toddler (read toddler, not teen) a hug if she breaks expensive crockery or spills the soup on the floor. They get scared when they do anything wrong, and their heart races fast. That hug will help them calm down. But if it s a tantrum that no logical reasoning can bring to a halt, then allow your child to get over it on her own. Trust me, this works; I have done it myself. When I don t cuddle my daughter, and she is crying I am usually called heartless, but in the end she realises her mistake and says sorry. Here are five reasons why crying is good for your baby.

Disciplining my way

First, I admit I am bad at it. But there are some rules that I have made, and I stick to it. What worked for me is not talking to her or paying attention when she does something wrong. It could be anything like calling her dad by his name. She cries for attention and then finally realises why I am doing it. Yes, I spank her at times. Let me tell you I have written this article for our site where I urged parents not to spank kids. But I do it only when it is necessary. Elders in the family dislike me for this, but how I want to discipline my child is my personal choice, and I will never be sorry for it. I am conscious enough not to go overboard with it.

Deciding not to cook dinner

Well, I never cook dinner. Yes, I don t. I cook early in the morning, everything from breakfast to dinner. Sadly, my family has to eat the same food for lunch and dinner. But there are days when I feel lazy to get up and cook. I sleep those extra hours to replenish lost energy. Yes, I feel guilty when I wake up and call a 'Tiffin service' to deliver food. But I don t feel guilty about it anymore.

Choosing flexible working hours

After a lot of consideration, I decided to talk to my bosses and work the hours that was convenient for me and help me deliver my goals. A 9 to 5 routine was jumbling up my day. I choose the late 12 to 9 shift, and you know what I am at peace now. The entire morning I dedicate to household chores, spend time with my daughter, eat breakfast with her, get her ready for school and drop her to school. Yes, I reach home late, and that upsets many, but I am not sorry. I still make it a point to spend quality time with my daughter reading to her, cuddling and cooing at the end of the day. Life is much more manageable.

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