Sunday, February 18, 2018 | ePaper

Be a bad mom in 2018!

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Life Desk  :
You are a mom and can't fix a healthy wheat cupcake for your kid and her friends in a jiffy? Don't have the perfect yoga body and also fail to volunteer at your daughter's school? Well, if you feel like a loser in front of these good moms, listen up! It is absolutely fine to revel in your inadequacy as a mom. Welcome to the world of bad moms, where mothers are not pitted against each other but are being the best self they can be.
We modern mothers constantly find ourselves falling short. We are always sniffing differences at PTMs, on vacations and even on social media, sneakily most of the times.
It's actually funny but true that there's a bleak line between being a good mother and being good to yourself. Agrees mommy and author Kiran Manral, "I think every mom should put herself first. Before the knives come out and get flung at me, I must say I have come to this conclusion after 13 years of putting the offspring first. Putting yourself first frees you from a lot of niggling resentment that eventually eats into your own happiness and makes you angry and bitter. Be territorial about things you must do for yourself and make time for it, and ask for help to carve out the time you need. When you're happier as a person, you're happier as a mom too."
Not only for your own self, but it is helpful for your kids too. Explains mommy, actor and columnist Pooja Bedi, "If you see it in perspective, being a bad mom is good for the child. I say that because being the bad cop, has temporary repercussions as in being hated, rebelled against etc, but in the long run, you teach life lessons to your kids which are invaluable and shape your children into the best possible citizens for this planet." Both Kiran and Pooja spoke on the topic 'It's good to be a bad mom' at the recently concluded Festivelle, a unique cultural festival curated by actors Shruti Seth and Gul Panag with the aim to empower women.
Motherhood eventually boils down to learning each day and growing along the way. Pooja adds, "There is no such thing as the perfect parent or perfect child. No matter what you do, what mountains you move, and how much you sacrifice of yourself, your interests, your life, your work etc. your kids will go through ages and stages that are infuriating, rejecting, agonizing and at times even disrespectful. It's normal. The moment you realise, it's not you, and that it's their journey in self discovery, you will be fine. Remember that kids feed off you and your boundaries to establish and explore theirs. Stay non-judgmental, come to terms with the fact that they will be governed by an ethos different from yours, and as long as they are kind, good-hearted, self-sufficient kids, you've done a great job of parenting."
And if you have completely succumbed to the pressure of good parenting, it's time to introspect. It's time to see the macro and micro picture of your life with your kids. "In the macro picture, make time for pampering, and that wonderful "me time". If there are work commitments, make the money you have earned translate into having extra fun time together and as something that is a reward for all of you, and don't colour it with a guilt association. In the macro picture, fast forward to the part you experience the empty nest syndrome. Start planning in advance for all that you would like to accomplish by then, what hobbies and interests you should have furthered, and the kind of social environment you would like to have around you. Most importantly, we get so caught up in being a family, we forget to be couples. Romantic dinners, displays of affection, or even short holidays together without the kids, should be guilt free. In the end you will have each other, so work on being a couple consistently," adds Pooja.
Kiran Manral concludes on the note, "We can never be perfect parents. We didn't train for this job at all, we just had to hit the ground running. But we do the best, and we must give ourselves more credit than we do. I think we all need to trust our instincts as mothers better and cut ourselves some slack."
There is a huge liberation in coming to terms with the fact that everyone falters and struggles. So it's fine to play a bad mom and to have unfinished homework or stained school pants, as long as you are being true to yourself. Just keep it real.

- Kalpana Sharma | TNN

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