Don't try to be the perfect parent
8 July 2014 11:40 am
By Sirohmi Gunesekera (Teacher, Attorney-at-Law and Researcher into Human Relations & The Family Unit)
“Gedera Budun Amma”(The Mother is the Buddha at home) sums up the the general thinking of Society about a mother. She is expected to be the epitome of kindness, caring and generosity. She is also expected to be patient always and to be totally unselfish.
The sad thing is that the majority of mothers try to live up to these ideals and become cross with themselves if they fall short. They feel guilty if they go out to work or leave the child behind and go somewhere.
The father too strives hard to earn as much as he can because most men think that money is the key to good parenting. Even if the father disciplines the child he may feel bad inside especially if he has taken out his anger on the child. Deep down, from the moment the baby is born, the parent has high ideals of being the Perfect Parent. Usually, the couple have come together in marriage and look forward to the completion of the Fairy Tale: the birth of the first baby. Everyone romanticizes the birth of a child, forgetting the circumstances of their own upbringing. What if your father beat you? You would either make up your mind to continue the tradition by beating your own child or you tell yourself that you will never beat your own child.
But there comes the following scenario. You have a bad day at work and your boss pulls you up for something you did not do. You are smarting with the sense of injustice and you come home angry. Your child comes running and spills his glass of milk. Automatically, you reach out and hit him. Then you are ashamed for you remember how your own father beat you. You feel sad and guilty that you are not the Perfect Parent. Take a mother who is overworked. She is a housewife and has to get up early to cook for her family. Then she has to get the children ready for school and help the husband get ready for office. Suddenly, the boundary wall collapses. To add to her day’s chores, she has to get a mason baas to come and she has to supervise the building of the wall. No wonder she is in a bad mood! How can she be kind and caring as a mother when she is all worked up inside? So she does not know why she is not the Perfect Parent.
For the day
When you have a child, you must try to live for the day and cope with each moment’s problems. Forget about being perfect and just accept yourself with your faults. Recognize your weaknesses and make allowances for them. Perhaps you have a strong sense of grievance and often feel that someone has done you wrong. So the moment something happens, you look for someone to blame and you feel that you have been wronged. Just make up your mind to accept the ups and downs of life and other people’s faults as well.
When you have a child, you must try to live for the day and cope with each moment’s problems. Forget about being perfect and just accept yourself with your faults. Recognize your weaknesses and make allowances for them.