• Fab

    My son’s starting big boy school this year, and while we were at the new school with other parents and kids, I heard two mothers discussing how many letters their kids could write and how long it took them to learn. I was shocked and spent the rest of the day blaming myself for my son’s educational ‘lapses’. This list is soo apt for mothers like me!!

    • Oh my God! Poor you! Mummies are mean to each other sometimes. They make us feel like lesser moms, don’t they? But the truth is, nobody knows the whole picture. I choose a few things as my priorities and leave out some. Those know-it-all mums must be doing the same. They would not be doing many things which you do. So cheer up 🙂

  • Guilty on all accounts 😀

  • Even if a mommy has 10% of the syndromes mentioned in the post, will she still be categorised as a bad mother? There is hardly any mother who will pass this test.

    • The main thing is whether you are feeling guilty about it. This list does not brand you a bad mother. It is a syndrome that most mothers suffer from because of unrealistic expectations from herself.

  • Yamini Vijendran

    Wow! That is one list I can completely relate to! Let me add one more – When your child becomes the center of attention at a marriage or similar function by crying incessantly and you have to excuse yourself hastily and come away from the function midway. Happened to me recently :). However, no matter how embarrassed or angry or sad or guilty we feel when these things happen, when we look back at them, we will only smile fondly and laugh at them. These are but part and parcel of a parent’s life, and once we are past an incident, it invariably becomes a fond memory.

  • Yamini Vijendran

    Wow! That is one list I can completely relate to! Let me add one more – When your child becomes the center of attention at a marriage or similar function by crying incessantly and you have to excuse yourself hastily and come away from the function midway. Happened to me recently :). However, no matter how embarrassed or angry or sad or guilty we feel when these things happen, when we look back at them, we will only smile fondly and laugh at them. These are but part and parcel of a parent’s life, and once we are past an incident, it invariably becomes a fond memory.

    • Well said Yamini. Memories are made of such times. I don’t know why we get embarrassed about kids behaving like kids, but we do! And oh, I remember one more, little ones rolling all over the floor or throwing a big tantrum for something when you are out shopping. That is also a natural behaviour for kids, but I don’t know why we expect or train them to behave otherwise. We, ourselves, buy so many things on impulse.

  • For some reason we father’s never have any such syndrome… not sure but unless the Missus tells me otherwise I give myself 10/10…

    • I know Prasad! I have come to believe that men are practical / realistic in expectations while women seek perfection.
      I remember once I asked my husband ‘don’t you feel bad about being able to spend so little time with the little one?’ [On week days, he gets about an hour in the morning in between the humdrum of getting ready for going to office, and say about an hour or so in the evening, since we put ‘the star’ to bed by 9 pm]. He said ‘No. That’s the time I have considering the job. And I make the most of it.’ And he is not wrong.

      • Reema, I guess a man doesn’t feel the same because they know and trust that their wife takes good care of the children. I wonder if a man would feel the same if the wife also gets to spend only an hour at home with the kids!! But you are true in saying that men are more practical and realistic !!

        You have a great list going on … I have, at different times, felt all of the guilt that you have listed !!

        • All of us Divya are guilt-ridden for something or the other. The mothers, I mean 🙂

  • Guilty!! 😛

  • Who isn’t!

  • Thank god, i have company.

  • I am sure you would have a much longer list of things that you do / have done for your kids 🙂

  • I think it is important for mothers to realise that they have their own lives and separate identities – these just happen to intertwine with their children’s. But once mothers understand that they have their own needs and wants, and other responsibilities besides just the child and that it is important to satisfy your own wishes and deal with other tasks as well if you want to avoid passing on frustration to your children, I think they will feel less guilty about every little thing that goes wrong. And of course, motherhood is like any other task – if you set realistic goals for yourself, chances are that you won’t reach impossibly high and then feel like a failure.

    And finally, it would be better, early on, to communicate your beliefs to your child so she too understands that there are other people in the family who have equally important needs and that it’s okay to fail once in a while. This is teaching your child some essential life skills – that she will need to accomodate others, and also deal with frustration.

    Kritika Srinivasan
    http://www.parentedge.in

  • Wise words indeed Kritika! Thank you for such a lovely comment. But I am yet to meet a Mother who thinks she is doing a perfect job. Every single mother feels she is failing somewhere.
    I keep discussing with my husband about things which I am not able to do for my baby. And he needs to reassure me again and again that I am doing great. He points out those things which I am doing really well.
    In society and in literature, mothers have been put on a pedestal. Mothers are often called the Goddesses on earth. But we are mere mortals trying to match upto those expectations of perfection. If in any scenario, you give priority to yourself over the baby, eyebrows are raised, even by women.

  • Hmm. I wonder if there is a ‘bad father syndrome’ too? Perhaps it is when the ‘bad mother’ is talking her heart out and father says ‘it is all ok’ ! 🙂

    • Honestly, never heard of a ‘bad father syndrome’ 🙂
      But fathers play an important role in making us see reason and accept reality. They make us see that pursuit of excellence is all good but not at the cost of devaluing what we do.

  • Amrita Thavrani

    Charged Guilty.