Super Mom

Super Mom, Nah, not me!

When I first saw the firstborn, I was completely and totally smitten.  Fresh baby skin smells better than Chanel 5 or even sex.  That is the truth. I fell in love and swore I would be the best mother ever!

Such ambition, such resolutions are like begging providence – “Alright throw some shit at me, make me fail.”  And I did. Always.

Super Mom

My boy’s uniform was not the best, crispy starched. It could have missing buttons; the zip could have given way. It was like that. No excuses. I just could not cope! I had lost a much loved brother, my marriage was sinking fast, I was depressed, eating like a pig and weeping. On the top of that I had another baby, this one lactose intolerant to such a degree that he could not digest mother’s milk.

Damn! There come the excuses, the explanations. We are like that, aren’t we? Always judging, always hoping we don’t fail, always wanting to be the best parent ever. No one is going to give us a medal. Not even the kids we love and are striving for. They are going to demand our souls and then point out some shit we did in 1500 B. C. and tell us they are so hurt about it. Judgmental, manipulative and self centered little snots they are!

So was I a shitty mom?

Am I a shitty mom?

Honestly I don’t care.

Age brings with it confidence. Since you have been around for such a long time, living with yourself, you don’t give a rat’s ass about what people think of you. You are confident in your own skin. If I see someone else’s home, neat, well furnished and sparkling I love it.  I would be happy to spend the rest of my life in it, provided they did the cleaning. It is as simple as that!  I leave for office at 9 and reach back by 7 in the evening if lucky. My home is a mess. It has always been. I can only do so much.

There was a time it bothered me, other moms kept their kids in such a clean home. Other moms could give their kids hot lunches and halwa too. Mine had to heat cold food in the microwave and then eat it. Other kids’ mothers sewed buttons back on the shirts; I did not have the time. Frankly, I did not have the energy either; I kept meaning to do it. I went on huge guilt trips. Some of my co-workers are still going through them. They are young and have small kids. If one has paid for a school sponsored trip to Katmandu, the rest vociferously defend their stance of not sending their kids so far away. If one of them breast feeds the baby and another can’t, they stop being friends.

Is there a world wide pageant being held that I know nothing about? Something which announces,“The Super Mom for this year is (gasp) YOU!” And pays you loads of money and you get to go on a fully paid year long cruise trip with the kids?

Seriously darlings, there is no prize, there is no name and fame, there is no competition.  So stop it.  Just be the best you, that you can be.  My two Gods nailed it, you know.  My greatest God is Dr. Suess who said :

quote-you-personal

To cut the long story short, I listened to my God Dr. Suess and gave up trying to be perfect.  I just tried to be me.

So, was I a shitty mom?

Am I a shitty mom?

Who the hell cares?  I loved my boys, still love them.  I have been there for them, brought them up the best I could.  And much to their annoyance, have given up being Mom, and reverted to being me.  Yeah, they still want a parent to blame all their deficiencies on and want to park all their problems at my doorstep.  I understand, but sweethearts I quit.

Yes, I quit!  Now I enjoy them more.

P.S. If you’re wondering, my other greatest God is the Mad Hatter.  He danced the best Jabberwocky I’ve ever seen and he said.

quote-present-future

Ritu Lalit is the author of two novels, A Bowlful of Butterflies published by Rupa & Co., and Hilawi published by Popular Prakashan. She is a single parent and blogs at www.phoenixritu.com

  • You just inspired me to stop feeding him the banana he was fussing about and say – Ok.Suit yourself! He was stunned. And well, he did eat it too. I’m wondering if I love your attitude towards parenting more or the way you have expressed it through this post. I’ll go with the attitude, and even try it myself. This time, the banana got eaten. Next time, I could say “fine, go take a hike them” for more important things! 😉

    • Do that. And park the consequences of his naughtiness on his door. Its good for your blood pressure and extremely good for his soul. It also satisfies all kinds of maternal angst you may be carrying. I love watching the “Oh shit, life’s a bitch” kind of gyan that dawns on my kids. The expression is priceless

  • Yamini Vijendran

    WOW!!! Sometimes we get so engrossed in mothering that we forget to let it go even when it is nor required. Your post could not have come at a more perfect time. Thank you Ritu, and hope to imbibe your attitude in my parenting too. 🙂

    • Letting go is the hardest thing about being a parent, and if we don’t do so in time, the kids revolt, which is messy. Parenting really is all about the art of letting go … and watch the kids take their own lives into their hands

  • ronita

    idealism does not work in raising up kids…enjoyed reading ur post…it’s different but knocks the heart in a way we can all relate to it sometimes or the other.

    • I am glad you could relate with this. Idealism has no place in such a messy and tough job

  • Vishal Bheeroo

    It’s fine and it’s okay for us not to be perfect. You are mom and did what you could. You also have your own individuality. Thanks for this beautiful and honest post:)

  • Swati Nitin Gupta

    No matter what you do good or bad they will always scutinise you and where they will leap on you like hungry beasts for one mistake they will never appreciate for thousand good deeds so the mantra is to live your life and forget about the rest.

    • Stop seeking approval. Your validation should always come from you, not from others. Its the only way to live in peace

  • Thank you Afshan. We stop enjoying the kids just because we love them so much … its wierd

  • Others are just having fun at our expense, once we decide its none of their business, its gets a whole lot better

  • Way to go. I do just the same, let them live their own lives.

  • Thank you

  • Yeah, its so much fun to get off this particular carousel and watch the fun

  • Glad you liked it

  • You’re welcome

  • Exactly. What’s the fuss?

  • Build a wall between yourself and all judgmental people, helps in the long run and it is invaluable when it comes to parenting.

  • ashreyamom

    YES, this is the message i wanted. its makes me feel less guilty .. :).

  • Nischala

    Ritu – What an honest post! Love your attitude and spirit, and I honestly believe that a mother needs to be phenomenally strong (mentally / emotionally) to have this approach – And that’s not easy for the vast majority! Kudos to you! And as working mothers (esp), we need to be crystal clear on priorities and make choices, and with each choice comes a trade-off.. if you can live with those trade-off’s and get a sound nights sleep – that’s what matters :)… Nischala

    • You know Nischala, all mothers are super moms. We give up 20 or more years of our lives to being a mother, that sacrifice counts for something. We are all supermoms, whether we are working moms or stay at home ones. Don’t let anyone, especially yourself, guilt you about it

      • Nischala

        that’s a great perspective! definitely think it is more than 20 yrs… once a mom, you’ll be a mom till the last breath! and super post!

  • Welcome

  • Ok, this has got to be the best blog post about parenting I have read in ages, simply because it’s real, it’s true. It’s YOU.
    Glad you wrote it. I can already imagine hundreds of parents reading this and breathing a sigh of relief. They can finally stop running at a hundred miles an hour with their hair on fire.

    A really, really fantastic post.

    • Thanks a lot Rickie. I thank God that I got so stressed at a point that I gave up, and then I realized I love the kids and truly enjoy being with them

  • V ki Amma

    Awww…one big hug to you Ritu! I can’t really say that I totally gave up being a supermom, but yes, I am getting there. I make rules, only to break them myself and I totally suck at keeping my home clean! But I have been like that forever…and the baby didn’t bring it on! 🙂

    • The babies, bless their temperamental souls are here for us to enjoy. Just chill and enjoy them. You’ll find parenting stress free if you do so.

  • Sunita Rajwade

    You are a super mom! And you’re right about the kids never being happy. On a good day you are the best and on a bad day ……they could have got better. Cheers.

    • Totally. And once we realize that, it all starts falling into place. They are going to judge anyway, and the rest of the world does not matter. So may as well take it easy on ourselves

  • Jairam Mohan

    Loved both the comments that you have posted. And love you lots for the sheer courage that you have displayed by publicly declaring that you are a loser. Am sure all the parents on this forum have privately declared it long ago, but you are the first one to do it publicly.

    Do add my name to the list of Loser Parents as well 😀

    • Umm, I don’t think I am a loser, I simply don’t care. I jumped off that bandwagon a long time ago. Not in the competition now. So I regretfully have to decline that particular award

  • amit sharma

    My wife and I haven’t started going on the guilty trips. Not yet. Maybe its too soon right now. But yes, this post would not have come at a better time. 🙂 We hear so much shit from other people that it affects you after a certain time. And that is why this post makes so much sense.

    • Your baby is just an infant right now, and both you parents are on a honeymoon period in parenting. Just wait until all the auntyjees you so love in the neighbourhood start … Just saying, don’t kill me