Don’t call me a good mother
Don’t call me a good mother.
For being good somehow means doing all the “right things”. And to be honest, I’m not necessarily all that concerned about doing the “right things”.
I’m more concerned about doing the brave thing. The thing that is needed to be done even when nobody understands. The thing that might raise a few eyebrows. Or even shock some folks. The thing that is contrary to what is popular or trendy. Contrary to opinions, charts and reports. Contrary to what everyone says is right.
For I am more concerned about the man my child will become one day. Even more than my own concern for being rated good.
For you see, I am not merely raising a child. I am raising a new race of man. A father. A husband. A friend. A team mate. A son. A seeker. A world citizen.
And because of that I cannot adhere to the standard of merely being good. Ticking off a list and patting myself on the back that I’m making my child fit in.
For you see, I do not want to make my child fit in.
Not if fitting in means being self-entitled. Not if fitting in means boasting the latest gadgets and labels. Not if fitting in means filling his hours with an impressive list of activities. Not if fitting in means parroting what everyone else is saying and thinking.
I know that a lot of what I am nurturing in my kid will never earn him big points on his report card. It will never be judged comparable to his skills in mastering multiplication, subtraction or algebra. It won’t perhaps make him popular but then being popular isn’t the goal.
But hopefully, what I strive to teach him will make him kind. And compassionate. And truthful. And brave. Hopefully, he will be the sort of friend who will be as happy for the success of his buddies as if it were his very own success. Hopefully, he will be the sort of person who will be gracious in losing.
Hopefully, he will learn to persevere and not give up, not only for the reward of praise and the pleasure of recognition but for having a spirit of excellence in all things. And that he will one day grasp that victory isn’t always about winning. And that losing isn’t always a loss.
Most of all, I hope he will grow up to be the sort of man who is able to laugh at himself. And embrace the world in his heart.
You may not consider me a “good” mother as I believe in accustoming my child to hardship. And hopefully, he will one day learn that there is as much power and freedom in the word “No” as much as the word “Yes”.
I hope I can teach him to understand that courtesy is not merely about manners. But that courtesy is the prince of virtues. And when he practises courtesy he honours the soul of another human being. And that of his very own soul.
I hope with all my heart, he will learn to never run away when things get difficult. That he would never abandon his values for a mere cupful of pleasure. And that to purposefully hurt or offend another heart is more painful to himself.
I wish that my child will understand that remorse can sometimes be a very good thing. And the superiority that comes from elevating himself over another is to be avoided at all cost.
I truly hope I can teach him that his word will always count for something. And that promises do matter. I hope that the principles of integrity, honour and being noble will always take first place in his life.
Most of all, I want to give him space and plenty of room to grow. And explore. And discover. And he can take as long as he needs to remain a child. For his growing up will not be rushed for my sake or the sake of any establishment or according to the time frame of anyone.
So, teachers, friends and relatives, my child may not fit your standards of what every other child is like or supposed to be. And that’s because I am not raising him to be just like every other child.
I am just trying my best to raise him up to be the best of himself.
So, you see, being a mother is not about me at all. It makes little difference how I am thought of.
I know I am raising my child in ways that might disappoint many. Or not fit the bill of how it should be done. But that’s simply because I am not raising him up to perform. Neither am I raising him to be an extension of myself. I am not grooming him to live up to the expectations of everyone else. He is not a trophy for my cause.
So, I don’t know if I am really any good at this great, big, magnificent calling of motherhood. For I know that I fail big time. In big momentous ways.
But all I am trying to do is to honour the life that came from me. This special, unique child that is mine on trust for a little while until he finds his place in this great big world.
And my whole role in this thing called motherhood is just to be part of the beautiful celebration of my child’s gentle, dreamy, affectionate, imaginative, happy, contented, giving self. Guiding him to himself and the Divine.
So, don’t call me a good mother.
For I am not parenting for points.
To brave, brave mothers everywhere who are listening to their hearts and the hearts of their children. To mothers who parent with dignity and honour the spirits of their children above the crushing pressure to perform.
I dedicate this post to my own dear Mother who taught me to be brave. To always, always be brave.
Happy Mother’s Day with love and gratitude.