The first thought that crossed my mind when I found out I was pregnant with my first child was, “What if I’m not a good mom?”
And I think that this is a question I could potentially be asking myself for the rest of my life.
When I told Marina I was nervous about becoming a mom because I didn’t know if I would be a “good mom”, she said to me, “The fact that you’re already worried about that, means you already are!”
That brought me some relief — as though asking that question validated that my maternal instincts were kicking in, and as long as I had that question at the back of my head, I would always do my best to give my child whatever they need for a happy life.
It really got me thinking though, about how each of us, with our own unique backgrounds and cultural differences, define the term “good mom” or “good parent”.
Like, what is that?
Are you a good parent if your kid doesn’t fuss? Are you good parent if your children are polite and do well in school? Are you a good parent if your children are obedient and grow up to be successful adults with the right choice of friends and habits?
What decisions do good parents make so their children grow up to be happy responsible adults?
Which then begs the question — what is “happy”?
Each of us may have a different definition for these terms, but what most of us have in common is that what we think we know, is what we pass down to our children.
What we think we know, we learn from our parents.
Either our parents instill a certain habit or thought into us, or we come to our own conclusions for things based on observation and life experience.
We then set in our minds, a “right” and “wrong” way to do things. A “right” and “wrong” way to live life.
Then, we pass this down to our children hoping they do better based on our learnings and experience. We either want them to have a better life than we did, or we want them to have the same life as us because we think ours is the “right way” to be.
But which way is the right way to do things when it comes to raising children?
So then we’re back to square one — regardless of which way you look at things, it doesn’t take away from the overall question: “What makes a good parent, then?”
This video below might answer some of that.
My mother sent this to me just last month and if you’re a parent wondering if you’re doing a good job; if you’re looking for clarity, struggling with guilt or worry, perhaps this video and the concept presented could help you.
For me, it gives me so much peace and sums things up nicely.
When Sadhguru, yogi, mystic and visionary is asked by a lady in the audience, “What is my responsibility as a mother?”, he has a quick 5-minute answer and lesson for all parents.
Below are 5 key points extracted from his response, but watch the video to hear him go deep with some relevant examples to help:
1. The best thing you can do for your child is… If you think the way you are is everything, then naturally your aspirations would be that they should become like you, which would be a backward step for the next generation of people. What the next generation should be… what you cannot imagine — that’s what they should be.
2. Don’t try to mould them. A child needs a pleasant, stable atmosphere to grow.
3. Your only business is to keep them in a very joyful and loving incubator.
4. One thing your child should not become is, they should not become like you. They should become something more than you.
5. Once you don’t have this problem where they don’t have to be like you, then you will see such a joy and freedom to raise your child. Your only struggle is they’re not like you.
I think sometimes a lot of parents feel a lot of stress because they have it in their mind how their child should turn out i.e. an attempt to mould them. And when that doesn’t happen, it affects their level of happiness.
The video really taps into that and how to turn the experience around.
It’s all about mindset and got me thinking about something a good friend’s mom said when she asked her mother whether she thought her daughter was where she wanted her to be.
Her response was, “Honey, as long as you don’t do crack, you’re already a success!”
At first I laughed out loud, but then it hit me how true that was. I felt a huge shift in my own mindset and have decided that my son can really be whoever he wants to be, as long as he is kind, happy with his own life and choices, and doesn’t do crack. 😛
How I learn to detach from all my other worries and fears I’ll leave for another article. 🙂
What are your thoughts on what Sadhguru says in the video? Share your thoughts below.