The other day I read an article which asked, quite insightfully I thought, that if you had to begin parenting your child from scratch again, what you would do differently. It made me think, really hard back to the early days of the offspring being a mewling parcel of flesh, intent on his two hourly feed and a clean dry diaper to sleep off his transition out of the amniotic sac into the unrarefied air of the polluted city we lived in.
I was a panicky new mom. I panicked about every little thing. Whether I was producing enough milk, whether I was holding him properly, whether I was swaddling him well enough, whether I was keeping the room at an appropriate temperature for him. As he grew, the concerns grew. Was I doing enough for his physical and mental stimulation, was I stimulating him enough, was his diet adequate and well balanced. Would I scar him for life by inadvertently doing something I shouldn’t be doing in his presence, like for instance, completely losing my temper. I have one of those tempers that surfaces once in a few years but rattles the window panes when it does.
It was tough on one being a mother in an age that produced so much literature on how to parent. All it did was make one feel wholly inadequate and incapable, and plague one with self-doubt and assume that every mother out there was doing an infinitely better job than you were. That is always a heavy cross to bear, so I’ve decided to put that cross down. One parents, I’ve realised, the best one can under one’s circumstances, each and every one of us.
What would I do differently if I had to start from scratch as a parent, I asked myself.
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