If you are reading this and you are a woman, give yourself a good pat at the back. For you are taking one of the greatest responsibility a human being can take, of being a mother. It is not that I am saying that men don’t take the burdens of being a parent, but still comparatively they are free as they do not have to take the course of bearing the child, giving birth and raising the child all through his life with spending each thought of theirs on the child. Being a mother is a job given to you by God. And just by being a woman, or a biological mother, you don’t become a ‘good mother’. It’s an art and there are lessons associated with it.
A mother should always be alert. Alert as to what you say, do or even feel inside, all of it affects your child in all ways. The child totally depends upon you, he knows no world outside you. Once the relationship between a mother and a child goes wrong, everything in the child’s life can go wrong as it is the first relationship of the child’s life and everything of this special bond will show effects till the child is there to experience life. Whatever the child will learn through out his life will be continuity to what his mother teaches him.
I consider that the very first step to motherhood should be the most mature, the most thought after and the most sacred one. I learnt my step to motherhood from my own experiences and from talks with other mothers. Never treat the child as your own. It is not your child. It’s a God’s child and you are just a vehicle, a machine, a way to bring the child in this world and nurture him. Love the child as much as you can, but do not be too much possessive of the child, do not make yourself big in your child’s life. Do not make a prison out of your love for your child, that can do disastrous things to his personality.
Your child is small but deserves all the respect from you as any other grown-up. It is very easy to be a master of the child, to keep him under your control but it is very difficult to respect the child. Think of him as an independent human being and understand his in-capabilities and also his inborn talents. Raise the child with a good mix of freedom and discipline. Use discipline as a way to bring out the best in him and guide him to be in right conduct with everybody. And give freedom to the child to explore his own paths in life, do not impose your own ideas on the child. Do not give him too much directions, that will help hamper his learning process. He will move, make mistakes, learn from them and ultimately understand life from his own perspective. As a human, you are to find your own truth, truth of your existence, and so your child has to too.
I know many parents who are so insecure about your children that you wish to command them even when the children are grown up. They are all times pinging their kids to know what they are eating, how they are doing things etc. killing all the creativity and holiness. When parenting, do not bound yourself with religion, social boundaries, culture, moralities, Better listen to the all more powerful Nature. Nature is so good and pure. It is tough, it is uncomfortable, to let your children do their own thing with a right mix of guidance, care and control. But it is not impossible. How many of us have actually been able to live our dreams in reality, do or create things which we really wished to. Very few of us. We could not live our dreams because we had boundaries around us. Please do not do the same with your child. In fact with any relationship of yours. Let him be free and choose, eat, play, dance, study, marry, cry, laugh and do whatever he wishes to at his will. Share your advice, build the mother-child relationship in a way so that you come to a right level to help him with the very right advice in accordance to his interests and the child is able to respect and accept your saying with confidence and trust. This can be achieved with hard work and love in parenting but always keep in mind that freedom is his basic human necessity.
Always keep yourself aware of one fact that before your child was born, you were just a woman. It’s your child who made you a mother and gave that power in your hands to shape him. Use this power in a very thankful manner and not in a decreeing way.
As Swami Vivekananda says, “When the baby is at play, she will not come even if called by her mother. But when she finishes her play, she will rush to her mother, and will have no play.” Let your baby enjoy life and yourself enjoy your unselfish love for him.
May we all live in peace.