Parenting life can get very overwhelming. In Indian mythology, Goddesses have many forms. Many idols are created with many hands. Maybe, just maybe it has something to do with the many, many roles we play as a mother. The overwhelm that comes with it was life changing. And I see it every single day. Mothers constantly stressing, lamenting to each other about how difficult and hectic their life is.
I understand venting about your day, but when we see it happen incessantly in the way in which most mothers today seem to do it, it speaks towards the building of a negative mindset and the fact that almost everyone is going through difficult times. And our empathy for others seem to be eroding as we drown in ponds of pity for ourselves.
The Many Roles We Play as Parents
I was cleaning my daughter’s nose with saline solution. My son came, gazed intently at his sister and mumbled, ”Who are you?” I was too busy trying to do what I was doing without further traumatizing a wailing child. After I was done, my son came and put a hand on my shoulder (with sympathy almost) and asked again, ”Who are you?”
I laughed out loud. ” You don’t know who I am. I’m your Mama right ? ” He shook his head and persisted with the question, further elaborating, ” Who are you? Are you a Doctor? ” Ah ! Cleaning his sister’s nose giving her much needed relief during her cold and fever made him wonder. I of course found it amusing and affirmed. ” Yes, I’m doctor. I help you also when you get boo boo.” He smiled and said, ”You are a good doctor.”
Next time the question arose when I was trying to teach him the written letter. ”Who are you? Are you a teacher?” And so on it went.
Random comment would pass while I was doing generic stuff.
”Who are you? Are you a pilot ? ” , when I drove the car.
”Who are you? Are you a helper?” , when I helped him tie his shoes.
”Who are you? Are you a worker? “, when I’m finding something on the laptop.
My son, who was 3.5 at the time, recognized the simple fact that as a mom I play many roles at the same time. Doctor, driver, helper, researcher, nurse, teacher and much more. The moment made me introspect about how my children perceive me. Apparently, this person who multitasks constantly.
Not to mention the amount of managing we do to keep up with chores, food, appointments, social commitments while at the same time herding around a family of four to wherever we need to be at the exact time we need to be. Time management, team work, keeping up with information, being organized are all traits every mother imbibes, not to mention being there for everyone as much as I can emotionally and physically. Add to this working on my freelancing career and passion project, which are 24/7 in itself, life can certainly get overwhelming.
And that’s just in the beginning. A parent eventually plays the role of friend, teacher, preacher, judge, jury, confidante, and sibling also in many cases. To constantly use every teaching moment, parent them when needed, hand out consequences, keep their secrets and fill the void whenever they need us. Let’s not forget all the party planning that is involved during the festive season and when birthdays come around.
Stop the Overwhelm with This Mindset
I don’t write this just to glorify parents but to take remind every parent to take a few moments each day or week to sit back and take stock of all the work that you do. Appreciate all the roles that you play and how they help YOU evolve as a person constantly.
We can often catch ourselves cribbing about how hard parenting is and how we wish we could relax. Specially during the holiday seasons. We need to remember, every person on the planet is overwhelmed with some aspect of their life. Most importantly, the attitude of complaining sets a negative example for those who look towards us for how to look at life’s challenges. The health hazards of having a stressed outlook cannot be emphasized enough either. What we need to do is counter the overwhelm before the onset proactively.
Self care is a big part of avoiding the frustrations that come with parenting. But equally so is the need for us to look at it as a blessing. Being a parent is not just taking care of a child, but being many things so that you can together as a family grow and learn the multitude skills required to live a fulfilling life.
It is this very exhausting and overwhelming life full of worries that helps us appreciate all that our life has to offer. It forces us to take a hard look at our lifestyle choices and be aware of what it is we need to do to be better role models. Our children teach us life lessons each day and force us to introspect over our words and actions.
Gratitude for what you have and all that you are able to do has a wonderful way of making your parenting outlook more positive.