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What worked for our mothers’ generation years ago can easily seem outdated or downright dangerous to today's moms. The result is disagreement over the best way to soothe a crying baby, put her to sleep, feed her, bathe her and inculcate discipline. This can get quite uncomfortable at times. As if caring for a new baby or toddler isn't already challenging enough!
In a culture that promotes individualism and "expert" parenting advice, it's easy to dismiss our mothers' views as outdated, irrelevant and absurd. But if we completely devalue the wisdom of those who gave birth to us, then what precedent are we setting? We also risk losing the priceless knowledge gathered in the trenches of motherhood by those who have battled before us - and won the war.
Well, I listen to my mother. (Sometimes :-))
But on a serious note, I listen to all her advice on parenting. I may/may not apply it always, owing to the modern mindset. And more so, I value her words of wisdom.
Coming to my mother, she’s not perfect. We disagree and argue sometimes but it never lasts more than a couple of minutes before we’re back talking about J or food. It’s just our Punjabi way :-). But she is certainly the one I look up to whenever I need any advice or have to vent out my frustrations.
She began a new life when my sister and I were born as she tried to figure out what was best for us, how to handle us. Her life also changed. So her insights & experience are something I always respect!
She taught us to always be self-reliant, and to make sure we always have our education and career to fall back on. She never put limitations on us. She made us believe that we could do anything. She paid attention in all the ways that really mattered. She was a shoulder to cry on, an encouraging word, and a supportive presence. Even if her presence wasn't glued to our side!
She inspired me that you can be a work-outside-of-the-home mom and be present & involved at the same time. She balanced a full-time job, a husband and raised two daughters with grace and love, and managed to get dinner on the table each night and make sure she was present for all important milestones of our lives. Now that I'm a working mom myself, the example she set inspires me.
As I look into her big beautiful eyes I know what was really behind every "no", why she pushed us to achieve more, going full throttle into adulthood.
As I look at J now and think I can't possibly love anything more, I know my mom’s beautiful eyes once looked down at me the exact same way. And today, that's probably no different! Because I know for damn sure my love for my little one will never change.
Thanks, Mom. Thanks for everything! I’ll call you in a little while.
Well, none of this means I value my dad any less - I love him more :-)