I was terrified of children. Yes, terrified! I was never that person who has cooed and cawed at cute looking babies. As I grew up and got married, I always wondered if I wanted to have children at all. Well, did I have a choice? So, what did I do? I dived in to my fear. I joined a preschool as a teacher for Nursery class children. Crazy! But that’s how I usually face my fear, dive into it and then see what happens. Now, I had twenty children in my class. I was scared of one child and here I had to manage twenty, 3 year old children. I managed to stick with those children for more than a year and I actually ended up loving children and teaching. I learnt a lot of things. Thanks to the innumerable teachers’ trainings we went through. It opened my eyes to a lot of things. Kids are not all bad. It’s the way they are brought up, that’s what makes them what they are. I always wondered why some kids threw tantrums and some behaved so well. Now I understood that parenting style is the key.
Fast forward to the time I had my girls. Obviously with all the training in the background, I thought I was well prepared to bring up my kids in the right way. Ha, ha. Well, trainings talk only about ideal situations. We had a pair of twins, forget ideal situations, I felt like I had landed in a hurricane. But with the help of parents, in-laws, husband, especially husband, we managed to raise our children right. They are 5 years now and not really children any more.
Now, I have been a quite a scary mom. “Don’t touch my dress with your dirty hands”, “don’t eat that chocolate”, “don’t play in the sand”, etc. Always giving them instructions, always behind them to eat this, write this, read this!!! Though I am the one who had the training to deal with small children, my husband was the one who was patient, who gave their problems an ear, who gave them enough space to explore, to ask questions. I have been a free mom too, but not as much as daddy. All this was fine till this December.
My husband changed his job and his new job happens to be in a different city. It’s an overnight journey from our city to where he has been placed. Since we have got used to living here, kids school here is good, we decided to stay back here while my husband works out of town. He visits us on the weekends. He is the Weekend daddy and weekend husband. First week went off well. So did the second week. In the middle of the third week, my daughters started missing my husband a lot. I felt bad and I felt helpless. I tried to make up by getting them new toys, new books. But nothing seemed to work. Well, missing daddy is good, but I didn’t want them to get depressed. Then one day, when I was shouting at my daughters for putting dirty feet on the bed, one of them suddenly said, “I want daddy.” Ah! I just stopped short and was taken aback. Suddenly I realized why my daughters missed daddy so much. They just didn’t miss him in a good way. They also missed the patient parent, the indulgent parent, the listening parent, the parent with the soft touch. And that was the day I decided it was time for a change. It was time for new beginnings. By then we were 2 weeks away from the New Year. What better time for new beginnings than the New Year.
In the two weeks of their Christmas Holidays, I turned a new leaf. I was more patient with them. I have never had a problem with awakening the child inside me. So, I became a child with them. I painted with them, messy painting, spilling paint all over, painting on face. I stopped being the fussy mother and bonded with them in the way they understood. So what if they got dirt on my bed, I can always wash the cover. So what if the look like dirt rags after a good play in sand, I can always give them a good bath after. We had a fun filled holidays and festival time. I reawakened my childhood. My mind said Khuljaye Bachpan and my heart was ready. It’s been a month now since my husband has been working out of town. I have had a breakthrough with my kids. Of course, I can never be as free as daddy, and they still do miss him when he is away. But now they are happy to be with mommy and know that mommy can be fun too. And that’s the thing about children; they don’t hold anything against you. The moment they saw me change, they accepted it and went with it. I know that children need rules, they need discipline, but they also need their Childhood!