I have been a rebel since my childhood. Not playing by the rules and only listening to the wisdom of my heart was not a conscious decision. That’s how I was wired. However, my life took a dramatic turn when I became a mother.
I don’t know whether it was hormones or something else but I wasn’t the same person anymore after holding my daughter for the first time. Motherhood made a mama bear out of a rebellious, non-conformist young girl.
However, deep down inside, I am still that young girl who valued free will, logic, and intuition more than societal norms. I consciously avoid becoming too controlling of my kid. I don’t follow textbook parenting methods in most cases.
My parenting techniques are somewhat unorthodox which hasn’t gone down well with some of my relatives, friends, and colleagues. It’s not like they think I’m a bad mother. It’s just that they are quite openly reluctant about a few things I often do, such as:
1.I Let My Kids Play on the Street
Sounds like quite a normal thing to do, right? Exactly. But a lot of moms would hate me for letting my daughter play outside for hours in both super hot and super cold weather. If she wants, she can go beyond the end of the street on her electric scooter.
I simply do not understand the logic behind such over-protectiveness. Yes, I am well aware of the elements of risk these days. But confining the kids to their house premises does more harm than good. Children need to be exposed to adverse situations in order to be able to understand the true nature of real-life dangers. That’s how we all learn to deal with life. Teach your children to be street smart follow road safety rules. Trust me, they are more capable of taking care of themselves than you think.
Oh, this article is slowly turning out to be an anti-overprotection propaganda. But who cares? I hate being so extra in the name of being a protective parent.
Look, I know how to keep my family safe and healthy in winter. I am not one of those moms who would stuff my kids’ tiny stomach with over-the-counter drugs every time they sneeze. Reaching out for meds too often will prevent their bodies from dealing with the most minor health issues like seasonal bugs.
Making kids put on tons of warm clothes and applying a gallon of moisturizing lotion on their face in winter isn’t cool either.
Talking about being silly in winter, here’s another small instance. I have a cool-mist humidifier in my daughter’s room. A lot of moms who visit my house would frown upon it. They would tell me that I should have bought a warm mist humidifier to keep cough and congestion at bay.
But that would have been a mistake. Cool-mist humidifiers are actually a lot safer than warm-mist humidifiers for kids.
You see, the steam released from warm mist humidifiers can hurt your baby if he gets too close. Children, by nature, go too close to objects they are supposed to stay away from. Therefore, A lot of parents ignore this possibility but I always like to be extra cautious.
3.Acknowledging That Clothes Are a Personal Choice
I am not comfortable with the idea of wearing revealing clothes. I like to wear modest clothes and dress up my daughter with my choice of outfits.
I seriously do not understand why it is such a big deal? The mothers of Sarah’s friends would constantly give me strange looks for not wearing revealing clothes. Suddenly I am the one who is orthodox.
Fashion is all about comfort. I am comfortable when I am all covered up. Since Sarah allows me to choose the outfits, I pick up the outfits I would like her to wear. If she wants to wear short skirts someday, I won’t be salty about it. So chill!
4.Here’s Another Funny One
I’m literally laughing while typing this. If I don’t loosen up a bit when my kid behaves poorly, my mother-in-law hates me. On the other hand, when I do loosen up a bit when Sarah doesn’t get good grades or refusing to do something I want her to do, some other moms would think less of me.
Their comments would have a “ you poor thing don’t know how to discipline your child” undertone. Yelling all the time for poor grades and grounding kids for not obeying your orders all the time are not the prerequisites for good parenting. Period.
5.For Never Having Enough Time
Kids need constant attention and care. That’s why a lot of moms decide to quit their jobs after conceiving in order to take care of the baby. They feel it’s selfish to work post-pregnancy.
Look, I agree that we need to spend time with our kids. But I couldn’t resign from my job for that. My job is my passion. I couldn’t afford to lose my independence for this. It’s 21st century. I can hire a nanny, install a baby monitor to keep an eye on my daughter from miles away. And whenever I get some time off, my daughter and I make the most of it.
It really hurts when some moms hate me for keeping my job, thinking I’m a money-minded person who doesn’t care much about her baby.
6.I have Great Comebacks
Just because I am a mother of a kid now doesn’t mean I am going to put up with the logic-defying or downright crass comments of anyone. If somebody disses my parenting methods or values for no reason, I diss them harder. That’s how it goes. I don’t care if it’s un-mother-like.
7.I Let My Husband Speak His Mind
I allow my husband to take an active part in the decision-making process for Sarah. She belongs to her dad just as much as she belongs to me. And yes, most of the times, I support his decisions. I value his opinion and understand that he always wants the best for his child.
The moms in my peer group would create a fuss about this as well. They are not at all cool with the idea of making the husband the decision-maker of the house. It goes against their feminist values.
Are they forgetting that feminism is all about equality? Treating my man as the leader of my house is not equal to promoting patriarchy. He honors my decisions and I honor his. As simple as that!
8.Religion into the Scene
Look, I go to church every Sunday and pray to the Lord for the welfare of everyone. But Sarah is yet to develop an interest in religious activities. I don’t force her to hear the Old Testament stories or go to church with me.
I faced criticism from a lot of Christian parents in my family and peer group for this. But having faith is a very personal thing. Sarah is too young. She has her entire life ahead to figure these things out.
9.I Respect Privacy
I don’t keep a close eye on her when she is playing outside. I don’t need to know the medical history of every kid she is interacting with. I don’t sneak into her room to read what she writes in her diary. If she looks upset but doesn’t want to talk about it at all, I don’t force her.
Despite being only 10 years old, she is quite mature for her age. I treat her like an adult, most of the time. Although every mom or dad would nod in agreement, I know that most of them don’t practice what they preach.
So What Do We Do When Other Moms Hate Us?
Here’s a great way to deal with people who diss your parenting methods for being “too radical”: ignore them. Try it. It feels great and has been scientifically proven to release pleasure hormones.
Jokes aside, you are the mother of your kid, not them. So at the end of the day, nobody knows how to raise your kids better than you.