While we sit and moan that we don’t have enough time for our precious little ones burdened by our work overload and other chores new research says that modern parents spend more time with their kids than what parents did some 50 years ago. It might be a world which cruelly (or you might call it gender equality) insists on both parents working to make both ends meet with the steadily rising economic crisis and hovering on us to enroll our kids in extracurricular activities than surpass the number of periods that schools offer. Despite this I think its obvious from today’s scenario that parents these days just LOVE their kids. It’s evident from how the mom and dad take every step to never miss out on their child’s annual day celebration, are present for every parent-teacher meet at school and take equal responsibility in helping their kids with school studies and outside activities. Also, how many of us remember both our parents, especially our father being present for a parent-teacher meet or accompanying us to our sports day celebration back then? Sadly, some of our dads couldn’t even remember in which class we used to study. But now, the dad and the mom are well-aware of the minutest of details concerning the child. Mother’s love is natural and uncompromising. What surprises (as well as makes me joyous and encouraged) me is the undevoted attention given by dads these days to their little munchkins! Cheers to you dads! But sadly, we have also gone to an extent that modern parents are branded as being ‘too involved’ with their kids.
Parenting or Baby Sitting?
At office, during travel or even while out on a dinner date with our spouse all that we think about is our little one-has he/she eaten veggies today? Did he/she sleep in the afternoon? How was her evening play? Parents are overwhelmed by parenthood. They beg for a small ‘me’ time where he/she can drink coffee at peace, go to the loo alone or take some time off to meet friends but once they are given these opportunities their minds go back to their kids.
The pressure on moms and dads are ever higher than before as they are constantly being judged of their parenting skills by outsiders, are surrounded by ample opportunities to take advantage of and many more activities to do for themselves too. This dilemma was not present in earlier times as rich parents who could afford were a handful while the others were content with what they had. But these days, the upper middle-class society is steadily growing in number, exploring their advantages and making use of every step to climb the ladder and succeed. This puts them in a constant stress mode where the need to accomplish surpasses the need to enjoy. Many of their efforts are beneficial and appreciable but the question that remains in our minds is whether parents must neglect their own well-being in this process. The answer would be an absolute no. In fact, parents are better parents when they consider their needs and requirements as well.
Stepping Up & Meeting Your Needs
A life full of sacrifices is not a life well-lived. Giving up on your needs and wishes to fulfill someone else’s desires is not the basis of love. Many parents these days neglect their needs and its women especially who sacrifice many of their needs for the needs of the family. More than half our parents feel dejected as they don’t even have time to meet their friends, involve themselves in a hobby or at least go for a walk. My question is how would you have the time when you are busy taking your son/daughter to 10 different classes that you can’t even afford to spare time for your health and well-being? Its moms especially who push their exercise time to the backseat to make more time for their kids. Dads squeeze in their schedules to accommodate some time for a game of tennis or a jog but moms don’t seem to ever find time beyond their cooking, cleaning, parenting, working and helping chores. This can make you stressed and stress can put your life in a shackle. Unshackling it is a tedious effort which needs smart practices as those described at www.firsteatright.com. But why don’t you stop putting yourself into a shackle in the first place? Despite this, working parents feel that it would be ideal when they are able to pump in extra hours for their child’s education or activity.
During times before the Internet ruled our lives parenting was all about keeping the kid safe, sound, active and loved. But now, the Internet is flooded with suggestions about what we could be doing, how we could do that and so on. Hundreds of parenting books exist, talk shows have joined the crowd and the society and culture don’t seem to help us out in much ways as they were doing during earlier times.
Undo Your Doing
We need not do more but all we have to do is stop doing more. Kids learn and meet requirements when we provide them with an opportunity. Sometimes it might get a little late to pack your kid’s snack but its ok. Maybe this makes him/her step up and start packing on their own. If you are late to pick your child back from school don’t become stressed. Your kid might do a lap or two before you turn up at the school gate. Society too should stop telling them what is wrong but start telling them what is right to do.
Take time to drink your cherished cup of coffee, go for a relaxing bath or out for a walk to clear your mind and feel cherished. You need to value yourself for others to value you. Give respect to your needs and you can see that your children too start giving respect to your deeds and requirements. If your current parenting skills don’t give you time for even any one of your wishes its times to rethink your approach and seek a better plan. Each of you is a great parent. No second thoughts about it. Cheers!
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.