Sunday, April 24, 2016

Will I Be A Good Mom?

Hello, Baby.

How are you today? Your father and I just took you out for a quick splash this afternoon. Did you enjoy it? The pool was so full of toddlers, learning to swim. Their parents were waiting by the poolside, cheering for them. As soon as they were out of the water, their mothers handed them their towels and hugged them lovingly.

Then suddenly it dawned on me... What kind of parent will I be? Will I be a good mom for you? 

Society can be real challenging nowadays. Once a mother posts a photo of her kid in Facebook or Instagram, then she is officially out in the jungle - to be judged by others. Unfortunately, the others tend to stand and judge in two opposite corners; the good mom or the bad mom. There's no in-between. Motherhood has quickly become a fierce competition; to breastfeed or to give formula, to stay at home or to keep on working, to grind your own food or to buy boxes. The lists could go on and on.

I am concerned. No, I am scared.

Here's a Jodi Picoult quote that scares me even more:
"24/7 - Once you sign on to be a mother, that's the only shift they offer."
I am the person I am today, thanks to your grandma (she is lovely, by the way). She is the strongest person I know, yet she is so soft. Unlike her who is a full-time mom, I have always been working since I graduated in 2008. I enjoy working 9-to-5, it helps me a lot to develop myself and it earns me a better living.

I haven't considered to quit my job by the time you arrive - maybe I would change my mind over time, I don't know. But I know some good friends of mine who are still working but they manage to nurture and educate their children at their very best.

Dewi always tries to come home early from work and spend time with her cute toddler. She makes her own DIY toys to keep him busy - playing and learning, using different materials as creative as she can be. In the weekend, she takes him out for an adventure in a zoo or a park - away from the hectic malls.

Dewa is a mother of two cheerful girls. Every day she has to commute quite a long way to work by train. Lucky, her husband is an entrepreneur who can work at home and take care of the kids. But that doesn't mean that she misses out on her children's important milestones. She makes sure to attend her kid's school functions, helps her on her homework and spend quality time on weekends - to soccer practice, to do outdoor sports, any activity that requires a SuperMom energy.

I am also proud to see my friends who decided to dedicate their time to be a full-time mother.

Mega is a full-time mom from the very start. She likes to share funny photos and updates about her Energizer-bunny son. Somehow, her posts make me excited to be a parent. It really shows that no matter how stressful and tiring it could be, but to spend a good day with your child is totally worth it. 

Nita gave up her career to take care of her two boys and decided to take home-schooling in her own hands. She plans each day to be filled with educational activities, to replace formal education they should've received in school. She would take them to the zoo, to the playground, to the library, even take them on a train trip to Bandung.

Kudos to my mother, and my friends. I salute them.

At least they give me a hint on what kind of parent I want to be to you. On one level, I aspire to be just like my mother. She has raised 3 kids to be happy, reasonable adults but some times I feel she has sacrificed too much for us and she has less time to enjoy on her own (I wish I could make it up to her on this one). Still, she is a good mom. A great one, in my book.

Then I realize that nobody's perfect, therefore, no perfect child, no perfect parent. Every child is unique and every parent has their own parenting styles, that's what makes one family different than others.

I shouldn't be scared.
So what? I will not be a perfect mother, definitely will not live up to the Stepford standard. But I know for sure that I am willing to give you my all and never stop learning. I will made some (or a lot of) mistakes here or there, but I really want to learn and understand how to care for you and at the same time, how to push you to the limit to do your best. I want to know when to be strict and when to be lenient, when to be a (tiger) mother and when to be a friend.

Let's be a great team!

Your mother.

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