Am I doing it right?

Am I doing it right?

This post is a Tangy Tuesday Pick at Blogadda

Once upon a time I used to be this easy person, happy to drift along whichever way life took me with the Husband for company of course. I was passionate about my work and had plenty of work-friends. We went out, frequented food festivals, attended plays, watched films, and browsed exhibitions. A lot of it was part of my job and things couldn’t have been better.

We never bothered with a master-plan for life. And it didn’t really matter.

Once we decided to have children, that changed. We had to have a plan, we had to make decisions, not just for ourselves but also for two other people and I found myself stumbling around in the dark, unsure, unprepared.

It was terrifying. It is terrifying.

Parenting is like handing over a company to a trainee with no experience and no option of quitting. Click To Tweet

Two companies in my case! And so very diverse ones at that :-).

There I was, expected to excel at the most important job of my life with only my instinct to guide me and the whole world judging me. Is that crazy or what?

Not to worry, I told myself, and got on with the task, with bits of advice from doctors and counsellors, family and friends. Soon, the bits grew into a deluge that threatened to drown me. It’s like the story of the man, the boy and the donkey. There really was no one right way.

The first few years I thought it was the physical demands of motherhood that were the toughest – the unending feeding, cleaning, boiling bottles and the long sleepless nights. I was wrong, for that was only temporary.

What didn’t change, hasn’t change even now, is the constant doubt, the indecision and the big question – am I really up to this task of turning babies into decent adults? That, is the hardest part of parenting.

The hardest thing about parenting is never being sure if one is doing it right. Click To Tweet

It begins with: Is the baby waking up too frequently because I use cloth nappies for him? And conversely: Did he get that rash because I chose diapers instead of cloth nappies?
Then : Will my baby grow up to become clingy because I opted for co-sleeping? Or Will he feel deserted because I let him sleep in the crib?
Is she refusing to eat solids because I introduced them too late? Or did she take a dislike to them because it was too early and she wasn’t ready for them?
Am I destroying his spirit because I am too strict or will he grow up spoilt because I’m too lenient?
Am I pushing her too much or am I not pushing her enough? Should I lend a hand or should I let him figure it out himself?
Will I distance my teen if I am too strict? But then how do I ensure he is safe?Should I be a parent to my child or should I be a friend?

And then there are the big ones:
Am I doing enough?
Could I have done more?
Am I doing it right?
Should I have done it differently?

Even after a decade of being a mom somedays, specially on the bad days, I am badgered by these fruitless ‘What iffs’ and there really are no answers.

The thing to do then is to tell myself the one thing I am absolutely hundred percent, sure of – No one loves my children more than I do. And that is the beginning of convincing myself that I am doing the very best I can.

How can I not?


Linking up with Deepa and  Amrita for #MondayMommyMoments.

28 Replies to “Am I doing it right?”

  1. There is no single answers for these Parenting dilemmas. Loved the flow of this post and the way you ensured yourself that this is best.

  2. Yes we moms kill ourselves day by day by thinking its not enough or its not right but really there’s no right mantra.Thanks for sharing your beliefs.

  3. This dilemma is our main weakness. The guilt the self doubt.But you are right. You are the best mom for them and love them most. Perfect post. Thanks for writing with us for #MondayMommyMoments

  4. I cannot agree more. We are our worst critics when it comes to this motherhood thing. And when in doubt, I remind myself of what you mentioned too – no one loves this child more than I do, so no one could possibly be more concerned about his/her welfare.

  5. Parenthood is tough, confusing and like you rightly said always tainted with self-doubt.
    While we will (perhaps) always feel we could do more, our kids are blessed to show us in their own ways how we’re doing the best we can.

  6. I hear you, Tulika! And this is not from a mom but from someone who still lives with her mom. We feel your love and don’t care a damn about the right or the wrong because we understand. You are fabulous in all that you do and so is every mom who is doing her best to help us grow. More power to you!

  7. Every parent I know goes through this. While some tell me that since I’m child free I’m lucky to not have to go through this, while some tell me that while it is a doubt it is still worth it as the children around make everything seem worthwhile.

    You had to do everything twice, at the same time. That makes you wonder woman! Like you said you are doing your best. There is nothing above best. 🙂

    1. That’s the thing Soumya – it is one of the best thing to happen to you but that’s not to say it is free of stress. Of course in the end it is totally worth it.

  8. Lovely thoughts Tulika- I think the adage parents know best is what you should remember all the time, because only parents think so selflessly for their kids.

  9. “Am I doing it right?”, I think this question must be the most common question for most parents. We seem to question our every decision, every action. And all this is certainly very tiring and hard on us. I think parenting would be lot easier, if we didnt care or worry so much. As long as the basics are in place, and believing that what we are doing is right, I think we are doing it right! So cheer up and a big hug to you, Tulika.

    1. It is inevitable I think considering that this is so very important for us and also that our decisions have such far reaching effects. You’re right though, that we should relax a bit – that would perhaps help us take better decisions.

  10. I guess this feeling of second guessing ourselves will never leave us. But like you pointed out, we are doing the best we can. We introspect and we try to change things if we feel in the wrong. With a tween and teen, I feel communication is most important. That they can say to my face if they feel that I have been mean and unfair and that I actually give it due thought and even apologize if I feel I went overboard is definitely good.

    1. They can be very unreasonable at times Rachna, after all they are just kids still. Which is why we have to be the sane ones and that can be tough and make us doubt our decisions.

  11. Oh Tulika, tell me about the doubts. Sometimes I want to run away but I can’t quit. When I scold her I feel guilty and when I don’t scold her I feel I’m a bad mom. I’m constantly doubting myself. Like today, I gave her corn flakes for breakfast because I was too tired to make anything else. And I know the whole day I’ll be cursing myself for being lazy. It’s tough this thing called parenting. Too tough!

    1. Oh I know that ‘I want to run away’ feeling. I know of so many children who go to school without breakfast – just a glass of milk every single day and they’re fine. But if mine don’t, I get worried – rather, I used to get worried. But it’s fine. So cornflakes are quite okay Naba. On a side note: I cannot believe M is old enough to eat cornflakes already.

  12. You know the answer to this one already. There really is no one way to do this act. The fact that you’re pulling double duty on two different kids is another added responsibility. So don’t ever doubt yourself. That said we do it all the time. We think if we’re up to this act and if it’s worthwhile. We blame ourselves. Oh how we do it over and over. The good news? As long as we love them, listen to them, help them know right from wrong and teach them some good life skills we’re on the right track. So it’s okay to feel this way. You’re not just human. You’re a parent.

    1. You’re right. It isn’t really so tough at the very basic level – it’s when we begin to overthink all our actions and imagine all the different fallouts that life becomes difficult.

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