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June 26, 2018 Tuesday 11:44:11 AM IST

Don't Believe These Myths!

Parent Interventions

It’s time to kill the outdated platitudes around what it takes to be the perfect mother. Or at least tune out their noise. Mothers, by default, think that there is a certain pattern in which they should behave. From putting the child's silliest needs a priority, to compromising her career and her hobby, to ignoring her personal attention to her own self, a mother behaves so "oddly" as she is so conditioned by the society. Infact, who decides how a mother should behave? Not the society, not the notion of "perfect" mom, it is herself. Bust those myths which are so regressive, and be the smart mom of today!

*The Ideal Mother is self-sacrificing!

The is the first myth that should be busted. The myth that a mother should be the one who selflessly puts her children first and is always cheerfully and lovingly available to her children. The notion of the ‘Ideal Mother’ has always been a moving target. For centuries, mothering was devalued and outsourced to wet nurses and nannies. That changed in the 18th century, to a new doting, affectionate motherhood ideal that some call the ‘cult of domesticity’. 

So when you find yourself assuming you really should do something, be something, or even think something, just stop for a moment. Take a breath and start asking yourself two simple questions: is this what I really want to do? Or is this something I think I have to do? That’s how you’ll begin to start hearing your own voice.

*Working Mothers Suck!

Ask for help. Share the load. All mothers are working mothers and need and deserve support – from spouses and partners, family members, businesses and organisations and governments in the form of family-friendly policies like predictable, flexible work schedules, paid family leave equally shared by men and women, and transparency around gender equality. 

*More is Better!

Here’s the crazy thing about the 21st century: work hours are climbing, especially with technology creeping into all corners of our lives at all hours. We’ve come to show our status by how busy we are, bragging as if our crammed calendars and fried brains were a badge of honor.

Neuroscience is finding that the human brain is actually wired to get fresh ideas and flashes of insight when we’re relaxed and taking a break. Our brains have 90-minute attentiveness cycles, so the most effective work isn’t done by the nose-to-the-grindstone Ideal Worker, but by working in short pulses of no more than an hour and a half, and resting, or going for a walk.

A study of increased parent time with children found that it is quality that matters most for kids' healthy development, not quantity. 

*Play is a Waste of Time!

The nature of play is changing for kids, and almost non-existent for adults. Children are scheduled within an inch of their lives, with music lessons, sports teams and enrichment activities. Play time is even scheduled. We don’t let kids roam, and their natural ‘habitat’ is shrinking.

We assume that pushing achievement first is the best way to prepare them, and for ourselves, we assume our time is better spent being ‘productive’. We’re wrong. Humans are one of the few species on earth that play both as juveniles and adults.

Play teaches us to adapt to new situations and uncertain times, and honestly, that is the best gift we could give not only to our children, but to ourselves. 

(Indebted to various sources)