Lucky are those moms that get lovely handmade cards and gifts from their kids (and husbands!) on Mother’s Day. I, on the other hand, have had to coax, cajole and wrangle out cards from my kids in the past! So, this year I have decided to be ‘atma nirbhar’ (self-sufficient) and write an ode to myself on Mother’s Day!
So…. Motherhood. I was never one of those girls/women who would go gaga on seeing little babies. I found them cute but from afar. Never got the urge to pick them up or make cooing sounds. Though I did know that one day I will be having my own. The rule follower that I am, I took it as part of life – you study, you work, you get married, you have kids, you bring them up.
Hence, my reaction on discovering my first pregnancy took me by surprise. A warm, fuzzy feeling settled into my belly and enveloped my being. The over thinking me, suddenly became peaceful from within. The pregnancy went smoothly and so did the labor (except the last one hour, when I screamed my guts out!). Apparently, I was so happy, that I did not even feel the contractions, even when they were quite strong!
Long story short, the baby was perfect, barely any sleepless nights, no colic crying… you get the gist – and I was a convert! We loved parenting so much, that I knew I had to have another!! So obsessed was I, that after unsuccessfully trying for more than a year, I subjected myself to the painful IVF process, all in the hope of my second baby. And the efforts paid off! I was blessed with not one but two babies! And that’s how I became TripleAMommy – mom to Arnav, Abeer and Anvay!
Now of course, often enough I am tearing my hair out and want to auction off the Triple A, while wondering what made me go through this madness! Kapil, my dear husband, washes his hands off immediately and says, you were the one who wanted more!!! (Never mind that he is the soppier of the two parents!)
Anyway, so here I am, mom of three boys – a 13-year-old and 6-year-old twins – on a journey that is both exhilarating and maddening. As you can see from the blog title – I have NO intentions of being a perfect mom (too much pressure!) and I would suggest the same to other parents as well! Perfection is overrated and has the potential to suck out the happiness from anything! (Do read my book “Raising Capable Children” for more on this.)
Parenting is a balancing act – how much to pamper, how much to scold, how much to discipline, how much leeway to give, how much fun and how much work, how much nutrition and how much junk… and so on..
Let’s dive inside this imperfect world of Tripleamommy!
Parttime single mumma: We have a bit of an unusual family set up. My husband and I live and work in different countries and Arnav and Abeer live with me. Anvay’s primary caregiver is my mom and she along with his nanny comes and lives with us for a few months at a time. Which means that there are many months when I am busy being a single parent to Arnav and Abeer.
I started my single parenting with Arnav when he was 9 and moved in with me. I could focus on him completely and we spent some great times together. He also became independent having to live alone with our house help during my travels. And over the last four years he has become more of a companion. Abeer moved in with me 2 years ago and there is a close bond that we all cherish.
Of course, single parenting comes with its own challenges too – shouldering all responsibilities – physical and emotional, is not an easy task and does leave me exhausted at times. Which brings me to some of my most shameful episodes of parenting….
Horror mumma: imagine an exhausted mother, busy with work all day and then caught up with household work and taking care of two kids. And on top of it, a thin, underweight child who has simply no interest in eating and takes hours to finish a simple meal! So, this is me, worried about Abeer who hovers between 14-15 kgs at 5 years of age, rib cage painfully showing through skin and needs constant coaxing to put one morsel in his mouth after another. Carrot and stick – neither seem to work.
Tired evenings – reminders every minute to keep eating – I suddenly notice it has been more than an hour with less than half the meal finished and something S-N-A-P-S inside me. I fly into a rage, ready to wring his neck, stopping myself just short of doing that and pull his ear instead, screaming my guts out. Abeer is terrified and so is Arnav – he has never seen me in a rage like this. A lot of crying later, Abeer finishes his meal. There is calm for a few days – but then the pattern repeats. I tell him, I explain to him but nothing works. Shocked at my own anger, I tell Arnav to stop me from flying into these rages….slowly I manage to control my anger.
Cut to one year later i.e. today…. Not much has changed as far as Abeer’s eating and weight is concerned…. But I have learnt to control my anger…also told myself that weight does not matter as long as he is active and healthy and happy…and in the hope that he will change as he grows up….
Unwilling to cook mumma!: Talking about food and eating issues…. We Indians are obsessed with ‘Maa ke haath ka khaana’ (home cooked food by mom). Even when I was a child – I knew that that is something my kids are hardly ever going to get!! I balked at the thought of cooking – it seemed like a lot of work and did not interest me at all. (Plus, I think I sub consciously rebelled, because cooking was supposed to be a woman’s job) Even today I cannot make a decent roti (Indian flatbread)! But of course, over the years I have learnt to cook (decent enough!) and much more so since my single parenting began. Arnav even admits that he likes my cooking, albeit no one can beat his two grandmoms at cooking! I am super happy being his second (third) best cook!
Of course, I now understand that cooking is not gender related and am teaching both the boys some cooking – so maybe in future their kids will love their baap ke haath ka khana (food cooked by dad)!
Lazy mumma: Moving on from a mom unwilling to cook – let me also tell you that I am a lazy mom! Now don’t take it wrong. Being a lazy mom is a win-win for all! I get the rest I need, and my minions get trained to do age-appropriate tasks! I am on the way to becoming a master of delegation and ensuring that the boys become self-dependent in the process!
I am also the opposite of a helicopter mom – for instance, I just cannot stand on my older one’s head to ensure he does his homework. AND he used to regularly slip. But honestly, I neither have the mind space nor the inclination to check the homework of a 12/13-year-old boy. So, every time I got a complaint from his teachers, I told him that ultimately it is his life and that he needs to ensure his work is done and of a good quality. It is not my job to keep a check on him, and that no one other than him has that responsibility. So, after a lot of hard work (yeah, the irony!), working on his attitude, I can see the change happening. Fingers crossed; it is there to stay.
Birthday maniac mumma: Having talked about all my laziness, I do want to say that come birthday time, and I become this hard-working maniac. I am obsessed with birthday parties and since Arnav’s 4th birthday we have been having theme birthday parties for him. Which means, themed décor, themed party games, themed birthday cake and so on… we have had great fun organizing those. For the twins as well, we have started themed parties – though it is not as easy in a different country. Last time, I had to compromise on the theme because I was travelling the week of their birthday but made all plans beforehand. Despite landing late in the evening, the night before the party, I spent hours packing all the return gifts before sleeping at night. And so, the obsession continues….
The no guilt mom: I am also someone who believes in her choices. I know that ‘mom guilt’ is very very common and I have decided to stay away from it as much as possible. Whether it is the choice to join work immediately after maternity leave, or travel leaving an infant behind or even move countries leaving toddlers behind – I have stuck by my decisions (lucky to have wholehearted support of the family). No decision is without its pros and cons and I believe in improving the ‘pro’ outcomes of our decisions rather than mull on the cons.
The constantly striving mom: And last but not the least – I accept my imperfections; I accept I can neither ‘have’ it all nor ‘give’ it all. But I am constantly striving to improve or better myself, my life, my kids, my family. I regularly review my decisions, actions and reactions to see where I could have managed better. And I also forgive myself for when I feel there was no better way to respond or react at the given time, in the given moment.
In a world where ‘supermom’ is the ideal, there’s a rebel in our midst – the imperfect mom aka TripleAMommy. I have NO intentions of being a ‘super mom’ – a title I have heard often, and I am sure so have many of you moms. I know these terms are encouraging and meant to appreciate all the effort we moms put into parenting. But I would rather be acknowledged as a mom who is genuinely trying her best and not a ‘supermom’ who does everything effortlessly (because nothing comes without effort).
And I would urge my fellow moms to strive for the same. Strive towards genuine effort and not being a ‘perfect’ or a ‘super’ mom. Embrace your imperfections and those of your kids’. Free yourself from unrealistic expectations and the resulting pressure and stress.
Accept yourself with your flaws and thereby create a safe environment for your children to make mistakes as well. By doing so you will teach them that it is okay to make mistakes, stumble and fall, but get up and try again. They will learn resilience, problem solving and adaptability.
Remember, being an imperfect mom doesn’t mean being careless or neglectful or not ensuring your kids’ growth or safety. It simply means acknowledging that perfection is an impossible standard. Instead of striving for unattainable ideals, focus on being present, loving, and supportive. Embrace the messy moments, the chaotic house, underweight children (Ahem) and undone schoolwork. Laugh at yourself – and your kids, learn from your mistakes, and celebrate the beautiful chaos that is motherhood.
So, let go of the pressure to be a supermom. Embrace your imperfections, for they are what make you uniquely human.
And on that note, Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms reading this and Me.
Thanks so much for reading! Please comment, share and spread the word!
Regards, Sakshi aka tripleamommy
You can find me at:
FB page: https://www.facebook.com/Tripleamommy-2101887313189940
Do consider buying my book “Raising Capable Children” that shares hundreds of tips and ideas on bringing up confident children. See below for buying options.
India – Amazon: https://amzn.to/3j3QSrx ; Flipkart: https://www.flipkart.com/raising-capable-children/p/itm2134c13e7108f?pid=9789390267033; FirstCry: https://www.firstcry.com/StoryMirror/StoryMirror-Raising-Capable-Children-English/8472753/product-detail?q=as_raising%20capable%20children
For US and UK- https://www.amazon.com/dp/939026703X ; https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/939026703X
I think all of us are in the same boat , and we need more n more moms like u to put it out that trying to be “all” isn’t just worth it, n then expecting the “all” is absolutely worthless
Thanks and so true , 😊
Sakshi, this is heart moving! I have told you before and I will tell you again, “you are an amazing woman” I have great admiration for you. ❤️❤️❤️
Thanks soooo much!❤️ Really appreciate the encouragement 😊
Loved reading this perfectly delightful piece, Sakshi!
Thanks so much!