Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Karma at its best - it made a 'none-too-judgemental' mother out of me

I recall that the first time I ever contemplated on my parenting style was when I was loads younger at a Chinese New Year party at my Godparents' place catching up with other fellow cell group mates.  One of my cell group mates brought along her son (less than a year old then) and the son was fussing as he was sleepy.

I was intrigued when my cell group mate excused herself and then went into one of the rooms to nurse him and put him to bed. When she returned, she apologised for her 'departure' and shared that her son is not used to noise and light hence she had to go into a quiet room. 

I recalled sharing then that when it is my turn, I will make sure that my child will be exposed to light and sounds so that she can sleep anywhere. HA! Shows you how much I know and what an annoying twit I was.

Well, 'karma' has certainly come around and taken a nip of me in the butt. Dumpling was anything but an easy baby. Despite having the best well-laid plans of letting her be exposed to light and sounds while putting her to bed, she would literally fussed for 2 hours and still be awake! Finally, after weeks of battling it out, I gave up. With my tail between the legs and head looking to the floor (not to mention arrogance out the door), Dumpling was quietly carried to a room with blinds down and where there is little sound and put to bed. 

I look back at moments like these and laugh. What a smart-mouthed chit I was. I am surprised that my GF did not give me the finger or the boot out of the apartment then. Years on and now that I have a demanding, inquisitively active and sassy-mouthed kid (hmmm I wonder where she got that from...) I realised that I have grown up quite a bit. 

I was at Pizza Hut near my place last year and there was a mum with 3 young kids (look to be 2 preschoolers and 1 toddler) with the hubs nowhere in sight. The mum looked frazzled, tired and very tightly wound up. The eldest child was not eating properly and was playing with her food. Frazzled mum talked to her nicely and the child started to whine and fuss and whined some more. She pushed the food around and started making a din at the restaurant with the cutlery and plates. The middle child then modeled her actions, started to throw food around and somehow started 'fighting' with the eldest kid. The eldest child did not stop despite the mum asking her to. The infant began to cry. The mum lost it. She snapped, yelled in the restaurant and pulled the eldest kid by the ear out of the restaurant. Hubs was still nowhere in sight. Everyone was just staring at them. I caught some remarks on her parenting style. But at that moment, I felt sorry for her. And no, I am not just saying that so that I look good here. But she truly looked like she had a really tough day and the kids' antics must have been the straw that broke her back. 

I was 'judged' from the moment Dumpling was out and around in the neighbourhood when she was all but 2 weeks old. The neighbourhood aunties would 'tsk tsked' me for being out (I had to get out of the house as I was battling PND then) or perhaps it was because I, too, have lost it on many counts where I threw tantrums of my own while Dumpling threw hers. I learnt that while mummydom develops me as a person, it also does bring out the worst in me. 

Every family has its parenting style and while it may not be 'textbook perfect' (ohhhh how easy Gina Ford painted it for me!) as long as it works for that family, who am I to judge? Of course there are often times when I feel that a particular child could have benefited from better habits (perhaps being read to more often, etc.) but I learnt to let it slide and zip up my mouth (before someone hands me the glue) as it is not my 'battle' to win. 


What do I know and who am I to judge with the different family dynamics? After all, karma has definitely come round my way and may just be lurking around the corner for the next nip! 

MummyMOO

14 comments:

  1. Hahahha!!

    I mentioned before that on hindsight, I should have named the boy: Caden Karma Moo, right?

    Guilty as charged!

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  2. We've all been guilty of being judgemental, so you're definitely not alone! These days I hold back and not say anything that I will regret when karma bites me in the butt!

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    1. Ha ha... I think it is a rite of passage too! I think all of us would have gone through it and got nipped in the butt at least... once? :p

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  3. I think I'm one of the rare species who knew what n how i want to discipline my child even before I have one. But I took it too hard n harsh n it backfired. See what I have gone through the past one year. I got bitten at the butt too hahaha~

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    1. There is definitely no one method fixes all - even with the same child, there are days we need to let go a bit more and days where we need to rein them in. You are getting there Jen!

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  4. Sometimes parents are the worst critics when it comes to other people's children. I've also learnt not to judged other parents and children because each family have their own way of doing things and like what you said, own parenting style. So lets encourage and not compare! :)

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    1. Thanks for popping by and leaving a comment Qiu Xian! Yes, that's very true. The judgement part is very real and let's not get me started on comparisons! :p

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  5. Wahahaha love that Aunty Acid picture there. Yes, I am a sadist.

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    1. I am a huge fan of Aunty Acid. Makes me laugh daily. :p Thanks for popping by Pei Shan!

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  6. reminds me of this incident where one kid threw a major tantrum and another parent told her own kid (right in earshot of tantrum kid's parent), "see! so badly behaved! don't learn hor!" some people really need glue.

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    1. Hi NerdyMum, either glue or Karma ;p

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  7. Hey babe, are you sure the one you saw at Pizza Hut wasn't me? It sounds like me, and my kids, and I have lost it so many times with them, even in public! I used to think that well, it's always bad parenting when the kids misbehave before I had three of my own... And then I learn to just SHADDUP and seal my mouth real tight!

    Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Lol, you are too hilarious my dear!!!! Yes, it is not easy handling 3 let alone with such close age gap! The poor mum really looked terribly stressed out - you would definitely understand! :) Thanks for popping by!

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