When Divya reached out to me for a blog post themed “Emotional Well-being”, my first question to her was “Mine? Or Sid’s?”. We both laughed heartily, but on a serious note, I think the emotional well-being of a parent and child go together.
Being a parent to a speech-delayed child, along with my own personality, I’ve had a few “ah-ha!” moments about emotional well-being.
Now given that I’m a consultant, my default is always to make organized bulleted lists. So here are some of my philosophies around emotional well-being, be it for a child or a parent
Even a child. Let’s give them the room to express their bad moods. Coming from a middle-class Indian family, having a bad mood meant that you were ungrateful for everything your parents have done for you. The truth is simple and has less guilt involved. It is perfectly alright to be cranky every now and then. Allow yourself and your child to express it in a healthy manner. Do not suppress it for it may show up in ugly forms later in life.
We’re all human and hence are flawed. We lose our tempers and that is only normal. As a parent, I’ve found that the best thing to do in this situation is to walk away from it for 30 minutes (or more!). My husband is quick to take over and allow me some time to myself. Taking a break can also mean indulging in some “me time” regularly. You figure out the right cadence, but allocate regular parent-time for yourself. For me, I like to get some coffee, read a book, get a massage, etc. But this must be alone time – time when you can be just you and not someone’s mom, daughter, wife, etc. And parents, no guilt is allowed during the time. Ignore the dramatic FB posts that tell you that you are a bad parent if you want a mani-pedi. No, you are a great parent for taking care of your own emotional well-being!
If I had to use one word to describe myself, it would be “overwhelmed”. I’m overwhelmed with being a working mom, with the unconditional love I get from my sweet boy, and mostly with the support and partnership, I get from my amazing husband. Our loving nuclear family along with our pillars of support, call Bangalore home. We’re fumbling along the parenting journey, making a few mistakes, but mostly enjoying every moment with Sid. Our mantra – to laugh through the good and the not-so-good times.
With children out of school, physical distancing as the new norm, and children’s rights under threat, the new world order has “turned back the clock” on years of progress made on children’s well-being. However, it’s not all bad. As a human race, we’ve been built to adapt: we’ve seen a tipping point in technology-enabled education and the promise of a new education policy in our country.