Thursday, April 2, 2009

On being a mother...

Sometimes I find it hard to believe - not only did I have a baby, but now he's not a baby anymore, he's a little boy! This is him at 3 weeks old. So small, so fragile. At sixteen months, he has really started to become so much more independent, running around at the park, throwing himself face first down the slide, learning new words everyday, wanting to be able to put his shoes on himself...

Something that is often in the back of my mind is whether I am doing a good job as a mother...and what on earth does that mean? I think that people are often quick to judge mothers (and fathers), to jump to the conclusion that if a child is behaving in a certain way that then the mother must being doing something wrong, that if a child is crying then the mother must be doing something wrong and so on.

I also know that mothers can be so hard on themselves. I know I can be. I often feel guilty for wanting time to myself even though part of me knows that this is important. And then there are those times when Yashar starts screaming in the supermarket, or tries to hit me in the head with a toy or snatches pencils away from other kids at playgroup and, even though I know these things are 'normal' for this age, I wonder, am I doing something wrong, could I be doing something better?

So what is a 'good' mother?? Of course there are the basics - Yashar is fed, safe and generally healthy. But then more difficult questions emerge. Am I providing him with enough opportunities to develop and learn, and is he learning the right things, does he get enough attention from me and his Baba, am I strict enough, am I too strict, does he need more structure and organisation to his days, am I too 'go with the flow', is he having enough fun!? When is enough enough? And what about me?!

Everyone has their own way of dealing with it, there own style of parenting. But it's also so valuable to learn from other people's experiences. So, for you, where is the right balance? What do you think makes a good mother? What was it about your own mother that you are thankful for?

I would love to hear from you all.

6 comments:

emily said...

I am about to become a mother and it is good to hear others have fears or worries too. From my own mother she is always so encouraging and patient. Do you speak English with your son? I am trying to read up on how to raise a bi-lingual child. The bath time photo is adorable! I am sure you are doing a great job!

matt&ruth said...

I think that deep down, a good mother is one who makes her children feel loved completely and utterly...is their biggest fan. For me, I have begun to realize the importance of being "in the moment" with my two little ones. Of soaking up each minute with them and savoring it, cherishing it, rather than letting my thoughts drift to other things, like what to make for supper... I want my children to remember a childhood filled with joy and laughter and love.

I think as mothers we will always be wondering how we can be better...but I also think that no one can love our children as well as we can...I know that I daily pray for wisdom and patience - being a mother is one of the hardest and yet most rewarding jobs on earth.

A Girl in Asia said...

Thanks for this post - it's one I can identify with (I have a 9 month old girl and live in Vietnam, so am grappling with motherhood while living o'seas). I also sometimes question myself (am I doing everything right, is the baby stimulated enough, is she bored at home with me, etc. etc.)! I do agree with matt&ruth that perhaps love is just the most important thing and as long as they have that we shouldn't worry so much about all the other things. I love your blog by the way!

Verity said...

Thanks for your comments! They really mean so much to me. Emily to answer your question - I speak English with my son and my husband speaks Turkish with him (at least that is the plan-sometimes it is hard to stick too.) As a family we usually speak English. But when we are out of the house we often all speak Turkish - especially when there are other people involved in the conversation. Yashar has started to say words in both languages (and already has a better Turkish accent than me!) which is very exciting. If you ever want to chat more about this please feel free to email me - I tried to find how contact you but didnt have any luck. Best of luck with the pregnancy and congratulations!

Bevin said...

Love is always a good thing and there is never enough for your loved ones.

A good momma is one who realizes she isn't perfect and that the job is hard. She loves unconditionally with respect and admiration.

A mom needs to remember that time for herself is as important as time for others, but these years don't last forever so embrace what each day brings. There is always tomorrow.

rose deniz said...

This is a question close to my heart. Sometimes I think that even asking the question, "what is a good mother?" or "am I a good mother?" sets me up to well, fail at being all those things I think a good mother is and does. I count the happiness of my children by the number of smiles a day on their faces. Even if there are tears, if smiles follow, all is right in the world.