I read somewhere that being a parent means loving your children more than you love yourself. My question is, why do we have to love them more than ourselves? If I make myself a priority, does that make me a bad parent?
Actually, it doesn’t. I am a great parent and I love my children to the moon and back. But I love myself more and that is what I am teaching my kids too. I don’t want them to grow up and blindly follow a set of rules that have been around for eternity, without questioning them or reasoning them out.
There was a time when I also took it for granted that my mother should love me more than she loved herself. The same way that my grandmother had loved her and I would my kids when the time came. But as I grew older, I realised both my grandmother and mother never bothered about their own health while making sure all their kids were healthy.
It was a pattern I was to repeat when my kids came. I remember when my son was three years old and my daughter was two, I had a ligament tear in my right leg. The doctor specifically asked me to rest up and avoid movement. However, I thought being a mother, I should be doing everything for my kids and refused to take help even from my own family. I did it out of love of course, but it was more because I had the old mindset, which made me think that if I didn’t do what they wanted, it would make me a bad mother.
Well, nearly 11 years later, my right leg still hurts because I didn’t give myself the rest I needed back then. To add to it, I become a “bad mother” whenever I scold them…though now I don’t care!
You see, I have a very simple rule in life: If I am unhappy, how can I make anyone else happy? Just like the cabin crew tells you before the plane takes off, “If you are travelling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your mask first, and then assist the other person.” The same rule applies for parenting, whether a father or mother.
Over the years, I have learnt to question everything that doesn’t make sense to me. As a new parent, I did not. But, after 14 years into parenthood, my children and I make our own rules. I do not compare my parenting style with anybody else and I ensure my kids also don’t. I am teaching them to follow only those things that make sense to them for when it’s their turn to become parents.
I wish I had realised this early on in life, because then I would have ensured my mother live her life the way she wanted and not alter it to suit us. I would have had the sense to ask her to re-marry and not slog the way she had in order to give us an amazing childhood. The past, however, cannot be changed, but I am determined to not let it happen to my children.
There are days I don’t want to be a parent and that is absolutely okay. There are days I don’t want to even lift a finger, so I let the children do everything. I make them responsible for running the house for the day, and they love it. They learn new things – their weaknesses (which we work on later); managing money; and most importantly, how to be self-dependent and responsible human beings.
It’s on these days that I pamper myself. Pampering doesn’t mean I spend money on myself or go shopping every time. Sometimes, I do nothing. I just lay in bed, drink coffee, watch television, or read a book. Sometimes when I’m really low and need a boost, I go for a haircut. From small things like talking to a friend or simply going out for a drive, there are so many things one can do.
The important thing is not to forget that you are a person too, and owe yourself a little “me-time”. You must have your own identity and love yourself. Remember, loving yourself more doesn’t make you love your kids less.
Photo: Top: Swarnavo Chakrabarti Bottom: Benjamin Manley
12 thoughts on “Love Yourself More Than Your Kids”
Written so well… Loved every word… Memories…
Thank you very much! 💕
Thank you so much 💓
Beautiful piece di. Each of your sentence holds so much of depth and meaning that I understand. Thank you for writing it what we feel.
Thank you very much for your kind words ❤
Absolutely beautifully penned, Lovely piece to read👌
Thank you ❤
Completely enjoyed reading what I had been following in life. Your simple writing makes so much sense and it’s easy to connect with it. Thank you for putting it down in words. 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏
Thank you, you just made my day! 😊❤
Food for thought!
Thank you ❤