You Don’t Have to be a Perfect Parent, to Be a Great Parent

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You don’t have to be a perfect parent, to be a great parent.

Share your ‘parenting confessions’ through the #butIvaccinate .

A few weeks ago, my kids and I helped my mom celebrate her 65th birthday. It was a big milestone, as many birthdays are after a certain point in your life, and our family really wanted to make it special for my mom.

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As I was going through pictures (for a slideshow) from various decades of my mom’s life with us and before she got married, I had flashes of memories of all the moments growing up where my mom’s strength shone through.
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From memories of her carrying strollers and backpacks on three crowded buses or taking us to school and back through winters with many feet of snow it wasn’t always easy. At the age of 19, she married, had me at 21 and had my brother just over four years later. As a new immigrant to Canada at the time, she ended up finding a job sooner than my dad which meant she was the main earner for a while in our house. Juggling a baby, a new country and raising a family in a new culture was no easy feat. With no grandparents or access to good daycare at the time, my mom made it her priority to be the best mom she could be.

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Her goal was to keep us healthy and happy and fear nothing. She always told me, you have nothing if you don’t have your health. I know there were times she had some #momfail moments but we never felt it. She always made sure we had the right foods to eat, got the right amount of sleep, kept up with homework and vaccinations along the way. She also put a lot of emphasis on talking things through. No question was too silly or unnecessary.

Click to follow the #butIvaccinate conversation

Click to follow the #butIvaccinate conversation

After selecting as many pictures as I could to reflect her life, I was hit with one key conclusion: my mom was a phenomenal mother.

It’s no wonder that growing up I wanted to emulate my mom, and when I became one myself, but boy did I have some moments where I felt like I just didn’t cut it. My mom set such a high standard for what a mother should be; I wasn’t half as patient. Yes, there were moments I’d yell at my kids, get angry at them for not finishing their meals or just want a time out with my Kit Kat in my closet…oh come on, I know you’ve had those. I’ve had days where I feel I have sent kids out with two different pairs of socks, shirts backward, forgotten their snack or been so tired that I haven’t been as patient.

But failing is the only way to learn and sometimes motherhood is really hard. Feeling guilty for wanting to just veg with a show instead of play with kids is something I’ve done. But I’ve learned not to have too many moments like that and my kids will call me out on it.

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We juggle many balls in the air with two or three kids in tow, diaper bags and maybe even with that chai cup in hand.

As South Asian women, we often have many ‘moms’ or aunties that weigh in on our decisions or stand out in our minds as mothers we strive to be like.

Even though I’ve had my #momfails, I always remember my mom’s words, if you don’t have your health you have nothing.

And while not all parenting moments highlight our best judgement, there are things we can do to know that we’re looking out for them.

I put my children’s health first, and vaccinations, good habits, and going to bed on time were all part of the equation. In the grand scheme of things, making sure our kids are happy and healthy is what matters most.

Because if they don’t have their health, they don’t have much either.

Have a similar story? Share yours via #butIvaccinate

Disclosure: This post was developed in association with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, as part of the #butIvaccinate campaign, however all thoughts and opinions are honest and my own. More information about vaccinations can be found at ontario.ca/vaccines.


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