Women rock!

I grew up in a patriarchal society – where the son inherits the property, where the wife goes to the husband’s house and takes the husband’s name and the children get the father’s name.

But where I come from and many other parts of the world – there is a very strong matriarchal society – where the daughter inherits the property, the husband has to go to the wife’s house and the husband never takes the wife’s name but the children do.

Now as a mom, I think of all the things that I do and what happens if mom is not home or does not have it planned or organized it. You guessed right – nothing gets done or completed if mom is not involved.

Of course until men give birth (actually that already did happen with Thomas Beatie in Oregon but he was a woman first), women still have to go through labor physically and metaphorically. Have you noticed no matter how much the dad does, the kids still need their mom?

Moms are the ones who guide, help, cajole, threaten, bribe or force their children to do things that as moms think are good for their children. It could be reading, playing a sport, dancing, completing a project or following a routine. The children may not agree at the time but some time in the future they will look back and thank their mom.

Now all the while I was growing up I thought the man called the shots not realizing that it is the women who get the job done. So to all the girls out there – it does not matter what you plan on doing when you grow up – but as long as you have a child or children you will always be the most important person in that child’s life and will be responsible in shaping that child.

“I get all the glory,” says Leah Adler, Steven Spielberg’s mother as she walks past one of his movie posters. “I eat it up. And all I have to do is be the mother.”

Parenting in this day and age

Have you been listening to the songs on the radio recently? Have you watched any of the shows on TV recently? It really is a challenge for someone who is a parent trying to raise their child on values that you grew up.

We never had to worry about listening to songs that talked about drugs, sex or alcohol. The songs we listened to were poetry from the heart and had hidden meanings that we had to figure out. What ever happened to that?

We never had to worry about shows on television that glorified drugs, sex or alcohol. Now days you can’t even hear a conversation that does not have at least a few swear words. Shows were funny and good clean fun that you could enjoy with the family. What ever happened to that?

We never had to worry about exposing our kids to inappropriate material on the Internet. Nowadays it is so easy to get access to material that is inappropriate.
We never had Internet so the rules are all different now.

Nowadays parenting is tough. Most of the parents are not even a traditional two parent family – the kids probably stay with only one parent. Society has changed. The traditional support group of grandparents or the community is harder to find. Kids grow up quicker because they have to deal with too much too soon.

They watch movies and listen to songs with subjects that we dealt with when we were adults. Definition of funny is not hilarious because of a spin of words or slapstick but different that involves a lot of cussing.

So as a parent how do I handle all this? Can I change society? No, but I can establish my own rules – respect for elders, manners and follow the rules. I don’t think you are cool if you cuss in front of me – I just think you are out of control.
Treat others how you want to be treated and then see what happens.

I wonder how things will pan out when these kids become parents? Que sera sera..what will be will be…

Expectations

One is told that you should not have expectations, then you won’t get disappointed.
But that is a hard concept to overcome. Even as adults you expect so much because you assume other people will follow through. But how do you explain that to a child?

How do you teach a child not to have expectations when you tell him you have high expectations of him? There is something wrong in that whole equation. If you look at human behaviour, your expectations are based on assumptions. Your assumptions are based on past behaviour. Your behaviour is based on training and how you have been brought up. Your training is based on your past experiences and your bringing up is based on your parents’ belief system. So there are a lot of factors that go into this.

One thing you realize is that you cannot change people. You can only change yourself. So if you never want to be disappointed then you have to be the person who never disappoints. Like Mahatma Gandhi says ‘be the change you want to be’.

You have to project to the universe the person you want to be so that people of similar nature are attracted to you. There will always be people who disappoint, but then again you cannot change them. Don’t get stuck in that rut cause you may never get out.

So be the person you want to be and project that into the universe.

Pounding pavement

So, I decided not to fall for that constant conversation in my head and run outside instead of indoor.

From advice given to me by seasoned runners – I should do my long distance running outside – gives you a feel for when you run the whole course. Good advice because the mind was so distracted with everything else going around you – there was no time to whine.

One of the advantages of running outside you have to keep going. Why? Because even if you decide you are tired you still have to make your way back home. Unless of course if you have someone following you in a car who can take you home or call someone to pick you up.

Another advantage – fresh air. when the weather is good, it could be a beautiful day to run. Fill up your lungs with the smell of summer – be it flowers, freshly mowed lawns or barbecue on the grill.

Some run with headphones on – I don’t think it is a good idea since you have to be alert about your surroundings. It might work in a gym where you are trying to find things to keep you going.

How far did I run – I am not sure – still have to work it out – but I ran longer than I was at the gym and was less tired – does that mean I am getting stronger – probably.

Now to figure out how to get rid of the boredom while running.

Bringing up Kids

It is a very scary and daunting task – bringing up children and getting them prepared to face the world fraught of all kinds of dangers, teaching them to make the right decision, learning from their mistakes.

It is also the most rewarding of tasks you will ever do in your entire life or lives. I have utmost respect for those parents who do it alone and for those who adopt. It takes a special kind of person with a big heart to be able to adopt and raise kids, and if those kids are physically or mentally challenged – more power to them.

The hardest thing for a parent is stand by and watch their children make mistakes knowing that some things they have to figure out on their own. Even harder is for a parent to outlive their children.

A point that was constantly driven to me – you only have one chance to raise your kids – once that chance is over – nothing you do can ever make up for it. Another point was children watch and learn so they learn by example. Do what you want them to do so that they can see how you react and make decisions – actions speak louder than words. The problems don’t go away once the children get older – the problems just get bigger with them.

Once a mom, always a mom right?