Key

When I chose to take up ‘Parenting’ as the theme for the A to Z Challenge this April, the one thing I had in mind was, I wanted to reflect on my life as a parent from 26 different angles.

I was desperate to get an understanding as to where I stood, what exactly I am doing to have a positive impact on my child’s growth, why does being a parent feel so stressful most of the time, so forth and so on.

I am not a new parent but in my journey as a parent, the two things I have understood are:

  1. Parenting is not a trick that one can master. It is an onward journey where a new challenge lies at every turn. Nothing can prepare us for it but to keep going and learning from our experiences is the only way.
  2. There are no Sundays or holidays in parenting. One must learn to enjoy being a parent for it to not feel like a responsibility or a stressful job.

In the many topics I have covered so far, one thing has been clear, the relationship of a parent and child begins with the promise of unconditional love.

The key to parenting lies in unconditional love.

Key of love

Urban dictionary defines Unconditional Love as:  To love somebody with no conditions or circumstances: to love completely.

That is exactly what we wish our relationship with our children to be.

But is it so in reality?

Do I love my child without expecting her to obey my instructions?

Do I let my child make choices and let her learn from his experiences without trying to influence her choices to ways that I want her to act?

Do I not pour my stress out on my child simply because I am in an authority position at times?

The list might be longer than I’d like, but what’s obvious is the fact that I’m failing at loving my child unconditionally.

Does giving selflessly to our children all the time, putting our children’s wishes above ours qualify as unconditional love?

When I delve deep into this rational, I find that constantly putting my own needs, my life on a back burner would only make me say something I don’t like when my parents say to me “How can you treat us like this after all that we have sacrificed for you?”

That is more like asking a price for the sacrifices we’ve made. Nowhere close to being unconditional or love for that matter.

“Love is made up of three unconditional properties in equal measure:

1. Acceptance
2. Understanding
3. Appreciation

Remove any one of the three and the triangle falls apart.

Which, by the way, is something highly inadvisable. Think about it — do you really want to live in a world of only two dimensions?

So, for the love of a triangle, please keep love whole.”  ― Vera Nazarian

Love exists. Agreed. But, the principle clause “No matter what” needs to be satisfied.

I believe, to be able to give unconditionally, I need to have an unending resource of the thing I wish to offer. Be it love, joy, acceptance, peace or appreciation, before sharing it with our children we need to possess it in plenty.

Investigating further, I realized that somewhere down the line, to be happy, at peace with myself and loving myself enough requires me to pay enough attention to my well-being. Spare myself ‘me’ time to relax and rejuvenate. I should have made peace with my past.

It sounds like too much work and definitely calls for an investment of time and humongous effort. Making room to watch what I’m eating instead of gulping down the left overs from my child’s plate. Finding time to regularly exercise, even if it means waiting for my child to go to sleep or of to school. Taking a break to read books even if the house is left in chaos with toys strewn everywhere.

I tried it.

And the small portions of peace, well-being, relaxation I earned made these adjustments feel totally worth it. Just when I was beginning to celebrate my new-found patience with Pari on my march to loving her unconditionally, a pang of guilt hit the pit of my stomach.

My conscience voiced the question, “Am I not being selfish taking slivers of time out of what I could be spending with my child to indulge in self-love?”

The answer to this wasn’t too far. I can happily give my child only what I have for myself. My newly earned sense of well-being was helping me in my march towards achieving  unconditionality.

The only obstacle in my path of loving unconditionally is my fear that if I let my child have unconditional choices, the freedom to be who she wants to be, she’ll not listen to what I have to say. She will not obey what I ask her to do. What will happen to my desire to guide her to lead a disciplined life?

This is usually a trigger to a Pandora’s box of negative thoughts. No-matter how hard I try to resist going down the spiral of possible negative things that could happen to my precious child, the minute these thoughts fill my mind, my resolve to love unconditionally flies out of the window. I am certain, these disciplinarian vibes reach my child because I’ve often seen fear writ large on her face when she has been up to some mischief.

This is when I had to decide what I wanted more.

To be a parent who her child thinks of rather cool. One who she’s sure to love come what may as against whom I successfully molded into my perceived notion of being an obedient child, a puppet dancing to my tunes.

It might sound obvious in writing but in real life, it’s a tough call. Choices aren’t chalked out in such an obvious fashion. It all boils down to the ultimate choice between allowing or resisting. 

I am far from being sorted on this delicate balance. But to keep myself guided, which way I wish to be heading I see it as making a choice between gifting freedom to be what my child is born to be or becoming a parent I wouldn’t want to be a child to.

For now, I have decided to let my child be. I have promised myself to hold back my hounding desire to control or to discipline at the cost of small joys. I am working at being able to let my child learn to fly, even if it means she’ll fail and fall a number of times.

I am at work, finding the key to happy parenting ~ Unconditional love.

Have you been able to love someone unconditionally or received it from someone?

Key-1

* This post is part of the April A to Z Challenge 2016. My theme is Parenting.

Please find my other posts here.

 

37 thoughts on “Key

    1. That’s very kind of you to say Jackie, thank you.
      However I think every parent invests the same effort in the upbringing of their children, though they might not be able to recount their experiences on a global platform like Internet.
      I am glad you liked what you’ve read 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  1. All I can say is, you can love a person unconditionally…But it’s a reality that you expect something in return. Not in any physical form, but in the form of understanding or appreciation. As parents, at some point in life, you tend to tell your child , “After all what we have done for you..”. You cannot blame them. We may not like. But, there is always an expectation in any form of love. Brilliant post. It is good that you try to find yourself.

    Visit to read Army Wife Tales at Tale of Two Tomatoes
    You can also drop in to check 26 Chicken Recipes at Something’s Cooking

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    1. I agree Shalzzz. Every parent, irrespective of whether their children recognize their sacrifices or efforts goes on to put the interests of their children as their top priority. And I believe whatever we do for our children, it never goes unnoticed by them. But, putting it in words to sort of send the child on a guilt trip and be blackmailed to yield to our (parents’) wishes is wrong. Having expectations from our children is only natural but expecting them to be fulfilled at any cost is taking it too far.
      Thank you sweetie 🙂

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  2. Another masterpiece from you ME!

    Unconditional love is key to developing a strong bond with your child and happy parenting at large. You are so right; parents need to have love, joy, peace and appreciation in abundance to give to their children. And no, you are not wrong if you take some time out for yourself. Don’t be guilty of your ‘ME’ time. You need that to keep yourself going – to think, to reflect, to be more productive and to give more to your child. I consider ‘ME’ time as one of the key ingredients for my happiness. I wrote a post about it recently :
    https://thewonderyears123.wordpress.com/2016/04/11/ingredients/

    To answer your question, I like to think I love my family unconditionally. I say I ‘think’ only because as much as I want them to be happy, I also want to feel loved by them. In terms of receiving unconditional love, I think nothing can beat the love I receive from Bambi. That kid will do anything to make Mommy happy. She even made a wish to the stars once to ‘’keep Mommy Happy’’.

    Great post!

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    1. I had to type my comments twice because the first time I typed it went missing halfway through. I thought it went missing but looks like that was not the case. Hence the repetition of the first paragraph , sorry.

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    2. Wow! Bambi is such a sweetheart ❤
      I quite agree with your idea of loving our family unconditionally because no-matter what happens, positive or negative we always stick around and be there, loving more than ever before.
      Thank you so much Truly Happy.

      Like

  3. “..if I let my child have unconditional choices, the freedom to be who she wants to be, she’ll not listen to what I have to say. She will not obey what I ask her to do. ”
    Maybe the solution to this question is quite simple: If you trust your child enough, she will listen to what you have to say. Maybe she will obey what you ask her to do. All because of trust, which is a by-product of unconditional love?

    But then, as I was typing this comment, I realised something: It’s much more than only unconditional love. So many ingredients to being a good parent. So many methods to be followed in parenting. It really is a lot. Sharing this post. It really is thought provoking 🙂

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    1. That’s quite correct Fabulus. Being able to strike that balance of unconditional love and trust is indeed tough. But, what is easy in life? Nothing. That’s why I feel, why not invest some thought, time and effort in making my relationship with my child better and happier one learning from day-today experiences 🙂
      I’m amazed at your maturity and the wonderful way you are always able to look at both sides of the situation.
      You’re amazing ❤

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  4. That’s a thought provoking post you got there. Being a parent is not easy and someone like me who isn’t ready and will never be, it’s a great responsibility that you are bestowed upon. To be able to shape a child and who they become. Unconditional love – yes, parents love us like that. That’s why they know when we are in trouble. I can write more but let’s keep it for another day. As I said – food for thought 🙂

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  5. Wow.. What an insight on Unconditional Love, seriously if a parent ask these questions as you have posed. We’ll realize we all are brought up or bring up our next Gen, like a deal. Loved it ! 🙂
    @TirelessReader from
    RandomRagas

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    1. I have never posed so many questions to myself as I have done in my limited experience of being a parent. It inspires me to seek answers and look for strategies to help beat the stress that being a parent of a spirited child often fills me with.
      Thank you Shalini 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Definitely the key is unconditional love for any successful parenting. The first time I felt this was when my baby dived/lunged from someone else arms into mine when she saw me, fully confident in the feeling that her mother would catch her! Children should always have the security cushion that, whatever happens, at least my parents will stand by me. That my dear is the key we must all aspire for. To be there, and love no matter what! A poignant and thought-provoking piece by you. Well done 🙂
    @KalaRavi16 from
    Relax-N-Rave

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    1. Well said Kala.
      Indeed our children’s unconditional love and trust in us inspires us to love them back with the same purity and in a similar unconditional way.
      Thank you 🙂

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    1. That is a wonderful take on unconditionality Reema 🙂
      We are all made up of expectations and learning to balance them with the love and trust we gift our loved ones can make up for an almost unconditional love.

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  7. inquisitivegeet

    Such deep thoughts on unconditional love and so true in every aspect! Acceptance, understanding and appreciation. Saying that we love someone unconditionally is pretty easy but if you really check its meaning and how it is like to love someone unconditionally, are two different aspects. And it makes me wonder, have I ever loved someone unconditionally in my life ever? Or will I ever love someone like this without expecting them to love me back and accepting things the way they are!

    And the things that you do and the wisdom that you share here is truly a delight to read. Yes, truly!
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Cheers
    Geets

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    1. We often express our love in hunky-dory words, seldom taking a moment to realize if we’re delivering what we say we’re. Such introspection has always helped me seek answers to the questions circling my mind.
      Thank you Geetika 🙂

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  8. I always believe that we can’t love someone or give anyone happiness till the time we don’t love ourselves unconditionally and let ourselves be happy. I know its easier said than done but still I try to follow it as much as possible.. Yes my real test would be if and when I become a mother, of course…
    I know I have told this before, but still, the way you try to analyze things and the way you try to correct yourself when you see that things are not working out is commendable. I guess Pari is really lucky to have you as her mother but please don’t be too harsh on yourself.

    Cheers,
    Srivi – AtoZChallenge
    K for Kite | Twitter

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    1. So glad to come across someone like-minded 😀
      You’ll make a great parent Srivi. It is only when this beautiful responsibility is bestowed upon us do we realize our potential of doing the impossible.
      Thank you dear for your constant support & love ❤
      {Hugs}

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Very thoughtful post. As a mother who has successfully brought up three wonderful children I can only say that you’ve hit the nail on the head. Unconditional love is the key.

    Like

  10. Pingback: Yin and Yang – The Era I lived in

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