There is a lot of pressure being a parent now a days. With all the technology and easy access to information, I always feel the need to know/learn every little thing I can that will benefit my daughter. In a way, this is great, because I am aware of the products I shouldn’t get for my child, what food is better for her, whether she is developing properly and I can have access to new ways to spark her curiosity. However, this can also be overwhelming. It is impossible to know it all, at least it is for me – I barely find the time to take a proper shower, let alone make sure I know EVERYTHING about what’s best for raising Emma. Besides, there is always a plethora of conclusions and opinions, and it takes a lot of reading and time to be able to accurately make up your mind. Fortunately, I have a lot of mom friends, whose judgment I trust. So if they give something to their child, I know it is good, and that helps me narrow down my choices. I have also learned to prioritize, I know what I deem of most value to Emma and that is what I will mostly focus on and research about.
Raising a child has also become some sort of competition among parents and I notice some parents constantly brag about their child or compare children unknowingly and unintentionally. I know at some point I’ve done it and I only realize it once I hear the words coming out of my mouth. I really try hard not to, but living in New York, everything feels like a rat race, including raising your child. Likely because there is an abundance of opportunities and choices – what daycare, pre-school and school your child attends, what extra curricular activities/classes they go to, what experiences they are exposed to and so on.
Most of the time when I see a parent that has a toddler, they tell me everything their child has accomplished, what activities they are involved in, how much they know and are extremely curious to see where my child stands/what she knows. As a parent, you are extremely elated over the smallest things your child does and the questioning among parents is a way to measure how your child is developing. But sometimes the over sharing becomes bragging, and really, children develop differently and the majority of them will catch up and level out once they go to school. In my eyes, Emma knows enough and she is developing into quite a little troublemaker.
Seeing how children develop now a days and how brilliant they all seem to be, it makes me question – Am I doing as much as I can for my daughter? Am I exposing her to enough things? Am I teaching her enough? And then I remember, she is only 2 …. I love her a lot and I show it and tell her all the time. Yes, we argue sometimes as she is becoming her own little person, but we spend a lot of time together and I always have her interests in mind (well, what I genuinely think are her interests) and ultimately, I think that’s what matters most.