Why were we not taught about this?

Institution of marriage and the role of being a parent

From the moment you are born, you anticipate passing through numerous stages of overall development through learning. From learning to hold the neck firmly to walking, from babbles to sentences, from chewing objects to turning them around. You are always learning something, even if not evident. Skills need to be consummate to adapt effectively to the age-appropriate environment. Parents show concern if the child is not able to achieve age-appropriate development.

On the other hand, as time flies, you put your foot outside to enter the social world where your new learning begins-teachers or gurus take control here to help the child learn in detail about various facts of life. Children are provided with an environment to develop a curious mind, to question. Everyone can be literate however, everyone cannot become educated. So, strive to be educated has never disappointed anyone.

It brings me to the core question of this article-even though we learned throughout our school days, college days, during higher studies days too, I hardly remember any time when we were taught about the most crucial aspects of our lives-Institution of marriage and the role of being a parent. What is it? What to expect? How to handle it? So on and so forth. Why? It is as if you wait to learn about these on their own when the time comes.

Your grit is put to examination once you are married. You are judged in every possible manner-how you talk-she is too loud, how you eat-she eats too slowly, how you walk, what you wear-list is never-ending. You are parceled out to a new territory with no prior knowledge of how to handle it. She may not know most of the time from where to start, as if learning from a scratch A-B-C-D of a new syllabus called marriage. Was it part of the course? Is it not our course syllabus? How can I sit for exams when I don’t know about the syllabus itself yet? These may be the popping questions, giving constant throbbing in your heart. It is not all. You look forward to learning on your own along with the anticipation to pass out with flying colors. What an irony of our lives!

You are still struggling to manage this new chapter in your life in addition, here comes another out of syllabus chapter-not even chapter-full course-Parenting. Welcome to the new world of child-rearing and nurturing. Now, you need to manage both simultaneously like a magician. Crash course on child-rearing starts.

When you look at your baby, either affection overflows, or rather you are blank due to postpartum depression. Whatever emotions you experience, you know you are caught unprepared together with the nervousness it brings along with it. As if you need to sit for yet another exam unprepared where you don’t even know if you could make it. In your heart, you are sure you would fail, despite that how could you say it aloud? Nevertheless, at the same time, you want to do your best even if you are not prepared.

I still remember those days when I went through the stage of postpartum depression, in addition to the fact that I didn’t know anything about child-rearing. I didn’t know how to put diapers correctly or how to boil milk safely at a particular temperature before giving it to baby-check, check, check! The child becomes your world. And you would want to learn at your will everything beneficial for your baby’s development. Sometimes you pass nevertheless, sometimes you fail too in your journey of trial and error.

I wish we would have learned about such crucial aspects of life earlier!! I still remember how I failed many times, how I cried! I felt exhausted, I even cursed myself for being the worst parent for not knowing what to do and what not to do. While cooking, either you know the recipe or you search around for a particular recipe but the recipe is needed. In the same way, I also tried to seek help from available sources and applications of my learning around child psychology.

Yes, there are various parenting styles however, there is no fixed rule for being a good parent-there is no rule. You need to make your rule as per your child’s individual and unique needs. Life loves to test your grit and sometimes you are caught unaware, unprepared to face the toughest challenge of life.

Gradually, as time passed, I learned a very important lesson of life that every parent makes mistakes, every child is different, every parent is different, every parent comes with different experiences in life. That every parent, with their unique experiences in life, tries their best to succeed in the most difficult test called Parenting.

Best Wishes,
Pallavi Sahu
Rehabilitation Psychologist

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