This lock down has given me the opportunity to be with family 24/7. This does gets overwhelming at times and feels like I am being watched constantly. The kids are always in my radar and I in theirs. This was leading to frustrations and conflict of interests. Juggling between work , household and family I have come to realize the importance of a phased mode of parenting. The demand and supply of parenting throughout the day and how it is effecting us. Let me tell you how my day is like which will give you a better understanding of what I am trying to say.
7:30 am: waking up kids. They then proceed for morning rituals and bath. Anaya my daughter needs me to give her a head bath once in three days otherwise both kids manage to get ready on their own. Followed by serving them breakfast by 9:00am.
Since they have regular calls on google meet these days to complete their school curriculum they are generally busy until lunch. Sparsh manages his schedule in his own while Anaya needs help connecting and organizing. I plan and finish my calls during this time too.
1:30pm: Lunch time followed by free time where they like to watch television while I engage myself with some painting or writing project.
4:30pm: I give them snacks and they we head out in our garden/ gym to play/ workout respectively.
7:30pm: early dinner followed by completing the day’s assignments which may or may not require my presence.
9:00pm : bed time when they want either me or my husband or both. This is the time we bond talk about various things and end the day lightly.
In between there are times when Anaya plays music on Alexa and dances alone. Sparsh often plays with his friends on his laptop once his assignments are done. Evenings call for some board games with family or a round of Housie.
The point that I am trying to make is that we don’t want each other’s presence 24/7. Sometimes the demand is more than the supply and vice versa. And when it’s balanced there is harmony. Each want their space and company as and when required. This is so much similar to moon parenting I had read in Dr Swati Lodha’s book “Don’t raise your kids, raise yourself”.
Though the Moon doesn’t slice itself away or grow the slices back,people on the earth see it as waxing and waning.Similarly,moon parents don’t lose focus but they make their children feel their presence in their lives as waxing and waning.
Presence of the moon parents in the beginning years of their child resembles the FULL MOON PHASE.As the child grows up,presence of the moon parents move towards the WANING GIBBOUS PHASE(three fourth moon).The child sees their presence reducing and his freedom rising while the parents keep their presence intact by being observant.
By the time the child enters the tween age,moon parents enter the LAST QUARTER PHASE(half moon),They let the child take minor decisions by subtly guiding him to choose the right alternative.They hand over the physical reins to the child while keeping the mental reins with them.
As the child enters college, the presence of moon parents reaches the WANING CRESCENT PHASE (one fourth moon) in his eyes.He becomes more self reliant and self confident while the parents hang on as a moral compass, as a shock absorber and as a warning bell in this precarious phase.
Presence of the moon parents reach a NEW MOON PHASE(zero moon) once the child becomes financially and emotionally independent.In west,it happens early and in east,this phase might pass with a blink but this this phase should come for some time to ascertain how a child fares in life with the help of wisdom accumulated over the years sans the active guidance of the parents.
Parenting becomes a joyride from the next phase when the moon parents enter the WAXING CRESCENT PHASE(one fourth moon) by visiting the child or helping him in the hour of need.
The presence of the moon parents further increases when the child marries and become a parent himself.This FIRST QUARTER PHASE(half moon) can be really satisfying when the child gets his parents as grandparents for his kids.This indian family system is extremely supportive and gratifying provided the child saw his moon parents respecting, valuing and taking care of their parents.
The moon parents become an excellent bridge between their children and grandchildren as they reach the WAXING GIBBOUS PHASE(three fourth moon).
With the foundation of right values and a balanced lifestyle, the moon parents reach the FULL MOON PHASE in their twilight years.
Once you understand these waning and waxing phases and the reasons for these, parenting at any stage becomes a joy ride. To me, waning and waxing happens each day forget about a lifetime. And I know that once I learn to respect this and accept this in total I can be a better parent to my kids.
Conflicts arise when;
- Parents have over expectations from their children,and
- Children feel that parents are non supportive.
But once parents understand and accept “moon parenting” as a guiding principle, channels open for constructive conversations and effective feedback is cherished. Parents realize the cons of dominating and over protecting their children and let them spread their wings and grow. As parents we should fuel the fire under their wings today, tomorrow and always. Once this balance is maintained mutual respect and trust persists which is the binding factor for any successful relation.
Full moon, new child,
I hold you with pride,
As you grow from child to young,
From my fingers you slowly slide..
To shine in the sky,
Like a fresh new moon,
No longer you need,
To be fed with a spoon.
And when a new life,
A star is born,
You crave for me,
As if I never was gone..
As I grow old,
I need you to hold,
Now I am your child,
And you, my full moon.
Happy parenting, happiness and sunshine ,
P.S: Painted the moon and its phases on one starry night when this thought struck my head.