Mothers in the Animal Kingdom!

Hello my dear readers!! Before I flit off my next blog on mommies of the animal kingdom, here’s -a big thank you to all of you reading my blog. Thank you for subscribing and thank you for sticking around. Just to ensure I don’t disappear away like I always do, I renewed (in time, phew!) my website and have armed myself with a whole bunch of things while constantly reminding myself to relax. The one thing I apparent can’t do but am determined to master this year. So while I’ve been missing in action here, I became a part of two book clubs. Yes two! One on Instagram called the IKIGAI book club where we read eclectic, vibrant books and converse with fellow readers virtually, spam their feeds with quotes from the book, remind them to read, bug them literally to pick up books we are reading and challenge them to an experience. It is also by the way, the worlds first experiential book club which I am personally super excited about. The second book club is one that is so real and hence so endearing. In the company of 6 girls, we read, meet, eat, laugh till tears well up in our eyes, opine and actually have book club questions that we answer. So so fun and so so amazing. So basically I’ve been upping my reading game and have given My Royal Bookness a comma, not yet a full stop. And since then I’ve also began ‘arting’ about and have put up stuff on my art page on Instagram. So you see I’ve been mostly on Instagram and have also been scattering my energies away. As my son is soon going to be a toddler and is halfway through his 1000 golden hours (the first three years of a human life) I’ve been a little more free and mulling on a few many things in my best interest that include an architecture career, investment lessons and yes ofcourse parenting styles.

One of the books I read this year, precisely this month is one that focuses on Tiger mothering. The “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” was part of no book club but a recommendation from one of my favourite people and also a wonderful fellow Mom! While she herself working on attaining a PhD in architecture she inspires me endlessly while I languidly while away my intellectual prowess and be a hands-on Mommy to my lil T-Rex. But mothering is no monkey business. We mothers are shaping the future, (yeah, yeah) battling existing norms, challenging traditions and preparing a generation that is smarter than us for sure. It’s just Darwin’s law of evolution I am making reference to 😜 your children are bound to be smarter than you. So then well, while our hearts beat and pray for their glorious future our parenting styles may just make or break their future. I think of Lady Gaga. And now I’d like to make a reference. When she was at her peak, in an interview she said how her Mom would smack her knuckles and made her play the piano for a minimum of 4 hours in a day. Certainly a product of A Tiger Mom. And then I think of the Mom’s who are wannabe cool Moms who’s kids are just that, cool, chilled and if the Gods are kind, maybe Bill Gates. So antagonistic to the Tiger Moms, the Moms who expect nothing but perfection, who’s kids have immaculate cupboards and starched uniforms are the whole load of Elephant Moms, Jellyfish Moms and my favourite the Dolphin Moms. Dolphins are my favourite animals and hence I am severely biased. But here’s a look at the Mommies of the animal kingdom. As a disclaimer I’d like to say that no one way may be right, no kids future rests solely in the hands of the mother, much as we’d like it, (it ain’t fair then that we carry our children for 9 whole months, all by ourselves and then be singularly subjected to childbirth, but then life is unfair and we must be grateful for that) mothering may well be monkey business and we all need to take a chill pill. So presenting my case for the Mommies of the animal kingdom!There are lots of animals in the wild, but let’s focus on a few, for now at least.

Starting with the TIGER 🐅 mom. Now this one is a no brainer. First of all it should be the TIGRESS mom because Tiger is in actual effect the Dad. But hey, either way the Tigress does all the work in general, hunting-gathering food, protecting the territory, having the young and then raising the young. With such a high- pressure job, the tigress then demands nothing but the best on her children. Straight A’s, prom queen, Ivy leagues whatever, the drill is that if I can do it so can you, rather, so bloody you. Failure is not an option since it never was an option for the tigress. Do unto the young as the elders do unto you seem to be their mantra. Have you ever seen a Tiger in the wild? It’s glistening cost, it’s manicured talons, that’s just how the tigress Mom is. Well turned out, immaculate and perfectly in sync with her day and her universe. If you happen to be from another universe then well, may God help you! The children of the Tiger moms are either those who reach scales of height in their life, whether they wanted it or not, or then those who develop stammers and can never value themselves high enough. It was never taught to them to be more than their achievements and hence they will only slave away their life to achieve. Or if the parenting style backfires the children then just go numb and can turn to rebel in action, word or deed. This style of parenting takes the most effort, draw up action plans, send the kids to the best tutors and make them achieve, for in their achievement lies your achievement! Given all kids are not born equal and some are inherently talented in different spheres but the Tiger Mom does not acknowledge this fact. If you polish it enough, even steel will turn to gold this one thinks! Being a Tiger Mom is a gamble for sure, and the Tiger Moms lives are seldom larger than the lives of the children.

And now for the next Mommy of the Animal Kingdom, the Elephant Mom! The Elephant Moms are touchy feely Moms and make sure to be in close contact with their kiddos for the first 5 years of the childs life. It could mean co-sleeping, tons of hugs, oodles of kisses, being around, having a watchful eye, staying close, even carrying the child around while going about tasks if the need be. Like Elephants these Moms are very strong, ofcourse they’d have to be if they carry the kids around! But still, elephant Moms maintain close contact and stay with the child, without forcing, not once chiding or even stirring the child in any particular direction. It is the parenting style that takes unconditional love. A friend of mine said oh this is so you when I was describing this style to her. No I do not co-sleep with my son nor do I not stir him (gently) in the direction I want him to go, but then yes, I never chide him and I do love him unconditionally. (Although I wish I am a dolphin parent, you’ll soon see why.) The benefits of Elephant parenting are many. For starters here is a kid who is poised to grow into an extremely emotionally secure adult. No insecurities for this one. No matter where life takes them, no matter the people they encounter, they know that they are enough, they are complete. The prodigies of this style of parenting are said to have stellar relationships, with themselves! 😀

The Jellyfish Moms are those who stand or enforce structure, they are extremely free flowing to the extent that they cannot make decisions, schedules for themselves or their offsprings. Picture a jellyfish flowing away disconcertedly all over the deep blue sea, with no goal in mind, very content and happily away. The good side  may be that the child will have to take the initiative for everything, be proactive, but the downside is probably that the child will not be able to exercise will-power or the zeal to take a stand when push comes to shove, floating away relentlessly in the ocean, as in life. Its wonderful to need little from life to be contended and free-flowing, to have no structure and no form, to be like water, that is if you really want to be so. Having great will-power is having a great sense of control, sometimes relinquishing will-power and listening to the flows of the universe may also get one to places you never knew existed, it may all well turn out for the best!

The Dolphin Moms on the other hand do not relinquish total control, they are more like partners or friends and get the kids to listen through logic while also getting the kids to do most of their work, all while lending a hand when necessary. These Moms follow a parenting style that is relaxed, based on negotiation and gently guide the child, flooding them with choices while also letting them know that the choices they make will have consequences they will have to live with. Playful, they do not take on the burden of their kids, knowing fully well where their lives end and the child’s life begins. Perhaps hard to do in the initial years, this style of parenting for one allows the parent, to have a life of their own. In a zest to give the child the best, parents end up sacrificing everything and look back at years of non-activity, something that a dolphin parent would never do. This Mom, is aware that as time goes by, the child grows and she grows too. Its a life of equality where there is no hierarchy and the child does not have to listen to Mom, just because she said so, the child can apply thought, the Dolphin Mom encourages thinking for oneself and makes it clear that help though will be offered, its up to the child to make use of it. No spoon feeding or no forcing. Such Moms are chilled, its more of a personality trait, playful and know when to leave the party!

And for the final type of Mom, the Monkey Mom! This Mom is literally the child. And the child is forced to grow up matronly and as the wiser one. The Monkey Mom wants to live like her child and does not see the child as one who needs help. They are a part of nature and they will grow she says as she dabbles with art, fun puzzles and plays on (literally) the monkey bars! Happy, eccentric and munching on smileys, mac and cheese, this Mom has not let the child in her leave. She’s full of fun and frolic, a trend that children would love in their Mom in the initial years or may even see how enthusiastic and lovely she really is. Such Moms enjoy the birthday parties, making friends with the children’s friends and generally have a very cheery attitude to life. The dishes will be done, things will move but for now lets focus on the fun they say. The kids in this parenting style never forget to laugh at the silliness in life, to never sweat the small stuff and let me add have a penchant for orange. (just kidding) But still Monkey Moms love monkeying around and the children will never know the boundary between childhood and adulthood. On the flipside though these kids may simply be embarrassed and turn into the worrywart since no one seems to be worrying for them!

There are more mommies in the animal kingdom and more ways to parent than written about here, but we can all agree that the very purpose of life is to enjoy it and as I sign off, its definitely a case of each to his own. But I would definitely like to say, in bold, caps, that, LET THEM MOMMIES BE!!!