Surfing in Chennai, yes! I get asked a lot about whether surfing on a beach in Chennai equals to surfing in surfing hot spots like Hawaii or Portugal. Who I am I kidding – it most surely is not. Chennai is not a surf town per se and while we do get some great waves, it doesn’t compare to the Sunset Beach in Hawaii.
I’ve been a surfer ever since I moved to Chennai with my parents after my undergrad. I’m a surf instructor too and work on most weekends if not all. Both my kids, Aarav and Aarna, 4 years and 3 years old respectively, think it’s cool to have a surfer mom but what they hate is seeing me go out even during weekends. Whether they get to come to the beach with me or not depends on my husband who is up for babysitting on the beach. On most days he is, but on some days he wants to enjoy the weekend at home (understandable, right?).
My husband and I have had discussions at length about whether I should quit or at least take a break from surfing until Aarav and Aarna are old enough to be okay seeing mommy go out for a bit. While I’ve had my reservations about going surfing altogether, my darling husband pushes me out (not literally!) on weekends because he thinks I deserve to do something I’m so passionate about without having to worry about the kids especially because when he’s around to take care of them!
Besides this, here are three reasons why I decided not to let go of something I love for my kids’ sake.
1. Letting them know to quit is not an option when things get hard
If you’re a parent reading this, I ask you to name one thing you’ve given up after your child came along. I’m sure each one of you have plenty on the list. As cliched as it may sound, we sacrifice on quite a bit as parents. Some because we don’t have a choice and others because there’s too much on the plate with babies at home.
If you begin to quit things you’re passionate about, say – singing, dancing, art, etc. you send kids a signal that when things get hard, quit. We don’t want our kids doing that way before they even become parents, do we? So that’s the first reason why I didn’t quit surfing while I still could.
2. Making them understand self-love
Self-love seems long forgotten for many parents. I’ve seen my parents always put us, kids, first and they’ve done it all their lives. It’s reached a point where we have to coerce them to do something for themselves now. Though Aarav and Aarna are too little to understand why I choose my physical and mental health over them for 3 hours of surfing in the weekend, I hope that they come to understand this when they grow older.
3. Teaching them that it’s not always about them
I say all this like I strut out of the house every Sunday with a surfboard in hand. Nope. Going out while my kids scream, “Don’t go! Take me with you!” is a nightmare.
I hate to leave the house seeing tears roll down their faces. But in a way, it’s a good thing as they will slowly understand that it’s not always about them. If not, imagine how we’re setting them up for major disappointments in life. A few tears today but a lesson learnt for a lifetime.
Is there anything you’ve had to think about letting go of for your child’s sake? We can talk about this in the comments section below.