Sunday, February 25, 2018

MOM LIFE :: What My Children Have Taught Me So Far

If you reflect back on your journey as a parent, can you come up with a list of things that your children have helped you learn or realize?  Here is my list.  You might relate to some of mine.

1.  Uninterrupted sleep is a luxury-  My toddler has helped me realize this more than my daughter.  We still have nights when he will wake up in the middle of the night and he is not usually the easiest to get back down to sleep.  Lately, he resorts to climbing out of his crib right away too so I tend to wake right up in the night when I hear him stir in his crib.  I have realized that for me, six hours of uninterrupted sleep is a must at night.  When I don't get this, the next day is challenging.

2.  Patience is key-  This one is obvious, but did you have it down with your first?  I find I am so much more patient with my second.  I was patient with my girl, but with two kiddos now I am queen of patience.  I realize more than ever that kids run at a different wavelength than us.  I have a far better understanding of what they are able to do at each stage of their development and I have grown accustomed to letting go of expectations.  Each day is different and some days just require a different tempo.  But if you think about it, even on the crazy days, you still manage to fit all the essentials in.  You might not get them done as quickly or efficiently as you hoped to but they still get done so I just go with the flow now.

3.  Multi-tasking and time-management skills are essential-  When you were single or newly wed sans kids, did you ever think you could accomplish so much in a day?  I mean, if we had the time-management skills we have now back then, where would be now?  I multi-task around the clock.  For example, I fold clothing and put it away while they watch their cartoon because I know they will be hypnotized by the TV for 20 solid minutes.  For our crazy days when we have a lot on the calendar, I can usually fit everything in by prioritizing and dividing tasks between my husband and myself.

4. Trusting your gut is key-  It took me a while to get this one down.  If you feel that something is wrong with your kid. chances are you are right.  Start working towards getting a diagnosis.  You have to listen to that inner voice and trust your instincts, no matter what you are hearing from other sources who you might think are more versed than you.  They might label you as a "nervous first-time mother" in the process.  Don't pay attention to it.

5.  Don't worry about what others might think-  As a new mother with my daughter, I remember feeling very anxious in public, specially when she would start crying as a baby.  I knew babies cry, but having her cry in public made me especially anxious.  I felt like I was just not doing something right and that others were able to see right through my inexperience.  We don't have an extended support system with our kids and have had a steep learning curve as parents.  With my second kid, there have been no traces of this early anxiety because I have confidence in my skills.  My daughter started to change my mind in this matter too in her preschool years when she started to dress herself for school.  She would layer the tutus over her cords or jeans most days with whatever t-shirt and sweatshirt looked good to her.  We would let her go with it because she was so proud to have dressed herself.  As you can imagine she did not match well most days, but it did not matter to her.  She was proud of herself and I found it so refreshing.

As a mama of two, I have my share of crazy moments.  Right now, they tend to happen in stores.  My son is very active so shopping can be quite an adventure.  I never know how long he will last in the cart.  If he wants down, he usually dashes away the moment I let my guard down which he finds histerical and makes my daughter laugh too.  Trying to put him back in the cart usually leads to a tantrum and of course loads of stares but I find myself unfaced by all of it.  I remain calm and do my best to navigate the moment with grace so that I can make a swift exit, hopefully with my purchases in tow and a calmer child too.

These are some of the key things that my children have helped me realize.  What have you learned in  your journey as a parent?  I would love to hear.

I hope you enjoyed this post.  Thank you for reading!

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