We have planners to remind us of our daily, weekly and monthly activities. We have alarms to wake us up from our deep slumber. We have desk calendars to show our work priorities and meetings but as parents, we mostly solely rely on our memory. Fret not, just relax and read my blog from time to time (www.blissfulthoughts.com) and I promise to share lessons I’ve had or still having as a mom of 2 cute kids (a 1-year old and a 3-year old). So, here’s to feed you with 4 short but sweet pieces of advice/reminder on making parenting closer to bliss.
Please read on…
1. Take a break before you break someone’s heart more-so, your children’s hearts. Yes, we have super love and super care for our family but please admit that you and I do not possess any super powers that would shield us from fatigue and depression, forever. It’s like depriving yourself of its basic needs, only to splurge later. It would be better to have a small but balanced and consistent dose of rest and relaxation. Do not wait for the tipping point. It’s dangerous because that is where the resentments will start and with resentments come harsh words and nasty actions which we might later regret due to the pain they inflicted upon others.
What you can do? It really depends on your needs and personality. For myself, I’m good with a once a month date with myself and once a month date with the mister. Date with myself means to do whatever I want or need to do that is not related to my kids, husband and work. Whether it’s a lunch with my BFF, a visit to the bookstore or a quiet afternoon in a coffee shop. The date with the mister happens usually in the morning before we head to our offices. It’s either when we’re too early or too late for work. For the SAHM who have no yayas, the me-times and couple time could come in the night at the comfort of your home, when the kids are already in bed.
2. The moment to enjoy is NOW. Because we can only throwback photos but not the moment that just passed by. We can never turn back the clock of time. When the day is over you can never rewind it. Life is to be lived only forward, never backwards. So, enjoy. Savor every stage of their young lives. Time slips too fast. Before you know it, they are already grown-ups. I know this is not uncommon advice but still it’s the easiest rule to forget. One tantrum, one sight of a mess, one bunch of clutter, one broken expensive toy, one writing on the wall, one fight and we forget to enjoy every moment spend with them. It’s okay to teach them values and all but we, myself included tend to snap out and get angry and yell at the top of our lungs. We spoil the short opportunities we have to enjoy with our kids. Guilty now, eh?
What you can do? If the mental reminder does not work for a busy and tired person that is you, go visual then. Print it, paste it, frame it, hang it all over the house — on walls, bedrooms, bathroom and refrigerators, if you must. Do it. It works. The same way why most of us put pictures of our loved ones on office tables or as desktop screen-savers, to motivate us, inspire us and remind us.
|My gorgeous baby boy and My Loves|
|My darling baby girl.|
3. Teach them patiently. Patience is required not only during a child’s tantrum but more-so on his/her learning. Learning not just of school academics but of simple values in life too such as saying thank you. There are times when I would feel
upset inadequate as a mom when my 3-year old son seems not to listen to me, my instructions, my lectures and all that. What I learned from experience is that they may not obey us immediately but that doesn’t mean that they don’t listen to us. They do retain in their heads what we are saying, I assure you they do. I caught myself surprised when my son suddenly started saying/doing things I told him several days ago. That means, he listens and he remembers. Delayed obedience as I call it when we parents do not get instant results from our children. Again, no instant results but the fruits to reap at a later time are sweeter.
What you can do? Keep on telling them what’s the best/right thing to do even if they do not obey you right away. Repeatedly tell them to, say, pray at night, say good morning/night, wake you up when he’s wet at night or when he wants milk instead of crying. Most likely, one day you’ll be surprised they are already doing all those that you’ve told them. Don’t get tired telling them and I’m sure you won’t!
4. Listen with all your being. By that I mean, with your ears, your eyes, your heart, your mind and your soul to better understand, your whole attentive attention. In today’s fast-paced, instant and super busy times, I often find myself rushing and with no energy and enough enthusiasm to listen to what my kids have to say. Sure, I try to lend them my ears. I always do. But, deep in my heart I know what I’m doing is simply not enough to nurture young souls. Mommy guilt confession alert! Most of the times, I just nod and do not even look at them eye-to-eye. I’m busy doing something else, my mind is off somewhere or plainly browsing on my phone. If they are contesting, complaining or justifying their actions that made me call them out, I usually drown their tiny voices with my own loud one. Cruel? I feel terrible and sorry but it happens really when my stress-level is nearing the edge.
What we can do? Remember to respect their tiny but cute voices. Listen to them as you would want others or them to listen to you. First thing to do which I find as a very effective listening-starter is to look at them straight in the eyes. Everything else shall follow because when we look at someone’s eyes, especially of the young and innocents, we see through their souls which speak to us, beg us to listen to them patiently and enthusiastically. Whether it’s some incomprehensible story, a song, a no-funny joke or a made-up event, listen. Even if their words are rumbled, hard to understand, even if it’s taking them too long to finish, listen. Letting them finish at their own pace not only sets as a good example but also encourages them to speak their minds and talk to us, their parents. It surely is one good habit nice to start forming as early as possible.
I hope you learned a thing or two! Honestly, I needed this post myself to remind me of what I should be doing with my little kids. You have anything to add? Please feel free to post your comments and let’s make parenting a blissful journey for all.
P.S. More photos of my family.
|Look at Jonath, taking a pinch of his father’s donut! Cute!|
|Claret wanting to get mama’s phone.|
|Jonath sure knows how to enjoy his donut.|