“A portrait of my son, once a week, every week, in 2015.”
Still loves the swings!
Anyone who has a toddler knows how challenging it can be. One minute they love noodles and the next, noodles are the enemy. They go from loving bath time to thinking it’s the worse part of their day. And sometimes they lay on the floor saying they want to go outside and when you get all their gear on, they change their minds. It’s a full time job! But amongst all the craziness, you have these magical moments. The one’s that make your heart swell and bring tears to your eyes when you re-live them.
I’ve been having lot’s of those moments lately. S has been extra cuddly and he’ll randomly come up to me and say “I want a BIG cuddle” and then proceeds to throw his arms around my neck and really squeeze. It’s the best part of my day!! In the last couple of days we’ve invented a “small cuddle” and that’s where we go nose to nose and do a little “hee hee hee”. It’s random and silly and probably makes no sense to anyone else. But it’s our magical moment and I’m making the most of it before he grows up and thinks I’m weird!!
We all have them…those boxes kept up in the loft or the back of a cupboard, filled with memorabilia from our childhood or a previous relationship. I have one such box which I stumbled upon a few days. It’s a box I haven’t opened in a long while and so was actually quite taken aback by how much was in it.
The letters and cards so obviously from a much more youthful time. It was nice for a few moments to go back in time and reminisce. Without wanting to sound completely narcissistic, it was actually a pleasure to read some of the letters and remember what the writer thought of me and the person they saw, when they saw me.
Like most SAHM’s, I go through phases of feeling completely useless. Of course in reality I know how much I do for S and how much I enjoy being there for all his firsts but that’s the thing…it’s all about him. We tend to get so caught up in making our children happy that we sometimes lose ourselves. We forget what awesome people we were (are) before our “little world’s” came into our lives. And when you go through a break up, you forget even more, because no one was telling you.
So for 10 minutes I went back in time and was reminded of who I am, what I am capable of and the difference I make in people’s lives. It was a nice feeling…you should try it sometime 🙂
I went to a parenting talk yesterday (more on that tomorrow) and the speaker reminded us of an old poem by Kahlil Gibran that is so profound, I felt the need to share it here.
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.
Have a peaceful weekend x
Last week when I picked S up from nursery, he ran back in to make sure he said bye to all his class mates and said bye and high-fived his teacher. “He’s such a well mannered child” she said. And like any mother would, I blushed with pride.
I remember reading an article a few weeks before that about a lady who said she would not prompt her child to say please or thank you. And while I can sort of understand where she was coming from (her argument was to allow your child to develop at their own pace), I do believe that in the same way we’d teach our children about the world (colours, new words, foods, etc), our children need to be taught manners.
Of course much of their learning comes from watching the people around them and so being mindful of ourselves and modelling good manners is the best way to teach our children. But a few prompts here and there help significantly.
Here are some fun ways to encourage your child to say thank you:
1. Add a high five! Children love the sense of touch rather than being put on the spot to say a few words. Adding a high five makes saying thank you a fun thing.
2. Get creative! A nice way to say thank you is to send a card or a picture/drawing/painting done by your child. If you explain to them what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, they’ll associate saying thank you and being grateful with a fun activity.
3. Don’t forgot your thank you’s and follow it up with your reasons. So you could say: “Thank you for helping me open the door and letting your friend in”. “Thank you for helping me hang the washing up.” Children are more likely to say thank you if they understand why they are saying it.
And all the time remember, no pressure. Your child might not say it one day and the next day it’ll just click. Forcing the issue or shaming your child in front of other’s will only lead to them grudgingly saying thank you, which really will only make us feel good in front of the other person but make our child resentful.
I’ve been participating in “A mother’s time out global gathering” (AMTOGG) this week and one of the talks I listened to was by Shelly Lefkoe.
Shelly believes that we can eradicate violence, aggression and bad behavior if we raise a conscious generation of children. The beliefs we instill in our children at a young age (specifically until they are 6-8 years old) are the beliefs that they will live with for the rest of their life.
She works with a lot of people who have self limiting beliefs and when she digs a little deeper, most of the time she finds out that the beliefs stem from a person’s childhood and most likely came from their parents. Parenting and specifically being a mom is a tough job. As mom’s we are responsible for the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual development of a human being! That’s a tall task!!
If our child comes up to us to show us something new and we repeatedly say “I’m cooking now, I’ll see it later” or “I’m trying to iron the clothes, I’ll look later”, eventually the child will start to believe that what they are doing or showing you is not good enough. Our children only want three things: Our acception, attention and acknowledgement.
The best piece of advice she offered was this: Tell your kids that they are not here to live up to other people’s expectations and what other people think doesn’t matter. The best question you can ask your child and instill in them to ask themselves in any situation is: What are the consequences of my actions?
Teaching our child to ask themselves this question from a young age will allow them to make better judgements as they grow older.
You can listen to the conversations for up to 48 hours after each one. In case you don’t catch it, I’ll be doing a short summary of some of the speakers here.
A mother’s role is probably one of the toughest in the world. Trying to juggle work, home and play. Constantly worrying about your children and family. Keeping abreast of the needs of your child while constantly wandering if you’re doing things right.
It’s a series of talks by 15 different speakers from around the world who invite you to take a time out from the stress and worry of being a mom and move towards being the mother you want to be.
S and I were walking to our local Tesco Express yesterday when we passed a pub along the way.
S: Mama, I want go in there.
Me: We can’t go in there S, let’s go to the supermarket just here.
S: No mama, I want go in there.
So we peeked in the doorway and he says:
S going inside, I want lollipop!
Thank god that’s all he wants!
This is my 200th post….that got here quickly…I feel like I was just writing my 100th post not so long ago. Today also happens to be my 31st birthday!! 🙂
It’s been a trying year to say the least but also one filled with lots of love, laughter and memories to cherish. I spent 6 weeks this summer with my extended family and quite literally cried my eyes out when it was time to say goodbye. S has grown so much in the last year too, he’s gone from a babbling baby to a terrific toddler and if you follow my Project 52 pictures you can also see just how much bigger he’s gotten physically as well. He’s a ball of energy, keeping me on my toes 24/7.
This year has been a great learning curve as well. It’s forced me to re-evaluate my life and sift through the crap to figure out who I want to be and what I want for me and S. Enlightening to say the least.
So here is my list (because who doesn’t love lists)…31 things I’ve learnt/realised/remembered in this my 31st year:
1. Toddlers are the only beings who can make your blood boil and your heart melt in the space of 30 seconds.
2. The number of your REAL friends is not even a close approximation to the number of your Facebook “friends”.
3. It takes adversity to figure out who your true friends are.
4. Sindhi curry with lots of okra is like liquid gold!!
5. I’m a heck of a lot stronger than I thought I was.
6. Estee Lauder night eye cream is good stuff.
7. I do in fact like bright lipstick.
8. Poo is not as gross as it once was.
9. I’ve decided what my 3rd tattoo is going to be.
10. People will disappoint and let your kid down and there’s nothing you can do about it.
11. Having a Peppa Pig cake for my 31st birthday because it makes my son happy is worth it.
12. The camera on my Samsung phone is awesome.
13. I really do love London.
14. They don’t make Indian movies like they used to.
15. 24 Season 9 was not as good as the first 8.
16. I think I’d actually make a pretty good lawyer.
17. You can never take too many pictures of your child/ren.
18. Blood is far thicker than water!
19. When one door closes, sometimes you gotta crank other ones open yourself.
20. “Love you mama” are my 3 favourite words.
21. “Mama, kiss it better” are the four cutest words I’ve ever heard.
22. Giving up sugar is not as hard as I imagined.
23. Having a supportive network of people is like having a backbone…it holds you up.
24. Anything that’s mine is also my toddler’s and anything that’s his is only his.
25. There are no mistakes, only experiences to learn.
26. It’s never too late to start over.
27. It’s better to have tried and failed than to never have tried at all.
28. You can’t force friendships or any other relationships for that matter.
29. Never underestimate a toddler, they are much smarter than most of us give them credit for.
30. Wine won’t solve all my problems but it certainly helps.
31. The world will not stop for you so when you’re down, pick your self up, dust yourself off, slap on a bit of lipstick and get moving.
So looking forward to the next year 🙂
All moms will tell you about it…those cute words your toddler uses that sound like one word but mean something else. I had my first taste of one today. In the last couple of months, S’s speech has really improved. He speaks in 4-5 word sentences, he knows what he wants and is able to use his words to ask for it and 99% of the time I can understand what he is saying. But today we were driving to a park when the following conversation happened:
S: Cock mama, a cock!
Me: What’s that S?
S: A cock
Me: Hmm..I didn’t see it. You mean you saw a big TRUCK??
S: No mama, cock. Time!!
Me: Ohhhh you mean a clock!!
Can’t wait to hear what’s coming next 😉