Just like the title of my blog, my parenting journey is not just about me bringing up my kids, it is also a journey where my kids are bringing me up.
There are so many things that I simply did not realize before I had kids. They do get on my nerves more often than not, but I think that this is a learning process for both my kids and myself.
Here are just a few lessons that I had learned from my kids. I am sure that there are many more but these are on top of my list:
When my kids were throwing tantrums or getting all upset over something, I learned that what they need most of the time was a hug and kiss from me to make everything well again. They just wanted to know that I am still with them and everything will be ok. They will calm down and put all their worries and sadness away when they know that they are safe in my arms. At times, this is something very difficult for me to do. Imagine having to hug someone when you are fuming mad with them! But if I just breathe in deep and try to relax, I find that I can do this and it takes a lot of stress off immediately just by hugging. Perhaps the next time when my husband and I have a huge argument, we can try to hug each other to remind ourselves that everything will be ok because we love each other.
Make time for the ones you love
After a long day at work, I would usually appreciate a little time to myself when we reach home. I just want to sit down, have my dinner alone in peace and read a book. But that did not happen often enough. Instead, my daughter will be asking me questions every 5 minutes and my son would plead with me to play with him. After such exhausting days, I would rather be alone and not do anything for just 15 minutes. But looking at them, I know that they just want to spend time with me after not seeing me for the whole day. So I think it is important for us to make time for our loved one no matter how tired we are just so that they know they are loved.
Don’t be angry for long or you will be missing out on the good times
My kids can be fighting like crazy with each other one moment and be great playmates again the next moment. It sometimes amazes me that they can just turn off their anger towards each other in split second. Me, on the other hand, finds this a bit difficult to do. How do you get from being angry to happy in just a minute? But I realize that if my kids are like me, then they will miss out on the happy times that they could be playing together. So why harp on anger and disappointment when we can choose to be happy instead?
Nothing is too yucky
Before I had my own kids, I thought that I would never be able to handle anyone else’s poo, pee, vomit, mucus and other bodily fluids and excretion. The sight, or even just the smell, of it used to reel my stomach and make me gag. But once I had my first kid, it was such a natural thing for me to handle all these. There wasn’t even a time when I gagged. It was just so normal for me to clean up all their messes without thinking that it was such a disgusting chore. Even now, I still help them to clean up themselves and on occasions had to wipe a pool of vomit off the floor. So now I know that I can definitely do anything and that there is nothing that can be too disgusting.
Love should be unconditional and should not be taken for granted
Even though there were times when I screamed and yelled at my kids (which I regretted it later), my kids did not hold it against me. They still love me and come to me for hugs and kisses. I know that things will not stay the same, especially when they grow older, and that I should never take their unconditional love for granted.
It’s great to snuggle
My kids love to snuggle with me. They want me to hold them as they drink their milk, when we pray, when read and whenever possible. Yes, it takes more time to get things done when you are snuggling. But I have learned to take things slow and spend the few precious minutes snuggling with them as it makes them feel loved. I think adults too should snuggle with their partners/spouse to keep the lovey dovey feeling.
My daughter can be quite head-strong when it comes to her dressing. Most of the time, she has her own sense of style and though it looks ridiculous to me, she seems to think she looks great! Sometimes, though, she managed to amaze me with her mixing and matching. Her hairstyle is also another thing that she can be quite stubborn about. Though I explained to her that she looked ridiculous with her hair tied up high on top her head and that her friends might laugh at her, she insisted that it was ok and that she doesn’t mind if anyone laughed at her. So from her, I learnt that it doesn’t matter what others think of me. What I think of myself is more important.
Don’t worry too much, everything will fall into place
Sometimes, I think I worry too much. I worried when my son hardly ate when he was a toddler. He was so picky with his food and refused most of the food I gave him. He would just say that he was full and he stopped eating. I used to get extremely upset about it. Then I worried when my son was going to start kindergarten 3 years ago. He was a quiet kid who hardly spoke and I was worried if he will be ok if he doesn’t communicate with his teachers and class mates. Then when my daughter started kindergarten at age 3, I worried if she would be ok sitting in the transporter’s car which has no child seat and seat belts are often not used. There were so many other stuff that I used to be worried over but now I know that there is no use being overly worried. Somehow, everything always falls into place, exactly how it was supposed to be. We just need to have faith in ourselves, our kids and God.
Life passes by much to quickly, so treasure each wonderful moment now
Seeing my son going to primary school last week, it reminded me how fast time flew by. I can still remember when he was just a baby in my arms. In just a blink of the eyes, he is now attending primary school and soon he will be reaching his teens and later as an adult who will be spending more time with his own family instead. So I really want to treasure each and every moment that I have with my kids now so that I do not regret missing out on these precious years. And whatever is important to me now, I should treasure it before it is too late.
And what about you? What are the lessons that you have learned from your kids?