When you are initially pregnant with your first child, what you do not realise is, how much your children will teach you about yourself. There is no more accurate mirror of your personality and your good and bad traits than your own child. My son is such a parrot of what I say and how I say it, it has definitely made me take a good look at myself.
Don’t take life too seriously…I was definitely a victim to this, always wanting to do things correctly, never get in trouble, wanting to be liked…but now, who cares! I am trying to raise a child that is confident with who they are and not overly concerned with pleasing others to attain self worth. I watched my son, in his first swimming lesson without us in the water with him. He is not concerned or stressed with doing everything his teacher says, he is not concerned about getting his kicking right, he is just having fun, and with time he does get it right. If he wants to start making big splashes just because he can, he will and I love that carefree attitude. I want him to learn while having fun. While I have to watch that I do not over compensate for my own failings, my main goal is to raise a child with the right balance. He is 3…he can splash as much as he likes 🙂 Your own children make you remember how small you are in the scale of things and its much better to do things with a smile on your face and a laugh in your belly 🙂
I’m not always right…yes I have always suspected this, but my son reminds me of it everyday. He pushes the boundaries I set and I see that everything is still ok. He pushes me past my comfort zone. He suggests many things I want to automatically say no to, but I try to stop myself and say ‘why not’. I am all about encouraging my children to take calculated risks. I would much rather them take the risks while I’m watching than wait til I’m not watching. So I say ‘yes’, watch him like a hawk and hold his hand.
Don’t sit on the sidelines…my children have given me so much more confidence in myself. They give me the reason to pursue what I do. I would never have believed anyone would be interested in what I have to say or what I create. I want my children to see me as more than just a mum, to see me as a person that works hard for her goals, even if she starts pursuing them in her 30s. I have dreams for my children and part of making those dreams a reality is my ability to be a vocal mum, ‘you only get out of life what you ask for’ hey? My children give me the confidence to ask.
Negotiation skills…Raising your child takes unbelievable patience, much more than you ever thought you had. Your analytical skills, negotiation skills and foresight skills are over utilised every single day. There is no reason why your “independence asserting” child needs to listen to you or do anything you say. It’s our “skill” that encourages our child to do what we say because we phrase things for them to WANT to do it. My brain is exhausted trying to work out how to convince my child that doing things my way really is for the best (for the moment). I can’t wait until he can understand all I want to do is keep him safe and happy! If these are not valued life skills, I do not know what is.
Its ok to make mistakes...if this was not true I would be in deep trouble! Every time I am not happy with how I deal with my children, I just try harder the next time. There is always tomorrow for a fresh start. “New Day” resolutions are made every night. This is true in other facets in my life also, I get very few things right, but I keep trying…
I never expected any of these life insights when my son entered my arms for the first time. To be honest I now actually “like” myself. Who I am and what I stand for so much more now that I am seeing it reflected in my children. When they awake each morning with a smile, it’s not just because I am lucky, but also because of my efforts to instill in them a positive attitude to life and the confidence to give things a go. By all means this is just the surface of what I have learned and what I still have to learn, but right now I am just a mum trying to articulate her own truth.