Anyone who has entered the world of parenthood will tell you that it is not as easy as it seems. It can be incredibly challenging at times, BUT it is also the most rewarding experience I have ever had. In this post, I want to share five thing I have learned as a parent in the four years that I have been raising my son JD.
5 Things I have learned as a parent
Do not be too hard on yourself
I know everyone get those days where it feels like you are not good enough as a parent and you will second guess yourself. I remember on the day my son was born as I was pushed to the operating room, I was thinking to myself “well, this is it. When you come back to this room, you will be a mom”. I was excited to meet the little person that I have been carrying in my womb for nine months, but I was also scared. I was most stressed about not knowing what to do if my baby cries. How will I know the reason for his crying? But the moment I held that tiny little baby in my arms for the first time, my mother’s instinct kicked in and it turns out babies only need a few things:
- Changing their diapers (trust me there are a lot of those)
- They are hungry.
- They are tired.
- They want to be held and loved.
Do not be too hard on yourself. Remember, we all have our off days. Today might be challenging and hard, but tomorrow things will look up again, and you will feel better. It is not easy keeping a little person alive. You are doing a great job! We are all humans and make mistakes. It is not about falling but getting up and tackling the next challenge that parenting throws at you.
Make time for yourself
Moms do not often make time for themselves just to gather their thoughts or practice some self care. It does not have to be for hours. Maybe, getting up half an hour earlier in the morning to enjoy a cup of coffee on your own, or take a bubble bath while having a glass of wine every night, or just watching a sitcom while everyone else has gone to bed. Time for yourself means taking time to do something for you and not for anyone else. Cry if you had a tough day and you feel overwhelmed and as if the world is resting on your shoulders. Let it all out. You will feel better afterwards.
Trust me, this is going to happen to you all the time. You will have a picture in your head about what you are planning for the day or maybe you’re planning an activity with the kids but it’s not panning out like you’ve envisioned in your head. The day you become a parent, life as you knew it changes inevitably. The key is to stay flexible and think on your feet.
Do not stress about things that are beyond your control
I am my worst enemy sometimes. I used to stress about things so much. My thoughts would drive me crazy at times. I would lie awake worrying and once I fell asleep, I would dream about it too. This means when I wake up the next morning, I am exhausted and whatever I am stressing about has not even happened yet. It is no use making yourself sick about things that you have no control over. All that worrying is not going to change the outcome, nor is it going to do you any good.
Remember to laugh more
Kids get up to the craziest things sometimes. I love watching my son when he plays with his toys. He usually re-enacts characters and stories that he saw on his tablet or at school. Nothing brings me more joy than playing with him and hearing him laugh spontaneously. It feels good to laugh and have fun. We were all kids once and it is easy to forget that sometimes.
Parenting can be hard, but it can also bring you immense joy. I may not be the perfect mom. I make mistakes. But one thing I know for certain is that I love my child more than anyone or anything in the world. I make a point of telling him so. Children needs to know that they are loved and protected. Communication is key. My favorite time is bedtime. This is the time when I get the opportunity to have a conversation with JD and ask him about his day and what he has learned. I want him to know that he can talk to me about anything.