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Parenting teaches a lot. We learn and grow from our mistakes, right? So, every parenting journey presents some lessons with time. Before I go into the lessons that I learned from Motherhood, I want to share this lovely quote. This is true! Don't you agree?
"Being a mother is learning about the strengths that you didn't know you had and dealing with the fears that you didn't know that existed" - Linda Wooten
1. Be Flexible
Life with 2 kids is very unpredictable. Thank God, the elder one crossed the 5th year, else it would be a roller coaster ride. Since I love traveling and enjoy unexpected journeys, many a times I thought I will travel the same way with kids. But, we always have to tweak our plans a bit, plan in more details about food, accommodation and travel breaks for rest. Travel is just one of those which needs to be customized as per child's moods. Going to a movie or to a park or to a tourist place or cancel the trip completely and take rest after running behind the kids and tired - It is better to be as flexible as we can. Initially, I used to be upset with the change of plans and get tired managing the cranky mood swings of kids. Now, I have backup plans to see that they are not hungry, bored or cranky. Now a days, I am happy to just read a story to them or make a craft together and relax in a weekend and less concerned about things not going my way. 2. Have Patience
I think, every parent of a toddler would agree that their patience levels are not enough to manage the naughty guy. As parents, we learn to have patience and control our tempers. Anyways, even if we shout at the little ones to not put everything in their mouth or stop running in a shopping mall, they don't oblige easily. Right? The only solution is to be calm, divert them and control the situation. This skill can never be taught but only be experienced, practiced and improved. What do you say?
3. Seek Support
I am an independent woman and I love to sort out problems on my own without taking anyone's help. But, when it comes to kids, I prefer to take help from family and friends when it becomes unmanageable. Whether we are a stay at home mom or working mom, it's not easy to run behind a toddler, feeding and cleaning him on time and entertaining and teaching him good values. Even though we tend to do all chores by ourselves, it's better to seek help from other family members and spouse instead of getting stressed with parenting 24/7. I learned not to feel shy to ask help from my parents and in laws when I need a break. Ofcourse, the support from spouse keeps me sane on weekends when I can get some time to relax from regular chores.
4. Enjoy the present
In this busy lifestyle, we rush every day - cooking, getting kids ready to school, feeding them, making them do homework, evening snacks, cleaning the house, laundry blah blah. I learned to take some time to enjoy the present. My younger one will soon start going to school. How much ever I hate running behind him to feed something and clean his mess, this age is never going to come again. Those sweet simple words with innocence can never be experienced after one more year when he will talk like an adult. He will grow up from those chubby cheeks, cute curls and lovely eyes to a school-going boy. I don't know if I get as much time to enjoy his laughs as I am getting now. So, I learned to cherish the present joyous moments and act naughty along with him.
5. Don't forget 'Me' time
Initially, motherhood is stressful. Especially during breast feeding, sleepless nights when child is sick, cleaning the mess daily due to scattered toys, feeding the toddler for hours and hours while he doesn't even open his mouth and I feel damn hungry, when the kid bangs the bathroom door hundred times in 5 mins..etc., These were tough times when I had to forget my interests and sacrifice my blissful sleep. But, I realized, I cannot completely sacrifice the 'Me' time. This makes me more stressful. If I had to get up 30 mins early to have a peaceful cup of coffee reading my favorite blogs or have to sacrifice my 30 mins sleep to read my favorite book or write my blog, so be it. This is very much needed. I learned to take the advantage of my toddler's afternoon nap to watch interesting movies or to read a book or just sleep. This made a lot of difference and I felt refreshed. So, these are a few lessons that parenting taught me. What about you? What have you learned from parenting?