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I recently read somewhere, that one child makes you a parent and two, makes you a referee. How true! Anyone with two children will agree to that. More than half my time goes in settling their fights, however trivial the issue maybe, for them it's important. And if it's important to the kids, it's important for the mum, what are my options? End of the day i sleep happy that i got that much more time to spend with my kids.
With not a big age gap between my two boys, they play together most of the times. And until now as they shared similar interests it was easy for me too to be involved in both their playtime together. In Fact, playing with them i feel like I'm reliving my childhood all over again. However when my older boy started first grade, things started to change. As he's growing up and making new friends he is also becoming more assertive with his choices. He is also turning into an independent little boy with each passing day. The ever growing friend circle also meant less time with his younger brother and me. Somewhere I felt that the playful moments we all spent together were helping us bond. Especially since so much has been changing with my first grader, i felt it was even more important for us to spend quality time together, i as a mother wanted to be involved in this growing up and evolving process.
Ever since my first born was a little baby, evenings were our fun time out. Garden time was an absolute favourite. But last week when he wanted to go to a friends building to play and i wanted to take them both together to the garden all hell broke loose in our house. So amidst plenty of tears, crazy screaming and mind blowing confusion I realised i had to do something to take care of this situation. As much as i want both my kids to grow up in a free thinking and carefree atmosphere, I don't want them to be careless towards anyone's feelings. And in this case, without realising it, my son was hurting his own mom. But for an almost 7 year old boy, playing cricket with his buddies would any day sound more interesting than going to the garden with his mom. It wasn't his mistake, i realised I would have to adapt to the situation and help us all find a middle ground.
It was time to get creative. I sat down to think about the things that interest him the most, and two things came to mind, Lego and Swimming. Keeping his interests in mind, I enrolled both of us for twice a week swimming class at the club. Now twice a week i had an whole hour of just him and me, and I would make sure to pack a small lego activity along. After a swim, we would sit by the pool and over our snacks and milk make lego. It was an instant hit! By the second class we fell into a beautiful routine. And all the stories from school that i had always wanted to know started tumbling out. He was so excited about our time together that he would keep reminding me from a day before. And would actually count days to the next time. By combining a new interest, swimming with his favourite hobby, lego and keeping myself involved in it, i struck a perfect balance of fun and bonding for both of us. He was happy because it was an evening where he got to do his favourite activities and i was ecstatic because i got unfettered access to his time for those few hours. I was in mommy heaven.
I could have easily had my way and told him that he had to spend a particular amount of time with me, would that have helped? What if they started resenting the idea? By not being forceful in putting my point across i let my son make the choice for himself. I let him come to the conclusion that he could do fun things with his mom too, and as time passed he too started looking forward to our mom- son evenings. He understood that as important as friends are, family will always come first. Every minute spent together are beautiful bonding moments between him and me, and as his mother it gives me immense joy to know that he loves spending that time with me. Yesterday at bedtime in his half sleepy, half awake, exhausted but happy state he hugged me goodnight, when I asked him what he wanted to do next week, he smiled and replied " anything with you mamma"! With tears of pure love and bliss in my eyes i realised that this could happen only because i let him decide for himself. In giving him the choice of spending time with his friends everyday apart from those two days where he had lots of fun with his mother, he realised that both could coexist. He was free to have all the fun with his buddies, but his best buddy, his mom was always there for him.