Monday, September 30, 2013

Loving Your Child For Who He Is

I have lately come to realise the importance of accepting your child for the person he or she is, rather than the person you want them to be. This of course, is a lot easier said than done. When you are a parent, you want your son to have lots of friends, you want him to be brave and try all the games at the park, you want him to be athletic and active, and you want him to excel at school. Because we love our children, we naturally want them to be the best or at least do good in every aspect of their lives. But when we discover a weakness that in some cases is beyond our hands, parents can easily and unknowingly fixate on making that weakness go away; and this, in my opinion is extremely unhealthy for the parent and child. I have seen parents push their children into sports, force their kids to climb heights or go on rides that terrified them, or enrol them in academic programs that are beyond their capacity, all for the sake of beating a weakness. I have seen the look of despair on these children's faces and I have to tell you, things will only get worse. It is our job as parents to love our children for who they are, what they love to do and accept that they too are human with strengths and weaknesses. Accepting and empowering our children will make them a lot stronger than forcing them to do something they cannot do.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Dividing Between Children

When you become a mama, you master multi-tasking. However, a mama's multi-tasking is not like the multi-tasking you were used to pre-mamahood. Its a new kind, one that divides you as a person, and not just your time or attention. One of the many challenges of having multiple children is being able to divide your time, attention, love, dedication, patience, ideas, and financial responsibilities between your children, your marriage and yourself. You have to be able to put limits for them, yourself, and everyone else in the family on what each family member gets. The question is, when something good comes up for one member, do we let him/her take it on even though it might negatively affect others, or do we move on, hoping that other opportunities will appear? At one hand, you might think of it as teaching children to be considerate of one another, on the other hand, you might create a trail of resentment and envy. After all, how much good in life actually happens without bad?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Power of Acceptance

I recently took a Yoga and Meditation course that was life-changing. In addition to the Yoga and breathing techniques designed to reduce stress (which really work by the way), the course taught life lessons. The most important thing I took away from this course and previously from Life Coaching is learning the power of acceptance. Learning to accept others and things for what they are and not what I want them to be. Now, bare in mind that acceptance doesn't mean letting others hurt you and say, oh well, this is the situation! Rather it is: "this person hurt me (or whatever is an issue at the moment), I am admitting to the situation but now it is time to change it". Same goes for people. If you marry a person, or have a child or friend with the aim of changing their personality , it will never work, you need to accept things as they are and put a plan on what to do next. Perfecting acceptance is an art, and it needs A LOT of practice, self-discpline, and the view of a bigger picture and goal. However, once I incorporated it into my relationships with my husband, step-daughter and son, life became a lot easier and the tension has been reduced. When you accept, you take power and control over the situation and you prepare yourself and others for moving on. The power of acceptance is tried and tested, it is 100% productive (for me at least).

Monday, September 23, 2013

A Hilarious Quote

I found a really funny quote today by Anthelme Brillat-Savarin: "The discovery of a new dish does more for human happiness than the discovery of a new star". At first you laugh but when you think of it, it is very true. I remember when I was young, I told my father I wanted to be an astronaut (like most kids do), I can't remember his exact words, but they weren't very encouraging! Thinking back, I don't think me or any of my friends, were ever encouraged to explore the world, do good for our planet, research animals and other planet-related subjects. It might have been a cultural thing, but it is a sad reality if you think of it. I'm buying new books for my kids tomorrow!!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Bombarding Our Children's Playtime

I sometimes feel that because our children have lost the advantage of playing outside in the neighbourhood like we used to, we got so occupied with filling their time with activities that at some times, may be too much. I was sitting with two other mamas today who's sons go to preschool with my son, so they are all about 3 years old. We were discussing placing our boys in two activities after school which would mean that they would have sports everyday after school, all week long. We were all very excited, but then I started to think, are we overdoing it? While the activities are only one hour a day, are we still overdoing it by teaching them that they have to go out and do something to have fun? But when I think of it, I have about 7 hours a day after preschool to entertain him, after the building blocks, the finger painting, the play dough, the TV and the other miscellaneous activities we do together, I still have about three hours of time to waste. I see it with the other older kids in the family too, two activities per child per week. But what's the alternative? Even if I did want Yousef to go outside and play, the streets aren't safe, the people aren't safe and there are no other kids!

Friday, September 20, 2013

When We Are Our kids' Heroes

Sometimes, our kids look at us in a way that sends a rush of pride and happiness into our hearts. When we teach them something new that fascinates them, when we give them something they love, when we show them something for the first time, or even with something as simple as reading them a story. The moment we realise that they think we are unmatchable. Every parent, baba or mama, gets addicted to the idea of being the hero. We love it, we love the smiles and the hugs. We love the joy it brings to our children and us. That said, my three-year-old is lately detaching from me. Something I worked on for a very long time to achieve yet now I struggling with. My son is now asking for his "baba-boys time", accepting play dates without me being with him, and is totally ok with me not putting him to bed. As childish as this may sound, but this detachment is a lot harder on me than I thought. I miss being his hero. I miss him coming to me for all his needs, and I miss him missing me. It's a part of life I guess. This is probably what my dad went through the first time I left to the university which at the time, didn't make any sense to me. So, I find myself looking for ways to reconnect with my son, spending more quality time with him and communicating to him how much I love him. I am really not ready for the teen years!

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Decisions We Make as Parents

Do you ever think that we, as parents, will have the luxury of peace of mind? I mean really, doesn't every decision we make, make us question ourselves: if we are ruining our kids' lives, or if we are even on the right track. I have lately come to find the rationale behind my own self-judement, it is purely my own fears clouding my judgement, much more than my child's actual state. For example, today is my second day on a job. I have been seeking to get back into the work market for months, did extensive planning and research, and finally came to the conclusion that now is the time. Leaving both my kids at home with the nanny was a first of its kind move in the past three years. While they were fine, waved good bye and wished me luck, my heart sank. My mind was bombarded with a million very far-fetched scenarios that can go wrong. I doubted myself then and there. What kind of a mother was I to be leaving my young kids? How can I ever forgive myself if something went wrong? What would have been the big deal if I stayed at home with them for another year? And the worries just kept on rolling. Yet, their actual state: happy, watching TV and pretending to be on a boat. I could then see this scenario throughout their lives, different phases, different concerns, same self-judgment. The curse of a parent's guilt and self-judgement seems never ending. If we are lucky, our children won't tap into it and use it to their benefit!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Joy of Having a Home

"Take a few moments every day, for the rest of your life, to quietly reflect on the joy of having a home-whatever it looks like and however hard you work to maintain it. " Richard Carlson.