Written By School Mum Contributor Carla
Being a parent and a blogger means I spend a bit of time researching ideas for new blogs, reading other people’s blogs, watching family interactions for potential blogs or simply analysing myself as a parent. And I’ve noticed something…my kids are teaching me things and I could be learning more…
My eldest child is only 2 years away from getting his licence, only 4 years away from leaving high school and not long after that he will be leaving me. And I don’t want to regret a thing. These are a list of my top ten things I definitely do not want to regret that I have already changed or am implementing change with as we speak.
- Listen to your kids. When they say “Mum” this happened or “Mum” that happened. Listen. Stop what you are doing and look at them while you listen. Master 8 will only be Master 8 for a few more months and will never tell you the same 8 year old things again. Master 14 may not want to share much of anything when he is Master 15 so listen now!!!
- Put down your phone and or other electronics. Have an “electronics down” area. During dinner or from 6:00pm-8:00pm every night turn off your phone and put it in the electronics down area. Have your kids put their electronics in the electronics down area too.
- Make sure your spouse knows that they come first. I’ve watched a lot of Mothers in particular who have made their children their entire world for 18 years and when their children leave they feel very alone. There is a huge statistic of marriages who fail after 20+ years and I think it comes down to forgetting the person you started this journey with and falling apart. I don’t have a partner at the moment but I sure am glad I watched my parents put each other first while I was growing up and know how to do the same when I have that person in my life
- Treat your children as the individuals they are. My eldest is creative and dramatic. He loves music and the arts. He has guitar lessons and has an agent for modelling/acting. There is no rhyme or reason my youngest who loves computers and swimming should have to take part in either. He loves his computer lab and he equally loves his swimming lessons mid week. Just because one has something does NOT entitle the other child to it. This goes for bed times and allowance as well (as this may be age dependent) and its not fair for Master 8 to stay up until Master 14 goes to bed!!!
- Make yourself as important as you make your children. I have practiced self love through a variety of different methods and I am by far a better parent for it. I take time out for myself when I need it. I buy myself little treats and I have no problem telling my children that it is not for them to touch. I give so much of myself and my day to my children, self love moments are essential.
- Cooking with your child. My son has shown a real desire to cook with me but sadly it’s just so much easier for me to do it. As a woman in business I recognise good managers who are able to let go and encourage their staff to do it themselves…I really need to do this more myself at home. It’s a way for us to spend time together and it’s a way for me to pass on some of the teachings of my Mother and Father who could both whip up a good meal.
- Spending time together. Our children WANT to be active with us. They WANT to be outside playing with us. Trust me. I have gadget lovers in my house too but when I do get up and out with the dog and a baseball glove both my boys are up and out too. And we have FUNNNN. We laugh!!! We really like each other. And when time is up they are disappointed we have to leave.
- Board games. I want to play more board games. My kids want me to play more board games. Again, our kids would actually rather spend time doing something non-electronic if given the chance to do it with us. We don’t make ourselves available, that’s the problem!!!
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. I have two boys. I was absolutely positive I was destined to have a girl if not two so even 14 plus years later I’m still adjusting. Sometimes my boys will do “boy things” and I really don’t get it. Not only do I not get it I think the thing they think is hilarious is actually gross or dangerous or downright stupid. I’m learning that MANY of these things like farting into a fan or drinking milk dyed blue as a challenge is a boys rite of passage and I am constantly reminded how well mannered they are and the fact is they are boys…and boys will be boys. I don’t need to scream like a banshee when they show the boy side and I’m not ready for it.
- Feeling guilty. I called on a friend today (an ex teacher) nearly in tears because my 14 year old boy is completely totally disorganised and I cannot seem to get him to pull it together. His room is never clean. His desk is a mess. He never has his lunch made before the day of school and he is always rushed. I told her I felt like a total failure and maybe working from home was a bad idea and maybe I should go back to the 7am-7pm executive schedule I did have and just hire a nanny who would do a better job than me…She told me it’s normal. He’s normal. I’m normal. This is typical. SHUT THE FRONT DOOR. I could hardly believe my ears. And she’s right. I’m doing a fine job! Ok so maybe another parent somewhere would do a better job at some things than me (but not with my kid) because this one’s mine. I was meant for these kids and they were meant for me. And together we will get it wrong and together we will get it right but one thing I know for sure is I’m not going to feel guilty for doing the best job I can. Oh and I’m implementing some organisational routine for him…I’ll keep you posted if it works! Wish me luck!!!
As parents we all have the ability to make choices. Think about what you REALLY want and make those choices for you and your kids. Regret sucks and you don’t want to have to live with that for the rest of your life!
On an upside you should check out this article about 10 Hilarious Things Most Parents Are Guilty Of