Becoming a parent is a unique journey. You learn along the way; there is no book or set of rules that can set you up before hand. As you learn, take the leap of faith, take risks, crumble to a thousand pieces and build yourself up again; let me tell you you are succeeding at parenting. You might not always think you are. But you are.
Look at your children now, and look at all the amazing and wonderful things they can do, the amazing wonderful humans that they are. Watch how sweetly your toddler turns the page to his or her book and points out the animals mimicking the noises they make. Watch how your baby with all the concentration in the world practices his or her first steps. Notice how your teenager sits down attentively to complete his or her homework. All these examples are evidence that you have or are succeeding at parenting
Like any ‘job’ in life there are certain tools and certain things you cant live without, or at least can help you along the way to make your ‘job’ easier. In this parenting world there are many tools to help make parenting an exciting and happy experience. Most of the tools you can acquire along the way and most you can’t physically purchase. The tools I am talking about are the ones you can find within yourself.
I think this is the most important out of everything I have listed. To show love to your children is the most important tool you will need as a parent. As well as possibly having an award in being the best –hugger-ever! Raising children means you need to be there for hugs at any given moment, even if your little one looses their last jelly bean, unexpectedly rolling out of their hand never to be found again, now that is a tragedy.
- Know Your Inner Voice
Know that by raising your voice, to teach your children right or wrong is a very valuable tool. I don’t mean shout, I mean be stern. Find that deep male voice hiding inside you (if you’re a female that is, otherwise use that male voice you have). There is no harm, in fact children who know what the deep tone of your voice means, respond better to it and will come to know that that voice means business.
- Know your strength
Know your strength as a parent. Know that you are strong enough for this journey, the sleepless nights, the tantrums, the craziness, well, its all part of it, and you are strong enough. Drawing on your inner strength in times when you feel like everything might cave in on you, is especially important.
- Trust Yourself
Trusting your decisions, and trusting you are making the very best choice for your children in every circumstance is a very important tool to draw on as a parent. Sometimes we can doubt our every decision, even the ones where we know it’s right, it is just sometimes so hard to implement. As long as it is in the best interest of your child you need to trust that initial decision. You are at the centre of their world and so trusting ‘YOU’ is hugely important.
- Follow Your Intuition
I believe in this one so much. Raising children is no walk in the park, in fact, it is probably more like a run in the park, enjoyable but fast paced. Fast enough to make you breathless sometimes, if not all the time! So, it is so very important to draw on your intuition. What feels right to you as the parent regarding bedtime routine, weaning or anything else that involves your child; whatever it is you know your baby, there may be guidelines out there but ultimately not every baby fits into a guideline. As a parent it’s important to know this. Don’t go against your intuition, because it only works for you.
- Be Confident
Confidence grows, so if you don’t feel confident in yourself at the moment know that it will develop. Just look at your children and you will see that you should have all the confidence in the world, raising such wonderful little ones. To be confident really is a tool that needs to be used, because if you are confident you help your children grow their own confidence. I did a post on What I Have Learnt, Being A Mum For The Second Time, where I discuss why confidence in myself was a major part of becoming a mum for the second time.
- Know Kindness
To know kindness is a beautiful tool. I love it when I see my children being gentle and kind, it shows the love and beauty we were born with in that one moment. That one moment when my four year old strokes her brothers head and says: “you are so cute little brother I love you so much”, or “here have my last jelly bean baby brother”. If you don’t know kindness, just look at your children. Talk, live and act in kindness and see how well your children respond.
- Find The Teacher In You
Everyday we are teaching our children, so believe this, you are their first teacher, there most important one, for now, and for always so keep going. I did a post about the 10 Things My Mum Taught Me, she was my teacher, and still is.
- Pursue Patience
I have put this towards the end of the list because you truly do learn patience as a parent after drawing on and accomplishing all of the above, it is very much learnt and strengthened as you get further into the journey. If you already do most of the above, patience will most probably be a huge part of your parenting skill set already.
- You Are Enough
What you are doing right now is enough; there are millions of other parents on this road with you, all with similar experiences. But know that everyday you are a parent you are doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing, I always say if you are doing your best, there is nothing more you can do. Just accept and revel in the beauty of your children, the beauty of your little creations. You are enough… you did this! Don’t forget that. I recently did a post on What Motherhood Means To Me, I talk about the three very important things I think sum up what motherhood is. I think it is important to assess yourself and what you feel you are getting out of an experience, it makes it all the more worthwhile, and more meaningful.
What are some of the tools you would add to this list? I would love to know.
Linking up with You Baby Me Mummy’s link up, #TheList