A fellow mommy blogger posted an interesting piece entitled “Five things motherhood/parenthood has taught me“, and tagged me in it. I thought it was a great idea to use the opportunity to put down some of my own learnings on the subject. Though, I must confess, I have a feeling that this is going to be just one in a series of such posts on my part, hence the number 1 at the end.
In his poem The Rainbow, William Wordsworth remarked “The child is father of the Man”. I never really understood what that meant until I became a parent. Over the years, my little kids have taught me a whole lot, and I’m sure it’s just the beginning. I’ve also come to learn a lot about being a parent, and some of that may be useful to you.
So, here are some of the most important lessons I’ve learned in my journey as a parent:
1. Your children need your presence more than your presents. – Jesse Jackson
Time and again, I have found myself being surprised by the amount of joy my children experience, just by virtue of me or the mrs. spending some good quality time with them. Not to mention the number of occasions on which a single piece of chocolate or a toy that costs less than 20 bucks can make their day!
Excess is for losers, I say. Don’t think you need to buy them expensive gifts to make them happy. Your children need your presence more.
2. Don’t handicap your children by making their lives easy. – Robert A. Heinlein
In Life, as in Parenting, you gotta make some tough calls at times. Every parent needs to do it. And, every parent should. Even if it means upsetting your child for the moment, and resisting the temptation of spoiling him/her.
So keep your own needs (of gratitude) aside, and take the decision that is in the best interest of your child. Every time. You cannot fix everything for them. They gotta handle some of Life on their own.
3. The quickest way for a parent to get a child’s attention is to sit down and look comfortable. – Lane Olinghouse
If you’re considering being a parent, and simultaneously entertaining the notion that Life will still offer you opportunities to have some “quiet time” every day, forget about it! At least for the first 4-5 years of your child, it’s going to be all about your child. No, really. Get used to the idea, and you’ll do just fine.
And yes, in case you’re wondering, it is worth the effort!
4. What a child doesn’t receive he can seldom later give. – P.D. James
Your children will do as you do, not as you say. So, the best thing you can do for them is lead by example. Sometimes, that also means apologizing to them.
If you think you can simply instruct them to live life a certain way, while you continue to do the opposite, you’re in for a big surprise!
5. The trouble with being a parent is that by the time you are experienced, you are unemployed. – Author Unknown
It’s true. No matter how much you prepare for it, you’re never going to be fully prepared for what is going to unfold in your life as a parent. So, the sooner you learn to relax and only sweat the essentials, the happier you’ll be as a family
More to come…