My journey with Peaches is a driving force that keeps me going. Everyday is a new day for me and I take it as a new adventure to take on. Today I sit down and list the things that I learned from being a Mom, a work-at-home Mom, a wife and a daughter.
1. You need all the help you can get to cope up with your mothering tasks. While there are several books, e-books and websites to guide you with your mothering, I learned that a live mentor has a huge difference. For me, I have several mentors, first of course is my Mom and then my Mommy friends too. Your mentor should not be limited to someone you know, it could be the parent you see in Church, in a restaurant wherein you like or disliked their ways and from there you realize what you want to do with your parenting skills. Be observant and assess.
2. Calm Parenting. I had my melt down moments when all things messy and noisy connive to attack me, oh believe me I had those moments and I feel like I am totally loosing control over things which by the way, is one of my most hated feelings. When things like this get in the way, I tend to be in a sour mood and snap on anyone and anything. So what I do is I remove myself from the situation and just collect my thoughts and BREATHE. Closing your eyes and counting does not help when you do it in front of your kid because he/she will just pester you more with questions on why you’re doing it. Trust me, I KNOW.
3. Encouragement is better than punishment. This is an understanding that every parents should discuss. Troy and I discussed about how to discipline our children early on our marriage and we decided that physical punishment such as spanking, pushing and grabbing isn’t our way. We are all for Positive Discipline. Shouting or screaming isn’t even part of our punishment BUT I still need work on that area. On the other hand, I have mastered encouragement to get Peaches do what I prefer. Example, “If you finish everything on your plate, I will let you choose what DVD to watch tonight”. “If you behave on Mass today I will let you eat ice cream”. “If you write your name for me, I will be so happy”— this is effective on Peaches because she’s on a stage where she seeks approval of the people she loves. And there’s nothing she won’t do to make us happy (I just hope she brings this until she’s older).
4. Patience is key in parenting. When Peaches was still a baby, I could not wait till she learns to walk and when she finally did, I could not wait for her to run and climb and then I realize, my wants never stopped and I was so anxious like I was competing with something or someone. That was wrong and I accept my mistakes and learned from it. See, children develop at their own pace and as parents we should be patient and wait for them to master skills on their own. Of course it’s our job to teach them skills but they will not be able to master it in weeks or even months. I remember I get frustrated when Peaches couldn’t write her own name and then I saw her classmates and some of them aren’t even writing and the teachers say it’s normal and it’s quite early.
What we can do is look for something that will distract you and will teach you to be patient like trying a new hobby or a sport. Challenge yourself with something you don’t usually do.
Okay this last point is for you but especially for me. I’m still working on this area HEAVILY because every so often I fail at it.
5. Persist even if you’re bummed out. My work being demanding plus the house, cooking lunch and dinner, tending to a child and being a wife sometimes bear me down and I feel like there’s not enough time in a day to do all the things I NEED to do- that’s just the NEEDS not even my WANTS yet. So there are times that I could not function as a parent well because I am so dead tired and it feels like there’s no energy left to squeeze out of me.
SO what I am learning is how to prioritize and manage my time. I read that I should give SLEEP a priority over watching telenovelas and I’m trying and doing it now. Lack of sleep can really wear us down and could make us super cranky. I’d rather sleep and feel rejuvenated than do things mechanically and end up with half baked results.
There you go friends, those are points I learned so far and I hope that somehow it’ll help you with whatever stage you in with your parenting skills.