Updated: Jul 3, 2019
Before I start this blog I have to give credit to this amazing book "The Manual that never came with your Child - by Jane Jarvis and Debbie De Jong".
As a mother I always joke with friends about that challenges of Motherhood by saying you get a 100 step manual on how to cope with pregnancy and the actual birth process till about age 2. Then there are many self help books from there but none quite like this.
When I finished reading the book more like a study guide than a light read, only because I was so desperate for answers, I put the book down and it was like a ray of light beaming over me!
The answers in this book were so simple and so logic that we, as parents , over complicate being a mother, we're striving so hard to be perfect in our children's eyes that we neglect to see everything around us, our personal hygiene / image included.
I won't give away too much in case you want to buy the book for yourselves.
Aside from my amazing finds in this book, my personal experience being a MoM of 3 small boys I have run some polls and researched the www. (dr google as we all know it), and it's a toss up between two things our children want from us and they are both top contenders.
1. Its quite simple our, children want YOU! They want MoM / Dad.
If you think about it makes sense, besides them being genetically compounded from our DNA, we were their first everything! The first heartbeat, first voice, first smell and first touch and in some cases first taste, We are their best friend and confidante.
You were all they knew while growing in utero and I find it difficult as a MoM myself to embrace this when I just want to run away or lock my self in the bathroom.
You'll hear everyone advising you to enjoy it while you can, it doesn't last forever, oh my hat! I don't feel that way now and I'm wondering when having 2 brothers to pick to play with will come in to play!!! I mean HELLO, that's why you have brothers! Wasn't it something like "shame, have more children so they won't be lonely and will have friends"?
But the truth is, it won't last long Mr Testosterone is going to show his pimpily face the next time we blink and I'm going be blogging about wishing "If only they could be sweet babies again"!
So let's try make it easier on ourselves and find ways to deal with life, the stresses of work or money and be the best parent we can.
- Read a bed time story and alternate with Dad so you can both form a bond, if you are done with Snow White and Nursery Rhymes, make up stories. I usually take movies and change the characters name to their names and I'm the best story telling mom ever, and a hero in their eyes. This way there is no need to jump up and turn the night light off and rather spend the extra seconds squeezing the life out of them with cuddles.
- Bath time has got to be the easiest time to catch the kids and their attention.
This is the time where I get to hear their secrets and worries, I find out who said what at school and I open up the platform for trust. Most often my jaw drops at the things they are learning at such a young age, so I will then act naive and ask them about what they have told me so I know they understand the emotion or story they are relaying to me.
- Screen time, watch TV with the children, a kids movie you enjoy! This is important ! They know what movies I enjoy and it actually makes them proud to be watching MoM's favorite movie. Grab some popcorn and blankets, put your feet up and let them just soak up all the love they can while you chill out.
- Music Night, this is hubby and my best night and the kids think it's theirs too, on a Friday after work, kids have eaten and bathed, the house is clean and we open a bottle of wine. The TV goes on to the golden oldies music channel and the kids dance their little feet off, with a little role play occasionally: ie: Britain's/ America's got talent that we have to judge.
The kids burn themselves to the ground with exhaustion and hubby and I have managed a great catch up evening! Everybody wins.
2. They want THINGS! Things that cost money, toys, sweets and outings, I tried the alternate to this and decided I was going to make them "Things", this didn't really work either, cause it was costing me money to buy the supplies and taking a lot of time i didn't have to make the "things". Things somehow make magic sparkles in their eyes but not in our wallets.
I get it, I like new things too, new shoes, new hair style and flowers - How can you not?
So what do we do about this? I am not a child phycologist but i'm just a MoM and a google ambassador.
Think simple but clever!
I choose games to play with them that involve as little physical exhaustion on me, after a long day and before the evenings witching 4 hours.
- Lego building
- Whats the time Mr wolf (https://youtu.be/E4bvuLlF0_Y)
- Hot Balloon - Don't let it pop on the grass
- Simon Says
- Toy Hunt in the garden
- Animal Charades
BATHROOM: - Poop Time
- Would you Rather : would you rather go to a party and eat sweets or take a trip to lego land? The responses of your kids and their questions to you are so entertaining.
- I spy
- Guessing Game : I'm yellow, I like bananas and have a villain boss = Minion
- We sing and dance on the way to school, I'm sure I look like and absolute crazy woman to drivers next to us, but the kids are smiling and thats all that counts. Let the kids play DJ too and take turn choosing their owns songs.
We play golden oldies that I enjoy so don't punish yourself too much and think this has to be kids music time.
THINGS!!!! MORE AND MORE THINGS.
As parents we all want the best for our children and we want to give them everything we can and everything we never could have as children ourselves, but the reality is it's just too expensive.
With school fees, clothes and trying to feed our kids alone its difficult to say "no" to our children, but when there is no money there is no money.
- Rewards Systems - this can be done in conjunction with a star chart, but please parents, don't keep up with the Joneses here, while our children don't really understand the concept of money don't shoot yourself in the foot or get into debt doing rewards systems.
If my children fill every block on their star chart they get R20.00 at the end of the week, if they achieve a major goal like sleeping though the night in their own bed or getting dressed without me nagging they get a bonus R2.00 per day
- Chores - Make extra chores for them like helping you feed the animals or behaving when you go to the shops and reward this with a simple R1.00
Set yourself as MoM a monthly budget for THINGS, then work backward to break it down how much you can give them for each task fulfilled. Teaching children the value of money at and early age is sooooo important, teaching them that money doesn't grow on tress and you have to work hard to earn it.
I bumped into a 5 year old kid during the morning drop off, he was running around like he'd just eaten a packet of candy floss with excitement that he had lost his first tooth. When he calmed down he gave me the full break down of how the tooth fell out and the told me how he had left the tooth in the slipper etc.... and then it came, the tooth fairy left him R100.00 for his tooth!!! WHAT THE FU*K R 100.00. Lets break this down 20x teeth x R100.00 per tooth = R 2000.00. OK well I have 3 kids! do the maths !
Good for him and good for his MoM, but really MoM's, a simple R20.00 is even crazy, give them what you can afford. Our tooth fairy even gives less if the tooth is rotten or has a filing cause she obviously does not want to use those teeth on her beautiful white castle.
Parenthood is trial and error there are not set rules as to how you choose to raise your children. Do the best you can is all they need!
TIME IS FREE, think of ways you can spend time with your children and the rewards will pay off, you could even see a change in their behavior and besides that, these are the moments you are building foundations of trust and communication with them your guiding them and letting them just be kids.
"Just being MoM"
Chat to me: OhShMom@gmail.com