May 18

Optimisation of parenthood?

As a mom from two young, adorable children, I am experiencing almost daily situations when both children need my undivided attention. It can be that the children come into a quarrel or a fight about something, and there you are standing helpless, not knowing who started it, and who did what. Or it can be the smaller things, the ones which for us adults seem “peanut-like”, but which, for a 4-year-old, can mean the world. Should I make make a mess if he cries after the tea cup with the tigered cat instead of the tea cup with the red cat on? Or should I simply give it to him, knowing it’ll make him happy? And then comes the big question, which every working parent hates: how often does not your child ask you to play with him, and you are sending him away, thinking there are more important things to take care of? I know I have done it far too often, and alone the phrase “just give me 5 more minutes” has become almost a standard answer to many questions. I once read an article about the 10-golden rules for parenthood, and one rule in particular stayed in my mind: “don’t make my big things seem like small things, because for me and from where I am standing, they mean the world, and by diminishing them, you are diminishing me.”

So I think it’s a good thing to get shaken up every once in a while, and to ask yourself the question whether you could “optimise” your parenthood? Is that, what you wanted to do, really that burning, or important, or any of the other adjectives that we have all learned to live with? After all, it was you who decided your path long time ago by wanting to have children. That path, even though you could hardly imagine it back then how time- and energy consuming it would all become, is to be a parent. Full stop. And being a parent includes all of the above, plus so many, many more things. So many wonderful things. So many small things. And oh, so many shared joys!

I had a moment of awakening like this last Friday, when I went with my daugther to fetch us some flowers for the weekend.The weather was nice, but I was really tired from the week, so I was already trying to figure out excuses of not going. But looking into the pleading eyes of my darling 4-year, I instead shut my mouth, and we took off with our bikes. In total, our trip to the flower field (which is not even 500m away from our home), took us more than 1 hour. But that is not want counts. What counts is, the pure happiness I could see from my daugther, the joy of having her mom only for herself, and how important she felt of being “delegated” such an important task.

Fetching flowers

Daughter-mom-quality-time at it’s best!

While chosing our flowers (which were not so much chosen by the criteria of how well they fit colour-wise together, but rather by the fact how much they had already opened up…), we talked about silly things, unimportant things. Or then we said also nothing at all. This one hour seemed to be gone in a whizzle – but yet it gave me so much! And looking at the pride in my daughter’s eyes, I think it gave her, too, something.

Holding on to this feeling, I from now on happily “introduce” a new weekly programme for my daugther and myself; fetching fresh flowers for the weekend.

Next week, it’s my sons turn. I hope I can come up with a programm with him, too. Perhaps going to a muddle pot or so…? Regardless of what it is, it will be something for just my son and me, and I am sure the two of us will have an exellent time together!