Today I am a totally different mother.
Sure, I’m older and there are a few more lines and wearing pigtails probably isn’t entirely appropriate any more. But my attitude to parenting has changed. I’ve made it change.
Being the mother of older children is a whole different ball game. It’s way way cooler.
You get to hang out together, get excited about new movies together, go scuba diving for the first time together (that’s what we’re doing in this photo) and you get to be an important part of a life that’s evolving, changing, challenging, discovering. And that is such a priviledge.
If there is one thing I have learned it is this; your time has never been more more valuable. And by that I mean, the time you give to your children.
Gone are the days when you are in charge of everything. Now my kids are discovering their independence and it’s time for me to take more of a back seat. To be a hidden force of good in the background, ready to bring discipline when it’s needed.
Like a ninja mum.
So now I have a little internal check list to myself to:
Listen a little longer (even when I have a million and one other things to do).
Offer to help with homework, study, researching something (even when I haven’t the foggiest idea about the subject matter).
Laugh at their anecdotes (which are long-winded and usually boring but mean a lot to them).
Connect with them every day (by sitting down to breakfast together, by walking to school together, by text, by Facebook DM, whatever it takes).
Pick my battles wisely. There will be much MUCH bigger ones to come. A messy room is annoying but it’s her room and she has to live in it. And if she can’t find her iPod, well, whose fault is that?
Sit with them at bedtime and ask how their day was. End the day showing that I’m interested and I care.
Oh and the biggie. The biggest thing of all; show them you love them. Even when they don’t want to hear it or they’re sulking or they make it very hard for you to throw your arms around them. Do it anyway.
Being a mum – bloody tough; hugely rewarding.
This post is for week 213 of The Photo Gallery: The theme is: Me.
Me me me me me me!
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