If you are a parent you already know the kind of ride parenting is. It is no where close to sailing in a fancy sailboat into calm waters. There are times of calms followed by waves, tides, tornado’s and the cycle continues. Being a mom of a preschooler now, I can call to mind that the challenges of being a parent have varied at different stages, but their magnitude has to some extent been uniform. If I were to point out one challenge that has been almost a constant for over a couple of years is being able to keep myself collected and away from yelling. Let’s root back to where it all started. It’s when my little infant grew into a toddler and started to have a mind of his own. I’d yearn for a little time out to watch my favorite show after a long day and that is when he’d want to play ball, when I’d be on a work call he’d want to say something that simply cannot wait, the best time to hook on to my shoulders would be when I’d have to get dinner ready. He’d not want to eat when everyone else did, he’d want to play when I can barely keep my eyes open, and my constant would be – “he just does not listen to me” Now, that little boy was doing his own thing and growing up the way he wanted. And this naive woman who had just become a mother was trying a get a grip over emotions and make peace with the fact that there will be clashes of opinions. I’d really have my own triggers that would lead to frustration and sometimes yelling. Motherhood truly works on trial and error methodology, doesn’t it? Here are little things I aim at doing to get mundane out of the window, to keep the joy and laughter in parenting intact and that kick that I atleast tried is worth a million bucks.
1) Sing a song – A very very funny song. “Please wear your pants!” NO! “Please wear them” and he’d keep dancing and jumping and the clock won’t stop ticking. And he started to sing Mumma no no no, no no no. There came “please please please, oh Gunbir please please please” I don’t know what tune was his, but mine was on the tune of “Kabutar ja ja ja”
2) Make a funny face – When I just cannot sing a song, I atleast make a funny face. It takes the stress out of the situation almost instantly.
3) The Countdown strategy – You must have heard this one so many times. It is not necessarily successful at all times. But if it manages to work even one out of five times it’s worth a try right? So the idea is to take a few deep breaths and count when you feel the trigger.
4) Come down to his level – this is a sure shot way of keeping the fun in parenting alive. It is fun being a child with a child and at most times it gets the job done too.. first we play and make a mess then discuss how we should tidy up the place – singing like humans and chirping like birds before we begin the work.
5) Accept yours as a guilt free style of parenting – I know yet again, it’s easiest said. But when we as moms accept that we are the standard and stop trying to meet an illusionary standard, things become simple.
6) Be okay – I have struggled with this one the most. But the one thing I have learnt from my husband is to be okay with what seems like a disaster sometimes. Be it sibling rivalry, bedtime procrastination, tantrums, dinner table battles or anything else, just let go off it. You got to throw the rules out for your peace sometimes. You will have plenty of opportunities at being a tough task master.
7) Pick activities that you like – We often indulge in games and activities that our kids love. And we do them wholeheartedly with love even if they ask us to repeat the same game a 100th time. Why not introduce a game you like playing to your child ? I love to draw (I only scribble, but I love doing it) and my son has been painting and drawing since he was 6 months old. Be it cooking, cricket, basket ball or reading, you can do it together. There is no rule that is sure to make parenting fun. But when you have decided you want it be joyful you will definitely find a way out