Updated: May 25, 2020
People often say parenting doesn't come with a manual - so true!
First you get excited (for most) when you find out you are pregnant and then you carry this little life inside you for 9 months (or less for some) and then you give birth! Whether you were to 'posh to push' or you had it the natural way, both come with an unexplainable feeling of shock and joy at the same time, you are now responsible for this 'little thing' for many years to come!
You read all the mother-baby books, asked the right questions at pre-natal classes, spoke to friends and family with older children. Nothing really prepares you for your own experience.
As a mother of three teenagers, I reflect on the time of being a young naive mum, I had to learn real quick!
It's strange how I coped with different challenges that came my way. Let's say I did a lot of positive affirmation & definitely loads of prayers & praise! I also believe it takes a village to raise a child but in a society where everyone seem to be dashing off somewhere, if not from work, dropping or picking up the children from school, after school clubs on school premises, extra-curricular activities at other locations outside school...the list is endless, who would you depend on to support you with the children?
It wasn't easy at all but here are some of the things that helped me along the way:-
I like seeing them happy so I try replicate the thing that makes them excited; sometimes it's just taking them to the park and watch them play! Other times, it was having their friends over after school (which I would have pre-arranged as a working mum) and watch how they interacted with each other. It was funny listening to some of the things they talked about! Kids hey!!
I never really fancied sleep overs but I remember my eldest experiencing it once at primary school. It was her friend's birthday and the mum of the girl had made the effort of contacting me to ask for my permission; to allow my daughter stay over for her child's birthday sleep over. She even went ahead to explain that although she would love my daughter to come to their house, she would also understand if I refused. She explained what they would be doing and it would only be my daughter who would sleep over. In the end I allowed it. Drove my daughter to their house which was local, and I waved her goodbye. I was a little anxious, being the first time I had allowed this to happen. Needless to say, it went very well and my child was well looked after and stayed safe. This taught me that sometimes you have to put yourself out of your comfort zone and have some more trust in other people's parenting style.
Hard working kids:
Sometimes I preach to my kids that nothing in life comes easy but with prayer, determination and hard work, they can achieve greatness. Thankfully they believed me and although it may have taken some shouting (read your books!) at times, they knew it came from a good place..love! It's a nice feeling when children know you want the best for them.
I believe with love and commitment, we can conquer anything!
I look back and I am thankful that all the hard work payed off! It was not an easy journey but well worth it!
For my older two who have completed their GCSE's they achieved top grades with one of them achieving the best results in her whole year groupl! (proud mum moment).
I was a little shy as a kid growing up (shocking right?) Which didn't give me much confidence and so I was determined to make sure I raised sociable all rounded children, I'm glad it all paid off.
At a young age, I registered them for swimming lessons, dance class and occasional dance competitions (one did ballet & tap, the other did freestyle street dancing), they later took interest in drama classes, gymnastics, music lessons (they played the piano, violin and drums). It was sometimes exhausting but worth it. When they showed a new interest in another activity, I would tell them something had to be dropped. Not only was it exhausting driving them to & fro (mum's taxi was real) to their extra curricular activities, it was also a financial commitment. Overall, I told them it would be difficult to balance all different activities, stopping them from focusing on something specific that they can excel at. Thank God for provision because we know money does not grow on trees!
Let me not kid myself my pretending this was easy - definitely not!
I remember comparing my time growing up, and would talk to my children with the notion "this would never happen during my time as a child"' they would reply by saying "mum, things have changed" or "that was the olden days" really?
But it worked for us..we were disciplined and did as we were told. Nowadays, children would question why they are being asked to do something..or why they must do it a certain way. To have disciplined children, I had to remind myself that I needed to be consistent. It was no good scolding them one day when they were little and the next time they tried something silly, I wouldn't correct or discipline them. Consistency is key and making sure I followed through with punishment. If I tell my son I would take away his X-box controller for a couple of days because he was naughty or didn't complete his school school to a certain standard, I must follow through, otherwise, the next time, he would think it was all a joke. Children are very smart and would not stop pushing the boundaries. I believe and often apply the scriptures that states "Train up a child in a way he/she should go, when he grows up, he would not depart from it!" (proverbs 22:6) Another proverb is "spare the child and spoil the child" Basically saying if you love your child, you would discipline him /her promptly (proverbs 13:24).
Determined & Sporty kids:
Parenting lifestyle gets easier when a child is super determined and succeed in whatever they set their minds to. It is also nice to see their teachers pleased with their attitude to learning. Another element of determination shows up in sporting events, when they come home with medals and other sporting achievements. I recognised every child is differently wired and as long as they all work hard and put forwards their best attitude, I know they will be fine. In conclusion identify what your unique child is interested in and give them the parental support they need, as much as you can.
What surprised you the most as parents raising a young family?
My daughter's at school athletics competitions
Won Players player of the year - top scorer
@ football tournament