I’ve been tagged by the lovely Angela at Life, Motherhood and Everything to participate in White Camellia’s #RockingMotherhood tag. The concept of it is that us busy mums are so focussed on just taking care of business that we forget how great we really are. It’s easy to spend lots of time criticising ourselves or trying to improve, but sometimes it’s good to just take a minute to remind ourselves what we’re doing right. So for this, I’m meant to list 10 ways that I’m “rocking” motherhood.
I have to say that this is not something I would have volunteered for! It is definitely a difficult exercise, but I can see the value in it. You may not agree that the things I do to “rock it” are actually good things! But oh well, here we go…
1. I read a ridiculous amount of stories
Every night, me or their dad read a total of 7 stories. Four for the 4yo and 3 for the slightly more restless 2yo. I’m given to understand that reading so many stories before bed is slightly unusual. But they love it. They love the stories and the attention. And I can see it’s paid off for my 4yo, who is really doing well at learning to read on his own now he’s started school.
2. I also sing a lot of songs
Each boy gets around 3 songs after their story bonanza every night. The 4yo prefers pop music, jazz standards and musical theatre soundtracks. The 2yo always has the same three: Twinkle Star, Black Sheep and Row Your Boat. Like with the reading, I think it’s really benefiting them to learn different songs that constitute part of our culture and to begin taking an interest in music generally.
3. My kids love fruit and vegetables
I don’t know how I did it, but I’m going to go ahead and take the credit. They love their fruit and veg. Both of them will eat broccoli until the cows come home (weird expression – do cows really take a long time to get home?). The eldest often prefers to eat cucumbers and tomatoes to a burger, and will always, always eat fruit. He still thinks it counts as a pudding!
4. The lounge belongs to them
While I can totally understand that some parents prefer to keep the lounge as an adult space, I take the opposite strategy. My lounge is completely covered in toys, and I think that’s a good thing. It is only a very short time that my kids will have loads of toys that they will want to play with in the same room as me. There will be many years when they prefer to hide away in their rooms. So for now, we will all be together in the lounge.
5. I always have time to explain things
It’s a stereotypical story that kids will ask endless questions and parents might just say “I don’t know, leave me alone”. You know, questions like “Why is the sky blue”. I never fob off my kids when they have questions about how the world works. I try to explain what I know, and if I have no idea, we google it together. It’s a great way to spend time together.
6. I try to give them choices when I can
This is something I’m working on and I don’t always excel at. Instead of just dictating things to them, I try to give them viable choices so they can feel like they exert some control over their lives. I’m hoping this is the root to teaching them some autonomy and independence and to making them into confident people.
7. I spend a lot of time teaching them life skills
This is sort of connected to the previous point. I spend loads of time teaching them things like swimming, riding scooters/bikes, cooking, turn taking, climbing. These are things I think they need to know to be well-rounded individuals.
8. I teach them about culture
Be it high or low, I like exposing my kids to things that will expand their horizons. This includes watching lots of different films and TV, listening to pop music, as well as days out to museums, stately homes, etc.
9. I spend time away from them
I am a big believer that absence makes the heart grow fonder. This is as true for parenting as it is for other relationships. A bit of me-time (even if that so-called me time is actually working) makes me a happier, more patient parent when I’m with them.
10. I am honest with them
Okay – mostly honest. When it’s important, I always try to explain the truth to them in a way they will understand. And I try to never make promises that I’m not sure I can keep. I may, however, be guilty of telling minor porkie pies about whether or not there are any biscuits left in the tin.
I’m tagging the following lovely bloggers to join in with this tag next, if they want to: