As a mother of four children who are young adults and teenagers, I have a lot to say, but don’t we all have more to say when that particular phase of life is over? Isn’t it easier to give advice when you no longer are in that phase of life? Well, to be honest, I don’t have some great one-fit-for-all answers for all moms but I will tell you what worked for me and what didn’t.
1. Check your intentions often
Check your intentions often. As a parent, soul search your heart – what you are doing and why you are doing it. To focus on the why part of your actions, check if the things you do for your child or with your child would make Allah happy. Also, keep checking if your actions align with your goals as a parent or a family.
2. Do what works best for you
In due course, you will realize what works for you is the best thing to do. Forget about the things X, Y and Z are doing as a parent – whether it is buying expensive toys, super-duper holidays or signing up for some special lessons.
Let me give you another example, people often give unsolicited advice to young mothers. Without feeling bad about it, take each suggestion with a pinch of salt, but do only what works for you and your baby. Same is true when your kids grow older, do what is doable for you.
3. Don’t try to be a super-mom
When it comes to doing those things which are doable, often times, moms neglect their own selves to create some lofty goals. As a mom, trying to be a fairy tale princess with a magic wand won’t take you to places. Create small achievable and pragmatic goals. Don’t act like a super mom and it’s okay if all your goals and to-do-list does not complete in a day, a week or even in a month.
4. Enjoy the little things
We live in a world where we are taught to appreciate big achievements and important occasions. Forget about being in a party mode and saving things for a special occasion.
Enjoy the tiniest of moments you can have with your kids. Remember that this day, and this period of your children’s life will not come back, so enjoy it while it lasts.
5. Be present in the moment
Forget about what happened or what is yet to happen. Everything will fall in its place. Trust in your journey as a parent and don’t worry too much about the future. Just be present in now and here. Trust in Allah and what He has destined for you as a parent.
6. Don’t think of yourself as a lesser mom than the others
I remember my first born was a bit of challenge during the first month of her birth. It was hard to make her sleep during the night and there were so many things to do with little to no sleep. Do your best and don’t compare yourself with other moms because everyone is different and it’s best to have your own approach that’s suitable for you and your family.
7. Nothing lasts forever
It’s always important to remember that everything is temporary. Nothing lasts forever, so remember that parenting phase flies away in a wink of a second. Okay maybe not in a wink or at least it does not seem like that when you are in that moment, but you know what I mean, right? I mean, for example, when it is the teething stage of your first born, maybe it seems like the end of the world but it is not.
Believe me! There will be other things coming up which will seem harder than the last thing you tackled. Even those potty training days, sleepless nights, cranky kids, tantrums and mood swings, they will all fade away with time. All those memories will go away or at least those intense moments. Going back to my first point, always check your intentions. Listen to your heart and remember all good and bad come to us to make us stronger and resilient. It all comes from Him.