You have done a lot for your child! What has your child done for you?
Being a parent changes you, forever. Gone are the days of living life as you please, spending lazy Sunday afternoons in bed, enjoying leisurely meals with friends without worrying about the ticking clock or simply going shopping or catching a movie on a whim. There are times when you question the very meaning and purpose of life as dealing with recalcitrant kids drives sanity out of the window. Ingenuity becomes your middle name as you juggle various roles and schedules. While dealing with children is challenging to say the least, at the same time it makes you discover depths in yourself you hitherto didn’t know. While you definitely land up doing a lot for your child, here is just a reminder of the invaluable gifts a child brings into your life:
- Lessons in unconditional love– The very first thing the child brings to your life is a lesson in unconditional love. Whether you raise your child in a one-bedroom apartment or a mansion overflowing with rooms makes no difference whatsoever to his love for you. All your child wants is your love and support and some time together. It is awe-inspiring to see the level of blind trust the baby puts in you. It is not without reason that babies are referred to as little bundles of joy, they bring in a whole new sense of life and living, they teach you to love without expectations and without conditions, of giving yourself fully to the moment.
- A sense of belonging- While you may have been summarily dumped out of many “cool” groups ever since your facebook timeline started to have nothing but baby pictures and of course a lot of “parents”, the fact remains that nothing gives you a better sense of belonging than a child. That it gives you a whole new social circle comprising of friends made in birthing classes, at the pediatrician’s waiting room and more, is an added perk!
- Opportunity to relive the simple pleasures of childhood- There is nothing better than parenthood that brings back the child in you and allows you to burst forth as you chase a ball down the garden or play peek a boo! Being a parent is like being on an adventure trip where you learn to deal with the unknown and to take pleasure in the little things in life. And of course there is nothing to match the moments of sheer joy as your children utter their first words or take those first steps!
All of this however is not an attempt to wish away those sleepless nights, which accrue from initially putting cranky kids to sleep and thereafter from worrying about their future. The fact, however remains that there is no rewind button when it comes to raising a child. The first step towards enjoying your child’s growing up years is to be mindful of the present. Go with your instincts and your child’s responses to your actions and enjoy those shared moments of togetherness!