Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Thankful Tuesdays: Three things to remember

I've been getting questions from readers. About how we manage to cope with three littles. About how to juggle chores while nurturing our kids holistically, about how we can meet the different needs of three children. I've not been able to answer those questions, because firstly I've not had much time to sit down and type answers, and secondly, I just don't think I have any miracle answers to those questions. I have blogged on how we cope without a full-time helper, I have shared how to survive as a stay-home mum. But though we can share tips, I can't say I have unlocked the secrets to living joyfully at home and as a mum. In fact, the past few weeks have felt like a struggle, and I admit I feel like we've been surviving rather than thriving. But I know that this tough phase will pass… so here are three things I want to remind myself during this period of time:

:: When things get tough, just do the next thing:
This poem has always been a source of encouragement whenever I feel overwhelmed by the towering pile of clothes to be folded, or the kids fighting for the nth time. Sometimes when it seems like its too difficult to get anything done at all… it helps to remember that we just need to move step by step, while trusting in God to provide strength and wisdom. 

Source: BuzzQuotes

:: You can't have it all. So choose wisely:
Sometime ago I read this article about the fear of missing out and about opportunity cost:

"Opportunity cost means that essentially everything you do, no matter what it is, costs something, even if indirectly. The classic example is when someone takes you out for a free, hour-long lunch. Despite gaining the value of the lunch during that hour, you are still giving up all of the other productive activities you could have potentially been doing. 

So you give up doing an extra hour of work. An extra hour of sleep. An extra hour of sales calls that could net you a new client….

The point is that doing anything truly great requires some sort of inherent sacrifice that may or may not be immediately obvious. You know, like missing a series of your daughter’s birthdays."

- Mark Manson, in  "No, You Can't Have It All"

I think parenting in our day and age has become harder because we are more well-informed. We read articles on how to raise happy children, on how to instill creativity, and get the false sense of security that if we were to follow those steps prescribed we'll be able to raise great kids. We're busier than ever, and even our kids are way more busy than we were in our childhood days. We worry about them being ready for Primary school, we send them for this or that enrichment, we spend our days coaching and nagging. We juggle many many balls, we try to run our own businesses on the side, we chase for me-time and we-time and then wonder why we are just so worn out.

I've realized, especially when things get overwhelming, that I need to simplify and get my priorities right. I need to remember that we try to make as wise decisions as we possibly can, and then be content with what we have. I admit that sometimes I still envy those who can juggle keeping the home clean, and still plan great learning activities, blog about them, and still squeeze in time for exercise and hobbies. But then if we've made the decision to go maid-less and have more than two kids, then something has to give. It might be the chores, or time with the kids, or something else at any one point in time. Whatever the case, it still comforts me that people tell me that it does get easier with regards to managing the home and kids, as the children grow older.

:: We all need a little grace:
I don't know why, but there seems to be a lot of judging and competing when it comes to parenting. There's always sides to take: breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding, cry-it-out vs. co-sleeping, staying home vs. working. There's a study done to support each side's view, there's a lot of "why don't you try?" suggestions thrown around, and a lot less "how are you doing?" and "you're doing a great job!". I think some grace thrown in the mix always makes this long and winding journey much easier, and I am thankful for friends who constantly encourage me, instead of looking to share their own opinions on what I should do. And we could all show a little grace to ourselves too. After all, us mums tend to be very hard on ourselves, and I think we could all do with a little break!

Mum in the Making

1 comment:

  1. Very very true, especially agree that something's always gotta give!
    Hang in there Jus! I've also learnt to tune out comments/people who are not edifying, cos there's just too few hours in the day for that.



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