“Laugh as much as you breathe. Love as much as you live”
Recently my youngest child, who is 8, had a bit of a meltdown about something. I can’t even remember what it was – something completely insignificant and silly to my adult perspective but clearly her life’s destiny was destroyed by the fact that I said no. She stormed up the stairs, and I instinctively started laughing! It struck me as so cute and funny that something so silly could cause such a reaction. Perhaps I have horrified you in telling you I laughed when my child had a tantrum! Bad Mommy Alert! But laughter tends to diffuse the situation. She’s quite firey (I wonder where she could possibly get that trait), but there is always a smile and a giggle lurking right beneath the surface! It’s something I love about my life with my kids. Laugher is always imminent.
What struck me after this incident was the contrast in myself. When my oldest child was small and would have such meltdowns, I remember getting very stressed. I felt her misbehavior was a reflection on my parenting skills, felt frustrated with myself and with her. I remembered years ago, a friend of mine had a young child who had a temper tantrum in front of me. Instead of the typical embarrassed rush to get the child to behave, she burst out laughing. Which made me laugh. It transformed a situation, which could have been uncomfortable, into something sweet.
It’s amazing how mindset influences actions. When I was a new mom, I wanted to do everything perfectly. I couldn’t (children rarely come in neatly packaged boxes of perfection) and was so focused on the outcome (perfect behavior). Now I am far more focused on loving and enjoying my kids, than controlling the way they behave. Ironically, they react by behaving better!
I am a single mom in a foreign country, working full time, focusing on advancing my career, skillset and education, as well as keeping my house and striving to be a good mom, so my life is very busy. I want to enjoy my children – every moment. They are getting so big, so fast, and one day they won’t care if they have to eat all their peas or wear pyjamas to bed. And if they do, those decisions will no longer be mine. What matters most is that they know they are loved, and have a happy, safe, loving environment. Time will tell, but I believe with love and laughter, the rest will fall into place!
My angel was sick this day, but that didn’t hamper her sparkly personality!