Being a mother is a beautiful, but often bizarre experience that could at times defy reason. On Planet Parenthood a number of phenomena do not work according to conventional logic. Can you relate to these…?
1. Maths doesn’t add up for mothers.
You spend 80% of your time cleaning and tidying, but your home remains 100% messy.
When it comes to mothering styles, I’m more like Bridget Jones than Gisele Bundchen. I don’t work on a balanced meal plan for the week, and I don’t make achingly beautiful organic moss and bark collages with my kiddo. Rather, I’m the mom who makes it to 5pm (with the morning’s oatmeal still in my hair) and realizes that the piece of fish I set aside for my 18-month-old son’s dinner has mysteriously disappeared from the fridge, so I have to cobble something nutritious together in half an hour while said kiddo takes apart the Tupperware cupboard for the fourth time since he woke from his nap.
- In almost every family I have helped, there would typically be an introvert followed by an extrovert, or the other way around. The first two children are always opposite in my experience. It is easy to greet the ‘sunshine’ child with an excited ‘Morning!’ when he comes in with a huge smile in between yawning and rubbing his eyes to wake up, while his sibling comes in sullen and serious and is met with a more serene and subdued greeting.
- Children tend to pick up those underlying differences but misinterpret them as ‘one child is wrong and the other is right’.
- When a second child makes its arrival in the family, Dad generally takes on the task of bonding with the older one so Mom can be involved with the baby. This is great, but the time also needs to come where they swop over. Then eventually they receive equal attention. If the child constantly refuses to allow one parent to help or do anything, then that parent should insist on helping. This will transition smoothly if there is opportunity for bonding time; especially making opportunities for time with that parent alone.
- When a child feels like the second best, he will start taking it out on the sibling and the bond that they could have had will be broken.
- The picture portrayed should rather be Mom and Dad in a ‘team’ (a force to be reckoned with), and the children should be standing together. Too often I see an alliance formed between one parent and a child against the other parent and the other child.
- Most teenagers are concerned about their weight. A nice long walk or bike ride can be a great opportunity to bond. Shop together for the appropriate clothes and make it a regular outing.
- Play a sport together, like squash, tennis, even darts or table tennis for the not so energetic. If you’re not much of an athletic type, try researching the sport your child is interested in.
- Find out about the icons in that sport or interesting information and facts. If your child is interest in for instance golf, find some online tips to improve his swing or offer to drive the golf cart, or watch him play tennis and go for a milkshake afterwards. This is where conversations grow organically.
- Does your teenager have a messy room? Make a deal.
- Work together helping each other instead of each one with his or her own task. It goes much faster if you have someone to talk to and make it fun. The time will just fly by.
- Meal times are a great way of including children in the chores.
- Each child could have a turn helping with making dinner then when they are old enough, they could be responsible for one meal a week.
- They need to preplan the menu though to ensure that mom has had enough time to have the ingredients available on that night.
- Encourage them to try new recipes out of a recipe book or searching on the Internet.