Sunday, February 12, 2012

Short and Sweet -- Lessons for My Daughter

My husband says, “Parenting is a full contact sport around here.” And he’s right. Parents spend so much time worrying and competing over stupid stuff. Cases in point…
Am I pushing the right stroller? Ummm…does it have wheels? Is your child comfortable and willing to spend more than two minutes strapped into it? Does it have a cup holder? If so, you are probably good.
Is my infant enrolled in enough enrichment classes? Full disclosure: Yes, I admit that my daughter and I did Itsy Bitsy Yoga BUT it was an awesome way for to me to acclimate to taking her out of the house by myself and I frequently used some of the techniques in the real world to successfully calm her down. Plus, I met two amazing moms that I still spend time with…okay, maybe I should not pick on the infant classes. Although, I stand by my stance that six month olds do not need art appreciation.
Why doesn’t my child sleep according to the schedule in the book? Maybe if you leave the book open for your child’s perusal during tummy time, they will pick it up.
Will my toddler’s preschool prepare her for an Ivy? All I am looking for is a safe and comforting place for her to get a little bit of socialization, play outside, sing some songs, and make a few crafts. Plus, the few hours twice a week help keep me sane. Everybody knows that a happy mom makes for an even happier family!   
I have only been at this mom gig for a little over two years but I am sure it just gets more intense from here. This area is full of highly educated, driven, and successful people, therefore, it should not be surprising that everyone wants their children to attend the very best schools (even if it costs $35,000 a year), be on the most competitive athletic teams, and go on to prestigious universities. With all of this nonsense in the air, it could be easy to lose sight of what is really important. With this in mind, I have been giving two questions a great deal of thought this week: 1) What do I want to pass on to my daughter? 2) What do I consider the truly important lessons? This is a work in progress but here is what I have come up with so far. Short and sweet -- much like my lovable toddler.
Use your manners. “Please” and “thank you” are a few of the words that keep our society from completely spiraling out of control. Do your part – yes, even at two years old. 
Make good choices. The popular one is rarely the best option.
Books are your friend. Losing yourself in the pages of a good book is one of life’s sweetest pleasures.
Relationships with friends and family can sometimes be hard work – do not be scared to put in the effort.
Fight for your own happiness. Nobody else can do it for you. (Ignore the people that say going after happiness is a silly pursuit. They will get it one day.)
It is not a bad idea to always have a snack with you. You never know when your blood sugar will need a pick me up. Plus, you will be able to share it with others and sharing your snack with a hungry friend will make it taste even sweeter.

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