Things I'd like my kids to see their mum doing
Everything changes when you take on the title of 'mum'. Suddenly, you’re responsible for the wellbeing of a new little person. But those responsibilities extend further than just day-to-day care and welfare. Your approach to life and the examples you set while living it are now all-important, too. Christine Stride shares six things that all children would benefit from seeing their mum doing.
Yes, being a mum is a huge responsibility, but don’t lose your sense of fun! Kids love to see their parents cutting loose, laughing and acting silly with them. Let the dishes or the vacuuming wait for ten minutes while you play dress ups or hide and seek, chase your little ones or give them a piggy back, or make their stuffed toys talk in silly voices. When they’re older you’ll look back with fond memories on how they used to actually want you to hang out with them!
Loving our bodies
Kids will think their mum is beautiful – until she tells them otherwise. Mums who belittle their looks and bodies are teaching children to do the same. When your son or daughter hears you saying negative things about yourself, they’ll take them on board. Instead, focus on what amazing things your body can do: lifting your child up for a bear hug, sitting them on your knee for a story. Set a confident example to teach your kids to be comfortable in the skin they are in.
Following our instincts
A mother’s intuition often can’t be explained. So you don’t feel comfortable with that movie/playdate/party your child has been invited to? Make sure your child knows that the reason you said ‘no’ was based on your instinct, and not your desire to be a ‘mean mum.’ Showing your child how to make – and stand by - tough decisions can empower them further down the track when they have their own decisions to make.
Cheering on our kids
Show your kids that mum is their number one fan. Being there for sports games, dance recitals, kindergarten or school shows means the world to them. When they see their mum in the first row of their dance recital, kindergarten or school production, or their swimming lesson, cheering them on, they may put on that, “I'm so embarrassed" face, but inside, they’re glowing with pleasure that mum is there and she thinks they’re doing great!
Doing the things we love
Becoming a mum can absorb all your time to the point where you stop doing the things you once loved. But your children love seeing you do ‘your’ things. Playing the guitar, going rollerblading, cake decorating, DIY...Show your children how to be passionate, creative little people, by doing the things that you love to do. Your example is powerful and you will be a star in their eyes.
Showing love and care for others
There’s a lot of apathy out there in the world, and a lot of aggression. As a mum, you have the gentle power to show how to express love, patience, and kindness to others. When your little one sees you helping an elderly person in the supermarket, or picking up rubbish in the park, or saying, “that little boy’s crying, I hope he’s ok,” they’ll take on board that looking out for others is a good thing to do.