My Heart, Your Home: Whoa Mumma! Slow down   

Monday, 16 September 2013

Whoa Mumma! Slow down

I cant help but notice the pressure we put on ourselves as Mothers and, just as importantly, the pressure we put on our children. We are living in an age where parenting has become a competitive sport. Where children are the trophies. Where our children's abilities and achievements are compared. Where the speed at which our children are learning new skills, or not learning them, is critiqued. We compare, criticise, judge, yearn... better, bigger, bolder!

From the moment our children are born we are encouraged to visit the child health nurses with our little blue book which is full of milestones that children should be reaching by what age. If your child doesn't happen to tick off one of those marks in the allocated time then we are advised to worry, to try harder, to push harder, to obsess. Where nine times out of ten that child is perfectly fine and is just taking their time to concur such a huge achievement. 

We worry about why our children aren't speaking words, then when they are speaking words we worry about why they aren't speaking sentences. Then they speak sentences and we worry about why they cant count to twenty, why they don't know the difference between a square and a rectangle, why they cant sing the entire alphabet. We worry about our children not knowing everything they need to know before they start preschool. Then school. 

Ballet, netball, soccer, martial arts, swimming, music. One thing to the next, rush, quick children quick. We are running late. Running through life from one event to the next. One worry to another. One pressure, three pressures, eight pressures... explode. 

I remember a day where children were free to play without boundaries, without limitations. Where children were allowed their time. Where children were allowed the luxury to learn naturally, without pressure, without expectations and without fear of failing or disappointing. I remember a day where life was slow. 

I have seen these pressures and these expectations and I have found myself placing them upon my family. But today I am taking a stance. I choose to parent slow. To allow myself and my children the luxury of stopping to count the ants on the pathway. To say goodnight to the moon and all of the stars. To pick every single yellow weedy flower we see. To sing another song and read another story. I choose to walk slowly behind my Daughter and learn from her, from her enthusiasm for life and for the world around her. 

Rather than rush my Daughter's to their next activity, or carry them so that we can get there "really fast". I am taking the time to remind myself that my Daughters are only little for such a very short time. Do I want this time to be so full of activity's, of lessons and of expectations or do I want this time to be full of memories? 

I intend to fill their childhoods with water fights and bubbles in the back yard. I choose long, slow walks along the beach talking about the sun, the sand and the ocean. I hope for love and laughter, for cuddles and kisses. Rather than setting my children up to feel like they need to deliver on the pressures our world places on them, I believe in setting them up to choose and to deliver for themselves.

I will hold their hands, answers their questions and kiss all of their hurts. I will pick the flowers with them, I will stop and gaze at the clouds with them. I will take more time to just be with them and less time herding them. I will make more effort to sit and chat about the world and less time worrying about their milestones. More acceptance, less comparison. More love, less pressure.  

Today I choose to parent slowly, without boundaries and without limitation

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