Social networks are amazing: fun and useful at the same time. The other day, I got a feed of my posts from 5 years ago on Facebook, including a photo of my daughter and me on our first trip. She was ten months old and had already embarked on a 10-day trip adventure with my friend and me. I looked at the photo in wonder, having trouble to recognise myself, let alone my daughter.
Peanut, as I called her then, grew from an impish toddler into a fine little girl. Where have all those years gone? And how? What was I doing? How did I spend those first five years of her life?
While we raise our kids, we make big plans for them and usually wish they could learn foreign languages, have a good education, get a good job and start their own families.
Buried under a pile of endless chores, as we try to make sense of this hectic life and resolve problems and dilemmas, we tend to forget that every day that goes by is gone forever and will never return.
We forget to soak up every moment of their childhood, each more significant and memorable than the other.
We always worry, comparing ourselves to other parents and our kids to their kids.
And then one day FB reminds me of a photo made five years ago. I felt like I was looking at another person.
A proud, but obviously clueless mother and a sweet little child.
Could I have imagined then what our lives would be like, how many silly things I’d do, how much time I’d lose, how many mistakes I’d make? Perhaps.
So, because of the FB’s On This Day feature and before I receive any of the future reminders which will bring back all my errors and make me aware of the time wasted on unimportant stuff, I want to try to be smart and happy for a change:
1. Nobody’s perfect. What matters is to do our best in each moment. We are all different, and so are our kids and our paths. The rule is – there are no rules.
2. If something really bothers me, I’ll try to change it. Changes are the only way to improve my life, and if I feel better, so will my child.
3. I won’t pay too much attention to what other people say or think. My life is my business. It is I and not them who set the rules.
4. I am a good mother. I’m not a good cook, but it doesn’t matter. My child prefers eating spagetti without any sauce and – she loves hominy.
5. Kids are prone to doing silly things. It doesn’t mean I’m a bad parent. It simply means that kids are only kids.
6. Panic and nervousness are bad companions. The sooner you get rid of them, the better in the long run.
7. I often think that parenthood is extremely hard and stressful. And it is.
8. Sometimes we just have to be good to ourselves. A sink full of dirty dishes, piles of unironed clothes, untidy rooms? So what? Us mothers also need a break from time to time.
9. Children enjoy what we think is ordinary, unimportant stuff, such as going to the movies, buying popcorn, hugging.
10. Anything is possible if you really set your mind on it. In life, one should expect the unexpected.
And always keep in mind that in life, like in travels, what matters most isn’t the final destination, but the journey itself.