Saturday, May 04, 2013

Life in the FAST lane

I live life in the fast lane. No I don’t go bungee jumping on the weekend, race around in fast cars or dabble in market trading. But I am still a risk taker. My risk taking starts every day at six o clock in the morning, once I have sucked up my super-power inducing cup of tea, the whirlwind of packing lunchboxes, dressing kids, doing the school run begins.

My life is surely in the fast lane, for every day flashes before my eyes, whilst I whizz around the grocery shop, doing errands, picking up kids from school and then the evening activities. What risks you ask?..why there they are, those four disheveled mini-me’s hanging around the T.V, my children. I pour my heart and soul into making their lives better and happier.

This risk, this investment does not hold a candle to any other sort of risk induced activity, you walk away from risky jobs, your wind gliding session comes to an end and you’ll probably resort to selling that fast car as the family expands. Your children are your life. You do all the leg work in the early years, hoping and praying as the children get older, they turn out to be successfully human beings. 

‘Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body”. Elizabeth Stone (Author)

This quote sums up my entire observation. As parents, our children give reason to our existence. Their happiness is our happiness. But unfortunately parenting is not all calm seas, straight A’s, behaved Kids, it is infact treacherous waters of sleepless nights to demanding children, that, we as the captains of the ship have to safely navigate through.

But as usual, something has to give, and that usually is us, the Parent. We become so embroiled in this need to keep our children, safe, happy, healthy etc we drive ourselves to exhaustion and frustration where ultimately ‘Parenting’ becomes a chore rather than a blessed gift. 

How to be a successful parent

Uncoil the tension, take deep breaths, loosen the stronghold on your child, they are going to be okay. Most of us feel that if we do not worry about what our children are doing every single moment of the day, that everything is going to go to pot. That is not the case. Children will be children, it might be a shaky start, but luckily they have had you as their parent to show them the way. Their independence, is a newer, happier you. Once you have got over the early years, of where you were severely needed to wipe noses and pull up socks, let your children take the reign, partially, and get on with their lives. Now you can sit back and start enjoying parenting.

So your child is not a straight A student, has the occasional punch up in the playground, this is not the end of their lives, they are not going to end up as paupers or in jail. Do not worry continually about your children’s future, address the shortcoming now because children acting out are always indications that something is wrong. What they will accomplish as adults is up to them, you have done the best you can.

A Parent is defined by their children, but we are all human we need a break occasionally. However trivial it is, take that break, time away from your children is your time to rejuvenate and come back refreshed to engage in more battle.

I understand that life with children, are a whirlwind of chores and activities. But apply the brakes on that ‘fast life’ of yours. Take the time to appreciate your children, listen to their chitter chatter of their thoughts and ideas. Spend a few minutes doing an activity with them. These little moments are priceless, they represent the true beauty of parenthood, cherish them.

When you become a parent, do not give up on past relationships of friends. These friends will become more important to you, for they will be a welcome distraction and will help you remember your old self, before children.

Life in the fast lane only gets faster with children. We are truly blessed to have these beautiful creatures in our lives, but we must learn to enjoy ‘being a Parent’ as well otherwise the years will whizz by and all would be lost. We only get one shot as this risky adventure of being a parent, lets get it right!

By Mayuri Jayasinghe -