It’s the new year and all of us are brewing with energy to follow through on our plans for 2017. I have been thinking of my resolutions and how I want to make each day count in the new year. I have resolutions for my family life, personal well-being goals and plans for the blog. The most important resolution for me though is the one I have made as a mother: to slow down, let my children be kids and make memories in our everyday.
Most of us remember this beautiful song from our childhood: “meray bachpan ke din, kitne achay they din” (translation: how beautiful were the days from my childhood). This song highlights for me that childhood is simple. It’s a couple of blankets thrown over two camp chairs. It’s a pretend house under the dinner table with a million different possibilities. Childhood is simple. It doesn’t need expensive toys, planned activities or destination vacations. It’s here, in the now and it’s beautiful.
A wise mother said to me once that these days you can read more about parenting than actually find the time to do it. Her words stick with me as I keep coming across one click-bait article after another to make parents feel guilty and insuffient. It’s difficult to focus on the task at hand when there are heated debates on your choice of parenting on Facebook groups, forums and in research studies. Be it homeschooling vs regular schools, stay-at-home parent vs working-outside-the home parent, breastfeeding vs formula, cosleeping vs sleep training etc etc.
My resolution is to tune out the rest and tune in to my own little world. To slow down and cherish the time with my children who are growing way too fast than my mommy heart can handle. A little task like sorting through their cupboards reminds me ever so much of this fact. Cute shirts that are too short now, outfits that were bought and never worn and little onesies that still have the sweet baby smell.
So the online debates can wait and so can the dishes. My living room will be magazine perfect some day but that day is many a years away InshaAllah. This is a house where little people live and make magical through their toys, hand-drawn notes and imagination. We will have meetings under the dining table, pretend that the bed is one big ship going through a stormy ocean and firmly believe that our backyard crabapple tree is the Magic Faraway Tree.
This is my resolution for 2017: to be present, to be kind and to have fun. Life is too short for judgement, arguments and winning. Trust your intuition as a parent. You are the manual your child was born with.