child in street art

A couple of days ago I came across this poem by Diana Loomans.

If I had my child to raise all over again,
I’d finger paint more, and point the finger less.
I’d do less correcting, and more connecting.
I’d take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes.
I would care to know less, and know to care more.
I’d take more hikes and fly more kites.
I’d stop playing serious, and seriously play.
I’d run through more fields, and gaze at more stars.
I’d do more hugging, and less tugging.
I would be firm less often, and affirm much more.
I’d build self-esteem first, and the house later.
I’d teach less about the love of power, and more about the power of love.

It perfectly describes how many of us feel when we look back at how we brought up our children, how we let life take over and very often missed the joys of just being with our young children. I would be a mindful parent.

comp eyesI hope that I was a decent mother, did the best I could and seeing that my children have grown into decent, happy young men probably shows that I did a good enough job. But if I could raise my children again I would definitely do more of the following:

  • I would listen to them, even if I was busy I would stop to listen. I don’t know how many times I missed them sharing something special with me because I didn’t take the time to really listen.
  • I would let go of my need to control everything around me and let them mess up, let them just be children.
  • I would follow my heart instead of my head and do what I knew was right for my child on an individual level. I think I did do this most of the time, but very often I let outsiders influence me.
  • I would have focused more on being a mother and less on being a wife. When our partners demand a lot from us, we can sometimes make our marriage the main focus when really it should always be our children. After all, no partnership should be hard work.

I’m lucky enough to get another chance. This time I will take the time to listen, to be there in the moment and be a mindful grandparent.

Remember your children are only children once, take the time to just be with them. Nothing else matters.