1. Enjoy the moment. Kids live fully in the present. No rush, no future worrying, no past regrets. The bug they started to observe on the way to the grocery store is the most important thing at this moment and the most valuable experience.
2. Patience. I must admit, it was never my strongest quality, but by constantly exercising it with my toddler, it grew, like a muscle.
3. See the best in everything. Being a parent gives you an amazing OPPORTUNITY to live through your childhood again. Remember how happy you were when it rained hard and there were huge deep puddles to jump in? Children have this ability to see good in everything and so should we.
4. Let it go. Forget your disappointments. Tomorrow will be a whole new day. Forgive fully and let it go off your mind. Kids can fight vigorously and hug 5 minutes later. And they mean it.
5. Be silly. Just because it’s fun. Laugh at nothing. Have a dance party in the kitchen. It feels good!
6. Be creative. When you are a stay-at-home mother of a toddler, you better be creative! Your creativity doesn’t have to involve money. If you’re still struggling with “what to do”, your toddler will give you amazing ideas. Children are extremely creative and see fun and magic in places where we do not even think to look.
7. Unconditional Love. Some (especially those without kids) might argue, that you are supposed to love your partner unconditionally too. But let’s face it: it’s different. Sure, we do love our partners/spouses “unconditionally”, until those ‘conditions’ start to happen. In other words, men better not test that love of ours. Imagine, a man decides to see how much his woman loves him by starting to ignore her, underestimate her and make her feel bad about herself. Not cool, right? Get away from that guy. But kids do it to us all the time!! They test us, they make us feel bad, guilty, unappreciated, desperate, frustrated, etc. They drive us nuts! And we love them to death. Your kid might turn out to become an ignorant person, a liar or a criminal. And you’ll still love them. Nothing we can do about that. That’s what I call unconditional love.
Olga Kangun is a Ukrainian immigrant living now in Toronto area. She is a mother of one biological child, two children of my partner, and currently pregnant with baby number 4.