The parenting journey takes shape in lots of different ways and it can be an amazing experience understanding the type of parent you thought you would be and the type of parent you become.
You may have headed into pregnancy with grand plans of becoming a patient mother who taught her kids how to cook from the kitchen at an early age, who embraced all the seasonal events with crafts and who spent hours on the floor playing with blocks and stuffed animals.
But you may, in reality find yourself immersed in parenthood and finding that you’re still learning and growing into the role. And this might not include crafting and cooking. The traditional, aspirational traits of a traditional mum might not be reflected in you, and that is completely ok.
Recognising that your strengths and enjoyment lie in different areas is exciting and can help make the most out of free time with the kids. Doing activities which bring the things you enjoy, and what you want to bring to the parenting role, can really help you to make the most of your free time.
Here’s a few ways to do this:
Learn as you go
If you’re keen to help the kids learn to cook but you’re not so skilled in this department. Learn together. A longstanding goal for the kids to know a good amount of dinner recipes by the time they leave the house, is a great way to help you and them learn together.
Simply invite them into the kitchen to help with meals whenever it’s time for dinner. Take simple recipes which are quick and easy to make, and get the kids to help with the simple things. Chopping the veggies, stir the sauces, run the blender and mixer (buttons and knobs) and as you make the meal all together, you can also chat about why certain foods are so good for you. For example, here are the reasons we use this ingredient, it’s easiest to cut the veggies like this… etc.
No special cooking lessons. Everyone just learns as they go about in the kitchen.
Listen to amazing stuff
No doubt some of your fondest childhood memories probably involve family members reading or playing records and explaining the ins and outs of their favourite artists or authors.
A great way to educate your little ones on your favourites are with audiobooks and music in the car on the morning school run. Shorter one-off stories are perfect: engaging and endearing.
Care about the world
Talking to little ones about the world can be hard. You want to expose them to the world's realities but in an age-appropriate, gentle approach. So instead of letting them watch the news, a great way is to stay informed—and then fill them in yourself. Encourage them to discuss politics and news-worthy events around the dinner table, but with the encouragement to ask questions. Is there anything we can do to help? What can we learn about this? are great questions to ask.
Time with your little ones goes by soooo quickly, and often in the modern world, there isn’t that much time to spend together. Making sure your spare time is filled with things you all enjoy and with meaning is an amazing way to help you as a family make the most of it.