Written by Pearl Mbazima
(Article sponsored by Fabulous Nine, suppliers of trendy maternity wear. Link at end of article)
Today I’d like to share the parenting lessons I have learnt in my journey as a mom and an entrepreneur, also known as a Mompreneur.
I am a Mompreneur of 16 years, my first child, a boy, turns 16 later this year. After him, I got a daughter who’s 13 now and another son who’s 10. It’s an exciting roller coaster ride that I hope will inspire new moms.
The first lesson I learnt is that all children are different, and from this perspective, it is unfair to compare them or make them compete with each other. As a mommy, it is your job to learn each little individual’s personality and work with them according to that knowledge.
Knox was always a playful child, right from pregnancy. He enjoyed being played with in utero and he danced to my music when I played it on my laptop at work. He is still the same 16 years later, we still belt out ABBA songs together on many a good evening. He is blessed with a much better singing voice than me but we sing along together anyway.
Victoria was the opposite. She doesn’t like to be pushed into things. She’ll take her time and do exactly as she pleases in her own given time. She has a sober and responsible approach to life. I remember when we were getting frustrated because she was 15 months old and still not walking. I had to remind myself of who she is and relaxed my pressure on her. She eventually walked at 18 months. Ditto potty training. When we tried to force her to sit on the potty she just screamed as if the potty was on fire. After two frustrating months of trying, we left her alone. A week later, she started sitting on the potty of her own free will.
Anthony’s scan at 18 weeks of pregnancy took a while to figure out whether he was a boy or a girl because he was just all over the place and couldn’t be pinned down. I remember thinking he was like a little frog, jumping from one end of my uterus to the other every second. He is still that boy, hyperactive. He finds it difficult even to sit through a meal. I don’t know how his teachers at school cope with him. I’m not even going to ask. He is a bright spark and brings home good grades consistently.
Children come screaming into the world at different dates, birth weights, attitudes and temperaments. You just have to love each one unconditionally. Even the disciplinary measures you mete out to each kid have to take into account these differences. An extroverted child will feel thoroughly punished by being made to sit in the corner or go to his room, whereas the introvert will welcome the move and not feel moved to repentance at all.
Last tip, be your child’s friend and keep the channels of communication open. They will come in handy when you hit the stormy teen years.