family balance

About 2 month ago, i wrote about the challenge of being a working mom and some ideas about how to reduce the gap between my ideal mother figure and the reality. (You can read about it here )

I have to say, i feel it is going quite good with my try at being the mother i would like to be. My time with Alva is very focussed. When we are together, i try to understand what is going on in his head, what is driving him and i just get into his game and do whatever he is doing.  I am currently reading through "The Montessori Revolution in Education" of E. M. Standing. I wasn't familiar with Montessori before and i tend to be rather skeptical with educational theories, but i have to say that a lot of stuff i am reading makes perfect sense and helps me understand Alva's world better. The bottom line is that children are thinking in a very different way than adults and that they are naturally driven by their will of learning and exploring. So i try to put myself in Alva's shoes, and try to imagine that i am exploring a brand new world i know nothing about.

Try it, don't be afraid to look foolish, it's a refreshing game: jumping over waves, driving your bike through every mud puddle in the park, and walking with your head between your legs (and if you manage to keep your balance, the world upside down is quite fun). Since i am trying to more deeply understand Alva's feelings, and why he might be frustrated or angry, i somehow have more patience to meet those moments and i also have more ideas about how to avoid them. In the last 2 month, we definitely grew closer. I feel he trusts me more and knows me better. I am more familiar with his limits and he is more familiar with mine. Brushing teeth, washing hands and other activities that were always tied with some drama are not so much of a problem anymore, he has less tantrums and we have more fun.

The other thing i noticed: how easy it is to do all those things and how much more patience i have, when Ohad and me are in sync and when we both are in a good mood. I also noticed how much harder it is to do so, when there is some tension between us. So here is my most important insight about family balance (nothing new but it took me a while to really assimilate it). Kids are picking up on our moods. And they are super sensitive to any kind of family tension. When parents are happy, they are more patient parents, more open parents, more receiving and  more giving parents. Good energy is flowing and filling the house and everything feels nice and right. I really realized, that sharing more alone time with my partner and working to find ways to solve and overcome disagreements quickly and restore my couple's sync is as important as spending quality time with my kid. A big yeah yeah to vacations without kids, nights out, and friday mornings at the beach while Alva is at kindergarden. Although it is time apart, it exponentially influences our parents-kids relationship in a positive way. It makes all of us more happy and serene. In our little nest, it's a circle. All of us being happy makes our family balanced and having a balanced family is the key to a happy child and happy parents.  Yeap, everything is connected. But that's nothing new...

How are you managing family balance at home?