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Parenting Pearls

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More than 12 years ago, I had a problem with my childbirth. It was a major ceasarian operation. After 9 months of placenta privia, it was a certainly a big sigh of relief to see my daughter safe and well . I chose to spend time with her as soon as I could. I did everything I could to upgrade myself, studied and took up new courses. Even though my background was in business, I had to put all that aside and only focus on supporting her growth.

In September 2014, I started the Facebook group Parent Support Group. It is the place where I meet parents.

I started with nothing when I got married, only things. I would recycle and reuse everything! I had to use money saving tips, be creative and cooked at home. I had two health scares, breast lumps and suspected appendicitis, all were treated with aromatherapy. Then depression.

When I speak to parents, there is only one reason why all these have happened during my parenting journey. Unrealistic expectations that lead to stress. Sometimes, these expectations are justified but they are simply not feasible at the time you needed it to happen. So you just have to find ways to meet those expectations. That create a chain reaction, in your body and this starts to attack your health.

Let me digress a little to tell you why I created unrealistic expectations. As a young student, I had no place to study. I had to study in the main corridor of our flat to use the public lights when everybody else was asleep. At 12 a.m., the entire corridor would be dead quiet and I would become very scared. I closed my book and gave in. When there was a blackout, I had to use the candles. As a child, I would walk with my father every morning at 8 a.m. to be at his food stall selling food. In my resume, I wrote, “hawker assistant” as my job, which I earned no money for. My childhood was beautiful, but I had my share of hurdles like everyone else. I did not want my daughter to have this blueprint, so I created goals which created unrealistic expectations.

If I had not gone for what was needed to be done, things would stay the same. If I did (which indeed I did), I might get stressed out. So what did I do? I tell you what happened and what many people will do when they get stuck in life. I prayed. In reality, that alone does not ease your problems. Initially, it will give you a sense of hope that you can throw the problem away to something in the emptiness and expect things to happen. That is not the case. If you have nowhere to go but prayers, you might just be looking answers at the wrong places.

If you have a problem, it always starts from a source. That source is you. Review your expectations. Stop making goals or resolutions. If you do not have the resolve and conviction to follow through with action, they are mere words. Time waits for no one. That is not true too. Time does heal wounds, make you wiser. As long as expectations are met, you are always happier.

With my daughter , I did the same thing and I started to see better results in her behaviour, performance and overall attitude. She failed Maths at P4, and now A1 in secondary school. Just an example of how things turn around for me. If you have nowhere to go but prayers, you might just be looking answers at the wrong places.

With my life, I expect less of myself and I achieve more too. There are many ways to live, but there is only one that works for the living, breathe. Breathe in more, exhale out more.

Contact Me: Hanifa K. Cook