“Es igualita al papá,” most will say when they meet my daughter and realize that her mischievous expressions, accompanied by a cynical laughter, are almost a complete replica of her dad’s. Much to her papi’s delight, Camila loves to tell and be told a good joke and is already on her way to being a very creative prankster.
I, on the other hand, wasn’t born, nor did I ever cultivate, an outwardly funny bone or jokester attitude. I can’t remember a good joke on cue to save my life, and have even had to download kid’s jokes apps just to have a healthy repertoire at hand to impress my girl.
Not only am I not the best at telling jokes, but I’ve found that I also need to learn to stop my frenetic pace and just laugh with my daughter a whole lot more. Lately, my push to be a successful mompreneur has got me on a whirlwind of emotions and a completely unbalanced life that makes me be much more reactive when my daughter is not doing what I ask her or what she’s expected to do. In those moments, her natural laughter and wacky cool attitude turn into the loudest of screams with a stubborn demeanor that sets off my impatience.
Many times, instead of responding calmly and just picking my battles, I try to control or just stop her emotions. It feels like the busier I get with trying to “do it all” and “be it all,” the more impatient and exasperated I become by the little things my beautiful and spirited child does.
I know for sure I’m not alone in feeling this way. No matter if we are stay-at-home, work-at-home, or working moms, we all need a constant reminder that with love and patience we can accomplish a lot more with our children. We know that it’s important to set discipline, but that in order for them to want to comply they need to feel loved and secured.
I would be fooling myself if I said that I could one day become the “perfect” mom because that just doesn’t exist. Just like I can’t hold up Camila to a fragmented standard of perfection, I can’t set myself up for failure either. What I can do, is give myself a reminder that no matter how difficult certain parenting moments can get, in the end every single moment between my daughter and I is an act of love.
If I keep going back to the love and both our needs to be loved, I can stop and laugh more with my daughter. I can eventually turn around those bursts of unwanted behavior into just another cry for love.
That picture of Camila holding up an “I Love You” sign, so easily created with a Hallmark Pics n Props, is just that reminder. I keep it in a special place in our home so I can turn to it when we both need the reassurance of love. All you need is love, right?