“Hakuna Matata” – Embracing the wonders of childhood…

You’ve had a hard day at work, the kids are in bed and you pour yourself a well deserved glass of wine.  And…relax…for the next 2 hours the night is yours now.  The TV is on and you sit down and switch on your favourite DVD. Hang on, what’s that? The DVD player isn’t working? So up you get and on closer inspection one of your little darlings has ‘mistakenly’ put a piece of Lego or similar in the DVD player 😡! Problem solved! Now back to where you were and… relax…DVD player now on and functioning, but wait, Disney’s Lion King comes on 😡. This is most definitely not your favourite film, despite probably seeing it numerous times and up you get once more, this time to put on the DVD you’ve been looking forward to all day! Now you can finally relax! Frustrating right??

Now in the words of Timon and Pumbaa “Hakuna Matata” – a Swahili phrase roughly meaning “no worries”. That song was sung to teach Simba to relax and enjoy life, with of course no worries – and the same can be said of us adults with our little ones.

Yes ok, it’s easy to get frustrated with the fact that Lego has clogged up the DVD player, the wrong DVD is in – we are all guilty of that aren’t we? But there will soon come a time when that’s the least of our worries and I guess we will all do well to try and remember that.

Rather than worrying about a grubby little hand mark on a light switch – we will all at some point be worrying about something far more significant; like why our child hasn’t text or called at an agreed time, or we may be concerned that our child may be mixing with the ‘wrong friendship circle’ etc. To put things into perspective, most things probably rank a lot higher than a handprint on a window.  So why do we get so annoyed?

I’m not saying this article is going to, or should change the way you parent, but I challenge you (and me) to think differently here. Raising a child can be hard work, sometimes even monotonous and it can be both emotionally and physically draining. We so often project to ourselves (naturally) what our children will grow up to be, will they be a sportsperson or a singer maybe? Even wishing they were older at times? I’ve done all of the above, but are we not perhaps a little guilty of not accepting the current situation? i.e what is actually in front of us now?

Children’s stickers! They get everywhere don’t they? On your fridge, the table, the car…everywhere! I had a meeting recently and on the front of my notebook for work is a sticker one of my children put on some time ago – and there it shall remain. It became a brief talking point with my client and probably humanised me to them! My wallet has a sticker of Dory (from Finding Nemo/Dory) on it and my car keys has the outline of a butterfly on it. All of these things are as a result of my two children!

These stickers however, make me smile, it reminds me about what is important to me and I see the children’s influences and expressiveness even when they aren’t with me – I find it quite comforting.

You can take this one step further, our children are always coming home with pictures from school or nursery. Granted, some are a lot better than others. Some will take pride of place somewhere in the house, others may be a gift for the Granparents and others will make there way into the bin! Yep, I really did say that! I think the fundamental thing to remember here is that young children don’t have money, they can’t go out shopping and buy you your favourite flowers or chocolates, so this is their gift to you, in their own little way – their expressiveness should be treasured.

Is this one a keeper? An Easter card from my son Joseph via his nursery (you know who you are 👍). They are exceptional at spending the time and resource to allow him to produce and create things for both Daddy and Mummy – so that neither parent misses out.

As everyone is so frequently reminding me, “they grow up quick don’t they?” And these people are right! Like us and our ancestors before us, our children only have one childhood and that for me should be about exploring, making new discoveries and playing.  There are so many pressures out there and it’s a parents job to protect our children from these pressures and let them grow and flourish at their own pace. Sadly, for me, there will soon be a time in the not too distant future where our Disney themed songs CD from my car will be in the pile to go to the charity shop and Justin Bieber will take over! So for now, I’ll do my best to treasure these times and yes I do sometimes listen to it after the children have been dropped off at school and nursery. “Hakuna Matata!”

Treasuring those special moments with my son Joseph.

Read about how as a co-parent – I try and “stay classy!”


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