Mothers. What can we say? They are one of God's greatest gift to mankind. But with this great gift comes great controversy. Every decision moms make are heavily scrutinized, judged and analyzed by other moms - whether it's in grocery stores, playgrounds or on social media. But it's clear that this year, there are certain things that undeniably make moms some of the best!
Being a mother ourselves, how can we not know the depths of our love for our children? It is practically bottomless. We would literally fly to the moon and back for them and they wouldn't even know it. Without a spaceship mind you. We would give them the best bit of the sandwich, eat only the crumbs and morsels ourselves, and spend more on the little one's wardrobe than our own.
Mothers give up many nights of sleep just to make sure their little ones get sufficient rest in comfort. Such is the unyielding power of a mother's love.
It is undeniable that many mothers do many things for their children. Some are awesome deeds, others often have their goodwill backfired but generally, mothers aim only to do what they deem best for their children. And here we present to you the top 15 best things a mother can do for her child in 2018.
15 Making It Yourself
Nothing beats a warm, deliciously home cooked meals (unless you get to dine in a Michelin star restaurant every single day or have Master Chefs at your beck and call). Somehow, even the simplest of sandwiches can make a toddler happy. Give them a jelly and peanut butter spread and they could be on cloud nine for the rest of the day.
Or simply, puree some avocados and your baby will be happily slurping on them with the biggest grin on their faces.
Home cooked meals need not be on par with Gordon Ramsey's cooking. So long as you put your heart and soul into making a healthy (read: not too oily or too sweet so jelly beans and chocolate bars don't count) meal for your loved one and you are on your way to winning the award for 'Best Mum' of the year.
14 Not Skimping On Bear Hugs
CNN Health once cited that hugs aid in releasing the oxytocin bonding hormones which in turn can reduce a child's level of cortisol stress hormones. This, in turn, will reduce the child's stress level and heart rate which in turn can promote a lower and healthier blood pressure later in the child's adult life. In layman terms, hugging is goooooooood. If hugs had a Facebook page, you should give it a great big 'like' and follow its Instagram like a puppy on a leash. That is how great a hug can be.
So go ahead, hug your child. Reassure them with your presence and loving touch because a simple bear hug goes a long, long way. Even when they are crying and are seemingly pushing you away, trust me, all they truly want deep down inside is a hug.
13 Listening Is Understated - And They Notice
A very wise quote from an extremely revered book states that one should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger (no prizes for those who guessed which book it is). A listening ear goes a long way. It will send a message to the little ones that 'yes, mummy is here for you. Mummy will not laugh at your problems no matter how trivial or ignore them no matter how insignificant or scold you no matter how much trouble you've gotten into. Don't worry kiddo. Mommy's got your back.'
So when our little ones come running to us with tears streaming down their faces, squat down and face them to ask why they are crying.
Or when they timidly tug at your shorts, scoop them up and gently get them to spill the beans. Sometimes, they might be scared of something, other times they might have done some wrong. But mostly, little children just want to share their day (what the saw, what they learned, what they almost put into the mouths) with you, their mummy. Because you listening to them means the very world to them. So put down whatever that you might be doing and spend a little time to hear them out.
12 Not Caring About The Mess
Einstein once said, "Imagination is more important than knowledge." So what better way to fuel the little one's minds by encouraging them to do arts and crafts? Better yet, spend a little quality time with them and create little masterpieces together! For all you how, they might be the next Picasso.
Anything from the house can be used, from toilet paper rolls to old wrapping papers and cotton buds (make sure your child can tell the difference between cotton candy, cotton buds, and wools though). Finger painting and slime making are the raves right now and your kids will love them.
Basically, the messier this is, the more they will like it.
Bottom line is, let loose and close an eye to the mess that they're making. Cleanups can be reserved for later. Right now you are solidifying your status as 'the number one person' in their life. So have fun while you're at it. By the time they hit puberty, they won't even want to look you in the eye (nooooooooooo) unless it's for pocket money.
11 Stepping Out Into The Sun Together
If you have an empty spot in your garden, or even some empty pots, then why not buy some seeds, grab some soil and drag your little one out under the sun for a little while for some gardening? If your child is too small to help out, he or she can sit in a baby chair and play with seeds while you plant some flowers or trees.
Babies and toddlers love the outdoors. A little sunlight is good for them too. So it might be a good idea to bring them to the garden and let them bask in the morning sun while they squeal watching the birds and playing with a little bit of soil and dirt. Better yet, introduce them to mr. worm and miss butterfly. It is okay for them to get their hands dirty in soil so long as you remember to wash them clean after.
10 Getting Their Eyes Off The iPad
One of the most important things a child can learn as they grow would be to read and write. It doesn't matter if they never end up winning the spelling bee contest or be elected as a member of the national debate team, what is important is that you can sow the seed of love for reading and writing in the little ones.
It will be much better than having their eyes glued to the iPad in later years.
So teach them ABCs, 123s and how to write their own names. Why you can even frame their first successful attempt in spelling their name on their bedroom door. Who cares if the letters are crooked and funny looking? Years from now when they too become parents they might actually appreciate their names in a frame and thank you for keeping it all these years (jerks tears and starts son fest).
9 Singing Songs With Them
Apart from reading and writing, only the best of the best would groom their little ones in the art of singing (or at least make some audible tunes). It is said that happy children sing so why not teach them a proper tune or two for them to hum too?
Studies show that music enhances the development of the left brain, therefore making babies smarter. So have them sing and dance along to catchy tunes like 'the wheels on the bus'. Let them play with tins and drums. Heck, if you have a piano at home it would even be better. Introduce them to the melodious sounds of the black and white keys. They might just end up being the next Hans Zimmer for all you know.
8 Using Carriers Instead Of Strollers
Parents nowadays are spoiled for choice when it comes to mobilizing the baby. The older generation of mothers (and fathers) carried their babies in their arms and risked spraining them in the long run. Others fashioned a sling for the baby but practitioners have since proven them to be somewhat inappropriate as slings tied the wrong way can be harmful to the baby's spine.
These days, parents use either the stroller or carrier. But, only the best mums use carriers (aha, a few mums are detected with raised eyebrows and raised fists). Now before any naysayers start wielding swords and throwing darts, think of it this way.
For one thing, the carrier is undeniably a lot lighter than a stroller. Even the most lightweight stroller cannot compare to the baby carrier. Plus, there won't be any hassle of having to use the elevator instead of the escalator
every time you go shopping (some shopping malls ban people from using strollers on escalators for obvious reasons).
The carrier is so easy to bring around. And the most important thing is, the baby will be able to snuggle nearer to their most favorite person in the whole wide world, you!
7 Letting The Bubbles Lead The Way
Babies and toddlers love bubbles. There's just something mesmerizing about them. Some children can stare at bubbles for half an hour (that's a long time in terms of parenthood mind you) while others can chase after bubbles for hours (that is every parent's goal).
Sometimes, it can be fun just to let loose and enjoy the simple things in life. Don't be so wrapped up in what other people might think of you or whether you'll get that freaking promotion this time around. Just have fun. After all, your kids will grow out of bubble playing one day so why not take this golden opportunity to create precious memories with them. Go blow and chase after bubbles together with your little ones.
Run around the house, or chase after the bubbles in the park. Heck, bring along your dog and have it try to catch a bubble or two too. It might be just the best day you'll ever experience in a long time.
6 Burying Time Capsules
Time capsules are the 'in thing' for parents right now. Apparently, everyone who has a child just about wants to make one. Only thing is, what do the best mothers put in the capsules? Well, to be honest, there isn't a list of the perfect items to place in the time capsule. The one thing that really counts is your sincerity and love. Yeap, that's it, folks. Easy as a pie. Just try to remember where you placed them come when your Alzheimer's kicks in.
Some mums write heartfelt letters for their children's 25th birthday, others place their baby's first tooth, pacifier, baby romper and others monthly photos of their babies before they turn one.
You can place anything you so desire (nothing biodegradable of course). The blue tech savvy / less sentimental ones can choose to write emails for their kids to read in the future. Imagine your thirty-something-year-old kid reading your letters when they themselves are already parents. It'll put so many of your advice into perspective. They'll have you to thank for on parenting advice and laugh or shed a tear or two reminiscing some good old memories.
5 Finding Fun In A Cardboard Box
If you have an extremely active child (read annoying little brat or highly strung baby) and a few empty boxes, what do you do? You put the boxes to full use of course. Put your toddler in the box, tell them that it's a plane or a rocket and they can be occupied playing pilots for hours. Place your baby in the box and play peekaboo with them and they too can giggle non-stop.
You can have them finger paint the boxes too or throw balls at them in a game of basketball. For the younger ones, however, you could place soft toys in them and watch your baby endlessly take the soft toys out (while you secretly stash them back in again). That'll keep them busy for a little while. The ideas on what we can do with card boxes are endless. Let your imagination soar. Let your little ones explore the boxes and come up with ideas of their own. It could just be their favorite new toy and you would be saving a few extra dollars instead of having to keep buying new toys for them.
4 Bringing Them To The Beach
The beach! The beach! Oh, what a way to solidify your status as the 'best mum in the whole wide world ' in the eyes of your adoring children. They get to play in the sand, build sand castles, chase after baby crabs and you (yes, you.
To the exhausted mum who needs a time out to chill, you get to rock your body in that two piece that's been sitting in your closet for far too long.
Who cares if you've got a flabby belly, just soak up the sun and enjoy the sea breeze.
Have them dig a sand pit and throw bury them in the sand (while tempting, do not just leave them there and elope with that hot looking lifeguard). Or have your baby's feet dip in the waves and watch them laugh in delight. Or have a little splash war with your kids in the shallow parts of the beach. Nothing beats their laughter at the beach.
3 Introducing Them To The House Pets
It is said that dogs are man's best friend. It is also said that pets are therapeutic for both young and old so it is no wonder that many parents choose to adopt pets for their little ones.
For one, having a pet at home helps develop a sense of responsibility and self-worth. They learn not to just focus on themselves but to care for another life and this, ladies can have an extremely deep impact in shaping their character. The pet can also be their friend and keep them company while you tackle the house chores or even sip a glass of pinot noir. It'll be like killing two birds with one stone! So what are you waiting for? Go get a pet! Just remember to adopt a low maintenance pet.
2 Snuggling Up Together
Now, this is a delicate subject with many experts claiming co-sleeping with babies to be detrimental to a baby's mental, emotional and physical well-being (read: they won't be independent enough, they won't grow up to be brave or they might get to squashed by us in our sleep). But did you seriously think our forefathers (or mothers in this case) had the luxury of sleeping in separate beds, let alone separate rooms?
They were considered lucky to even have a bed to sleep in. So if you're not a deep sleeper like Sleeping Beauty material, why not cuddle up with your little during bedtime?
There's just something sweet about how they roll towards you in their sleep and unconsciously seek out your hand to hold. Or how they wake up in the wee hours of the morning and smile because the first thing they see is their most favorite person in the whole wide world.
1 Families Who Read Together Grow Together
Children love stories. It boosts their imagination, allowing them to visit worlds they have never explored before and opened up their minds to stories untold. But most importantly, it enables them to feel loved because you are spending time with them rather than having your eyes glued to your smartphone *cough* unlike your spouse *cough*.
So try to read them a story each night or better yet, make up your own stories. You might just be the next JK Rowling for all you know. And if you do not have sufficient time at night to tell them a story or two before bedtime, why not tell it to them during bath time or when you pick them up from the nanny? The point is, so long as you try to make the time for stories, your children will be more than happy. They'd be ecstatic!