My mother and mother-in-law have two very different parenting styles and I have had the opportunity to learn from both 🙂 Sharing the tips & learnings from my mother in law in this post!
Decades back when I got married, my mother in law took time to share these tips. I realized how precious they were as I started getting into the shoes of a parent! Sharing some of them that are close to heart!
1. Do not wait to eat with your spouse
While I was shocked to hear this, she explained thus. When we are waiting for our husbands to return home after a long day, and they are late, and we keep waiting for them – we end up hungry and anger/resentment increases. Eat your food and when you feel full, you have all the time and energy and in the right state of mind to be nice and kind to other around you. Be it serving food for your husband, or your children. While I found it hard initially, it did make perfect sense. On some days when everyone is busy and unable to sit together for dinner, I eat and then wait.
2. Take care of your hair
When you are a homemaker (or working from home), hair care is the last thing that you would prioritize when folks around you are hungry and have a suite of requests for you. Care for your hair because when you lose it once, you will not get it back. Even if it takes a few minutes everyday, prioritize time for yourself to do that.
3. Give the best part of food to your kids, not your spouse
This was interesting as I saw the best part of the foods being given to my spouse and not my father in law, who was sitting at the same table to eat, and I always used to side with him. She explained, as you age – your children are also growing. They would be in the right age to eat high fatty / oily and tasty foods and still play and shed it off, whereas be careful while planning the meal for your spouse, ensuring you include healthy foods, healthy diet habits and not just fatty food / sweets / oily food into his plate first. Interesting!
4. Take time to serve the food in a pleasing setting on the dining table
Do not serve the food directly from the stovetop / cook pots. Serve it on the dining table in a pleasing setting. The pleasing setting brings people to come and sit at the dining table to eat and it becomes a routine. Conversations at the dining table are meant for family bonding and long term memories. Build your memories at the dining table.
5. Seek help when you need
Be open to seek help when you need! Unless you ask for help, no one around will realize how much you have taken onto yourself in the kitchen. Be it help at home, or your family members, discuss with them and let them know when you need help. You will get people to help you out as long as you give them time to come, and not make it an emergency situation.
6. Create a dining table routine
Someone lays out the dining table, someone cleans, someone serves, someone brings water. Make it a joint exercise. Everyone does their bit to make it a pleasant experience! No work is small, and no work is too big when it comes to family.
7. Teach kids the importance of prayer
Children observe and learn from adults. Be it visiting a temple or daily prayers at home, or praying before a meal, children observe our habits and form their own. Teach them the importance of prayer at an early age, it helps them form their own connections as they grow.
8. Prioritize relationships more than the current argument
When you get into an argument, prioritize your relationship more than the argument. It is not about who is right / wrong sometimes, when you sit back and think – you would always feel there is a different way to handle the situation. The person who values the relationship more than the argument apologizes and helps sustain the relationship. Sometimes it may be you, sometimes your spouse, sometimes your relatives or children.
9. Find time for yourself
Unless you are healthy, you cannot take care of your family. Ensure you brisk-walk for 30 minutes at least everyday. Keeping time aside for yourself everyday becomes a habit making it easier for you to prioritize yourself as you grow.
10. Use your secret-ingredient liberally
When you make food with love, your family would love it. Make food that is healthy & suits their taste. Try different varieties if you have time. No one likes to eat the same food every day while growing up. These are the memories that they will cherish for the rest of their lifetime. The positive thoughts and love reflect in the food you make and is felt by those who eat the food. Do not argue or fight while cooking. Use the kitchen as your Zen zone.
This weekend being Mothers Day, thought I will share my learnings from my mother in law!