How my child’s self esteem gave me mine back

Salaam!

Happy 2016!

As many people make resolutions today about how to be better, goals to achieve, mistakes not to repeat, I just keep thinking it’s the last weekday off before my son goes back to school.

And I feel so guilty.

His winter breaks began while I was in the midst of launching my products. As I mentioned a few days ago, everything took the back seat to my crazy crafting day and night.

We were supposed to take a road trip to New Jersey to visit my cousin, have sleepovers and unlimited play dates. Instead he constantly heard “This is Mama’s time, please watch your brother”. I pretty much told him that I do everything for him, his brother and father all the time, just for once I need everyone to focus on me. It was the truth, I delivered that statement as dramatically as I could. I really did need all the help and shirking of responsibility I could get. It was impossible for me to be prepared for R.I.S otherwise.But I can’t stop feeling so guilty.

Especially when things weren’t going so great on Friday and Saturday (see this post for more details), my mean inner  critic was quick to point out how all that ‘wasted’ effort wasn’t worth neglecting my children the way I had. By working day and night, I really did neglect them. Instead of enjoying his days off, my husband was Mr.Mom. I can’t thank him enough!

over priced plastic toysOn Saturday afternoon. while I was wallowing in my self misery my eldest walked over to me to explain why he had yet another over priced noisy piece of plastic in his hands. I can’t stand those horribly loud. cheap toys;they have the life span of 3.5 hours and the lights are so obnoxious.Those vendors show up at every bazaar flashing the annoying toys in my kids faces (OK got that rant out of my system). He was talking a mile a minute about how my sister insisted on buying it for him despite his many attempts to make her stop.(We have been trying to teach him not to ask his many aunts and uncles for gifts).

As I watched this seven-year old use the tactics of a brilliant lawyer, with the most sophisticated vocabulary he knew, tugging at my emotions I finally started to smile.

This naughty but intelligent little ,munchkin always gets what he wants because a) he feels he deserves it and b) he knows how.

I’m going to share a bit of his limelight right now because cultivating his confidence has been of utmost priority for me (click here for more on that topic). Just watching my little boy as he emotionally manipulated me, raised my spirits! I did something right. I accomplished a goal. I am proud of myself.

He was dressed in an over sized sweatshirt because we allow him to make such choices despite the outcome. We encourage  him to order at restaurants and to purchase items by himself.We give him chores, love him to bits and try to pay him research backed compliments. We are nerdy parents.

self esteem starts at birth (image from bs757.com)

self-esteem starts at birth (image from bs757.com)

Since before he was born, I put my Psychology degree to work and mapped  out how I was going to raise a confident child. It really does start from the moment they’re born. Responding to their cries, soothing them, taking care of their basic needs all contribute to their self-worth. They learn that they are loved, valued and worthy.

{ FUN FACT: Apparently making a face and expressing disgust over stinky poop diapers hurts their self-esteem because they feel like they’ve done something wrong!}

When my youngest (barely 2 at the time) pulled up the chair and climbed on the counters to rummage the cupboards for hidden chocolate, I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of pride. When I was done freaking out about how he could have fallen and hurt himself, a part of me was grateful that he has the skills and confidence to feed himself.

Whether or not I feel good about myself at this very moment, I know that I have to pass this test for the sake of my children’s self-esteem. A child’s self-esteem is closely linked to that of their primary care giver. Not only do we model behaviour for how to react to a spectrum of situations, we often treat our children in accordance to how we feel about ourselves.

When we feel unfulfilled or negatively towards ourselves we extend those feelings to our children.If you ever find yourself really critical or perpetually dissatisfied, it may be a good time to do some self-evaluation.

Nutella-French-Toast- (image from simplegreenmoms.com)

Nutella-French-Toast- (image from simplegreenmoms.com)

So, yes, his breaks were  hijacked by Mama’s entrepreneurial debut, but she’s going to make it up to him happily and creatively. This Mama is happy, excited and feeling good about herself. Her children may have been jipped of fun experiences but every interaction with her has been full of love and genuine joy.

I’m sure the fact that I wrote the above paragraph in the second person can be analyzed in a million different ways!

Anyhow, I’m off to make Nutella french toast. Check out the recipe here. They’re soooo good!

It’s 2016, be a happy Mama!

Happy Mama’s raise happy kids.

Chai Later,

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24 Comments on How my child’s self esteem gave me mine back

  1. Kulz
    January 1, 2016 at 7:11 pm (2 years ago)

    Wow Sahar. Masha Allah. This was one of the best articles ever! Not only did I see part of your children’s adventures (I’m pretty sure they had good moments too!) but the confidence is just so lovely to hear about!

    All the best!! May Allah help you! ❤️

    Reply
    • Sahar
      January 12, 2016 at 12:21 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you Kulz!
      You always have the sweetest comments. May Allah swt reward you for the smiles you bring to people’s faces . 🙂

      Reply
  2. Rafeeda @ The Big Sweet Tooth
    January 4, 2016 at 6:04 am (2 years ago)

    You write so beautifully… Sometimes our children do surprise us… especially during this outing we had on new year’s day with another family, my younger one who was four days younger to the other family, was much more mature and open about her dealings… I sometimes do point that out towards my life as a working mother… MaShaAllah, may they grow up to be lovely people!

    Reply
    • Sahar
      January 12, 2016 at 12:28 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you Rafeeda!
      It’s amazing how these little humans that once grew inside us are now teaching and inspiring us! Ameen

      Reply
  3. Papatia Feauxzar
    January 5, 2016 at 8:06 pm (2 years ago)

    I had a kick reading this! I love casual blogs and writers that poke fun at themselves masha’Allah. I’m the same way, lol! I also agree with you on the way we treat our kids. If we show them love, they exhibit it. We’re natural mimic. Because my son sees us, his parents, constantly hugging and kissing hands and foreheads, subhannallah, he does it too to us and his friends. People always say, “Your son is so gentle and sweet mA”. Anyways, May Allah always bless you and yours, amiin! 🙂 Houb salam!

    Reply
    • Sahar
      January 12, 2016 at 12:36 am (2 years ago)

      Salam Papatia,
      Thank you for the lovely comment.
      Aww, your kid sounds like a sweet heart Masha’Allah.
      Ameen. Jazak Allahu Khairun for the duas

      Reply
  4. Zayeneesha Farooq
    January 6, 2016 at 12:23 am (2 years ago)

    Good one woman. Although I disagree at “they have the life span of 3.5 hours” cz them robots taking over the world seem to go on for eeeeternityyyy 😭 ok so I’m totally missing the point here but somebody had to say it 😂

    Reply
    • Sahar
      January 12, 2016 at 12:38 am (2 years ago)

      Salam Zayeneesha
      lol..maybe my kids just play super rough..
      Thanks for stopping by my blog 🙂

      Reply
  5. Ashfa Salam
    January 6, 2016 at 1:41 am (2 years ago)

    “A child’s self-esteem is closely linked to that of their primary caregiver” That’s a really good piece of advice for Mamas.. and you are funny.. haha.. loved reading this 🙂

    Reply
    • Sahar
      January 12, 2016 at 12:39 am (2 years ago)

      Salam Ashfa,
      Welcome to my blog.
      Aww thank you. That was so sweet of you to say 🙂

      Reply
  6. Haya
    January 6, 2016 at 4:59 am (2 years ago)

    Yep! Our mood swings radiate onto our children! Insha Allah, we should bring out our best for the shake of our future generation.

    Reply
    • Sahar
      January 12, 2016 at 12:57 am (2 years ago)

      Salam Haya
      absolutely!
      I’ve totally noticed how my kids can motivate me to be a better person,more than anyone or anything in this world 🙂

      Reply
  7. Amina
    January 6, 2016 at 3:11 pm (2 years ago)

    Sure, ”happy Mamas raise happy kids”.

    Wishing you every success in your role.

    Reply
    • Sahar
      January 12, 2016 at 12:56 am (2 years ago)

      Thanks Amina. I appreciate you stopping by 🙂

      Reply
  8. Sara
    January 7, 2016 at 6:16 am (2 years ago)

    Love your writing style masha’Allah – I’d love to meet you some day and have a real cup of chai with you. Oh, and I feel the same about the toys with the “life span of 3.5 hours” and “the obnoxious lights” lol.

    Reply
    • Sahar
      January 12, 2016 at 12:55 am (2 years ago)

      Aww thanks Sara, so sweet of you to say.
      Hey, if your travels ever bring you to Canada..let’s seriously do chai! Come on..Canada can be exotic ..well sometimes…we have Niagara Fallas..it’s a wonder of the world..

      Reply
  9. Amina
    January 7, 2016 at 12:39 pm (2 years ago)

    Great piece! Sometimes you just need a break from the kids–and moreover their toys. It is amazing how are kids can sometimes bring an “Ah-ha” moment to us. Great realizations, good job!

    Reply
    • Sahar
      January 12, 2016 at 12:53 am (2 years ago)

      Salam Amina,
      yes exactly! A step back to see everything for what it really is. Thank you for stopping by!

      Reply
  10. Ayesha
    January 8, 2016 at 4:01 pm (2 years ago)

    Alhamdulillah parenting is such a rollercoaster, just when we think we’re failing, our children prove to us that we’re actually doing good ☺

    P.s: that French toast sounds really good

    Reply
    • Sahar
      January 12, 2016 at 12:48 am (2 years ago)

      Salam Ayesha,
      sigh..yes! That pretty much sums it up right there.
      They are ultra yum! Every time I make them people think I’m a super fancy chef…little do they know!

      Reply
  11. random bytes
    January 9, 2016 at 7:15 am (2 years ago)

    Life is like that all the time with kids, you are so right!

    Reply
  12. umm asiya
    January 9, 2016 at 7:08 pm (2 years ago)

    Masha allah, you are doing an awesome job as a parent ;).

    Reply
  13. Zeinab Amin
    January 10, 2016 at 2:32 am (2 years ago)

    Mashallah!! That’s great. May Allah continue aid you to raise your child in the best possible way.

    Reply
  14. Foz
    January 11, 2016 at 7:39 am (2 years ago)

    My 2 girls are so different even though they have been raised pretty much the same way. The eldest was shy and still is to a degree while my youngest is the daredevil and very outgoing.

    But I can so relate to the , this is mum time..I do everything for you….I have stated that quite dramatically at times aswell!

    Reply

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