It is not what you will teach your kids. It is more what your kids will teach you.
This is what I learned from our four kids so far:
I must guard my boundaries, in order to keep good relationships
Before I had kids I had a burn out. I loved my work deeply. Some of my colleagues at work said I was married to my job. And they were right. I loved magazines. I loved doing business and managing a project. I was so client and boss oriented that I used my energy, enthusiasm, creativity, flexibility and empathy big time. They were my biggest assets. But what I was so proud of hurt my health in the long run.
That my talents were hurting me only hit me when I got my second and third children. It was physically not possible to stretch myself even more. I was emotionally and physically totally depleted. And there was no more love to give. The light went out. And I just had to say ‘No’. To others. Beginning with my kids. And the most difficult no was to myself.
No, Ellen, Don’t give anymore. Say no and rest.
I must not only listen but follow my intuition
This was important too. When kids are young, they tend to have ‘starting problems’. From the fifth and sixth disease to an ear infection, asthma attack or a simple cold. And it happens that in the weekend we were often to the doctors post with one or more of our kids, because of high fever or red dots or pain that was not clear where it came from.
It was there that I learned that as a mom I had a very strong intuition concerning their health.
One time I had to give a training and I saw in the night that Amber was having something that was worse than asthma or the flue. I went to the doctor with her. And he examined her. And came to the conclusion that she was having a simple nose cold and that I should spray her nose with sea salt. He told me that I should not worry so much because I would only distress the baby. I felt hurt and unheard. We got home and I felt restless. This girl was having something worse than a nose cold. I asked my husband to go to a Belgium hospital with her for a second opinion. And during my training break I got his phonemail.
Amber was hospitalized with a double long infection.
From that moment on I value my intuition much higher than the doctors opinion about health and about me.
And more importantly I act upon it too.
I don’t care what people think about me. And about my intuition.
I used to explain myself to others when my intuition differs from an experts advice.
Using the Amber example. But I find that that does not have any effect.
So I keep it for me and do what I think and feel is best. Yes I still consult experts. But I go about their advice differently .
Intuition is the prime guide.
And not only in the kids health.
My intuition is the prime guide in my life now.
I cannot change people if they don’t want to change. But I can find a way to work with the differences.
When I learned I was pregnant of identical twins I was intrigued to how they would develop. Would they need the same mother skills from me or would they need me to be different?
The latter turned out to be the case.
As much as people can look alike.
They can still have different needs.
And the difference is obvious if you are willing to acknowledge them.
The core of the personality. The character was already set in my belly when pregnant. There was nothing what I can do to influence that between the two. And in their early years it became very clear that as much as I wanted to give them the same treatment I got a different relationship with each. And in the meantime they taught me that they needed different parts of me as their mother. One needs soft and warm. One prefers fiesty and fun. I needed to shift gear within split seconds. Raising them. And they showed me it works. And it is not that easy.
I do the same now when training and communicating with people.
They all see Ellen, but they see the part of me that works best for the relationship.
Achieving more by doing less becomes key
When the forth child came along I learned I had to reorganize my life. I had to learn a set of thinking and behavior skills I had long put in the dungeon before. Sloth was bad. It was for lazy people, who were riding my back years back when, who were plucking the low fruit, copycats etc. Not me.
My kids taught me that I had to be smarter with my time. I had to apply smarter strategies on how to achieve my goals.
One of them I am exploring right now. Passive income streams with online courses. And luckily technology is becoming more and more client friendly and feminine. And I am very glad that I took the plunge.
It now only helped me rejuvenate myself, my self image. It also showed me that there is no shame in wanting results faster and more effectively.
So my pride of hard work was hurting my results. The time of taking things more easy and more strategically is about to become.
Ok this is a lesson I am still learning.
There are probably more things that they have taught me.
As soon as I found more I will let you know.