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As a mom of two beautiful kids (boy 9 and girl 7), I keep asking myself am I doing enough? Am I a good mother? Am I teaching my kids enough to be successful in life? I find myself stressing homework, reading, math and sports on my kids. Making sure they make their every practice and games.  They finish up their homework and study for their tests and quizzes, all so that they can come home with descent report cards. All important and definitely helpful in being successful in life, no doubt. One thing I find I should concentrate more on is character building. Make sure in all this hustle bustle I call life, I am training my children to be “good” “productive” human beings.  Lets face it, as soon as kids come home from school, they have homework, projects and tests to study for followed by practice, games or other activities. How much time do we spend with them teaching them how to be good productive human beings? How to react to difficult situations?  How to deal with failures and successes? How to always find reasons to be happy, How to find happiness in giving to others rather than receiving.  I don’t want to leave it to schools, teachers (even though I have tons of respect for them) or even peers to teach my kids about life. I want to be responsible for their upbringing at home and set examples for them to follow.  I would like to see my children shine cause of their character and who they are. If their character is strong and the foundation is laid, no matter what they do (school, work. sports…) they will shine and they will be successful.

Some things I remind myself and my chidren are listed below:

1. Always remember God in everything you do.  God is the one who bought you into this world and he will make sure to protect, guide and help you in every possible way through it(life) all. You just have to realize his presence in and all around you. I tell my kids this so they know and understand since young that, God is in charge and will take care of them if I am not around. No one knows how long they are in this world. I have seen friends my age pass (cancer or accidents) leaving behind kids as young as 4.  As mothers we try our so very hard to protect our kids. It is in us to worry and stress over them. And why not they use to live inside us and now roaming free in this not so nice, crazy world. I find solace and peace knowing I only control so much. God is in charge and he will watch over them, we as mothers only can do so much. HE is taking care of them through us.

2. Life will get tough, no one said it will be a walk in the park. Sometimes when all is quiet and peaceful, I worry something is about happen to disrupt the peace. And it sure does.  That is life, tests and trials. We will see and come across our highs and lows. At those time we need to realize that everything we are going through is to make us better and to make us stronger from the inside out. Nothing will and can break us, just keep going strong. We have all gone through or are going through stressful situations where you feel constricted as if you cant take it anymore. Its at that moment you find release of some sort. If you were to compare yourself to the person you were before, you will find and see a difference in yourself. Our children need to understand and be reminded of this.  Their life is just getting started.

3.  Concentrate on the journey. Make the journey worth living and automatically the end will be the best. All our life we have these goals and we work towards them in every stage of our lives.  Try and try and try some more. No matter how hard it gets. You can only recognize the sweetness once who have tasted the bitterness. Sometimes it will work and sometimes it wont. But we still have invested all this time and effort into it. That we may not get back. But realizing from the beginning it isn’t the goal but the experiences, people and memories, that should be treasured. Then no matter what the end result of the goal, reached or not reached we were happy to have gone though the journey.

3. We will come across many types of people in our lives, some that are good for us, some that are not. Meeting both types are very important for personal growth. They both teach us something. Always try and see the best in people. Give them 70 excuses for their actions. They might be fighting their own battle that we have no clue about. Plus it takes compassion from a strong human being to not see faults in another, while recognizing they themselves have many.  Concentrating on the good people have done for you rather than the bad. Lets face it none of us are perfect. We all have our weaknesses. Remembering someone’s good and ignoring their bad will only keep one person happy and that is you.

4. Anger. We all have felt this strong yet dangerous emotion. Lets face it, we all have said and done things during that state, that we aren’t too proud of and wished we have done things differently. The key in teaching our kids when young how to react to situations they are upset and mad about. Guide them to understand and acknowledge this feeling and try to control it. At the time when they are seeing red, remind them this is when finding gentleness in words and actions will win people’s hears and when its said and all done, they will come out as winners. Most importantly nothing should be said in anger.

5. Being grateful and thankful for everything we are blessed with. Being thankful for the good and the bad. Realizing we did not do anything special to deserve what we have.  There are so many blessings that each one of us has that even if we tried we wont be able to count them all. Realizing also that every human being is unique and special, so are what they are blessed with (its unique and special for them). Not being envious and jealous of other peoples’ success, instead being happy for them and praying for them will only increase yours not decrease.