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May 06, 2021

Nursery school logic for moms

Music has so many purposes. Entertainment, healing and, yes, teaching. Catchy tunes and melodies have always been used as a way to get people to remember certain things, or even buy certain products (just think about your favorite commercial jingle). As mothers, we begin singing to our most prized possessions – our children – while they are in the womb and we use the gift of song to help guide them along the way. We “lullaby” our fussy babies to sleep, we sing our ABC’s to help them learn to read and we hum calming melodies to make the “boo- boos” go away.

“Moms. The best ‘boo boo’ kissers in the world!” I think we should market that and place it on t-shirts and coffee mugs.

When my daughters, Bhatki and Sharayu, were younger, I would kiss every little boo boo they had, and they loved every minute of it. Sometimes, they’d bring their little pricked or knicked fingers right up to my lips for me to kiss and – voila magic – their tears would instantly dry up and a smile would spread across their faces, exposing all of their beautiful baby teeth. My mushy heart would melt a million times.

In honor of Mother’s Day, I want to remind you all, my sisters around the world, that life is a beautiful song, and when times seem challenging, we can always tap into our childhood soundtracks that brought us feelings of love, joy and understanding. If we think about it, we can use the lessons we learned as a child – and the lessons we teach our children – to handle anything that comes before us.

Think about the nursery rhymes we sing to our children. In actuality, there are life lessons in each one.

“Walking through the forest, walking through the forest.
We’re not afraid; we’re not afraid.
One step, two step, three step, forward.
One step, two step, three step, back.”
Shhhh…” (point out what you see) and RUN.. or WALK then REPEAT!

This simple song is a good guide for identifying and assessing a situation, then figuring out your next steps. Are you going to move forward and how are you going to do it? Quickly (run) or patiently (walk).

How many times in your adult life have you had to make that determination? For me, I’ve had to make that decision with my marriage, my career and even motherhood, at times. As moms, we don’t always know what is coming before us but just like in the “walking in the forest” mantra we teach our kids, we should keep moving, no matter what.

One of the fondest memories of my life is of watching Sesame Street with my mother, who only spoke Marathi (our native language) when she arrived to the U.S. from India. We both learned how to read and write English together and, yes, learned plenty of life lessons through Big Bird, Bert and Ernie. “Sunny Day, sweepin’ the clouds away, on my way to where the air is sweet.
Can you tell me how to get….how to get to Sesame Street… ”

Didn’t everything back then seem as simple as 1, 2, 3?

Now as adults governing our own lives, we need to tap into the childhood lessons we once followed before life got “complicated,” but it really doesn’t have to be.

In my book, “7 Letters to My Daughters,” I speak candidly about my life, then wrap up each chapter with a life lesson. Now, the tales in the book are no nursery rhymes I guarantee, but the messages are plain and clear. I use my teachable moments much like the lessons we learned as kids.

Think of everything we were taught when we were younger and how it relates to challenges we face today.

Clean up after yourself — We all make messes, but how do we approach the messes that we make? Is our “cleanup” fixing a broken relationship? Is it seeking counseling for healing? Is it making a phone call to say “I’m sorry” when needed? Cleaning up is taking ownership and working to bring order in your life.

Take extra special care of your boo-boos. — Take the necessary actions to heal. What is your Neosporin (ointment)? What is your Band-Aid? From physical to emotional healing, always seek proper treatment (medical if needed) to avoid suffering lifelong scars.

If someone doesn’t want to play with you, go find another friend — Whether it’s friends or love interests, if something is not working out, it is OK to walk away. There is always someone else who may love to connect with you.

Stop throwing a temper tantrum! — Reacting negatively to a situation gets you nowhere. Learn how to effectively deal with frustrations and learn how to de-stress. From yoga, to meditation, to prayer, there are many ways to help you find your inner peace.

It’s bedtime /nap time, close your eyes — As parents, we create healthy routines for our kids so they can rest, relax and recharge but what happened to our routine? Somewhere along the way, some of us forgot that we need time to take care of ourselves – mind, body and spirit. Are you getting your proper rest?

Do you see how “simple” this “complicated” life can be? When in doubt, tap into your inner child!

For the life of me, I still don’t know the meaning behind “Hey Diddle, Diddle,” but maybe I am not supposed to. Maybe none of us are. A nursery rhyme like this can simply remind or teach us that, not all things are supposed to make sense. And we should just accept them as they are.

So, I leave you, my dear sisters, with this parting childhood jingle:

“Hey, diddle, diddle, the cat and the fiddle
The cow jumped over the moon
The little dog laughed to see such fun
And the dish ran away with the spoon.”

Sometimes the unexpected happens, we should always find joy in the moment.

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