TODAY WAS A BUSY and tiring day.
I had a full day of dragon boating, not to mention about a 45 minutes bike to and from the competition site.
Most people don’t know what dragon boating is.
Often they think it’s similar to rowing or canoeing. And it’s neither.
As any sport, there is much more technique and strategy to dragon boat than meets the eye. The actual stroke is very difficult to master and the timing of all the athletes makes it even more challenging.
In dragon boating there are 22 participants on the boat at a time.
- 10 rows of 2 paddlers
- 1 steers person
- 1 drummer
The steers person is the coach. He/she stands at the back and with a long paddle as he/she directs the boat and call commands to the rest of the boat.
The drummer sits at the very front of the boat facing backwards. He/she relays the message from the steers person and helps to keep the team in time.
And although this might be really boring for you… if you are still actually reading, it’s taught me a lot about working as a team.
It’s not just enough to show up or try your best, because it’s a whole team that needs to show up, work together and be committed to practicing exact technique.
A few strokes that are off time or a couple teammates not keeping time with the rest of the boat can be the difference between a win and a loss.
And when weather is a uncontrollable force that has a huge impact on your race, you’ve got to be focused and ready to act.
For example, when all the boats line up to start, there can be a current or strong wind drifting the boats not only forwards and backwards, but also side to side.
The moment all boats are in line (and often it’s drifting in and out of line) the announcer with call “All boats hold”.
This is our cue to be “ready ready”… as in at any moment the horn will go off and we must all paddle together for a couple of the most important stokes together.
Whatever is happening around us means nothing. Our focus is in our boat and our coach is the only person we listen to. Even if other boats are paddling faster or going ahead of us, it’s important to keep our eyes and ears on our boat and in our race.
And I suspect this is similar to raising kids.
There might be a lot of things happening in your life making it seem overwhelming, but there are those few times where you pull it all together for really key moments in your children’s lives.
There are probably a lot of other moms doing one thing, your doctor saying another and an article your mother-in-law shared opposing everything you thought you knew, but your eyes and ears have to stay focused on you and your family.
You are in tune with what is best for your family given your unique situation.
It’s easy to get distracted and be influenced by others, but deep down you need to trust your mother instincts and be happy with your choice. No one has the ONE right answer, because information and science is always changing. The best you can do is take all the information available to you and make the best decision given your environment, children’s current and past health status, financial situation, and family support. You weight out the risk vs reward and choose confidently.
Just like dragon boating, you choose that technique that works for you and stick to it. After the race you can re-evaluate a different approach, but you’re competing, you race what you practice. And you keep your attention on your team and don’t get side-tracked by other boats.
This is your life, your family and the choice is yours how you want to parent. Don’t be bullied but don’t also be ignorant. Make smart choices that are best for your family and don’t be shy to admit when you are wrong or need to change a particular parenting behavior.
Being respectful to your doctors, your parents, your spouse and your kids doesn’t mean you need to agree with them at all times, but it’s your responsibility to get the information to those difficult questions so that you are well equipped to make the safest and healthiest choice for your family.
And even though information is overwhelming at times, there are several websites who are doing their best to consolidate high-quality information for mums. And our upcoming site is one that focuses on an integrative approach to Mummy Health Care!
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