Nuggets of Wisdom from Non-Parenting Books that I Use in my Parenting

One of the things I miss about my life before I became a mom is going to bookstores. Getting lost in the familiar scent of new books, hopping from shelf to shelf, and letting time go by as I peruse titles, regardless if I’m going to buy a book or not, are such treats for me. I’m sure that if only I could spend that much time now without having to worry about a baby in tow, I would go straight to the aisle of a genre I don’t pay much attention to before: parenting.

Then again, with the collection of books my husband and I have at home, it always feels like major bookstores are just a few steps away. My husband is quite the bargain hunter, and he has a knack for spotting great reads and bestsellers at affordable prices! Although we are yet to collect books from the parenting genre, I must admit that the books we currently have possess nuggets of wisdom we can use and apply in our day-to-day parenting.

Here are a few of them!

Nuggets of Wisdom from Non-Parenting Books that I Use in my Parenting

The space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past.
Marie Kondo, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Even before our baby was born, I started to see our rented home as the place she’ll grow up in. That’s why it was easy for me to let go of a mountain of things that have previously served me. I’ve long learned to let go of material things in exchange for time and peace of mind. Now that my daughter is 8 months old, this tidbit of wisdom from professional organizer Marie Kondo still holds true. I keep reminding myself who I am, who I want to be, how I want my daughter to grow, and where I envision our family to be, and these serve as my guide in organizing and curating our small space.

It is only when you have mastered the art of loving yourself that you can truly love others.
Robin Sharma, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

Within my daughter’s first few weeks, I keep telling myself the obvious: this child is mine, and I love her beyond words. Her presence fills my heart with gratitude, and this is true even on days when I have to wipe poop from her bum one time too many, or when my shirt is already drenched with breastmilk a few minutes after taking a bath. I won’t hide from you the difficult days, because there are many of those, but in those days, I pick myself up by doing what I think I should – journaling, taking a sip of coffee, snacking on something I like, having a good bath, or talking to my husband or close friends – because it is only when I show love to myself that I can pour the love my daughter deserves.

“Often in the real world, it’s not the smart who get ahead, but the bold.”
Robert Kiyosaki, Rich Dad Poor Dad

Becoming a mom tapped the inner strength I didn’t know I had. Sure, I’ve learned a lot from reading and researching from the moment my daughter was still in my tummy, but her being with us physically switched a mom-mode button in me. As soon as I got past my recovery phase, I was amazed at how I can finish tasks in a matter of 30 minutes or one hour, and even when I’m dog tired at night, I look back on the day with so much things done. This isn’t the picture of 100% of my days, but the chores and the tasks get done in order of importance, and the dreams that I have for myself and my family are slowly taking shape, because I don’t let what I know stop me from what I should do.

You have been assigned this mountain so that you can show others it can be moved.
Mel Robbins, The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage

I vividly remember that day I stepped in the bathroom to take a bath, carrying the weight of the entire morning of child-rearing, feeling I couldn’t finish anything anymore. My daughter was just three months old then. I was about to cry of exhaustion and anxiety from the many things that run in my head when, as if on cue, I remembered this quotation. It is definitely hard to tread the unfamiliar path of parenting, but there’s no mountain that I can’t climb with faith, determination, and strong will. Whenever I’m faced with a difficult situation, this quotation is always part of my mind setting.

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince

Pregnancy and parenting are milestones which are almost always adorned. For instance, there are maternity shoots, baby showers, and monthly photoshoots which are almost always posted on social media. I would lie if I told you I haven’t wished for these, but parenting is not a matter of doing what everybody else is doing or having what everybody else is having. I needed to remind myself what we – my husband, myself, and our baby – truly need, and what we already have, and that I won’t let social media or outside noise steal my joy of finally having a family I prayed for. Don’t get me wrong: I’m completely happy for the moms and parents who experience the joy of having these, but it’s not necessary that I have them as well. I must keep my heart aligned with our goals and dreams for our daughter, and this doesn’t have to be seen to come true.

Be ruthless to the things that don’t matter.
Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman, The Daily Stoic

It took me time to adjust to a daily schedule of having a baby to look after. Hence, it goes without saying that it took me time to learn that my daughter is my “most important work.” When it has finally sunk in, it was a lot easier for me to say no to weekend work. It was a lot easier for me to let go of the other freelance jobs that demand a lot of time from me. Before, I have no qualms about working on weekends, but I now treat weekends as no-work days so I could spend quality time with my daughter.

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