Parenting is a great test of our mettle, as being a parent puts us into some challenging situations. Not a day goes by without a lesson learned, and some of our best teachers are those right nearby.
Such as our cats.
Yes, indeedy, cats can teach us a lot about parenting (and about ourselves), even if they usually seem like the most aloof member of our family.
Parenting Lessons I Learned From My Cat:
A catnap changes everything.
The ability to just check out for a bit and catch a few winks could make the difference between a win and a crash-and-burn, so learning to take a quick catnap wherever you are will give you a parenting edge over those other folks, who only sleep in bed. It’s all about spotting the opportunity and taking it.
Play is very important.
Cats who don’t get enough play in their lives get to be cranky and ill. And so do parents. Introducing play back into our lives (even, or maybe especially, without our kids) is a superb way to work the body and mind without it seeming like work. Parenting without playing is like working without, um, playing…
Being flexible is paramount.
I haven’t met a stiff cat yet. Well, I have, but that’s another story. Cats are renowned for their flexibility and the suppleness of their bodies, and they seem to enjoy flaunting it. If we can keep our bodies, minds, and attitudes about parenting as loose as a cat, we’re well on our way to parenting mastery.
Make it look effortless.
To a cat, it’s not enough to simply do something. They also have an ability to make everything they do look effortless. Just like a really great father. The more we struggle and thrash around in our parenting challenges, the harder it is, and the more that we can relax and go with the flow (see above), the easier it seems. Note that I said ‘seems’. It’s just as difficult for a professional to do something, but it looks easy because of all their hours of practice.
Sometimes it’s best to look around the corner first.
Cats are inherently cautious about getting jumped by another cat, and I love it when they feel the need to sneak around corners – not every time, but only when they sense something is amiss. Somewhere inside our thick skulls is a parenting Spidey Sense, and if we tune in to it and take the time to check out a situation before jumping into it, we might learn a lot. Or we might get some incredible pictures or video out of it, because we’re not in the middle of it, directing it.
A warm lap is a beautiful thing.
Curling up on a warm lap is a favorite pastime of our cats, and of our kids. Making sure that our laps, either real or virtual, are open and inviting is a great way to connect with our kids. And a warm lap can also be the cure for many a child’s emotional ailments. Or our own.
This article was originally published on www.naturalpapa.com
*Image of “kittens” via Shutterstock