Practice What You Preach


Practice what you preachEvery day, I teach my kids patience from learning how to share, taking their turn on the swing, or just waiting to get served a snack or a drink.  

Practice what you preachIt was just a few days ago, and my four-year-old son woke up bright and early (my kids were never late sleepers). He came running into my bedroom and climbed up my bed as he usually does. Plopping his warm little body right next to me, he gave me a nudge, and with his loud little voice, he said, “Mommy, I want my chocolate milk.”

I knew my sleep time was over. I looked over at and said, “Good morning my love! Yes, you can have chocolate milk but that’s not how you ask for it.” He knew immediately to repeat what he said, but to put the “please” in front of his question. After asking once again, I stopped snoozing and rolled out of bed, heading straight to the kitchen to prepare breakfast.  

As I was preparing to take out the items from the fridge to prepare breakfast, I heard the pitter-patter of my son’s tiny feet running toward the kitchen. He asked me again for his chocolate milk. I knew that he was waiting, but patiently waiting, he was not. It’s hard to teach a four-year-old to be patient.  

I explained that I had not forgotten but was only preparing things for breakfast, and I would get his milk soon enough. Reasoning with a four-year-old is not very practical, but I believe the more we make it a point to teach our kids a little patience even at this young age, the lesson will eventually be taught or at least slightly understood over time.

After breakfast, I was looking at my wardrobe, probing what to wear to work, and I looked at those pants that used to fit me before baby number three came along. I had been struggling to find time to work out. With my three kids being under six, it was challenging to fit in time for this. It had been a year since the birth of my son, and I just felt frustrated. It left me with a sad feeling, a yearning for my old body and to be where I was weight-wise almost two years ago.

Then my son runs back into my bedroom, this time with a chocolate milk mustache on his face. I paused to look at his mustache, from below his nose to the middle of his chin just covered in milky brown chocolate. It put a smile on my face and allowed me a minute to see his chocolate mustache as a sign. A little message the universe was sending me.  

I realized at that moment that eventually, my son did get his chocolate milk, and he drank it and enjoyed it. The universe was telling me I needed to practice what I was preaching. We all heard that statement before “practice what you preach”.  

Practice What You Preach

I was trying to teach my son patience—something I needed to remind myself of at that very moment. I took a minute to allow this to sink into my heart, mind, and not so skinny body. Taking a deep breath, I said to myself, “patience, mama, patience.” As I put that moment of grace into perspective, I realized that my children would not belittle forever where they need and require so much of my time and assistance. Soon they’ll be getting dressed, serving themselves, and soothing themselves to sleep.

Learning to accept each moment and be patient that the time will come when I won’t need to sneak in the workout or feel guilty for taking that two-hour yoga class and not have the kids chasing after me or asking me not to leave them will come soon enough.

So, for now, I’ll savor the chocolate mustaches and keep the skinny pants in the back of the closet until that time comes. 







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Yvonne Toledo has grown up and lived in the Broward County area for over thirty years. She finds her daily inspiration from her three amazing boys, husband, and family. She's also a working professional and is a customer success program management and marketing communications leader with more than twenty years in the high-tech industry. Through her personal growth and struggles, she's also found a passionate calling to use and teach strategies like mindfulness and meditation for stress, anxiety, and mental health wellness in her personal and professional life. Yvonne's passion has led her to teach these gifts to others as a Mindfulness and Meditation facilitator and birthing families as a HypnoBirthing instructor. She also loves to dance, walk and exercise, practice yoga, meditation, and be in nature. On the weekends, you would find her looking for new parks and nature trails to take long walks with her family and enjoy the beautiful South Florida outdoors.


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