Welcome, mommies, daughters, sisters, grandmothers and friends!
Linking-up with Erin at SimplePurposefulLiving, the hostess for the 10 on the 10th series. Today’s prompt is “10 things motherhood taught you” or me, in this case.
I always wanted children and planned to have 5 at one point in my younger days. Because I was anorexic in high school and my freshman year of college, my menstrual cycles were all out of whack. Went months and months between periods for probably 6 years or more. My doctor warned that I might never get pregnant. But after taking a course of fertility drugs, and trying to monitor my sporadic ovulation, I finally got pregnant with Brennyn after 3 years of trying. Lauren came along exactly two years later. My almost miracle babies.
Here’s what being a mommy at long last taught me.
10 Things Motherhood Taught Me
This was a tough assignment for me. When I look back at my years of full-time mothering, there are a lot of sad feelings and the wish that I had been a better mom. I made lots of mistakes. Not intentionally but that doesn’t really make them any less hurtful.
They say that hindsight is 20-20. Here’s what I have learned, what I know now that I should have known then.
- Just listen. Sometimes all your children need is for their mommy to listen to them. We can’t always save the day, or fix things. And often our children don’t expect us to. They just want to share their feelings, their troubles, their bad days and get a hug from mom.
- If something seems off, it probably is. Trust that mom-instinct. If your normally talkative tween isn’t talking, get on that. Investigate. If your 3 year-old is saying something that just doesn’t make sense in your head, keep asking questions until it does. And if your high school junior has suddenly done a 180 in class, socially, in dress, hygiene, personality, there is something behind it. Never chalk it up to them just being kids.
- Make your house the play house. Rather than having your kids go somewhere else to play, which is okay in moderation, I guess. Make your house the place the neighborhood kids want to play and the teenagers want to hang out. Have snacks, encourage playing outside in the yard. We had a pool but you can put on the sprinkler or make water balloons. Have a neighborhood movie night. Give everyone sidewalk chalk. When the kids come to your house, you get an opportunity to meet them and to monitor their activities.
- Have special times with each child. I didn’t do dates with one daughter while the other stayed home. But I did let the oldest daughter stay up a little later. And I did read to each of them in their own rooms most nights. They called shot-gun to be able to sit in the front seat when they were older. That was fun. Maybe have an activity you do with each child. Allow one child to pick the movie or restaurant one weekend and the other child the next weekend.
- Be visible at school and involved in your children’s education. I am shy. And not naturally inclined to interact with people. Meeting my daughters’ teachers, volunteering for field trips, attending class presentations, orchestra concerts, PTA meetings, cheerleading practice, tennis matches, parent-teacher conferences was out of my comfort zone but I did it. Show up! Check the backpack and the homework. Invite communication with the school.
- Let it go, let it go! How I wish I had. At least a little bit. I was just plain crazy about cleaning up the house. This would probably be one of the things both daughters would say I was too OCD about. Maybe the cleaning would have been okay if it hadn’t made me so wrapped around the hub when things weren’t neat. Or while we were in the process of cleaning. I do think children appreciate organization, structure, limits and rules. But I was overboard.
- Spankings hurt. I didn’t spank often, and really didn’t have a lot of reason to discipline in the early years, especially. But I was upset with my youngest daughter (who knows why), and spanked her several times (with my hand on her bottom) as she went up the stairs in front of me. She was about 7 or 8. Lauren turned to me in tears and said, “You’re hurting me!” Broke my heart. I guess, I had never thought of spanking as painful. Just as discipline. That was the last time I spanked either girl. I still believe there are times that spanking is appropriate. But I began using time-out a whole lot more.
- Mothering is a life-long commitment. There is no retiring from motherhood. And I would never, ever want to retire. The mothering just changes a little or shifts as your children become adults. Then again as they become parents. This year alone, we have had a number of trials. I feel so helpless, at times, being hundreds of miles away from my daughters when they are having struggles.
- There is no love like the love of a mother for her child. From that first positive pregnancy test, I was in love with my babies. That love just continues to grow.
- Say “I love you” every single day. And then say it again.
Four More Lessons from Motherhood
As I began thinking about this post, I asked for input from my sister, Valerie, and my two daughters, Brennyn and Lauren and my dear sister from another mister (family), Metra. I asked them to think of one thing motherhood had taught them.
Lauren responded first. She said:
Patience. To expect the unexpected. You can make all the plans in the world and something will happen and you’ll have to rethink everything.
Cherish the moment.
Be willing to go to bat for your baby. Even if it means stepping out of your comfort zone to do it.
Unconditional love. That mothering means feeling pain when your child hurts. And that our children DO listen!
I would have added those to my 10 things motherhood has taught me, but they beat me to it!
Motherhood is the toughest job you will ever love. Thank you, Brennyn Alexis and Lauren Allegra, for making me a mommy.
50 Empowering Quotes for Women
As we prepare for Mother’s Day, observed on 05.10 in Mexico and by a lot of El Paso families, and on Sunday in the United States, I’m sure we all have a special woman to celebrate. The folks at Proflowers reached out to me a few weeks ago to share “50 Empowering Quotes for Women” they have collected on their blog. Powerful graduation speeches, in-depth interviews and acceptance speeches are only a few ways strong women have imparted their insights on audiences of all sizes. Thought you might like to peruse these wonderful quotes to find inspirational words to uplift the special women in your world.
Here are just a few of my favs.
Some people think that you have to be the loudest voice in the room to make a difference. That is just not true. Often, the best thing we can do is turn down the volume. When the sound is quieter, you can actually hear what someone else is saying. And that can make a world of difference.” – Nikki Haley [source]
Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” – Julia Child [source]
Hope you will stop by the Proflowers Blog, here, to read more of these uplifting quotes.
What lessons have you learned from motherhood or from your mother? Won’t you share in a comment below. We can all learn from each other’s experiences and wisdom. Thank you for sharing.
Whatever day you celebrate, wishing you a beautiful Mother’s Day.
Hugs and kisses,