When we find out we’re expecting a new bundle of joy in our lives we begin to plan play dates, buy cute clothing and search for the coolest baby gear currently available. However, we don’t necessarily think about all the lessons built into motherhood. The daily interactions with our children that test, prepare, mold and uplift who we are. Throughout this journey of motherhood, I have experienced many lessons. Some of which, challenged my own experiences as a child, those that helped me become a better woman and a few that forced me to grow up.
I remember bringing my oldest son home on Mother’s Day. I was filled with so much love yet amazed he actually belonged to me. I was honored to have been chosen to be his mother. I knew the responsibility of caring for him wouldn’t always be easy however, I wasn’t quite prepared for the many lessons I eventually did learn.
# 1 Find the Balance Between Selfishness and Selflessness
As women, we are nurturing by nature. So it appears that giving all of our time and energy to everything and everyone is apart of our biological make up. We often miss opportunities to rest and take care of ourselves because of it. It’s okay for us to remember ourselves sometimes. Let’s face it; I am no good to my children if I’m exhausted, overwhelmed or become sick. Here is where selfishness comes into play. I learned that I needed to plan 1 day, whether it was every week or once a month to do something that was centered around my happiness and well being. I looked forward to this day because it gave me a chance to relax and recharge so I could be 100% for my husband and our two sons.
#2 My Experiences Impact How I Respond as a Parent
I know you all remember being children and whispering under your breath while your mom is yelling at you saying, “I ain’t ever going to be like that when I become a mother” because you were so pissed off at whatever she was warning you not to do. However, we should put into perspective that she was probably responding to her past experiences. Whether there be failures or triumphs, who I was before I gave birth to my boys heavily impacts what I choose to respond to and what I believe is detrimental to their growth. I’m learning to separate my emotions and past experiences from what my sons experience so I purposely prevent my issues from becoming their issues.
#3 There’s NO Right or Wrong Way to Parent
People will tell you that your doing this wrong or that wrong but in reality your parenting skills will be different for each child. You know your child best!!! Although it is important to listen to the advice given, don’t allow yourself to believe that your not a great mother based on some one else’s standard. We all have motherly instincts that steer or guide us to making decisions for the best interest of our children. Trust it!!!
Because after parenting for 11 years ….