Hey there…I just had some things come to mind lately. Mostly about all the things I have learned since becoming a Mother twelve years ago. Boy have I lived and learned…..and continuing to do so. There is definitely no manual given when your first babe is born.
I remember all the advice I was given and to be honest not much of it helped me. I think my Mother did the best with showing me. Mostly the small things. I would name a few but I may touch on that later.
I would like to say before I move on, that I do not think I know all about being a Mother. Rather, this is just to share what I have experienced along my journey.
1. Let them express their feelings:
This is a huge deal. We all have emotions/feelings. If adults can express their feelings why can’t children? Did your preschooler cry because there isn’t anymore peanut butter or maybe he had a bad day at school? Well what is wrong with that? Children have to learn how to express themselves as they grow and they need you to listen. It may be a small thing to you but it isn’t to them! If they know we care and we try to put ourselves in their shoes it helps them process and express. If us big people are aloud to do so and expect others to listen, then the same goes for them.
2. Apologize when you make a mistake:
Have you ever had one of those days where you were in such a terrible mood? Every little thing was just so annoying? Did you loose your cool when your little one spilled their food or fought with his siblings? Man that stuff is rough! It is so hard being patient and nice all of the time. I totally get it. It happens and it probably will again. BUT APOLOGIZE. Kids are so forgiving! They will forgive you even when you probably do not deserve it. I have had many of these bad days. When we apologize we teach our children forgiveness, kindness and we show them love.
3. Stop what you’re doing and HUG them:
Like how obvious is this!? You would be surprised at how we can forget this simple affection through the days of our week. Hugs are therapeutic! I was in the kitchen one day cooking and one of my children kept coming in asking me question after question. Most of it was not really important. I felt myself getting annoyed. So I stopped what I was doing and told him to come here. I bent down and held him and hugged him for a good 2 minutes. Do you know what he said? “Mommy, you’re the best!”….My mood was switched, my heart was warm and I knew in that moment that he knew I loved him! Hugs are a mood changer!
4. It is okay that not everything gets done:
I think this one is the hardest for me still. I have made a lot of progress in the last 5 years. I get really anxious if I can’t get those dishes done or fold the wrinkled laundry…which has been sitting there for days. We have to rewire our brains! Remind ourselves that it is okay! It isn’t going to make you a bad Mother for having a sink full of dishes and no one will catch a disease because of it. A little dramatic right? I am the type of person that cannot stand anything left undone. But I have learned that my children should not be left undone or last on my to do list. They will grow to remember your love and time that you spent with them. Not the house being a mess. Yes, I am still working on this one!
5. They are watching:
Almost every single moment…they are watching. What you say, how you react, how you behave and then some. They will mimic it all! So watch how you say and how you respond to them. If you are worried and are constantly talking about it, so will they. If you are happy and upbeat so will they in turn. When they come running to you all happy and excited about something they accomplished….you better be excited too! I have so much to say on this one but I am sure you all get my point.
6. Let them be dirty:
I am laughing at myself on this one! With my first baby I probably gave her too many baths. Now that I am on my fifth bundle of droolness, that isn’t the case. Dirt is good! Nothing a warm cloth can’t solve. When I was a kid my passion was mud pies haha. Let them get dirty!
7. Its okay to cry:
When you are upset it isn’t bad to cry in front of kids. If anything they will feel much closer to you because of it. You are teaching them that it is also okay for them to cry. It is showing them that adults are not invisible. That it is perfectly good to show emotions and we are in this life together. Holding it in is so unhealthy and can be destructive.
8. Have conversations:
Kids can have conversations too. Seriously, my kids are the most entertaining conversationalists I know! I love their perspective on things and life. They will teach you how to open your mind again. It also allows them to once again be expressive and they will gain so much knowledge from it. I believe my kids learn the most when we are talking about a subject together than studying it alone. So strike up a conversation with your baby, toddlers and big kids!
9. Try not to say No too often:
I know how this sounds. I am not saying to never say no and let them have whatever they want. I am saying give choices. “Mom can I have Ice cream?” How about a Popsicle instead?You are not saying yes but you aren’t saying no either. And this mainly goes for those little bitty cuties learning new words. No is usually one of their first words right? Well, if we give them a choice….choose this or that, then they aren’t hearing no so often. The results? Less back talk 🙂
10. Be spontaneous:
I am or was one of those people who had to plan everything. If not I would seriously panic. With kids that isn’t always easy to accomplish. I had to make many changes within myself as a Mother. Sometimes I didn’t mind and other times it sucked! But hey, they are totally worth it. So learn to be spontaneous. It is really more exciting for the kids. My favorite thing to do that makes my kids happy is dancing. I do not do it very often. I am not too confident there but I will for them. So dance in the kitchen while you’re cooking or cancel housework and play in the rain instead. Those are the kinds of things that make the most precious memories. Memories children are sure not to forget….and neither will you.
Well that is all I have for today! I am sure I could list 10 more. These are at the top of my list! DO you have something to add to my list? If so, I would love to hear it. Leave me a comment and I will respond in kind.
Jessica ❤ xox