Weekend links and 3 essential lessons I learned from my mom

I’ve learned a slew of information by reading parenting books and websites, but the best lessons come from the amazing mothers I’m surrounded with, particularly my own. In my few years with the role of mom, I’ve already gleaned a wealth of knowledge and guidance from my mom and, in honor of Mother’s Day, wanted to share a few of what I’ve learned:

 Weekend links and 3 essential lessons I learned from my momA calm mom means a calm baby
When my little guy was born, let’s just say I felt overwhelmed: How long do I breastfeed the baby? Does Mylicon work for gas? Why won’t he go to sleep already?! I was a wreck, and I’m willing to bet that my baby picked up on it.

I still remember when my husband and I would burp our baby and we thought you had to practically smack their backs until that burp comes out, and here was my mom, patting the baby with gentle pats. And what do you know—the baby burped with my mom. And slept with my mom. And didn’t cry when my mom bathed him. And she told us, “He can sense your agitation… you have to be calm.”

Worry isn’t always necessary
I frequently blogged about the time when my toddler had a slight speech delay, and how I drove myself mad with worry. And throughout the blog, there was my mom commenting, “Don’t worry…” Easier said than done, but considering that my older brother had gone through six surgeries before he was only 18 months old, you can’t blame the woman for telling me not to worry. And since that time I’ve treated worry differently; I have concerns, but I do my best to act proactively instead of filling my mind with what-ifs that haven’t happened yet, if at all.

Moms are not infallible
Perhaps the most important lesson I learned from my mom is that she isn’t perfect. I don’t do everything the way she did; in fact we’ve done the opposite of how my mom raised her kids. There’s this notion that parents are always right and that they need to fulfill expectations because of that title. But my expectations of her as a mom run tandem with my understanding that she too is human. And this realization is freeing for me—as a mom to my own toddler—knowing that I won’t and can never be perfect.

Happy Mother’s Day to all you extraordinary moms! So much of what we do not only benefits our own families, but our wider communities as well. We really do have the most difficult job with the highest stakes, but one that is most rewarding and simply the best.

Now it’s time for some links:

  • Yahoo! ran an article called 5 things you shouldn’t say to your kids. One of the points mentioned is refraining from forcing kids to say sorry, a topic I covered in a previous post.
  • My sister posted a link from PBS Parents called Raise a lifelong reader by reading aloud. My favorite reason is the last one: reading aloud brings forth the love of reading. I plan to continue reading to my toddler for as long as possible, whether we graduate to longer books like Harry Potter or even creating a tradition of reading articles and books as a family.

How are you celebrating Mother’s Day? What have you learned from your mom?

Nina

Nina is a working mom to three boys—a five-year-old and toddler twins. She blogs about parenting at Sleeping Should Be Easy, where she writes everything she's learning about being mom and all its joys and challenges. She also covers topics like how kids learn and play, family life, being a working mom and life with twins. Download her free ebook, "Time Management Strategies for the Overwhelmed Mom" for more tips.

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  1. torijohnson5 says

    One of the most cherished things I learned from my mom was the love of reading. I hope to pass it along to my son as well!

  2. Jessica Baker says

    Definitely agree with the whole calm mum thing. When i get worked up with my girls, I sing christmas songs. It calms me down and the lyrics are easy to remember, and bizarrely it calms the girls down as well. As soon as I start they go from being little terrors that are making me want to tear my hair out to singing and cooing along with me. I highly recommend it!

    • says

      Jessica, I totally did your singing suggestion yesterday. My little guy was crying like crazy and only when I started singing did he calm down. I forget how soothing singing can be and need to do it more!

      • Jessica Baker says

        It’s great because not only is it soothing for them it is soothing for you too. The only worrying thing I’ve found is how quickly they have picked up the christmas songs. Shows I must do it a lot!!!

  3. Teresa Cleveland Wendel says

    So true about the calm mom and the calm mom. I worried about everything with my first…and I wasn’t calm. Thank goodness I’d gained confidence before the second came along–a much calmer little babe.