I’ve learned a slew of information by reading parenting books and websites, but often 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:
A 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 quite a bit of the opposite of how my mom raised her kids. There’s often 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.
- Next, Missing Kids reminds us that ‘stranger-danger’ warnings are not effective at keeping kids safer. What to do instead? Inform kids about which specific people they can turn to for help should they get lost, such as a uniformed police officer, a store employee with a name tag, or a mother with children, among other ideas.
- 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?