Mom, You Rock! 11 Ways to Stay Awesome!
This isn’t what I signed up for. Motherhood is not what I expected. Being a mom is much harder than I ever dreamed. Are those thoughts that have run through your mind? I think all parents have thought about this a time or two in their life. It seems like we know everything about parenting until…we try to do it.
Being a mom is hard
Motherhood is not pretty. It’s not for the weak. It’s not for the faint of heart. Motherhood is the toughest job you’ll ever love. It’s the hardest thing you’ll ever do. Phases pass, but each one brings a new set of challenges you never thought possible.
Motherhood is also the greatest blessing, the most indescribable thing. You can’t understand until you’re a mom, but it’s like the Grinch, your heart grows sizes. It does, I swear. There is no way to fathom how much you can love until you hold your child.
You get plenty of advice. Everyone who has never tried to parent your child knows exactly how to do it and everything you are doing wrong. Your husband’s grandma thinks the way you hold the baby will make her bow legged and learning impaired. Your mother in law thinks you should let your baby suck Dr. Pepper from a straw at 4 months when the Dr. said no soft drinks before one. Everyone has plenty of advice on what they think you should be doing.
Have you ever heard any of these? If she doesn’t crawl before she walks, she’ll never learn to read. (Really, she never crawled and taught herself to read at age 4) You should put cereal in her formula to keep her full. (Did the Dr. not get a degree to learn how to teach parents to take care of a baby? I’m pretty sure he did!) You need to this, you need to that, it never ends.
Follow your own instincts, mom
Guess what? You don’t need to listen to any of it. When you are a young, insecure mom who is not sure if she’s doing anything at all right, all of this advice can be overwhelming.
Mom, you rock! You are doing a great job. When they plopped my freshly born baby on me at age 21, I was absolutely sure I would never be able to keep her alive for a week, much less a whole entire childhood. To say I was overwhelmed is the understatement of a life time. I had NO idea what I was doing. It wasn’t for lack of love, I really wanted to do a good job. I cried myself to sleep more nights than I can count over thinking I was not doing anything right.
Someone told me she wasn’t sure I could take care of my baby. For some reason, this woman never liked me. I really don’t know why. I tried so hard to be good to her and her family. Her words cut me like a knife. I am painfully shy, I have severe social anxiety. I guess for some people that’s a sign of weakness or something. I’m not sure, but I do know that I let every haunting word she ever said to me devastate me beyond repair.
When someone attacks your mothering, mom, let that go in one ear and out the other. Don’t you DARE listen to that negative talk. Guess what? Whether your child is biological or adopted, God made YOU and only YOU to be your baby’s mom. It’s your job to do your best. It’s your job to follow the instincts He gave you to care for your child.
You know in your heart what is right for your child. That Spidey sense you feel about that person you are raising, mom, that is your maternal instinct. Believe it, follow it, and listen to it. No one else has it but you.
You are unique and special and the best mom your child has. Remember what a blessing you are to them. Even now at 45 years old, when I get sick, guess who I want? My mommy! Was my mom perfect? No. Was yours? No. Will you ever be perfect? No. Just be you, and give it your best shot. You are doing great!
Give moms your loving support
Friends, when you are dealing with a mother’s heart, please try to remember it’s a very fragile thing. Moms need to be encouraged. They need to be built up and given confidence in what they are doing. Obviously, all parents and people need this, but moms carry a lot of the pressure in the family and my heart is tender toward them because I am one. If you have advice to offer a mom, PLEASE give in kindly.
When you see kids acting up at the store, how about helping mom get her groceries on the belt instead of judging her and giving her cold stares. She is just as overwhelmed as her screaming toddler. I promise she is.
Mom, please remember that no one else knows what it’s like to raise your child. If people give you stares or say things about your parenting skills or your child’s behavior, shrug it off. They aren’t qualified to judge you. Even if they are a parent, they have not tried to parent your child.
Yes, you are going to make some mistakes. Yes, you are going to be a total rock star at some things. Yes, you are going to be medium at some too. You just do you the best way you know how. All your child needs is your love and acceptance.
No moms are perfect
After 24 years of worrying sick about how much I was screwing up or sucking at motherhood, my daughter stands in front of me and I am in total shock and awe of what an extraordinary human she is. Your child will survive teenagerhood. You will most likely not stroke out before the terrible twos are over. It’s all going to be okay. Doing the best you can figure out how to do is all you can do.
I have a few suggestions to help you along the way:
- Pray, A LOT. God is always there to help you. He will never let you down. Let Him know what you need.
- Read your Bible. It’s full of great advice for all of life. Parenting can be improved by spending time in the Word.
- TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF FIRST!!!!!!!!! I cannot stress this enough. You cannot take care of anyone else unless you take care of yourself first. You need to be the best you can be to be there for everyone you are caring for in your life. Take breaks when you need them.
- Learn to say no. If your plate is full and you are overwhelmed, trim back some of your responsibilities so it’s more manageable.
- Ask for help. Dad can help. Grandparents can help. Your childcare provider is a great place to ask for advice. Those ladies have seen a lot of personalities and dealt with a lot of behaviors. They are trained, use that knowledge. In life, no one can make it totally alone. Everyone needs help sometimes.
- Ask your doctor. They do know stuff too.
- Trust your instincts. You were born to know what to do. It may not always be your first thought our come easy, but it’s there.
- Remember to have fun! You have a lot of responsibilities, but don’t fall into the trap of letting everyone else be fun guy and you be grouchy mom. Let loose and get in on the fun too!
- Plan ahead. A lot of the overwhelming parts of motherhood can be tamed by laying out clothes the night before, planning menus for the week and things like that. You can get ahead of the game and feel less like you’re drowning. Click here to see how to organized your way to a better day.
- Don’t compare yourself to other moms. You are unique and you aren’t meant to do things the way they do.
- Don’t forget to leave lots of time for snuggles and cuddles. They are the best! Leave the electronics alone for a while each evening and connect everyone face to face.
Don’t forget mom, you are the only you there is and you are awesome! Keep up the good work.
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