I’ve been a Mom for 9 months and 11 days… not that I’m counting or anything This has been probably the most fulfilling and challenging role I’ve ever played in my life. Unfortunately, in such a short time I can already look back and see where I wish I would have done things differently.
Growing up, my Grandma Brown always told me – don’t live life with regrets. Acknowledge your mistakes, failures and decisions you would change looking back – take those moments and choose to learn from them. If you live life with regrets, you will eventually regret your life away.
So, I choose to learn from my parenting choices and drive forward being the best Mom I know how to be. I have learned a few Mommy lessons I thought I’d share.
1. Take pictures, video, scrapbook, blog, write things down, etc… 10 years from now or even next week, you’ll barely remember that amazing-silly-random thing that your child did, that happened to your family or that you just want to remember. People have always made fun of Jeremy and me for taking so many pictures. We literally have 1000’s of photos documenting our relationship and now, Harper. I will never regret. Nor, will I regret this blog. As high level as it is, it is my way to remembering my Harpsicle.
2. Find a support system. Ask for Advice. Neither makes you weak or a bad parent. But, you should not parent by yourself. Even if you are a single mom, you should always have a support system; your mom, your grandma, your pseudo-mom, your best girlfriend who’s had a baby or is going through motherhood at the same time, your sister, your neighbor, a stranger you meet at the bus station. I don’t care. Millions of Moms are out there, and willing to share their experiences, offer advice and mostly, just listen when you need to cry, laugh, boast or find out how someone else survived another sleepless night. “it takes a village”
3. Don’t lose yourself. Remember who you were before getting pregnant. Hold on to whom she is for dear life while embracing your new role as a mom. Someday. you will have an empty nest and what will you do then? Search for your identity again? Sure, there will be adjustment to being an empty-nester, but you will look back wistfully wishing you were still that young and amazing woman you were before becoming a mom. You can still be that amazing woman AND be a mom. It will take work, but your children will benefit from it.
4. Let the things go. You will make mistakes. You will let your baby cry too long, you will forget diapers at home, you will miss a soccer game… life has moments you wish to re-do. But, you cannot dwell on the bad. Cherish your accomplishments and learn to redirect after a mistake.
5. Do not compare your child. Your child is your own. They will learn, grow and develop at their own rate. Comparing to someone else’s child will only disappoint or cause you to be prideful. Celebrate your child for who they are and their accomplishments. This will carry you as a parent until they are old… and you are too.
6. Sometimes you’ve gotta get dirty. Whether you let the kids run in the puddles, finger paint or just plain skip cleaning the bathroom, your life will pass you by if you do not enjoy it. You can wake up someday and look back without memories made. Enjoy your child(ren). They will not be yours to hold forever. Someday, they will be grown and on their own… as will you.
7. Cherish your spouse. You cannot redo your relationship after your kids are grown. As you should take care of yourself, take care of your spouse. Make them a priority over your kids. Yes, that sounds strange… but your kids rely on parents who are in a strong, caring relationship. If you aren’t with your child’s parent anymore, you must have a good relationship. It is the only way to raise a child well.
8. Trust God. God has given you the ability to raise a child. Every moment of life as a parent, is based on trust that God will provide, guide and guard. God says he equips up, guards up and directs us. Are you looking to Him?