Friday, May 10, 2013

Being “Mom”

Being “Mom” is tough.

Over the course of the past 18 years I’ve learned a lot about being mom. I was barely old enough to really be a mom when I had Zoe and now I’m older than my mom was when I made her a grandma!

Crazy, right?

With Mother’s Day just two short days away, I thought I’d share a few things I’ve learned along the way.

  • Tuning out the sound of “whine” is a learned skill. It is necessary and important and imperative to being a successful parent.
  • Changing diapers is not for sissies. There are things in diapers that you just don’t see anywhere else. There are smells that could induce war. And god forbid it get out of the diaper.
  • Kissing boo boo’s is a requirement. When your child gets hurt and runs to you for a kiss, you kiss it, and nine times out of ten, that’s all it takes. It’s really doesn’t matter if the boo boo is on his or her butt, knee, hip or eye, it needs kissing.
  • Listening to the entire story before speaking is respectful and may save you from looking like an ass. If you interrupt, you may not get to the part where they fixed their own problem, got help elsewhere or found what they lost. It also teaches your child to listen without interrupting when you’re speaking to them.
  • Having your child do chores is healthy. Growing up in a house where everything is done for them just makes a kid stupid. Laundry is not fun, but nudity is way more uncomfortable. Picking up dog poop is gross, but it’s worse when it’s on your favorite shoes (or nude foot). Vacuuming takes awhile but picking the crap up off the carpet by hand takes longer.
  • “I said so” is an okay answer. Not great, but you can always use it in a pinch.
  • New ideas and thoughts can be interesting and may prove better than what you thought before. Being open minded never killed anyone…
  • Smiling at, hugging, kissing and telling your kids that you love them is enough. They don’t need any more proof than that. If you show them, they’ll believe you. 

That list could go on for days! I am still learning every day though and yesterday something happened that really struck a chord with me.

Yesterday morning the babies and I had been playing and playing when suddenly there was a meltdown. I don’t remember who, what or why, just that there was one. Soon, there were two meltdowns happening and I handled it in such a way that made me wish that someone was there to see it. Someone who could look at me and say “good job” you handled that like a pro! Someone who’d see how I was able to diffuse the tantrum(s), calm the tears with hugs and words, settle two little kids back into play…and then, it hit me. There was someone there. Actually, two people. I realized in that instant that the two people that needed to see me behaving the way I did most were sitting right in my lap, listening to me speak calmly to them, feeling my hugs, and now giggling at the tickles on their feet. I guess this is really something that I should have known and realized long ago, but I guess I’m just a slow learner.

As a mom, I’ve still got a lot to learn. When I look at my kids I see my own successes and failures and I know there is always room to improve. When I talk to Zoe, I know I need to listen more and try to be more thoughtful with my responses. Sometimes I say things and although I may mean well, she thinks I’m being judgmental and harsh (sometimes, she’s right). When I talk to Landon I need to practice patience. He likes to tell me things in a very longwinded, detailed way. I’m snappy about it and am always rushing him to the point. I’ve got to remember that those long stories and details are important and worthy listening to and very much a part of his character. When it comes to Harper and Dakota, I just do my best to be who they need: comforting mommy, silly playmate, gentle disciplinarian etc.

I’m not even close to perfect and I know that perfection isn’t even a real option, but I do want my children to know that they are cherished and loved and being their mom is truly an honor. 

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