This week I want to talk about a few things I’ve learned since I’ve become a mother. I usually write my blogs early on Monday but, better late than never. My brother is in town for a few days so I’ve been trying to spend some quality time with him. With that being said I’m going to try to make this a short one, so let’s get to it.
I’ve been a mom for almost 8 years now but I still feel like I’m scrambling to get my shit together. My daughters mean the whole world to me and I try my best, but I constantly think about what I could be doing better. And while there’s so much I need to work on as a mom, I’d like to share some things I’ve learned so far.
What works for one child won’t necessarily work for the other. Before I had my second daughter, I was sure that certain things I had done with my first would automatically work for her. How foolish I was. For example, when my oldest would hurt herself, she would look at me, and I made it a point to laugh so she wouldn’t think it was a big deal. And soon, if she had cried after falling or bumping into something, I knew that she was really hurt and was not just crying for attention. But I tried this same “trick” with my second daughter, but she cried even worse when I laughed! So when I saw that she had hurt herself, I tried not making eye-contact with her and that seemed to work. My daughters have their own personalities and their own individual needs. I mean, my pregnancies with each of them were so different, so why wouldn’t that be the case with raising them.
Take other moms advice with a grain of salt. This is similar to my first point. Every child is different, so what works for one mom and her kid might not work for you and yours. I’m no stranger to asking someone for help when I need it, so I appreciate the advice that I’ve asked for. Sometimes its frustrating to deal with the constant advice being hurled your way by other moms, especially when you don’t ask for it. But sometimes it can be wonderful when that advice works. At the end of the day, I have to be comfortable with how I’m raising my children, no matter what anyone else says.
Sometimes, Mommy needs a time-out. It’s difficult for me to be at home with the girls all day so I try and make it a point to give myself a time-out. Sometimes, its a nap on the weekend (which is my favorite), sometimes it’s just taking some deep breaths while I do the dishes, and when I used to smoke, it was the daily cigarette on the back patio. It varies depending on the day, but it’s important for me to check in with myself and make sure I’m okay so I can be a better mom to my girls.
Date nights are very important. The hubbs and I didn’t go on our first date night as parents until our first daughter was 6 months old. Honestly, it wasn’t even a thought for us at the time. We were so busy in our new roles that we forgot to take care of ourselves as a couple. But it is so important. We get a chance to reconnect during our dates which I feel makes us a stronger couple, and better parents.
Patience. Yes, the most important thing I’ve learned is patience. When people see me with my girls, they always say how patient I am, and I am so surprised every time I hear it because I honestly feel like I’m such an impatient person. It really doesn’t help anyone when I lose my shit. So, whenever my daughters aren’t behaving after I’ve told them something for the millionth time, I try to take a breath before reacting. And the times that I’m able to take a step back, the outcome is so much better.
Stop beating yourself up. This is one thing I probably struggle the most with. I am always making myself feel like shit for not doing better by my girls. ALWAYS! I shouldn’t have given them so much junk food today, I shouldn’t have yelled so much, I should have spent more time playing with them, I should hug and kiss them more. These are just some of the things I think about when I put my girls to bed and finally have some time to myself. I make myself feel guilty. But my husband always tells me that that just means I care so much about them. And it’s true, if I didn’t care about being a good mom to them, I wouldn’t worry about all this stuff. All I can do is try and be better the next day.
I’ve learned so much since becoming a mom, its definitely a fascinating experience. I never knew I could love two little humans so much. And because I love them so much, I so desperately want to be the best mom I could be for them. But I’m not perfect, so there are good days and there are bad days. There is always a way I can do better but it also doesn’t help me to dwell on what I should have done. I promise myself everyday that I will do better and I hope my girls can see that I’m trying. And I hope everyone knows that even with all my flaws, I’m still one bad ass mother.