Here's celebrating what all moms do
Michelle Blaylock, Mom's Corner
I can't help but reflect on being a mom with Mother's Day coming up this Sunday. I really thought I was prepared for being a mommy when I was pregnant with our first. I mean after all, I had four brothers and two sisters. I had babysat since I was 12. I had a ton of experience, right? No! I was very, very wrong.
In the last 16 years, I have learned a lot about being a "mommy" that I want to share with you.
1. Trust your mommy or daddy instincts. If you think something is wrong with your child, stick to your guns until you're convinced that every- thing is fine or until the doctors find out what's wrong.
2. Advice can be so helpful, but the most wonderful thing about advice is that you don't necessarily have to listen to it! For example, home remedies are sometimes quite good, others are simply dangerous. When in doubt ask a medical professional. Just because Mom, Grandma or whomever always did it that way doesn't mean that it's a good idea.
3. I knew a mom who became very upset about being called "So and So's Mommy." She said she felt she didn't have value anymore. I don't agree. I can't think of anything more valuable to me than being my kids' mom. I had a friend come up to me in church when our first child was about 11 months old. She said, "Well, I thought you'd like to know you're truly a mommy now." I looked at her quizzically and she smiled and said, "I was talking to Patricia today and said something about you. She didn't know who I was talking about until I said, "You know, Adri's mommy. Congratulations you've received your mommy diploma." I loved it!
4. If cleanliness is next to Godliness then I am in so much trouble! As a mom it is our job to keep our kids as healthy as possible and that requires cleanliness to some degree. However, you can take it overboard. I knew a mom who hated school breaks because her house was "messed up" by her kids. If a clean house is the most important thing in the world to you, my advice is don't have kids. I have standing rules about washing hands, sharing drinks, food, or anything else that goes into your mouth. However, having toys out to play with is not a problem as long as they get picked up–eventually.
5. The rule of "When Momma ain't happy ain't no one happy" is true. However, remember that we as mommies tend to have those "crabby days." I usually tell my kids and hubby when I'm having a crabby day. On my crabby days, I try to remind myself that yesterday what the kids or hubby were doing wouldn't have bothered me. Luckily, my older kids and hubby are good at noticing when I need a break and will tell me to go take a bubble bath.
6. I've learned that you must enjoy your children at the age they are and not wish for them to be younger or older, because then you truly miss out on them growing up.
Enjoy what they do when they do it and look forward to what will come next and enjoy the memories of what came last.
7. Nobody knows their kids like moms do. This is where I sometimes come into conflict with places like schools.
I understand that educational professionals like teachers, principals, counselors, etc. have had a lot of experience and training to learn the best ways to educate children. (I have my own degree in teaching.) However, they still are not my child's parent and the ultimate responsibility of educating my child is my responsibility.
8. I've learned that my kids are not perfect. (Surprise!) My kids know I will fight for them like a wildcat when I feel they deserve it.
However, I will also let them suffer the consequences when they deserve it, too. Mom's are their kids best support teams, but that must also be tempered that with realism. Natural consequences and cause and effect work for the toddler as well as the irresponsible actions of a preteen or teenager.
9. Lastly, I've learned to pick my battles. Children have their own interests, passions, and thoughts and they should! Remember a good parent works themselves out of a job. I want my kids to have their own opinions–that means they are thinking on their own. However, this often does come into conflict with number seven.
Schools, as a rule, do not value individualism nor do they encourage the kids to form their own opinions. This is a huge mistake. This is also a whole other column! I'll have to address it later.
I hope all the mommies out there have a great Mother's Day. I encourage you to take time to reflect on being a Mom.
If you have a question, tip, or suggestion for Mom's Corner please send it to: Mom's Corner; P.O. Box 1496; Hartselle, AL 35640 or e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.