This week I chose the prompt- List 10 things you never knew until you were mom.
This really got me thinking about what things I didn't know when I had my first child. It was a long time ago. I've been at this mom thing for 26 years. It is bittersweet especially now that I am down to my last few months of having a child at home. There were times that motherhood/ a single day lasted forever and I couldn't wait to be done with it, yet the time really went way to fast and I am so sad to see it end and so excited for it to end all at the same time. Like I said, Bittersweet!
Here are 10 things I've learned as a mom:
- I had no comprehension of how much my parents loved me until I had a child. It is a love that is so all encompassing and so bone deep that you can't understand it until you hold your child in your arms for the first time. It also has given me a glimpse of how much God loves me. It is truly one of God's greatest blessings.
- I had no idea that it would be so hard. Being a mom is just plain hard. It is 24-7 and sometimes completely overwhelming. When they are little it's exhausting- physically and as they get older it is both emotionally and physically tiring. Staying up to see your teens when they get in at a midnight curfew is so hard but worth it.
- I didn't know it would be so fun. While parenting is hard- it's also a blast at times. Not every moment but enough fun that you don't want to run away...usually!!
- There are no hard and fast rules- It would be so stinking easy if there were rules on how to deal with things, especially with babies. If you knew that rocking them would make them stop crying and it worked with every single kid every single time then that would be great but here's the kicker. You get so good at knowing what to do for your baby to keep them happy and not crying and you think you are so smart and have it all figured out, then you go and have another one. What worked for the first doesn't do anything for the second kid!!!!
- Take all advice with a grain of salt!! This goes back to number 4. What works for one kid won't necessarily work for another kid. People will give you tons of advice and some people will make you feel like a complete failure as a parent and mom since their baby is so perfect- BARF- They have a different baby than you do. Some babies are just plain harder than others! Each kid is different and what worked for them won't always work for you and your baby. Try their advice if you want but if it doesn't work for you- don't feel badly. This goes for behavior later on too.
- CONSISTENCY, CONSISTENC, CONSISTENCY!!! This is the most important word I learned as a parent. It is the key to everything. A consistent schedule with a baby makes life for both of you easier. A consistent plan for behavior helps your kids to be obedient and grow into great adults. For someone as ADD as I am, diagnosed & medicated, it was a hard word to learn but learn it I did and my kids and I are better for it.
- Before I had kids I thought that I wanted to be "BFFs" Best Friends with my kids and the very worst thing that they could ever say to me was "I HATE YOU!" WRONG- If you are best friends with your kids, that means you're not giving them any boundaries or any lines to toe. It means that they are doing anything they want and that they had no consequences. They are going to be out of control. Kids need and want limits and rules to follow. It makes them feel loved and cared for and also gives them a reason to say NO to things that could harm them. If you get control early on and if your kids can say to their friends, "I can't do that! My mom would kill me if she found out!" you'll have done a good job. I'll tell you that my kids have come to me as adults and said how glad they were to have had the rules and the "mean mom".
- The worst stage for a parent is when your kids are in Middle school or Jr. High. It's just the most traumatic, dramatic, and difficult stage for kids. They are hormonal messes and so self centered. Plus middles school girls are just downright MEAN. It's awful for them and it's awful for you. Be Warned!
- Nothing will rock your world harder than problems with a kid. Whether it's a problem brought on by their own poor decisions or just something that has happened to them, it will hurt you more than anything else in the world. It will bring out the mama lioness in you when something happens to your cub. Especially, when someone has wronged your cub. You just want to attack and protect your baby. Stepping away and letting them fight their own battles is one of the hardest things I've had to do and let me tell you, I still want to butt in and help and many times I do. I try to hold back though.
- While being a mom is the hardest job it's also the most rewarding job in the world. There is such total satisfaction in seeing your kids grow up into self- sufficient citizens. I am so thankful that God blessed me with my kids, both adopted and birthed. It has taught me more than I ever could have imagined.