The Stuff I Learned from My Kids, the Hard Way
I was 26 and clueless when we had our first baby. I really had no idea what I was doing. I always say it was my husband who was a natural. We had our second child a few years later but by then I was a little more clued in on being a mom. I may not have had that whole baby thing down, but I can confidently say I was a good mom, (whatever that means) mostly because my kids say I was.
Keep in mind, you're their mom, not their friend. They're not always gonna like what you do or say, but that's part of your role. That being said, you're probably way harder on yourself than needed.
Just a few things you may find yourself thinking/saying…..
I yelled too much
I didn’t spend enough time with them
I let them watch too much tv
I spent too much time with them
The other moms were so much more talented & together than me
I wasn’t on top of things enough
I didn’t look or dress like other moms
I was short tempered
I struggled to keep my house clean
Fill in the _____________
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I struggled with my negative thoughts for years, till one day I was talking with our oldest son about filling out college paperwork and, because we made him do the leg work on his own which didn't seem to be the norm for other kids his age, I wondered if I had failed him. He looked me right in the eye, with all seriousness and said, “You did not fail.” That day was the beginning of many other conversations to come with both our kids.
It's funny, when we sit around now, and talk about their younger years, they never mention a dirty house, the days I just could't pull it together, or my many mom tantrums. They laugh about games we played, funny things that happened, and all sorts of other memories. I've learned that they never cared about the stuff that kept me up at night. I've learned a lot from them.
So here’s some of the things my kids have taught me about the memories they have of our parenting….
Not buying them everything they wanted & making them earn their own money has taught them to save, budget, & appreciate what they have.
Having them do things on their own, (With help & guidance of course) homework, talk to teachers, car related things (Tags, insurance, asking questions…) prepared them to do things on their own as adults.
Playing with them gave us laughter & memories that have carried into adulthood.
Listening to their music on car rides opened up conversation and let me into their world.
Making forts, game night, & sleepovers with movies and junk food was more important than always having a clean house
Side note, we still remember every word of their vacation bible school cd's, from signing them so many times
All the things I wasted my time thinking and worrying about and all the negative feelings I felt, were a waste of time because my kids never saw or felt any of it. And your kids don’t either.
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Hoping these tips will comfort you...
Be careful not to compare yourself to other moms
Focus on the fun your kids have with you
Remember, there’s no such thing as a perfect mom. We’re all just trying to figure it out.
When you start to think you can’t do it, that you’re not cut out for this, remember, God chose you to be their mom for a reason. He’s given you the gifts they need and He’ll be there with you every step of the way. Just ask Him.
Don't forget to take care of you my friend.
I'm cheering you on!