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Friday, May 7, 2010

Mother's Day Musings

Mother's Day is this Sunday. Tell me, moms, now that you have a little one (or a brood, as in my case) what are some words of wisdom or gems of knowledge you've picked up over the days, months, and years of being a mom?

I'll tell you what I learned.

Probably the single-most important piece of advice I could give a new mom would be....lighten up!

Of course that's SO much easier said than done.

My friends and family can tell you that I was a pain in the you-know-what with my first. You almost can't help it. Suddenly (and it doesn't matter that you get 40 weeks to "prepare") you are entrusted with this tiny, fragile, wiggly, demanding, little human being. Their every need is in your hands. They rely totally and completely on YOU.  That's daunting. And you instantly love them, so you WANT to take the very best care of them.

You read every book, magazine article, and message board you can find. You compare your baby to others to see how they measure up as far as length, weight, head size, abilities, etc. You worry day and night that you are taking care of them properly. You actually sterilize their bottles, use that "nursery water" and never re-use a jar of food that you double-dipped out of. You want to do it right.

And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. In fact, there are so many other parents who could stand to take a few pointers from that new mom.

But, something invaluable that I've learned (and actually am still learning) is that all moms do it differently. While there are some core issues that remain the same (feeding, clothing, changing, loving) there are different ways of going about it. We will not always agree with each other on the methods we choose, but that's not the important thing. The important thing is that we respect the others' way of doing it, even if, inwardly, we roll our eyes and think, "Oh brother."

To be fair, I certainly don't have it all together yet, (and probably never will enitirely) but I'm trying to get better. I'm still struggling with sending R off to kindergarten. I don't wanna do it. Period. I'm not ready. Some moms-those who have already surpassed this milestone- probably roll their eyes at me and think I'm ridiculous. And that's okay. Because I'm the only one who has to answer for how I choose to raise my son.

MckMama said it best when she said that we moms are all just figuring this out as we go. We need to stop judging each other and start supporting each other-even when our methods are different--and seemingly unnecessary-- sometimes.

Happy Mother's Day to you all. I hope you have a wonderful, restful day with your family and enjoy every minute of it.
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