Let me talk about Motherhood
The most powerful teaching moments are the ones where you screw up = Brene Brown
Somewhere along the way I have find myself being a mum now for 24 years. So that means I gave birth to my first born 8888 days ago… WTF… How did that happen? …
Often when I am chatting to either of my sons I feel myself slipping into the conversation of a 20-year-old, except I do have a lot more wrinkles… I have always been a bit of a merger, I often morph into the people that I find myself around. It is only for a minute, but I remember the thoughts of a 20-year-old very clearly and can take myself back there… BUT somewhere along the way I am now 48 years of age!
Motherhood for me hasn’t always been easy, peasy… Postnatal depression, anxiety, caring for my elderly mum, working, living meant I wasn’t always there fully or if I was I wasn’t always at my best … not that we need to be the best at all, but self-reflection in parenting has been a big gift for me.
What did help me the most was when my boys went off to school I started working at a Family Support organisation. The training I received, the mentors I had, the support that I offered other parents and the learning I received from them allowed me to grow and learn. Thank goodness for all that learning, as it got me out of some hairy situations over the last 24 years…
Parenting has been the hardest gig, I will admit, yet the best gig…
I have stuffed up, I have smacked too much, I have yelled, I haven’t always provided the best lunch boxes or dinners lol, I have got it wrong AND I have got it right. One thing I have always tried to do was to apologise to the boys for my stuff ups. I guess I hoped I was role modelling the fact that apologising when you make mistakes is a very good thing to do. Luckily the boys forgave me.
So, the awesome news is now my boys gladly come and initiate conversations with me. They are pleased to help me when I ask, glad when I am home, they laugh at me with all my faubles, support my insecurities and are incredibly protective. Somewhere, whilst I was flailing and smacking too much, I did teach them many things and I have always loved them for who they are, and they now love me for me.
Most importantly, I will note, that we have an amazing husband and an amazing Dad, Daz, who is supportive, a great provider, loving and happy to have the shit taken out of him with great humour. Actually, I must ask Daz if he would like to share his tips on parenting!
So here I go, sharing without being asked again, my best parenting advice…
Don’t judge other mum’s or children and their behaviour, believe me as soon as you think your child won’t bite, he will be biting the next week at Playgroup! Learnt that lesson early!
Create a tribe around you of people who love your kids and love you…you and they can never be loved enough.
Just remember that one day, in the future, you will want your child to WANT to have a coffee with you. So, I guess what I am saying is children remember. As much as they will love you, it doesn’t mean they will like you if they only have memories of you not being at your best.
Attend some parenting workshops and follow Maggie Dent (she’s my favourite) on Facebook. I know you might feel that you don’t need that support or that they are for parents struggling but the learning and support you will receive from sitting in a group of parents struggling or succeeding will be worth every 2 hours you attend. It’s upskilling.
The words that you say to your child, will be the voice they will forever hear.
Apologise. The greatest lesson that your children will learn will be the ability to apologise when they get stuff wrong…show them how that is done.
Remember you are the adult…you can not expect a little person to know all that you know. Do you still not make mistakes that people forgive? Yes, they will make lots of mistakes as their little brains form and their bodies full of hormones?
When you are dealing with tricky personalities, behaviours, look left or right and you will often find similarities with loved ones. How do you deal with them? How do you deal with yourself?
Spend the time, get off the phone, computer, tv if they want to tell you a story. If you haven’t listened to what you deem as the unimportant then when you want them to tell you something important they won’t.
They will not live at home forever…they will move out and you will miss them.
You don’t only get one chance… you can try again. In a different way, try and try again.
And lastly. Enjoy. Enjoy. Enjoy your babies even when they become adults.
Second lastly. Forgive yourself, guilt is not your friend!
And third lastly…no one other than YOU are an expert in your own life and children… you are the expert. A little self-reflection and a little research can certainly help, but you are the expert!
Guys, as I read back on that list I think it read like I was kinda waggling my finger! I have done all these things myself, believe me, it is just some advice, it’s my own self-reflection and I am just putting it out there to have a think on…most importantly enjoy your children and enjoy your life…