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My Thoughts for Young Mothers

Happy Monday ... and happy late Mother's Day to you.  We are in the middle of two crazy graduation weeks and I am loving and soaking up every moment.  But wow, is it intensely emotionally and physically exhausting. Last night at a party my friends and I were talking about how unreal it all feels since we see each other and the kids repeatedly.  Come next week at this time I will be very, very sad it is all over. But with each closing door, another opens wide ... and I am so excited for this journey for her.  She is going to love it!! 💗

Now that I have 27 years of motherhood behind me I have a list of things I would love to share with my younger self and every other young mom.  It has been, and still is, the best occupation I have ever held.  Being a mother and raising my children is my favorite thing to do and the thing I have done the best, and equally failed at just as much. There are a lot of books on pregnancy and parenting, but you really have to take the daily journey and figure it out for yourself. Every single child + parent combination is so different, and there is no one size fits all for anything.  Please hear me, there is no perfect parent, no perfect child, and no perfect path.  You are all learning each day along the way. 

My Thoughts :

1.  You are not perfect, your child isn't perfect, and you will never get it perfectly right so lay that idea down as quickly as you can. 

2.  "Normal" is a setting on a dryer, only, and doesn't describe anything else. 

3.  Faith for you and your family will guide you, sustain you, and carry you when you are weak.  Pick a church, make it a ritual, and grow in it together as a family. 

4.  As soon as you say "My child will never" you have willed it into action. 

5. Siblings fight and it is healthy, it is how they learn to navigate relationships in life.  You can guide them on how to work things out but do not get into the middle. 

6.  Your relationship with your spouse will always come first.  Your children are joining your life as a couple as you are building a family. Always make that clear in your mind. 

7.  Do not ever threaten your children with someone else disciplining them. You and your partner are a team. 

8.  Each child has his or her own emotions, gifts, strengths, and weaknesses.  They will never be alike at all.  Celebrate each for exactly who they are. 

9.  Encourage your children to come to you with their problems so that you may support them and help them navigate the next steps.  Do not ever make things "go away" for them.  There is so much to be gained by failure and trying again. 

10. Love your children no matter what.  They will fail, and that is absolutely the way it should be. 

11. Apologize to your children when you blow it.  They need to see you accept failure to learn that it is ok to do it themselves. 

12. Assign chores for your family. Let them understand it takes a team to keep a house together. 

13.  Make sure they understand the consequences of their actions, good and bad.  We had a consequence chart, and it was so easy to follow. The worst impact on the list was for lying.  There is nothing worse than not having an honest relationship with a child. 

14.  Let them be children and you be the adult.  

15.  Take your problems to your friends and trusted confidants.  Do not create a confidant in your child. 

16.  Compliment the child doing what is expected of them and watch how quickly the others follow. 

17.  If you yell at your child, apologize for your blowup. They need to understand that yelling is someone reacting out of control; it isn't normal. 

18.  Understand that you will have to adjust your parenting for each child, they may all be raised the same, but they don't give love or receive it the same as others. 

19.  Know the love languages of your children and yourself. 

20. Being a parent is very stressful and at some point each day you will feel as if you have blown it completely.  So does everyone else. 

21.  The child you are sure is just "perfect" isn't. 

22.  The marriage down the street that is just "perfect" isn't. 

23. Understand that nothing with children is one size fits all.  Not a phone, not social media, not a guideline, nothing. Each child is wired differently and needs to be guided accordingly.

24. Ask for help, support, and love from friends, family, and confidants. This is a hard journey and you will need guidance, support, and grace from yourself and others. 

25.  Eat dinner around the table as often as you can.  When they are little it will be almost every night but then they are teens and involved in so much it may just be one night and that is ok.  You will treasure it.  Also, no technology at the table, for you or them. 

These are the lessons that life has taught me, and I hope to share them with my children when they are ready to become parents themselves.  I hope to support, guide, and let them make mistakes just as I did.  It is only natural ... 


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