Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Best Motherhood advice I've ever received....

this adorable little 2 year old now almost 6!  

I thought I was so prepared for Motherhood.  I was the youngest of 7 children who became an Aunt at age 8, my nieces and nephews were more like my siblings.  I started babysitting very young and I loved being around children.  I majored in Family and Human Development with an emphasis in early childhood.  I just knew I was going to be a well prepared, fantastic Mother.

Then my first son was born.  He was colicky, he didn’t sleep and I was exhausted in every way.  I remember talking to my Mom and being so upset that I couldn’t figure out what was wrong, that he wasn’t the happy, content baby that I thought I would have. That I wasn’t the great Mom I thought I would be.   My Mom said 4 words that have become my Motherhood mantra…”This too shall pass.” 

It bothered me back then, because I felt like she was discounting my pain and frustration.  But what I have come to find out is she wasn’t discounting anything, she was trying to give me the gift of PERSPECTIVE.  You see she had 7 children, she knew that some babies fuss more than others, that some sleep better, that some are content and happy and some are not.   I wish I could go back 14 years and tell myself to listen to this nugget of wisdom because it’s the best advice ever.

She knew a secret, that for the most part this too shall pass.  (I realize that some things do not pass, some babies have special needs for example that aren’t going to pass no matter how much time passes, my heart aches for them.) But for the most part in a healthy baby, hard phases and stages pass on.   

Fussy, colicky baby?  Yep passed.  Toddler who wouldn’t leave my side to go to nursery or a babysitter? Passed.  Horrible reflux and severe lactose allergy (that cost us a pretty penny in specialized formula)?  Passed.  The terrible twos/threes? Passed. A boy who was a monkey and made my heart stop with his climbing antics and no fear?  Passed. A child who is terrified of the toilet? Passed.  A preemie in the hospital for 6 weeks? Passed.

But on the flip side….. Newborn baby who snuggles right into your neck and smells amazing?  Passed.  First steps and first words? Passed.  First time my baby belly laughed?  Passed.  Sleeping with a newborn on your chest?  Passed.   A baby all snuggled up after a bath in their hooded towel where just their eyes and smile show?  Passed.  My daughter saying I YUV YOU Mommy! (now she says her L's). Passed.

My baby is 3.  My oldest baby is 14.  I know it’s so cliché, but time FLIES!  Hard stages come with every age.  Some days I wish I could  trade in a grouchy teen for a colicky baby.  Some days I would trade in some experiences my son is having in middle school for when he was a biter and bit nearly every child in the nursery at church.   Those hard phases will pass, but so will the sweet phases where they say words a certain way (like ornange or hangurber) or want to hold your hand on a walk. Honestly I don't think Motherhood gets easier as they get just is different.

The beauty of “This too shall pass” is that it helps those phases not seem quite so tragic or eternal.  Some days we just have to grit our teeth and wait it out.  However, some days I really can smile at my 3 year old throwing a fit over not being able to buckle his own car seat because I know soon enough he will master it and it will mean one more way he is becoming independent of me.  I realize that is my job to teach them not to need me, but man it’s hard. 

So next time your frustration, or exhaustion or anger about something your child is doing or going through gets the best of you think, “This too shall pass” and see if maybe it just doesn’t give you a little perspective.

What is the best Motherhood advice you've gotten?


Kathleen said...

It's hard to top that one! That is really good advice. I can't even remember so many of the things that gave my they obviously did pass. One piece of advice I received was from my brother, who ironically wasn't even a parent at the time. If your child has a meltdown anywhere in public-KEEP CALM. People are looking more at the parent's reaction than the child's behavior. If you stay calm, people won't "gape" as much. That advice has kept me cool and when the kids don't see you reacting, the tantrum stops much sooner. Now if I could just remember this at home!

Catherine Yates said...

I also got the "This too shall pass" advice. But I think the best advice I got was from my mother in law - "Pick your battles, choose which mountain you want to climb." Some things just aren't worth the argument or fuss over. So my daughter's clothes look like she walked out of a tornado, so what. At least she is choosing her own clothes and developing her own sense of style. THAT is what is important.

Danielle said...

I can think of two. The first was to trust my instincts, which has served me well in all kinds of situations from school teachers to doctors who think they know best, but my gut says otherwise.

My mother-in-law taught me the word "nevertheless" which is a gem when a child wants to argue a rule or decision. Just listen, nod, and then nevertheless...

Cheryl said...

Oh man I love that nevertheless...I think I added that to my vocabulary today!

I agree with you on the instincts, serves us well to trust those!

Sarah said...

I have always been partial to the advice, "you don't get to take the credit and you don't have to take the blame."

I have also learned to take the advice to relax, that a wonderful pediatrician gave me after Megan was born. It took me a few years, and maybe another kid before I could let go, relax, and not worry so much. If I'm relaxed, everyone else is too.

Wendys Hat said...

Sadly it passes way too fast! I learned early to enjoy EVERY moment and not to just look forward to the next phase in life. I have truly enjoyed every moment and stage. I've learned to slow down and just have fun and I wouldn't trade any of that for the world!