Life Lessons From Motherhood

While I am definitely not an expert in motherhood, I have been mothering someone for the last 32 years.  I first practiced on my siblings, and while they routinely reminded me that I was not, in fact, their mother…it did not deter me from bossing them around.  My two oldest will be turning 10 next week and I routinely remind them, and their younger brothers, that I am their mother and I am allowed to boss them around.  And in honor of officially mothering for the last 10 years, I thought I would share what I have learned.  Some lessons were from trial and error, some from enlightening conversations with my kiddos…all are interesting.

  1.  Whether you feed your baby store-bought baby food or homemade baby food…when they are older, they will still only eat mac’n’cheese and chicken nuggets, usually with ketchup…on both.
  2. Parenting is physically tiring when they are young and emotionally tiring when they are older.
  3. It’s better to let your child wear that superhero costume with snow boots to the store than to fight them in the hopes that you can convince them to look presentable.
  4. Let your kids play in the rain (unless there is lightning), in fact, play with them in the rain.
  5. Hold your baby as long as possible.  They will only be little once.
  6. Someday your children will be WAY more tech savvy than you.  Don’t be terribly surprised if it is my their 4th birthday.
  7. The front slat in boys’ underwear can double as a fart vent if worn backward.
  8. Cailluo is evil!
  9. It’s ok if you aren’t as good as the parents on Pinterest.  Glittery money from the tooth fairy is super messy.  And time-consuming, and sleep is WAY more important.  Plus it’s embarrassing to try to give a cashier sparkly money.
  10. Brushing teeth and deodorant are very important, for you and your preteens.
  11. Read to your children.
  12. Make them read to you.
  13. Disposable diapers, reusable diapers…they will all learn to poo in the toilet…eventually.
  14. It’s ok every once in a while to plop your kiddos in front of the TV so you can take a nap.
  15. Sarcasm is the best defense for parenting.
  16. Let your children fail every once in a while.  If they learn that you will always be there to fix it or pick them up off of the ground they won’t know how to live without it when they are adults.
  17. When your children fail, teach them to brush it off and to try again.
  18. Teach them about their heritage.  They will be stronger individuals if they know where they came from and how their ancestors lived.
  19. Boys will pee everywhere…even on the bounce house that you rented, at his birthday party, in front of every guess there.
  20. The world is a scary place, especially technology.  Monitor everything they do, but at the same time teach them the ability to monitor themselves.  And then that they can come to you and talk to you if they did see/do something that they shouldn’t have.
  21. Teach your sons to hold open doors for everyone, especially women.
  22. Teach them to be polite, saying please and thank you.
  23.  Let them see you give service to someone in need…a meal to homeless, a ride for an elderly, yard work for a single mom.
  24. Respect is earned, not automatically given.
  25. Be their biggest fan, support them in extracurricular activities, even if you were the band nerd in high school and they are the jock…or vice versa.
  26. Teach your daughters that they are beautiful with and without makeup.
  27. Kids make for the best mockingbirds.  They hear everything and will word vomit at the most inopportune time; such as at the Target cashier with the colorful swear word they heard you say that morning when you smacked your head on the cupboard.
  28. It doesn’t make you a bad parent by fibbing to your children.  Telling them that their eyes will eventually fall out when they roll their eyes at you for the hundredth time that day is not going to scar their psyche.
  29. Have impromptu dance parties.  And when you attempt the newest dance move and your children look at you like you couldn’t get any older, remember you can.
  30. It’s ok to cry the first time your child asks you a question and uses the phrase ‘back in your day’.

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