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8 Things I’ve Learned From Motherhood

I’ve partnered with Poise as part of the Mom It Forward Blogger Network to tell you 8 Things I’ve Learned From Motherhood.

Things I've Learned From Motherhood

Motherhood is incredible.  It won’t all be a bed of roses (some nights you will barely see your bed!) but the good will overpower the bad and your life will take on a completely different meaning. You will become a hero in someones eyes and that someone will be calling you mommy.  Your life will never be the same!  Here are 8 lessons I’ve learned from my short few years of motherhood.

  • – “Twinkle, Twinkle” and the alphabet song are the same tune.  My 3 year old pointed that out to me.  Light bulb moment!  How did I live this long without noticing that?
  • – One reason that parents are so sleep deprived (even though their kids sleep through the night!) is because we want to cram in as much as we can between the kid’s bedtime and ours.  Maybe I’m the only one but I often find myself at midnight, or 1 a.m., just getting to bed, because I had to do the dishes, prepare for tomorrow, fit in a little exercise, watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer (loving watching this again on Netflix!), read a bit of a book, and do this…write a little bit on my blog.
  • – When your kids are behaving in a way that makes you least want to give them affection and attention, that is usually when they need it the most.  When life gets crazy put down the phones, block out the distractions, connect and engage and life will be better for all.
  • – Your patience will be tested.  Before having kids I thought I was a patient person.  I didn’t grumble about a long line in the grocery store (which is good because I always happen to chose the slowest lines lol), I didn’t care if I made a wrong turn, and even though I liked being punctual I knew it wasn’t the end of the world to show up somewhere 5 minutes late.  After having kids I realize how impatient and selfish I can be.  It’s not pretty and something I have to remind myself of many times a day.
  • – Don’t worry what other people think of you.  You will be judged, sometimes harshly.  Don’t give a lot of thought to those opinions that are outside of your immediate family.  People will judge the number of kids you have, how far they are spaced, the way you gave birth, the names you chose, breastfeed or bottle fed, cloth diaper or disposable, sleep training or attachment parenting, homemade baby food or store bought, and on and on and on and on and on.  Research your heart out.  Choose what works for your family and stand confident in that even if it’s not what everyone else is doing.
  • – Keep a small vase handy at all times.  Flowers from children are a gift to be cherished.  Last weekend my mother-in-law told me a story about when her kids were younger and they picked flowers from a neighbor’s yard.  When she found out she apologized to her neighbor and what that neighbor said stuck in my mother-in-law’s mind all these years.  “I never mind when children pick my flowers because I know they’ll always give them to their mother.”  That makes me heart smile.
  • – Simple is almost always better.  Cardboard boxes are better than the latest toys (Appliance boxes are the best!! We’re currently enjoying a dishwasher “house” in our living room now).  An evening playing board games and talking with family is far better than another activity the kids need to be shuffled off to.  Family time is indispensable.
  • – Research what to expect after birth.  I read pregnancy book after book.  I read about the first week and month with a newborn.  I read and read and read but never once did I read what would happen to my body.  I figured that they would tell me at the hospital and didn’t give it much thought.  To my surprise a lot about my body changed…and I’m not just talking about how my stomach didn’t go back to it’s previous shape right away.  For one, if you’re not planning on breastfeeding you need a tight sports bra right away.  The cheap ones from Walmart won’t do, trust me.  Get the good ones! …and buy a few in case your baby is a spitter.  One more thing is to have some Poise pads on hand.  No one told me my bladder control would be out the window after birth.  Sneezing, running, laughing too hard, and even being startled will cause it.  Ugh!  No wonder no one told me about it, it’s embarrassing to admit!  We shouldn’t be so ashamed to talk about it though because statistics say that 1 in 3 women have light bladder leakage (LBL).
  • Poise pads
  • The Poise brand has teamed up Brooke Burke-Charvet to help educate women about LBL and empower them to seize their Poise moment.  That moment being the point where they stop letting leaks interrupt their lives and reach for products, like Poise Thin-Shape Light Absorbency pads.  The new Poise Thin-Shape Light Absorbency pads are the thinnest pads for LBL.   You can grab a sample at Poise.com.   They are thin-shaped pads, offer 3-in-1 protection, are designed to move with you and are 40% thinner than the original, but they stay 3 times dryer.  Those were two of the biggest after-birth surprises but there are a few others so if you’re pregnant, go google it.

Motherhood is one of the best things that could happen to a person.  It changes the way you see the world.  You care about another person more than you ever thought possible.  You get the joy of celebrating their successes and encouraging them through their struggles.  Motherhood is a wonderful, wonderful gift and it has taught me so much.  These 8 things I’ve listed don’t even scratch the surface.  What things has motherhood taught you?

Are YOU “Mom Enough?” – Mommy Wars Controversy

Mommy Wars

 

If you’ve watched the news lately or read many blogs you’ll see the latest version of “Mommy Wars.”  The breastfeeding controversy is back and in full swing.  I would link to the article for you all to see it but honestly, I don’t want to give them any added publicity and “link juice” because that is just what they want.  “Mommy Wars” include the Stay-at-Home vs. Working Mom debate, the Cloth Diapers vs. Disposable Diaper debate, and the list goes on and on.  The most recent article {the one that I won’t link to} is a Time magazine write up and photo of a preschooler breastfeeding.  This was surely published to incite a strong reaction from moms and reignite yet another “war.”

 

There is NO winner in the game of “Mommy Wars.”  This is a game that magazines, newspapers and websites are playing to up their readership. These articles don’t cover the facts but are written to divide mothers.  Time after time mothers buy into it and I’ve been guilty before but I’m over it.  I don’t care if you breastfed your kid until they can walk, or if you’ve fed them Similac from day one. I don’t care if you you home-school or if your kids go to a Christian, private or public school.  I don’t care if you give baby massages, use a leash for your kid at an amusement park, circumcise your son, make homemade baby food or bathe your baby twice a day or once a week. Do you baby-wear? Does your baby eat everything organic?  Do you use cloth diapers? I don’t care.  I don’t.  I’m not trying to be rude but whatever works for you {and is safe for your kid} is wonderful.  Of course I have my opinions but not everyone has to believe the way that I do.

 

Articles, such as this TIME article, prey on the already existing feelings of inadequacy and mommy guilt.  These manufactured “wars” are predictable because they stir up strong emotions from women who feel judged, as well as mothers who want to feel superior for their choices.  You know the ones.  The ones who post such proud statuses on Facebook that your mouth drops open while reading them.  Heated discussion and outrage usually follows.  WHY?  Why do women tear each other down?  Women beat each other up while the person or business responsible for starting this battle reaps the benefit {website traffic, talk show debate, etc}.  I hate that women are second guessing their parenting choices because of such games.  Women are insecure and should band together to help one another.  If you don’t have a strong support group now I encourage you to find one.  Join a local church, MOPS group, or mommy play group.

 

I’ll be honest, I’m constantly evaluating myself and my parenting.  I want to do what’s best for my family and be the best mom I can be.  When I first found out I was pregnant I started reading parenting books and I haven’t stopped since.  I want to be educated and make the best decisions I can.  I don’t want to look down on other’s for their parenting habits.  Of course, I think the way I diaper, set a sleep schedule, and  feed my baby is best for me because if I didn’t think it was I wouldn’t do it.  Who am I to tell you what you should do with your child?  I don’t know your situation and what’s best for you.  I’ll be glad to share my opinion if you ask and in the future I may share some advice on here about what’s worked for me but I never want to belittle others because they do things differently than me.

 

As for the cover of TIME magazine, the answer to the question “ARE YOU MOM ENOUGH?”  Yes!  Whatever that means, yes.

 

You are mom enough to avoid belittling others.

You are mom enough to build up others.

You are mom enough to love and care for your kids.

You are mom enough to encourage new moms.

You are mom enough to educate yourself and make wise decisions for your family.

YOU ARE MOM ENOUGH!

 

Related TIME magazine posts across the blogosphere: 

Rage Against the Minivan–Where is the mommy-war for the motherless child? {I highly recommend this article!}

5 Minutes For Mom–FACT: Mommy Wars Do Not Exist

Babble–It’s TIME To Stop Fighting The Mommy Wars.

Mocha Momma–I am mom enough.

 

What are your thoughts?  Please feel free to share them in the comments.  If you’re a blogger, did you write a response to the Time Magazine controversy?  If so please add your links in the comments.