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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

7 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was A Young(er) Mama

There are certain things in life I wish I knew, or at least took to heart, when I was a younger Mama. Some of these nuggets of wisdom older Mamas tried to give me (I didn't listen) but the others I had to figure out on my own.

1. I wish I listened when the older mamas would say "housework will always be there ~ the babies won't." I took housework far too seriously when I was a younger Mama. I needed to know it was OK to have some dust bunnies. Rock those babies and enjoy every second of it. I loved rocking my babies but at the back of my brain stirred all the thoughts of what wasn't getting done while I rocked my babies. I didn't realize how much I was really accomplishing in the rocking chair with my little ones.

2. I wish I listened when I was told "babies grow up sooooooo fast. Enjoy them while they are little." I used to look at other mothers like they had three heads when they would croon over my little babies and say "Enjoy them now. It goes so fast." I enjoyed my babies, for the most part, but I kept looking forward to the next milestone and the next and the next. I didn't enjoy them at the stage where they were. I didn't believe time would fly so quickly. I believe it now.

3. I wish I accepted that it's OK to have those last few pregnancy pounds six months (or longer) after giving birth. I would get so frustrated with myself for not being one of those women to lose pregnancy weight immediately. I would think I was a failure if it wasn't gone quickly. With each baby it took longer and longer to shed my pregnancy weight. In the giant scheme of life it was no big deal. I wish I knew that and didn't beat myself up so badly for my perceived "failure."

4. I wish I knew NEVER to compare myself or my kids to other mothers or kids. I would compare myself to other mothers and I would see their "successes" while focusing on my "failures." Sometimes I looked at my friend's kids and saw their seeming perfection while in my own kids I saw every flaw. I looked at other's whose kids seem to behave perfectly when we were out and I would be embarrassed when my kids misbehaved or just acted like the little kids they were. I wish I kept in mind kids are kids and there will be days when they won't listen to you, won't get along with you and days you just plain ol' may not like them. I always loved them ~ even when they weren't "perfect" but sometimes I just didn't like them, or their behavior, very much. Everyone's circumstances are different at different times and while it make look like others have it made, looks can be deceiving.

5. I wish I realized I am not Wonder Woman. I had a friend who was Wonder Woman. She scrubbed her kitchen floors every night after dinner. Her house sparkled and always smelled like oranges. She had four little kids. I only had two at the time. She got it all done. I couldn't. She slept only four hours every night. I needed more sleep. She was Wonder Woman. I was not. (This goes back to not comparing myself to others.)

6. Don't sweat the small stuff. I can't say this one enough. This is the one I wish, I wish, I wish I kept plastered everywhere. I sweat the small stuff far too often, even now. I need this one tattooed to my forehead.

7. The most important thing I wish I knew to not be so hard on myself when I was a younger mama. I beat myself up a lot. I wish I had been kinder to myself. This was a hard lesson for me to learn but I learned it. I have learned to give myself a break when I screw up. It is much nicer live to life when you treat yourself with respect.

I have loved being a Mama from the minute I found out I was pregnant ~ although I didn't care much for all the pregnancy stuff. I just wish I took more of the older mamas advice to heart when I was a Young(er) Mama. But hopefully, some new, young mamas, who are not as bull headed as I was, can learn from my mistakes.

For the love of my children...

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