Everything I Needed To Know About Motherhood, I Learned Behind A Rotating Chair

by Destri on March 19, 2010

Well, most everything.

Long before I had babies I had the opportunity to hear wisdom from many a lady on the “wished I would haves” and “wished I wouldn’t haves” when it came to raising their children.  I suppose being young and newly married made me prime for the offerings.  At the time I only vaguely appreciated it, having this naive notion that naturally I was going to make all the right choices.  Wow how you learn!  Now I recall on that unsolicited advice often and find myself wanting to call a few of them on the phone, sometimes daily!

I was a hairstylist in my prior life and was fresh out of school at 17.  I think this made my clients take a motherly role when visiting with me and I have always thought that one day I could write a book “Lessons Learned Behind the Rotating Chair”.  But for now I will just publish a few here.  Then I want your insight.

  • Dorthy- Sweetest lady, miss her dearly.  One day another woman was in the salon who had a pretty extreme personality.  She had a few of her kids with her and it was evident how she handled them.  She was even telling us about a few such moments in detail.   Sweet Dorothy sat there with her eyes wide, slowly shaking her head, quietly whispering how I should not raise my kids this way.  I wish I could remember her words exactly, for only now do I know how much I would need them.  I only remember the general message of raise them with respect, discipline with a gentle hand, and a few specific words “they are a gift, treat them that way.” Oh how I wish I could have recorded that visit.  I am not nearly as patient as I thought I would be, working on it.
  • Susan- I don’t remember how we got on the subject, but one day we were talking about how she wished she would have known how fast they would grow.  The sentence I remember specifically: “I was so worried about giving them a clean house to play in that I didn’t leave time to play with them.” She then talked about how she wished she would have went outside and played ball with them, at least once.  I think of her words all the time and if I had a chance to visit with her again I would tell her not to be so hard on herself.  As mothers it is easy to look back and do this.  But as I am right now in the thick of it, I know that I have to clean.  I have tried the let the house go to shambles approach, and it doesn’t make for a very playfully mindset or environment!  But as I just walked across my kitchen floor yesterday, that could have been mopped three days prior, to go outside and play ball with my boy I thought of her, and how she would be proud.
  • I don’t recall this woman’s name, but her lesson has been invaluable for me.  There was a discussion going on about staying home vs. working.  The woman who stayed at home talked about how she would hate to miss the little moments throughout the day.  The woman I was working on was a working mother.  Her reply was something along the lines of “I treasure the little moments that you might find simply routine.  Bath time is special, not a way to pacify them.  When I cook dinner they sit on the counter and help.”  Her message was not intended to insult rather point out how she has precious moments too; they just come in a different form than they would if she stayed at home.  I am home with my kids and I think all the time would I treat this day different had I just spent a week at work? Usually my attitude changes.

Now that I have kids, I crave this sort of insight.  I think that is the beautiful thing about motherhood.  Whether a stay-at-home mother, working mother, grandmother, or even just longing to be a mother; we all have individual life experiences giving us a lesson we could share with another.

So let’s play as if I am that naive girl yet to have my babies, what insight would you have for me?  It doesn’t even have to be in the form of advice, sometimes the best lessons come from a simple thought. For those that play along (leave a comment)  there is a pleated apron with built-in hot pads made by yours truly up for grabs.  Just leave one comment by Monday and your in the running for the random drawing.  Open worldwide!  I love to hear from other sides of the world.

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