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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{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah N. March 19, 2010 at 8:08 am

you are right, this unsolicited advice i was given before i knew to care is so precious and so true! my mom says the same thing – i wish i would have spent less time making my house perfect and more time playing outside with my kids.

coming from one who only has 15 months of mothering experience with a second child on the way, my biggest lessons learned are to examine my priorities in those moments when motherhood seems like a pill too large to swallow – i often find that when i am most frustrated its because i’m trying to do too much at once and none of it involves my child. stopping to go for a walk with him or even sitting to do a puzzle clears the self-inflicted haze of misguided priority-psychosis and let’s me smile in the moment. i get to whatever it was that seemed so important when i get to it. or i find a way to include my son in the process instead of treating him like a roadblock to getting it done.

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Destri March 19, 2010 at 8:13 am

oh my learned this very lesson last summer. Seriously what I wrote in my journal was so similar it is almost scary! You have said it much much better.
Thank you for sharing Sarah

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Teddy Started It March 19, 2010 at 8:12 am

I think I’m at an advantage as an ‘old mom’. I’m in my 40s and my kiddos are 5 & 2. I see a lot of my younger counterparts fretting over so much – clean houses, bumps & bruises, early learning, etc. When you enter the game knowing your time w/you kids is going to be too short, it makes it a little easier to realize that in the end, the only thing that really matters is how much fun you had playing.

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Destri March 19, 2010 at 8:16 am

See, I love advice from ‘old moms’ (you’re not old) they have the mindset of knowing how to put things into perspective.
Oh these comments are going to be good!!
Thanks dear.
By the way she has a great little etsy shop with “monster spray” and a belly rub for you expecting mums, here is a link!
http://www.etsy.com/shop/teddystartedit

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Jess March 19, 2010 at 8:47 am

The little things are really all that matters. I spent the day cleaning the back yard of all of the sticks from all of the many storms that we had been having and I finally got around to cleaning off my 2 1/2 year old daughters play gym. When I was almost finished cleaning it Olivia looked at me and said “oh thank you Mommy” she was so happy that I had cleaned off a space for her to play.

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Destri March 19, 2010 at 9:55 am

Isn’t great when they start being thankful? I have heard I should enjoy it because they lose that sense for a short time ;)

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Amy Catalogna March 19, 2010 at 9:20 am

Here is what I have learned in my 3 short years of parenthood (and seven years of being an aunt):
** Sometimes tomato sauce counts as a vegetable
** Only make as many rules as you can manage to remember
** A clean house is nice, but not a necessity
** Laugh with your kids EVERY day, no matter what
** Celebrate every holiday (and, by the way, sometimes Wednesday is a holiday)
** Share your kids with family and friends
** Cook with your kids
** Embrace what your kids love — it really does make a difference

I love being a Mom. Love it. Enjoy!
Amy

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Destri March 19, 2010 at 9:53 am

Love it. And yes tomato sauce does count as a vegetable.

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Kate March 19, 2010 at 3:25 pm

Really? Bloody yey! at least we get one then…….

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Jileen March 20, 2010 at 7:51 pm

Does that mean ketchup counts too?

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Amy March 21, 2010 at 11:30 am

Yes. Sometimes ketchup counts, too.

Amelia March 19, 2010 at 10:04 am

While I am only 19 and not a mother yet, I really enjoyed reading this. I have been babysitting and taking care of children since the time I was 10 when I would help my mother watch children. My mother always said I was “handy” meaning: you just HAVE to help me with everything, don’t you? Most times I don’t think it was a compliment ;)

Caring for children has always been my thing. I’m the youngest of three girls and have watched my older sisters go off on babysitting jobs countless times, and from this have grown a great appreciation for kids and the caring of them. I can remember one time when I was only 15 that I was babysitting for a small group at my church. Their group may have been “small” but the amount of kids each family had together was not so small. That night I ended up watching around 25 kids with only the help of a 16 year old boy…. so it was more like 26. It was complete chaos!! But I LOVED it! Chasing down the 2yr old who was trying to find random objects to stick in her mouth all the way to coloring with the 8yr olds, and of course…. cuddling the sweet babies (yes, there were a few of those too :p ).

Now that I’m older and have experienced so much of caring for children I often find myself being very conscious of whether or not I am just wasting my time with these precious little ones or feeding into their lives by being a good example. Sometimes I think to myself “is their mother going to come inside and care more about the mess we are making on the table, or is she going to appreciate the giggles and laughter that are coming from her kids?” I have learned in babysitting that it is often better to just play with the kids, which is what I was hired for, instead of trying to be a mommy myself.

I also have an almost 3yr old Niece who loves to hang out with her “Mimi.” We have fun playing blocks together and going for a ride to the store here in town. She is the first child and has a lot to say :) Sometimes all she needs is a fresh ear to listen. When she is upset I try my best not to baby her (hard to do) but sometimes, being a girl, that is all she needs, someone to cry along with her, someone to understand.

I really got a lot out of your post and loved hearing your insights. Someday when I am married and have children of my own I’m sure I will remember this :)

My only insights to give are this, play what they want to play, give them loving arms when all they really need is to cry, share in their joy with the smallest of accomplishments, hug them regularly (even if they get too old to hug… do it anyways), and hire a good babysitter who will take care of them the way you would, and take a day off. No one can replace their mommy, but a good babysitter will make them forget for a little while… which is exactly what mommy is probably trying to do while she is out…. forget about the dishes, the messes, the dirty. There is always a need for mommies to get out and get some refreshing time alone. Take it! Don’t try to be super mom… it’s not possible. Your kids would rather you be just plain mommy than the do-all that you want to be anyways. Overall, just simply love them. Even if the house falls apart they will remember that their mommy loved them.

Like I said earlier, I don’t know much… but I do know a little. I hope this was insightful :)

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Destri March 19, 2010 at 11:25 am

Please don’t discount your insight, it is fabulous! Now just don’t forget it when the little ones start coming! And thank you for taking the time to respond, want this to be for women without kids too, there is a mother in us all, no?

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Kate March 19, 2010 at 3:29 pm

you have an old head on young shoulders, and that is a compliment! Elequently written – I wish we had you as a neighbour and baby sitter, sometimes my arms don’t feel big enough for the cuddles my 2 boys want – usually at the same time! As Destri points out – don’t forget these little insights and may you have a super amazing babysitter close for YOU when you need one.
Smiles
K

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Suzanne March 20, 2010 at 10:04 am

The simple fact that you have thought through how your impact may be on the little children that you care for is amazing at your age. You will make an amazing mother someday. I was 25 when I had my first child and I wasn’t half that insightful, I was much more selfish and motherhood is a selfless job.

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Tina March 19, 2010 at 11:13 am

Oh Destri…you know this makes my heart go pitter patter. Pardon me while I gush…
Almost everything I heard before I had a child was negative. I grew up with violence and I was the last of most of my friends to have kids. Even my friends were cynical. I learned I could do it my way and feel happier: I could breastfeed and babywear and take extra maternity leave. I could travel and still have time with my husband. I didn’t let their negativity direct me. The biggest lesson that I have learned is actually about myself. I work full time, I’m a hot headed yeller by nature and I focus too much on what’s coming next. So I have learned (am still learning).
-To stop, look, listen, soak it in and reflect it back.
-Making eye contact and speaking softly is way more effective than losing your cool.
-Say “i love you” often…too much….say it all the time.
-Rather than getting him out of the way so I can get something done, involve him. We put away laundry, we cook, we clean and organize.
-Picking him up at the end of the day is the best part of my day: the smile, the run the bowling me over with glee. If I could choose heaven, that would be it.
-temper tantrums are normal. If you try to stop them, you are beating your head against a wall. It’s ok to get mad, let’s do something about it. I hate seeing people try to put the brakes on kid’s feelings…help them to manage them and they will learn control.
- Your worst flaws are reflected back at you. yesterday while grabbing an ice cream at the drive through, I got a little testy with the cashier…my tot said “Mama, are you yelling? are you mad? what did she do?” And I had to take a deep breath and say “You’re right bubby, Mama is not being very patient and I need to calm down.” He then proceeded to tell me I hurt her feelings and say sorry. I did. Don’t teach you kids to do something and then not model it, they will catch you in your hypocrisy.
Great post.
Hugs,
T

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Destri March 19, 2010 at 11:24 am

Oh your list is perfection. Will print it out. So many of these I need to work on…well all really. Thanks T, you D best!

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Katy March 19, 2010 at 12:16 pm

My son is now 21 and I look back in amazement at how fast the time went. Wouldn’t it be nice if babies came with an instruction book form God? Unfortunately, most things we have to muddle through and learn on our own, for as all children are different all mothering experiences are different. That said, however, I do believe that some things are pretty universal.

Love them unconditionally and never let them think your love is anything less.

Play outside daily and remember that half the fun of playing outside is getting dirty. Don’t be afraid of jumping in puddles or squishing in mud. All weather is play weather, the type of play just changes.

Provide a foundation of faith.

Teach personal responsibility.

Acknowledge that no matter how wonderful a parent you are, no matter how well you do your job, you will look back in 20 years and still say “If only”. Decide TODAY, right now, to forgive yourself in advance, then . . . lighten up.

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Destri March 20, 2010 at 8:36 pm

Katy, I love this. I have a funny story about the all weather part:

One day this winter my little boy wanted so badly to go outside to blow bubbles, I just kept telling him it was too cold. I left him with a sitter later that day to return home with him all bundled up blowing bubbles outside, and the biggest grin. I felt horrible. Why couldn’t I have just done that? So yes, thank you, all weather is play weather.
and the last paragraph, only too true.

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Tam March 19, 2010 at 1:45 pm

Laugh at the silly things. My kids are learning knock knock jokes, and they really don’t make much sense. But we laugh and have a good time with them. Then my son (almost 4) says, “mama, you be funny, knock knock” and no matter what I come up with, he laughs like it’s the funniest thing ever.

I work outside the home, so I crave those moments when my kids just throw their hands around my neck and give me smooches and hugs. My daughter (2) is all about hugs and kisses right now and they feel great.

I turned down a story with my son the other night, because I was tired and had a headache. I have felt very guilty about it because I want him to know that I love him and would do anything for him. So I’ve resolved to read him a story, even if I don’t feel like it or it prolongs bedtime. They grow way too fast!

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Destri March 20, 2010 at 8:41 pm

My son (3) just started knock knock jokes! Well, kind of. The other night he said ‘knock knock’ I said “who’s there?’ “Hank” me ‘Hank who?’ him ‘It’s me mom, Hank.”
Too funny.
I too read at my son every night and sometimes I think “can’t you just go to sleep?” But when we’re done I never regret it.

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Brandy March 19, 2010 at 2:51 pm

As the mother of 3, I stay pretty busy. And I find tha it’s really easy to get caught up in the every day monotony of life. The cleaning, the cooking, all those things that are really no fun. If the kids need you, it will only take a minute, take the time to see what they need, what they made, what they are playing, they will remember it.

My 3rd child is by far my hardest!! And she’s my only girl. She is the messiest kid I have ever seen. I’ve learned not to get to stressed out when she makes a mess. Mostly, I run for my camera and try to take pictures. Like the time she knocked the top of the air pop, popcorn maker off and popcorn was flying everywhere! It was priceless moment and now it’s something I will be able to remember forever.

Also, don’t hover over your kids and try to protect them from every bump and every scratch. Let them be kids, have fun and explore. I have a friend, who I call a hover parent. She is so worried about every aspect of their life, I wonder how often they really get to just be kids. Go out, play in the dirt and be a kid. I probably give my kids to much freedom! But they are pretty independent because of it.

The last one I will share, is kind of my soapbox and my pet peever. But don’t overschedule your kids. Don’t fill their day’s with so many activities, lessons and practices that they don’t have time to relax and watch a cartoon, play barbies or play outside. I do let my kids participate in outside activites, but never more than one at a time. I think it’s important to let them participate in athletics, dance and outside intrests, but it shouldn’t become the priority of my life or my families. Make time for them to just be kids. I don’t think that we just let kids be kids enough. It’s about having fun, learning and laughing.

Thanks. That’s all folks!

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Destri March 20, 2010 at 8:45 pm

You know Brandy this is one thing I really struggle with. As a child I had a ton of freedom. I was never in any scheduled activity’s, we made our fun. So I am torn as to what to put my kids in. I have so many things I want to put them in , but then I think he would much rather be playing in the dirt at home!

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Jen B March 19, 2010 at 3:21 pm

Hi Destri! I just found the blog via TipNut and your awesome pot holder apron pattern….I love when I discover new and interesting blogs!

Anyway, I have three young children (6, 4, and 2) and although I appreciate all motherly advice and encourage mothers to help one another with what has worked for them. The most useful piece of advice that I received at my baby shower was from my best friend’s mother. She told me that I should trust myself to know what is best for my children. And it’s funny, even though I have needed/referred to other essential gems of wisdom passed on to me (like aiming the “apparatus” downward when diapering my first son :o)) this one idea has stuck with me and given me peace at times of uncertainty when I have to make decisions (whether big or small) that will affect my children. People will always offer advice and tell you how you should or should not do things, but in the end you should do what feels right for you and your family.

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Destri March 20, 2010 at 8:48 pm

So glad you found us Jen! And yes I agree, our intuition is probably the best sense we have as mothers. Mine failed me last week though..dang it. Thanks so sharing and I look forward to having you around!

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cindi March 19, 2010 at 3:43 pm

Now that my baby has just turned 17 and his two older sisters are 19 and 20, I can say that I’m glad I did most things the way I did. I questioned myself alot and still have a few regrets. But no matter how many gray hairs or wrinkles I have now, the endless days spent driving, working, cooking, helping with homework, attending school functions and sporting events was worth it. I wanted my kids to know I supported them in everything they wanted to try. I think the best advice I could give is what I have always told my children. “Do your best, have a good time, and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks.”

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Destri March 20, 2010 at 8:51 pm

“Do your best, have a good time, and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks.”

Perfect.

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Tabatha March 19, 2010 at 3:52 pm

As a new mother, my son is 9 months, I have little advice to give as I am still learning. I like someone mentioned above say ” I love you”, all the time.

I love the third lady whose name you dont remember, advice. I went from a working mom, to a SAHM (still working of course, 24/7, just not getting paid) and I struggle everyday with wanting to go back to work and staying home with my son.

You said, “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. ” I love that advice and plan to follow and live by it. Thank you!

Tab

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Destri March 20, 2010 at 9:01 pm

Oh Tabatha, I am sure you have loads of advice. I think we’ll always be learning!
And your welcome, I have to remind myself that all the time.

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Kate March 19, 2010 at 4:06 pm

Ah, those little pieces of ‘advice’ are some times gems other times – well you want to shove em where the sun don’t shine right. You know the ones I mean and go on admit it… we’ve all been on the receiving end!
Pieces of ‘advice’ that have made me scream (and laugh later!)
- just sit down with him and he’ll eat dinner! yeh right clearly never come across the stubborn and picky world of a toddler then!
- ‘have you tried x,y, z?’ to get your toddler to eat? No I haven’t I let him dine out on chocolate and whisky thank you, next! Seriously i ask you?!
-
And the ones I love – really love
- throw away the parenting books – they give you a huge guilty, pit of the stomach feeling and make you feel like you aren’t doing the right thing. Told to me by a very good friend, with a fab sense of humour .
- don’t pick a fight over food with a baby/toddler/child – you wont win! told to me by my son’s paediatrician
- the more children you have, the more you realise that you are no ‘expert’ on mother hood. as from my mother in law. A mother of 2 and a kindergarten teacher of many!
- sometimes cleaning is the only answer – if it makes you feel better and it’s your ‘thing’
- sometimes you just have to do what ever YOU feel is right – even if it makes no sense to anyone else.
- Pick your fights. As told to me by my father in law, also wise and an ex-policeman!!! (he means with your children not fellow shoppers in the supermarkets or that crazy driver who just cut you up! – well I think that what he was referring to!)
-cuddles should be endless and timeless and for everyone.
-the presence is a present.
-Tina, I too seem to have a hot head. I often remind myself I should always talk to my chidren as if ‘other’s are watching. (I still have my times of shouting though!)
- if you need time out yourself and your children are standing the other side of the door crying, that means they have an airway! (thank you Destri for that one!)
-share your frustrations with other mothers. Bet they too will have crazy stories of toddler tantrums and when the stories come from someone else they often sound funny as and not in the slightest bit annoying!
- treat yourself as you would your best friend. Read DON’T BE TOO HARD ON YOURSELF’

Smiles
k

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Destri March 20, 2010 at 9:09 pm

I love you Kate, always keeping it real! Yes I have had plenty of that ‘how to get your toddler to eat” advice. And plenty to make me giggle!
My ped told me last time “food should be an offering, not a forced act.” Oh I struggle with that one.
I love your last statement.
So glad I have you to share my frustrations with.
luvs

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Becky March 19, 2010 at 5:05 pm

I am a mother of two 20-somethings and one is due with our first grandchild next month!
Even when they act like they are not listening they hear you. Listen to what others are saying about your kids, usually they act best around non-family. Try and make teaching moments whenever you can; watching TV, listening to music, characters in a book, etc.
They do grow up fast so take lots of pictures!

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Destri March 20, 2010 at 9:12 pm

Congrats Becky!!! Your whole paragraph I needed. I am just now having to remember that my son hears me, and understands me. Isn’t that crazy? My husband will come home and I will be talking about our day with my son sitting there, and make a careless comment like “he drove me nuts today”. And as they get older I think your right, even as a teenager my mom probably felt like she was talking to a brick wall at times, but I was listening.

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Andrea March 19, 2010 at 5:17 pm

Some of the best parenting advice I ever got was from my parents, long before I had any children. They brought me up, teaching me how to parent along the way. Now that I am a parent they don’t dole out advice because it has already been given. Truly a gift.

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Rachel- The Kooky Queen March 19, 2010 at 7:43 pm

That is awesome! I always tell my sis-in-law she is more therapist than beautician! I love the one about giving them a clean house to play in but not playing with them…great advice!

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Destri March 22, 2010 at 9:28 pm

We really should have two liscences!

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Elizabeth March 19, 2010 at 8:46 pm

I am a mom to a 5 year old and 3 year old. Someone once told me to never wish that the kids were past whatever frustrating stage they are in. There is always something to learn from your child and the thing they are going through (for me, the lesson usually seems to be about patience). I try to treasure every day, and remain present, appreciate the little moments. Little kids have little problems, which can usually be solved with a hug and an ice cream cone. This is their childhood, try to create special traditions and memories for them. My husband and I often talk about and wonder what our kids will remember from this part of their lives and we try to soak up all the memories we can and record them with cameras, video and notes in a journal. It goes by so fast. I’m already wistful for their newborn days.

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Destri March 20, 2010 at 9:18 pm

I wish I kept a journal. I have tried over and over but always fail. My kids are just getting to an age that traditions are going to be fun, so I am looking forward to that. Great advice Elizabeth.

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erin March 20, 2010 at 4:24 am

the more they sleep – the more they sleep!
This has to do with the hideous backfire that is ‘putting the kids to bed late, so they sleep in!’ NEVER WORKS. If we put them to bed at 7 – they sleep till 8. If we put them to bed at 9 they sleep till 6!!

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Destri March 20, 2010 at 8:44 am

So true!

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Laura March 20, 2010 at 6:22 am

I just happened upon this site today and really enjoyed your thoughts on Motherhood. I have two little gifts of my own and I am reminded daily of how I need to enjoy them. I also am learning that usually the times they are acting out are when they really just want my attention or to know (from my attention and actions) that I love them. It’s a good reminder that when they are really young it’s the hugs, kisses, playing, etc. that communicate love. Way more then a clean house and no dirty dishes in the sink. :)
I look forward to visiting your site more in the future.
Keep up the great stuff, Laura

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Destri March 20, 2010 at 9:26 pm

Thanks Laura.

“It’s a good reminder that when they are really young it’s the hugs, kisses, playing, etc. that communicate love”
Words to live by.

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Suzanne March 20, 2010 at 10:08 am

great post destri. I’m still learning so much from my 2 kids. The thing I have learned is motherhood or parenthood brings out the best and the worst in a person and I prefer the best parts.

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Destri March 20, 2010 at 9:28 pm

Yes!!! I thought I was so patient….until I had kids. I had no idea how demanding I could be either until I had kids.

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Jileen March 20, 2010 at 1:51 pm

I think it’s just nice to know that everyone has difficult times with children. No child is perfect and no parent is perfect – thank goodness for that! Here’s my bit of advice that I pulled from a magazine years ago and I have kept it on my fridge since my oldest was about 1 (about 8 years ago). I read it over often when I am having one of “those” days!

- embrace the fact that I am not perfect
- get down on the floor and play with my child every day (even if you have to set the time for 20 minutes so you can really focus on them).
- take care of my body
- learn to LOVE the chaos
- make family dinner a priority
- focus a little more on my marriage
- remind myself daily that time with my children is precious

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Destri March 20, 2010 at 9:31 pm

Learn to LOVE the chaos…I have just recently done this. One day I will miss it! I love that the list doesn’t really revolve around the kids, but everything affects them.

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erinn March 20, 2010 at 5:29 pm

how refreshing to read everyones comments. just what i needed to hear! i have a two year old and a new baby due any day now, i’m hoping i’m more patient once i’m no longer pregnant!

the best advice i’ve received about motherhood was from an amazing mother in my neighborhood whom i really look up to. her kids are older (teens and 20′s now) but they are all amazing kids, generous, kind, compassionate etc. when i asked her what her secret was the one thing she said that her and her husband always did that she thought made the difference was they always would tell their kids how proud they were of them and what good kids they were. i think it’s easy to forget to praise kids and only focus on telling them what “not” to do or what they did wrong. so here’s to reminding our kids about all the good things they do!

thanks again for starting such a great conversation! i’ve taken notes!

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Destri March 20, 2010 at 9:33 pm

Erinn, it will get easier when you have that babe, trust me. That advice is fabulous, I forget to praise.

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Tiffany Hoehne March 20, 2010 at 8:42 pm

Thanks for the good reminders, my friends! And thanks for being the catalyst, Destri.

Three of my favorite tidbits:

-The nights are long but the days are short. Don’t wish it away.

-”Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved.”
Thomas S. Monson
Remind myself of this all. the. time.

-If you a take a good, hard look at the most frustrating characteristic of your child, you’ll find it to be their greatest strength.
Perhaps this doesn’t work for everyone, but it’s certainly true for my children, and it has changed the way I look at them. I still get frustrated, of course, but more often I try to help my kids develop that characteristic in constructive ways. For instance, one of my sons is stubborn, opinionated, and emotionally explosive. But the day I chose to treat him as a strong-willed, decisive, and passionate leader instead was the day I realized I was seeing his true, divine self. What a difference.

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Kate March 22, 2010 at 3:49 pm

-If you a take a good, hard look at the most frustrating characteristic of your child, you’ll find it to be their greatest strength.

I am remined that my mother in law said that about my husbands stubborn side – and it serves him well and I’m sure it will serve my eldest son well too. Not sure about my youngests drop on teh floor and then dive across it…may be he’ll exceed at high board diving!
I have taken note of your quote too. Lovely!
smiles

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Destri March 20, 2010 at 9:40 pm

Oh you’re speakin’ my language Tiffany. I have to remind myself daily that which frustrates me is a strength of his. I try to suppress his will, and I always have to stop myself to remember this is him, it will serve him well one day.
Awesome advice.

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Julie @ Practically Spent March 21, 2010 at 11:56 am

A dove has begun building a nest in a large pine tree right outside my kitchen window. I watch her bring one flexible twig at a time. One….at….a….time. Yesterday it snowed, and she did not appear again until today, when the sun is shining. It’s our innate nature of Mothering that allows us to do what we need to do when the timing and circumstances call for it. We work when we need to, protect when it’s necessary, play when we can, and nurture always.
It’s hard to see my own worst come out in my girls, so I work on letting things that don’t matter pass, and try to focus on the love & smiles.
How amazing that often times strengths and weaknesses are like yin and yang. The most demanding, frustrating, difficult strength a child has can play to the most awesome, incredible talent he or she has. Love them for exactly who they are and work to foster their abilities….complete with a LOT of hugs.

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Destri March 21, 2010 at 12:27 pm

Julie, that comment could be a post all its own. I wish I could add a picture. I bet you have one don’t you…I will have to go see…

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Marian Buttars March 21, 2010 at 12:36 pm

Dirt washes out so let them play. And read, read, read. Read to them. Look at pictures. Let them read to you. Let them see you reading. This will influence them throughout their lives and give them a big advantage in school.

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Destri March 22, 2010 at 9:31 pm

I have an immense amount of dirt right out my front door. When we go to the store I swear people must think I let them roll in it! Well…I guess I kind of do.

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destri's mom March 22, 2010 at 8:04 am

So much wisdom for such young girls.
Remember one thing. If it gets to tough and your at your wits end, call for help. A mother or mother inlaw, a neighbor, a friend. The emotions that well up inside of us can sometimes be devastating to the innocent. They deserve not to be the receivers of a inner anger or frustration that they are so easily left to try and understand.
Money problems, husband problems, anxiety not at them but at something else.
These small wonders grow up wondering what they did wrong.
Being a parent diagnosed with depression at a late date in my children’s life. I know what they went through and I beg anyone that deals with it to seek help and remember there is always someone who is willing to help. You just need to not be afraid to ask.
God gave us these special precious gifts. They do break and they do scare!
Love them and cherish them. They are innocent to your problems and anxiety’s.
Seek help, Its out there. Learn to recognize the time to walk away.
I love you Destri for the young woman that you have become.
Thank god for the unconditional love that we receive from our children. cherish it.

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Laurie March 22, 2010 at 3:11 pm

I really love this post! Thanks for passing along these words of wisdom. I’m getting ready to have my first baby due this summer and am soaking up all the advice I can:) I loved the parts about treasuring the little moments of routine and remembering to play with your kids. Hopefully I will remember to do this often! Thanks again!

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Destri March 22, 2010 at 9:26 pm

Um first..that belly is BeaUtIful. Enjoy being a mother Laurie. If you notice the general message in all the comments…just relax, be present in the moments, and enjoy the process. I envy the first time mom. Dearly. I think they often have the best wisdom for they are not yet overwhelmed by all the details.

My best advice for having a newborn…spoil ‘em. Rotten. And the best sleep book ever is “The Sleep Easy Solution” Buy it!!!!

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Shasta March 23, 2010 at 7:24 pm

My only advice is don’t wish them grown, before you know it they are gone. My oldest is graduating next year, and I can tell you EXACTLY what he wore the first day of kindergarten. I look at the literal man he almost is and it is heartbreaking, devastating, and all you want is to go back. I am sure this next “stage” will be full of joy, but what I would give just to see have him little again. They grow too fast is an understatement.

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Sharee March 25, 2010 at 8:18 pm

I’ve struggled finding a balance between caring for my home and spending time with my three children. I felt awful when I worked all day and hardly spent anytime with my kids. I tried cleaning less, just letting somethings go and I went crazy. It dawned on me one day that they didn’t have to be separate. We could all cook and clean together. It sometimes takes much longer to accomplish certain task, but we do them together and usually have a lot of fun making up games to make the work go by faster. Not only do we enjoy spending time together, but my children have a feeling of accomplishment that I think is a big boost to their self esteem.

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Stepping On Cheerios March 27, 2010 at 6:50 pm

Don’t smother your children. Don’t go too mushy when they fall and scrape their knees…don’t be overprotective. They need to learn how to pick themselves up and not to let life’s little bumps get them down….

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