Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Motherhood

If there is anything I've learned from becoming a Mom is that every person's experience as a parent is different. Each Mom puts a different value or importance on one thing or another. Some make being a parent look effortless while others (this is my group) spend their days riding The Hot Mess Express. Either way, becoming a parent is life changing. Something that shakes us to our core, erasing everything we knew before and making us focus 100% on this little person. In the last year, Connor has taught me much more than I could ever learn from a 9-5 job or some how to book.

I've mentioned before that I'm a member of a Mom group. Without many of these ladies, I'm not sure I would have made it through the last year alone in Texas. They have truly been the best support system. A few of them have shared their thoughts and feelings with me on their experience as a Mom. After reading their comments, I've came to the conclusion that while we all do things differently, live lives that are as opposite as black and white, we have the same goal in life: to raise the world's best person. To make our children proud of who we are as their Mom.

Ashleigh, mother to a 2 year old and a baby due in December...
What do you think the best part of motherhood is? What is the hardest part for you? 
The best part of motherhood for me is the deep bond we share. Having my two-year-old stop playing to come give me a hug, kiss and an "I love you" fills my heart more than I ever thought possible. The fact that she laughs at my silly faces and noises is a huge bonus, too. The hardest part is consistency - it began with breast feeding then sleep training followed by discipline and potty training. I know it's important but it is so difficult to always be consistent in the method we choose.

Cynthia, mother to an 18 month old little girl...
If there is any one lesson/moral/advice you could pass down to your daughter, what would that be?
That her sense of worth & importance comes from within herself. It doesn't matter what the other girls say, if a certain boy notices her, or how many "likes" she gets on a social media post. It matters what she thinks of herself. Be kind & compassionate, show determination & motivation in meeting her goals, & be strong - all for herself. If she has this knowledge in her pocket, then she will recognize the people around whom she does not feel important & uplifted, and she will be able to let them go.

Andi, mother to 2 boys...
Raising a boy is not for the faint of heart. What do you find to be your biggest strength as a mother?
That was a tough one, I really had to think about it. I'm going to say my biggest strength is my creativity and my desire to do new things all the time. Since we have only lived in Austin a few years, I still like to explore the city and that's fun for the boys because we're always doing something different. 

Kim, a soon to be mom of 3...
How do you think life is going to change? What worries you about bringing another little person into the mix?
I think life will change because our children are relatively independent now. We are able to go out and do things without worrying about who will need to be fed or changed or needs a nap. The thing that scares me the most is balancing the older children's activities with an infant. I'm worried about the baby needing a nap when I need to pick up E from school, or we need to leave for dance class. Or the baby crying when I'm helping E with his homework, etc. The logistics scare me, but I know every family with more than one kid survives somehow and we will too.

Chrissy, mom of 1...
What is one of your most memorable moments as a Mom? A time that you will never forgot and always hold dear.
There are so many....aside from the first time I held her in my arms....a lot of the "firsts" come to mind the first time she said "mom" & the first time I heard her laugh the laugh has to be my favorite! Nothing compares to hearing your baby's laugh it was a simple sneeze that brought out the high squeals of laughter! I'll never forget that to this day even a fake sneeze makes her laugh. 

Kelly, mom of 2...
As a mother of two, how do you divide your time so that you are giving both your children enough of your attention?
When I was pregnant with my second child, I was terrified that there wouldn't be enough of me to go around. It took so much of my time and energy to raise one child, so how would I have time to care for a newborn too? I worried that my daughter would resent her baby brother because he required some of the attention that she was used to having all to herself. But when I had my son, I realized that my fears were unfounded. I had plenty of love to go around and I could share my time between both children without feeling like I was emotionally scarring either of them for life. Now they are a little older, and it can sometimes be difficult to find a good balance. I have a 5 year old daughter that is a little spitfire...she demands my attention and gets plenty of it. All day long she commands "Look at me, help me, do this for me, watch me, play with me". Then there is her laid-back brother, who is two. He often acts content to let her steal my attention and time, but I know he craves my attention too. I have to be intentional to carve out special time and attention for him, because he will not demand it like his sister. Most mornings, he crawls into my bed and we snuggle for 30 minutes before starting our day. I try to make sure that I get on the floor and play trains with him or do something specifically with him every day. I give him extra high fives and hugs, and look for ways to make up for the fact that he does not typically get the same amount of attention as his sister. Each child gets what they need, but they get it in different ways, because they have different needs. I have learned that my children don't necessarily need an equal amount attention, but they both need quality time with me, when I have put down my smart phone, turned off the TV, and given them my undivided attention. I believe that whether you have one kid or ten kids, the secret is being intentional about spending some quality time with each child.

After reading those responses, I am sure you relate to them far more than you ever imagined, right? I know I do. From the outside looking in, these ladies appear to be completely different than me or you. However, we have a bond that is unbreakable. We are all mothers, giving our all to our children.

4 comments:

  1. First off your blog title is soo cute. While I am not a parent I do like what you said and the diff womens perspectives. Makes me think of a history of motherhood call I took in college. We did a section on discipline and I remember the professor talking about how you can't discipline all children the same. That was always the case with me and my sister.

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  2. I love this post SO MUCH! As a somewhat new mama (7 months, but it's gone so quick!) I love hearing other, more experienced mama perspectives. I especially loved Kelly's answer about dividing her time between two. I don't know why, because I'm not even pregnant, but that is something that I worry about already. I just love my little guy so much that I can't imagine not dedicating every spare minute to him. Love it!

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  3. Stephanie, this was an awesome post!! Though we all approach parenting differently our goal is always the same.

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  4. So cool to hear everyone's answers! What would we do without the support and advice of other moms...I would have lost my mind by now without our moms group! I'm so grateful for your friendship Stephanie!

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Thank you so much for commenting on today's post. I reply to comments via Disqus so if you are curious as to what I may have to say in response to your message, just visit this post and check your comment. -- xo, Stephanie