Being a mother is certainly not the easiest thing you will ever do in your life, but I wholeheartedly believe it’s the most important thing! What greater responsibility—or opportunity—is there than to help “mold” another human being’s life? Unfortunately, when a baby is born, he/she does not come with an “Easy 1-2-3” instruction manual. We rely on learning the hard way, or should I say we attend the school of “Hard Knocks”?
Learn from Other Mothers
Like most young mothers, I, too, decided from the very beginning that my goal was to become the very best mother I could. So, like other new mothers, I found myself reading every parenting magazine and book I could get my hands on. But in all the reading I did, there was one question that continued to nag at me, and I was determined to get it answered. So, when I’d meet a mother who had grown children, I’d ask a variation of the same basic question: “If you could do it over again, what one thing would you change?” or “What is your one big regret?” or “If you knew then, what you know now, what would you do differently?” As you know, hind sight is 20/20!
I was pleasantly surprised at how eager most “experienced” moms were to share their thoughts with me. The array of ideas, problems, mistakes, and regrets were not only mind boggling, but educational. I cherished those “talks” because I felt that I was learning through their mistakes and regrets and would hopefully be able to avoid some of the same. Why reinvent the wheel??? Of course I knew I’d still make my share of mistakes, but for every mistake I could avoid, I was one step closer to my original goal!
In my upcoming columns, I will share with you some of the best ideas that have been shared with me. As you read along, pick and choose those ideas you believe to be most applicable to your individual situation. Just as no two families are alike, no two children are alike either. It is my hope that you’ll find the ideas and advise quite invaluable. And, if you have some of your own suggestions you’d like to share, we’d love to hear them. (To protect each person’s identity, every suggestion used in this column will be shared “anonymously.”)
To give you a “taste” of what’s to come, here is one of my favorite ideas given to me by a mother of grown children:
“When my children grew up and moved out, instead of sending them a birthday card, I send them a letter. In this letter I reflect on their birth and their childhood. Each year I continue to reflect on another part of their lives.”
Now how cool is that?!!! Remember to come back often for more ideas, advise & suggestions — which will cover every gamut of a child’s life (from before birth to adulthood).
And if you have a suggestion, please leave a comment below telling us about it!
Thanks for reading — and keep smiling!
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