Picture taken of my husband and 2 oldest kids at a beautiful, local garden.
I always seem to be behind the lens, so you'll have to pretend it is a picture of me instead of J. :)
I love to watch mothers interact with their children. Different discipline styles and displays of motherly-affection intrigue me. I watch for what works and what doesn’t work. I am a mother-of-three who still is trying to learn to be a mom. You see, these children of mine, they change so quickly. A strategy that worked one month will fail the next. They are smart and changing; I have to be on my toes. I have a feeling that as soon as I figure motherhood out, they will be out of the house. Is that how it goes, experienced mothers? Will I always feel like I don’t know what I am doing?
I have learned a few things about motherhood, though. Here is my very unsolicited advice:
::Sleep is a valuable commodity. Teach your children to sleep. Put them to bed early. Encourage naps. Catch some zzz’s yourself, whenever you can.
::Stop worrying over little things. Kids spill. Kids are loud. Kids are rambunctious. Kids don’t sit still. Let them play. They will grow up too quickly, so enjoy these moments while you can.
::No matter how hard you try, your clothes will not be clean. Your shoulder will never look the same. Avoid black shirts when you have a bouncing, burping baby.
::Take time for yourself. It will make you a better mom if you can step away, even for a moment.
::Get dirty. Play with the playdough/mud/fingerpaints with your children. I promise you’ll see a twinkle in their eye when you do.
::Babies will completely change your body. (I hear that even adopted mothers experience a little body-changing.) Perhaps it is all the goldfish and fruit snacks we consume ourselves. Or maybe it is that you will no longer have the time you once did to think about yourself. Who knows.
::Your children will break something you love. They will. Be prepared. Leave the room and recover before blowing up.
::After a hectic day with a child, sneak a peek at him sleeping. It will soften your heart and remind you of how much you adore that little rascal.
::Don’t forget your spouse. Nurture that relationship. Continue to date. Dress up for your outings like you used to. Wear his favorite perfume. Motherhood shouldn’t make you forget your love.
::Motherhood will change you. These little people will change your dreams. (I dreamed of being a successful business woman in a fast-moving city. Motherhood has made me wish for a slower, quieter life at home.) You will have a newer and better purpose in life.
::Motherhood is a joy. Enjoy the little, everyday things. The chubby fingers. The late night feedings. The darling giggles and trusting eyes. Motherhood is a blessing. There is no greater calling and no love comparable.