Motherhood is a work in progress and continues even after the children have grown and flown. With one daughter now in her 20’s and two others in their teens, I’ve taken to reflect on things I wish I had known earlier on, as well as pieces of wisdom I have learned along the way. It goes without saying, to love your children unconditionally, let them mess up, don’t be too judgmental – remember, we’ve been there too. Last but not least, the two most important things to give your children are roots and wings.
Here are 15 takeaways from my very own journey through motherhood.
1. I would have breastfed but not pumped. Those contraptions sucked the life out of them.
2. I’m so sorry I became a helicopter mom when it came to homework. I used to check over their assignments a la Ms. Hannigan. If I could give advice to my younger self, I would give my children a quiet place to work and study and leave the responsibility to them.
3. Don’t wish for your kids to grow up too quickly. Though it seems like those younger years go on forever, in a blink of an eye, they are adults.
4. Take advantage of vacations with your spouse/partner when they’re younger. I find it more challenging to leave the kids as they get older. I was told that young children have no concept of time (wish that was still true!)
5. Motherhood is the only job that requires no degree. Hell, I could have used a Ph.D. and then some…
6. Having a support network with parents in your children’s grade is critical. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve leaned on friends to laugh, cry, and snoop.
7. A wise woman told me to remember that I am the adult in the household when it came to parent-child conflict. Too many times, I got sucked into the child-drama rabbit hole.
8. I wish I would have indulged my children more by allowing them to wear tacky light up sneakers, mismatched outfits and all-out shimmer and sparkle. I was too concerned about having my girls look “pretty” perfect.
9. I wish I knew I didn’t have to respond each time my children complained about something. Sometimes sucking it up and shutting it down is the way to go.
10. When your children are acting out, simply give them a hug.
11. A diet of pasta, pizza and french fries on vacation is perfectly acceptable. I used to stress and then I realized it simply doesn’t matter.
12. So much for Lamaze classes and deep breathing techniques to deal with childbirth. That shit went out the window with the first contraction.
13. In addition to packing your bags pre-labor, make sure your husband is also prepped. Mine spent what seemed like an eternity, shaving and primping while I was bent over with contractions.
14. When all else fails, Dylan’s and Dunkin’ Donuts never hurt no one.
15. I’m still working on this one…mother’s guilt never goes away. At the end of the day, we all try our best.
Any advice you can offer? Please comment below!