Yesterday Was Mother’s Day

Yesterday was Mother’s Day. The one day a year mothers around the world are mostly likely to be given their flowers for all of the hard work they do. But what about those days when they feel like what they’re doing isn’t almost enough. Or when they feels guilty for not being able to fulfill everyone’s expectations of how they should be a mother. And the days when they can’t be present because they’re stuck in plan and work mode.

I chose to use May’s blog to share some tips from some of the mom’s in my life! I’ve said it many times and will continue to acknowledge that this is a job nothing can prepare you for, but the job itself. Being a mother is unlike anything and there’s significant power to be found in doing the job and doing it well! When the filling aroma of being complimented for a day fades away, use this list as a reference to remind yourself that you’ve got this! We will all make mistakes. But the power lies in our choices to get up daily and choose to be the best mommy to the people we brought into this world. Be open to help and take your MUCH NEEDED breaks!

  1. “Set aside “me time.” It’s important to not get lost in parenting and completely forget about yourself + your wants/needs. It can be something as simple as going for a walk around the neighborhood or getting a sitter and doing absolutely nothing for a few hours. Do it and do it frequently. It’s what you deserve and you’ll thank yourself in the long run.” – Mayra.

2. “Always listen to your child. Be understanding. Always be open to the things that they bring to you, (conversations, problems, etc.)” – Tamika.

3. “The one advice I would give is to ASK FOR HELP! When I first became a mom, I felt like no one could take care of my child like I could. As true as that may be, I couldn’t do it all by myself. Inevitably it led to insomnia, unnecessary outbursts towards the wrong people, and depression. I had people try to help and I wouldn’t accept it. It wasn’t until I was at my wit’s end that I had to ask my husband for help, and thank God he was more than willing. All I had to do was ask. As mothers we want to be superwoman and we are more than capable of doing so, but that doesn’t leave much room for us to take care of ourselves like we should. It’s okay to need a break. If you feel like you have no one in your corner to come and help, pray and ask God for help! Regardless of who we turn to, we have to get help from somewhere so we aren’t stretching ourselves too thin. We have to love ourselves enough to know when it’s time to take a step back. When we give ourselves the opportunity to relax and breathe for a minute, we can come back ready to love our children like they deserve. Being a mom is a FULL TIME JOB, but taking the time to enjoy a long bath, go for a walk, or even go out for a night allows us to be the best that we can and ensures we’re putting 100% effort into this job we’ll have for the rest of our lives.” – Christian.

4. “Stop having so many expectations for parenting. You can literally say what you will and won’t do and you truly won’t know what to do or how you will react until you’re fully in that situation. I would also say to utilize the help that is offered to you..don’t think you can do it on your own.” – Taja.

5. “Take that nap. Often we use our free time doing more chores, exhausted and all because that’s what moms do. Take the nap, your body and children will thank you for it.” – Teairra.

6. “I’d suggest the importance of building intrinsic value into our children. I recently read about how we often build value but without thinking, it’s built within us. Our children end up working hard or obtaining success to make US proud, when in actuality, the work is for them. They should feel happiness and joy for themselves when they accomplish things. I personally feel in our world today, this is what’s missing in the youth. Their heads should always be held high with the real sense of “yeah, I did that.” Teach them how to brag differently cause what some are proud of these days, ain’t it!” – Tracey.

7. “Figure out what works best for you and your family. I know sometimes it can be hard to break away from the practices that raised you, but just because your parents did it, doesn’t mean it’ll work for the family that you’ve created. Love your children unconditionally, but don’t forget to love on yourself as well.” – Laikeya

8. “Remember to take care of yourself too. If you’re not good within, you’re no good to your child. It is okay to enjoy in some self care.” – Tionna

9. Read this blog post & read it again. If I could offer the last tip it’d be to notice the pattern in what these mommies offered in their answers. All from different spaces and walks of life, yet similar tips they either wish someone would have given them and/or tips they couldn’t imagine parenting without. Rest. Reset. & always remember that without your strength and happiness, you have little to nothing to offer to your little child(ren).

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“Oh Sh*t!”

Your kids trying to be like you and mimicking your every move can be the most adorable thing. That is until you’re in the car, police sirens go off, and your two year old is throwing his hands up yelling, “oh sh*t, it’s the police.” Or when that same two year old is shocked by your action and responds slowly asking, “what the hell?!” And while some may find humor in this, I wanted to use my experience to remind mommies this month to be mindful of what you say and expose your children to. Having a potty mouth is not the only thing I have unconsciously rubbed off on Aiden. He has also threatened to “whoop my butt” for saying things like “shut up,” and has even started telling me, at two years old, what he doesn’t care about. Of course his every action is not necessarily something that he got from me or even his dad. However, seeing that parents are the closest and most influential for their children, I think it is important to remember they are watching and learning from us on a daily basis.

When I first noticed his sponge like behavior it was during moments of him saying things like, “are you kidding me?!” or “I’m dead,” to insinuate that he thought something was funny. This did not cause me to be more mindful because I was trying to convince myself of him being too young to start reallytesting the waters. It was not until he started doing things like telling me to lay down before I get in trouble or telling me what “gets on his nerves,” that I paused and realized that I should start taking what he’s exposed to just a tad bit more serious. He has slowly but surely fell into his phase of repeating everything he sees. He is learning independence and in that process, both appropriate and not so appropriate behaviors are being copied as he finds his way into who he’s going to be.

I did not believe that at two he’d start wanting to brush his own teeth, wash his own face, put on his own clothes, and at least attempt to make his own bed. Let alone, would know how to use cuss words in the correct context or repeat stories with extreme detail. I truly thought that I had a couple more years, which I’d assume many parents make the mistake of thinking. And sure, I have always been told “they are watching” or that “kids are sponges,” but it’s not something that resonates when you’re going through the motions of day to day living.

They are not too young to understand and on the other hand, it’s not fair to punish them for things that YOU are teaching them, whether unconsciously or consciously. My experience these last couple months have made me think about how I always hear parents say things like kids are being “too grown,” or punishing their kids for behaviors that they have only learned from adults. I want to challenge parents to instead start thinking about and looking at their behaviors and where they are learning them. It may be time for you to take the exposure more serious. From yourself, the people you allow around your child, as well as what you’re allowing the media to expose to them. It is great when Aiden’s asking to wear my glasses to read, when he’s asking if I’m ok when distressed, and telling me “it’s ok” when I apologize. But, as parents it is important to remember that those cute things are not the only things that they are soaking in.