“Thwarting Stick Hitting” by Daniel White :).
The further I venture into the journey of motherhood, the more I reflect on what’s working now and what can stand to be adjusted. In celebration of the privilege of motherhood, I’m sharing my list of opinions, reflections, and thoughts on this part of the journey. Enjoy the ride, fellow mamas!
1) Love this child just as he or she is, not as you want them to be. Follow Mr. Roger’s advice and tell that baby, “I like you just the way you are,” and mean it with your whole heart.
2) Do not take advantage of the life that has been entrusted to your care. Children will grow into adults one day and they will remember both what was said and how they were made to feel.
3) Provide children with time to do nothing. There is never something going on 100% of the time in adulthood, and to find that out for the first time as an adult is kind of daunting in a panicked sort of way. When you refrain from overloading the day, the opportunity to think and process the day can present itself.
4) At the same time, do not let “doing nothing” default to overusing technology. This article describes how today’s teenagers are far more socially inept than their social media accounts would lead you to believe. The suggests that technological “advances” are to blame for this, but a lot could also be said for lazy parenting.
5) Family movie nights, however, are the perfect marriage between technology and togetherness. Children’s movies and educational shows are (usually) so good, especially for my own sensitive mind and heart. It’s just nice to watch something nice. You’ll most likely watch the same favorites over and over, so even if you don’t like it initially, don’t worry! After the first 8 viewings you’ll have learned to like it even better than your child does, ha! As an added bonus (and my favorite outcome), all family members will be able to quote the movie’s best lines and sing all of the songs – a real opportunity to develop your singing and acting skills!
6) There are moments in which I watch my child contemplate throwing his spaghetti across the room. There are then moments in which I contemplate intervening, but realize that I am too tired for a fight and that it will take less energy for me to just let him throw it and then clean the mess up. So, yes, picking your battles is a real thing.
7) Disciplining children is tough. There’s a very fine line of not enough and too much, and the line is constantly moving based on the circumstances at hand. Knowing how to discipline well is in and of itself a discipline, and it seems that we will get about 18 years to practice.
8) Read, read, read, and read some more with your child. Read real, physical, hold-in-your-hand books. Knowing how to speak, read, and write English well is not a given simply because of being born in America. There are nuances to the language – to and too, for starts. The ability to command language is what sets humans apart from animals; being educated is a wonderful gift that leads to marvelous opportunities.
9) Personally, I appreciate that my parents exposed me to good music regularly when I was growing up. I like knowing that Jackson Browne was behind Running on Empty, in addition to recognizing the theme from Carmen. I wouldn’t know about classic music without having had someone to teach me, and the classics are not going anywhere, ever. There is nothing quite like the joy of scanning through radio channels and being pleasantly surprised when stumbling upon Bob Marley.
10) Each day is an opportunity to be better than you were the day before. If you pay attention then you will know exactly the area that needs improvement today.