Tag Archives: rearing children

Mom Power

Experienced Mom lesson #2

By the time the children are teenagers and older, most moms feel fairly confident in their mom skills. They should. After 20 years or so, moms have heard it all, seen it all, and “been there, done that.”

If I hear a new mom complaining or wondering about some small child woe, I pipe right in with all the wisdom of my 20+ years of mothering.

New moms might not like hearing the truth, but hey! I’m just trying to help!

mom10jpgHere’s what I’ve learned so far ( and I know I have a whole lot more learning ahead when my children have children of their own.)

  • Every stain can be removed! The question is how long are you willing to work at it?
  • You must learn to multi-task or nothing will ever get done
  • If there’s a sharp corner in your home a toddler will fall into it.
  • Don’t buy white-upholstered furniture.
  • Always have enough gas in the car to drive to the emergency room.
  • Don’t tell siblings to “love each other.” They’ll just rebel. Allow that feeling to grow on its own. It may take many years.
  • Work on perfecting “The Look” while they are very young. It serves a mother well when children need to be reprimanded/warned quietly in public.
  • You cannot treat your children equally because they are different. The exception: When they are younger you MUST buy each the exact same number of Christmas gifts. When they are older—beware! They will add up $$$ amounts in their head.
  • If children are permitted to get away with sassing, disobedience, & disrespect when they are 2-yrs old—it will be virtually impossible to change the learned behavior when they hit their teens. What’s “cute” when they’re little will prove disastrous when  older.
  • Don’t cave in to food demands.You’ll only create picky eaters.
  • Children lie. Teenagers lie. Young adults lie.
  • Moms need to lie to their children sometimes.
  • Learn the body language indicators each child has when they lie.  NEVER tell them how you know. NEVER.
  • Children learn from what you DO and how you ACT. Every day. Every hour. Every second. That means you must be a role model. (Scary, right?)
  • Being the “mean mom” takes courage and will break your heart but you have to do it.
  • Be prepared to be hated.
  • Your child shouldn’t be your friend until they are an adult.
  • Don’t  think that boys are “this way” and girls are “that way.” Personality determines traits more than gender.
  • Teach children to do things for themselves.
  • Make them do a chore/task over until they get it right! Not completing the task or doing it poorly is just their way of getting out of it in the future.
  • Don’t do their homework for them. As a teacher, I can assure you that your child was   taught the skill in class before it was assigned as homework. Maybe next time they’ll pay attention.
  • Let your child experience failure. Failure is necessary in life—without it we would never learn anything.
  • Use humor when possible.
  • Pick your battles carefully.
  • Teenagers will go to great lengths to get a rise out of you. Don’t fall for it. Green hair? Whatever.
  • Don’t argue with them. A broken rule has consequences. End of discussion.
  • Give lots of hugs.
  • Use humor. Frequently.

Remember, you may not see the rewards for being the best mom you can be for many years.

Any experienced mom wisdom you’d like to share?

Related Posts: Mom Musings

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Lost Years

sam“Mom, do remember when I cut my first tooth?”
Nope.
“Hey Mom, how old was I when I took my first steps?”
Um…don’t recall.
“Yo Ma,  do you remember when we buried my pet lizard?”
You had a pet lizard?

My children call it senility ( for which I am far too young). I have a different name for the harrowing years when there were 4 young children running around the house.

The Lost Years!

The children were not lost–and that was no small feat, mind you–but there is a period of about 5 years ( maybe more) when I simply have very little memory of…anything.

Four children will do that to you!

Although…I do recall the following:
1. changing diaper after diaper after diaper after diaper after.. ad infinitum
2. endless loads of laundry
3. screaming and crying from the back seat ( kiddos)
4. screaming and crying from the front seat ( me)
5. puke and mucus ( good times)
6. running frantically through Target looking for the “one that got away”
7. hearing “clean-up in isle 7” and knowing which child was responsible
8. grocery shopping with 2 in the cart, one in a front pack, and “oh,crap, where’s the oldest?” ( see #6)
9. watching every Disney movie so many times the songs and characters continue to haunt my dreams.
10. my bare feet stepping on plastic army men/Barbie shoes/ Legos/ action figures ( difficult to see when one is carrying a mountain of laundry)
11. helping with homework while simultaneously nursing and making dinner
12. brightly colored plastic things in every room of the house
13. not dining out  because someone couldn’t sit down for more than 5 minutes at a time
14. driving to activity after activity after activity after activity after…”to infinity and beyond”
15. taking 10-15 minutes to harness, buckle, snap everyone into a car seat ( there was always a troublemaker who employed the evasive back-arching move)

 

“But Mom, don’t you remember the good times?” They ask after I rattle off the list of my fondest ( cough, cough ) memories.

Oh, sure! I lie. Lots of good times!  But I have much better times now that you’re older.

The oldest is lucky! My brain wasn’t so mushy with him. I even kept a baby book, wrote in it diligently,chronicled every tooth, cute word, adorable behavior– for the first year.

Then sis came along.  I bought a baby book for her, too.  It has: 1) an ultra sound photo; 2) a shower invitation; 2) hospital newborn footprint; and 4) a 3rd grade photo.

Children 3 and 4 have no baby book. So sad.

Sometimes when all the kiddos are together they like to drag out the photo album. Taking photos  wasn’t so simple then. One needed a camera..and film..and the film had to be developed. I’m surprised we have so many photos ( they enhance memory).

The time went by so fast! One day they’re in diapers and the next…

“Hey mom, who’s gonna change your diapers when you get old?”
You are!

The looks they give me?  Priceless! 

Related Posts:

Experienced Mom lesson #1

Children!
Baby. Toddler. Pre-schooler. Elementary  Pre-teen. Teen. Adult. Older Adult.
Ah, those were the days! Mom-solvable problems.

Ah, those were the days! Mom-solvable problems.

It doesn’t matter their age, each stage comes with its own set of unique problems, frustrations, and joys.

Last week during lunch break, a fellow teacher asked, “When does raising kids get easier?”

I had a choice. Lie. Or set her straight. A lie would make her feel better. The cold hard truth would be most upsetting.

I felt like a little drama that day.

“It doesn’t! It gets worse!” I had a big smile plastered on my face–part sympathy, part pity, part smug know-it-all.

“Worse? How can that be? I’ve been up all night with a sick kid, changing diapers, and cleaning vomit from the bedding and carpet!”

My grandfather used to say this: Little children, little problems. Big children, big problems.

I & AI didn’t know what he meant back then, but I do now. First hand experience! It’s a doozy!

(And when I call my mom to b**** about something, I remember that her kid problems haven’t ended either. My pain is her pain.)

Mom has her own saying: A mother is only as happy as her most miserable child.

Depressing, isn’t it?  But I didn’t go into that during our lunch hour– I mean, the woman had to teach for three more hours–so I couldn’t totally crush her spirit.

So instead, I gave her Experienced Mom lesson #1.

“It gets more difficult. The problems  and worries and aggravations change. There will be be boo-boos you can’t kiss to make feel better.Homework you aren’t able to help them with. Friends who are unknown to you. Failures you must let them experience on their own.

And sleeping through the night? Talk to any parent of a teenager and ask them how well they sleep knowing their teenager is driving a metallic death machine. Teen problems are extra angst-filled because there’s precious little a parent can do to change their child’s behavior. Time Outs don’t work. Teens like them! Cuz they don’t like us much anyway during those years. (And that’s putting it mildly.)

  • Teens are Masters of Hyperbole: “Everyone is going to the dance.” “The teacher hates me.” “I’ll die without my phone.”
  • Experts at Subterfuge. Classy to trashy attire switcheroos at a friend’s house. Secret trips to get a belly button piercing.
  • Excellent Liars: “I don’t have any homework.” “I was only holding the joint for a friend.” “Sex? No way.” “I swear I turned the essay in.” “Yes, I am enrolled full-time.” “They haven’t posted the grades yet.”
  • Specialists at Passive/Aggressive behavior: For example, there is no way a parent can make a child do homework or pay attention in class.

samYou don’t stop being a parent when your child is an adult either. There are still late night  interruptions and last minute surprises. Plans cut short because some kid needs you NOW.

No, rearing children doesn’t get any easier. Sorry.”

“But…but… something…something must get better…Something?”  my friend asked, horrified by my words.

“The frustrations get worse. But the joys become greater. That’s the good part.”

There’s a reason why parents cry at their children’s graduation, wedding, or birth of the first grandchild. There’s a lifetime of memories attached to those tears.

Bad. Sad. Good. Happy.

“I wouldn’t trade all those memories for anything!”