I struggled with where to take this post for quite awhile. Do I give a Mother’s Day boost, letting you know how amazing you mamas are, (which is so true), do I give some advice, do I talk about the celebration for some, yet pain for others, when approaching this holiday? I typed and deleted several times over. Then I started to think about my own experiences as a mom and what I’m learning about motherhood. I let my thoughts flow organically and I began to type yet again. I hope you find my words helpful, yet raw and authentic.
When Your Days Throw You Curveballs
This past week, I am pretty sure I made the scene of a lifetime at Target. Our son Graham, just turned 3. He pulls on a soft spot in my heart, and we have this mother son bond that I never understood until having a boy. But goodness ya’ll, he can throw me some curveballs sometimes.
Graham is super protective of me. How I wear my hair, what outfit I choose. If he doesn’t like something, he will let me know, with passion mind you. So, while at Target, I pulled a swimsuit off the rack to try on and he didn’t like the swimsuit. He let me know very loudly and with much emotion. His outburst carried on through the dressing room, and he ramped it up about 5 levels at the checkout line and through the parking lot. If any of you were at the Target in South Charlotte last week on this particular day, you would have known I was there, we’ll just leave it at that! When I finally got him buckled into his carseat and he fell asleep from pure exhaustion, I called my husband at work and just about started to cry.
In that moment, I had no clue what discipline would even touch the behavior he just had. How would he truly understand the depth of how inappropriate his actions were. I felt completely clueless on how to actually handle this situation in the heat of the moment.
Now let me shift gears to our daughter. She is our very passionate and determined child, which I LOVE! The girl is going to do amazing things some day because when she sets her mind to something, she is determined to do it, and to the best of her abilities. This is an amazing trait, but also poses some challenges at times.
For a season, she would get very determined to do something and if she couldn’t quite do it, it would result in a lot of negative emotions and outbursts. We would then discipline her as a result of her outbursts. Until one day, a lightbulb went off in our heads and we realized, she would get herself so worked up, disciplining her did nothing. She needed legitimate help calming down, and furthermore, help intercepting these emotions before they got out of hand. This was a very big deal in our house for awhile, to the point we were getting concerned about it. I read so many articles trying to find the best technique that may help us through this season, but we had either tried everything I had read about, or it didn’t quite pinpoint what we were dealing with.
What I’m Learning About Motherhood Through These Examples
No matter how many parenting books, blog posts, and articles you read, sometimes your days just throws you curveballs. I am in no way putting down parenting resources, they are GREAT! We all need them and use them through every parenting stage!
But, when my son is having a complete meltdown in the middle of Target and I can’t discipline him the way I would discipline him at home, and I literally can’t even pick him up to remove him from the situation, I have to come up with Plan C, quick.
When my daughter couldn’t control her emotions, I would discipline her, thinking she was throwing a “fit.” Until we realized, this was not helping her, it was making it worse. She needed our actual HELP to calm down and intercept these emotions before they climaxed. Through these hard yet very real mom life situations, I have learned a lot about motherhood.
Your kids have their own unique personalities, and you have to navigate through these situations the best you know how. By taking the foundation of discipline you have set for your family, and implementing these tools in the best way possible in that particular situation. Without the mom guilt! I had the worst mom guilt once I realized, our response to Brylee’s outbursts were the complete opposite of what we should have been doing. But you know what, it was a learning experience, and that’s ok! And we would have never known how to handle her personality in situations like these, without going through it first hand.
Because I am Not a Parenting Expert
You won’t hear me talk much about parenting advice on the blog. Why? Because I am just like all of you, still figuring it out! Last weekend we were in Charleston with my extended family. As my mind was thinking about this blog post, I decided to ask the wise and seasoned moms in my life, what some of their simple parenting advice was. Below, are some very simple yet so helpful tips from my own mom, grandma, and aunts. They all have obviously grown children now, and have so much wisdom because they have lived out all of the seasons of parenting.
- The night before, let your kids choose from 2-3 outfits for school, don’t let them pick form the closet. By letting them choose from 2-3 outfits, you are still giving them control, without it becoming overwhelming.
- Your kids might make a mess and cause a lot of clean up, but let them use their imagination and be creative. It’s better than video games and tv.
- Keep extra poster board for last minute projects your kids tell you about at 8pm the night before. Keep a brownie mix, peanut butter, and condiments always in supply at home.
- Don’t bail your kids out of natural consequences, but let it be a learning time.
- Always follow through with the discipline you say you’re going to do, followed by a hug and “I love you.”
- It’s better to coach than to discipline. For example, you’re on your way to church and you coach the kids that if someone says you look nice, you tell them thank you. Instead of getting in the car after the fact, and telling them it wasn’t nice not to say thank you.
- Have one night a week that is a family night and do something fun that your kids enjoy doing.
- If you have an anxious child who has a hard time making decisions, like picking a meal off of a menu at a restaurant, look at the menu the night before. Talk through it, and make a decision so you know what you’re getting at the restaurant.
- Make chores a privilege instead of a demand. For example, I am going to let you pick up your toys, instead of, go pick up your toys.
- Don’t let your children hear you talk negative about people.
- Attach value to things kids do. For example, throwing food on the floor at a restaurant causes the owner to have to pay someone to clean up your mess.
- If your kids have special toys you don’t want broken or played with during play dates, put them away so it doesn’t become an issue while your guests are over.
Let Me Bring This Home For You
No matter what stage of mom life you are in, kids are kids, and they will throw you some curveballs at times! This doesn’t mean you haven’t read enough books or you don’t know what you’re doing. Don’t let that mom guilt get in your head. You are raising humans, and that is amazing!! A step by step, here’s how you handle EVERY situation, is not laid out for us. Sure, we have tools to help us. But know that if you are implementing what you know and LOVING your kids to the best of your abilities you are doing an AMAZING job, and you deserve so much celebration on this Mother’s Day. So take pride in what you do, own it, and embrace each moment. Even the hard ones are worth it because you often learn so much.
Happy Mothers Day sweet mama’s. Feel loved and so appreciated this weekend!