As a mom of four, I have learned a lot in a short time. I am by no means an expert. My oldest is only 9, and so I know I have years of learning ahead. Over these short years, I have discovered a lot of truths regarding motherhood, some hard to admit.
1. Are you feeling guilty for wanting to run away at times? Don’t. We can only handle so much.
2. Moms who spend time putting other moms down for their choices are more than likely the most insecure ones.
3. Using the phrase “at least” is a bad idea. We all have it hard. When you say “at least” you are minimizing the other person’s feelings. We all deserve to vent.
4. Everybody has different body types. Chances are, your body will not be the same after children. That is not a fault. Ignore the messages and pressures to get your “body back.”
5. Their gifts are not your gifts. So what if you can’t throw together an elaborate party or create the best crafts? Those may not be your gifts. You have your own. Don’t put someone down for their party, crafts, or decor. That’s their thing. Own your own.
6. Your children’s delays or setbacks are not a reflection of how good a mom you are. At a year old, my oldest could not sit, unsupported. At 5, she began walking without her walker. I advocated, sought help, and helped her reach her fullest potential. We aren’t failing our children; we are helping them thrive.
7. Ask for her number. She probably wants to ask for yours. At the same time, rejection sucks. It’s not a reflection on who you are. Some people aren’t meant to be your friend.
8. Throw out the word “should.” A therapist once made this suggestion. It changed my outlook and the way I think.
9. The number of children a mother has does not define how much she has it together. As a mom of four, I hear this a lot. I am so far from having my stuff together. I did not have more children with the idea I had a handle on life.
10. Encourage a random mom in public. You will feel good. You will make her day.
11. Don’t make your house spotless for playdates. Your friends won’t care. They’ll feel better about their own.
12. Don’t explain why you make the choices you make. You don’t need to justify how you feed your baby or how you gave birth. You owe no one an explanation.
13. Don’t apologize for who you are.
14. You don’t see the behind the scenes on social media. What is it going to take for us to realize this?
15. You don’t need to sweep your feelings under the rug if you are having a bad day. You don’t need to bottle up your frustrations because someone has it worse. Some do have it worse. However, your feelings are valid. Motherhood is hard.
16. Laugh at your mess-ups.
17. Children are the most forgiving creatures on this planet. When we feel like we messed our children up by the yelling, angry words, and our actions, they look past our mess-ups. They still love us unconditionally.
18. Children can drive us to the brink of insanity. The meltdowns over the wrong colored cup, the messes, the temper tantrums are maddening. But they are children. We need to take a step back and know they are not trying to make us angry.
19. It’s great to hear other’s experiences but do not entirely count on them. Each of us finds different aspects of parenthood more challenging than others. An easy age for one parent is the worst for another. A transition from one number of children to the next is not the same for everyone.
20. Motivational books and inspirational quotes are ok but, your children validate you are a wonderful mother. Look to them for reassurance.