The Road of Motherhood

There are many types of parenting styles.
I’ve discussed them before and the one that’s best is the one that works for you.

As I’ve walked along in my motherhood journey I’m discovering a few things about myself.
1) I am very much like my mother, and I like it.
2) I can overcome things I’ve struggled with, for my children.
3) I parent for my children, not for what others will think of me.

Often times we hear one of two things about our mothers. One is that people want to be nothing like their mothers. They want to take a completely different direction than the one with which they were raised. The other category, the one I fall into, is that I’ve come around to the notion that my mom tends to know what she’s talking about.
-When I dated that guy in HS and College, and the one after him and she said they were not a good fit and that I needed someone to compliment me. She was right.
-When she told me that I needed to get my rear in gear as I was the one in charge of my future. She was right.
-When she said Mimi-style blue eye shadow was definitely not my color. She was right.
Now, it’s taken me, and probably some of you, longer than it should have to realize the wisdom in our mother’s words. They’ve been there, they’ve lived it and they share it with us. It’s up to us to hear and take the pieces of their knowledge that apply to our lives.
As I grow into my role as a mother I realize that my values and my priorities align much more with those of my mother and those that helped to shape who I am.

I’ve briefly mentioned that I struggle with new things. When I say I struggle, I mean more specifically that I completely avoid them for fear of being unable to cope. I believe they call this a form of anxiety. I won’t take the Metro. I have a hard time in unknown places with loads of strangers. I also get nervous in the days prior to an event if I don’t know what to expect. I have control issues. I like to know what’s going to happen so I can plan for it and be prepared. Bye Bye spontaneity.
After having children I’ve been able to experience situations that are completely out of my control. For instance, both of their births. The true times I’ve been able to release all control of a situation and allow someone else to take the reigns.
I also have been able to participate in certain aspects that would have previously caused me stress or worry. Pumpkinville, Mommy-Blogger Conference-solo, Christmas Light Display, all of these events would have previously caused me to consider canceling them for the anxiety they brought. But, if I decided not to go, my children would miss out of exciting adventures, experiences and learning endeavors. Am I selfish enough to allow my feelings of unrest to detract from the full lives they could experience? No. I’m not. I’m bigger and stronger than my fear and I’m super excited each time I successfully participate in a new experience without issue. Someday I will ride the metro again… just maybe not today. Baby steps.

Parenting isn’t always popular. As in, the choices we make as parents are not always popular choices with our kids, our families or our peers. The decisions Hubs and I make as parents are in direct relation to the outcome we wish for our children. We do not parent in a way that will bring the notoriety or prestige of being known as good parents (I’m lucky if their clothes match and their food is definitely not presented in the shape of Big Ben or something. Go away Pinterest). We parent in a way that is specific to the needs of our growing and changing children. It may mean that we make unpopular choices due to schedules or their needs but in the end, we make these choices for the health, safety, happiness and development of the two most important people in our lives. We happen to be very lucky that though our decisions are not always in line with the plans of our families, they are very open and receptive to the needs of our little ones. I understand the guilt that comes from parenting between me and hubs. Imagine how much worse if someone else were to make you feel guilty. Yikes. Everyone does things differently and I believe the key to successful parenting is to surround yourself with positive peers.

My journey is just beginning and I’m sure I’ll continue to discover things about my style and values of parenting but in the meantime, I’m happy with where I’m headed.

Be Great,
M

13 thoughts on “The Road of Motherhood

  1. I’m not a parent yet, so I can’t make any claims about my parenting. But I do know, as a teacher, how difficult it is to balance 1) what is good for your kids and 2) remembering you have an audience of people watching.

    As a special education teacher, I’m faced with a lot of behavioral challenges. I distinctly remember a time last year when one of my students (who was also diagnosed as emotionally disturbed) was having an episode where he was tearing things off the front of the classroom door, yelling and screaming and trying to get my attention. I put a lot of thought into his behavior plan and one of the things on his plan was to remind him every few minutes that we would help him make safer choices and we were here for him when he was ready to communicate, but we wouldn’t give him any attention during these “attention-seeking” moments. So, as I stood in front of the classroom door, keeping an eye on him from afar as he stood in the hallway screaming and ripping things off the side door, I had a lot of parents pass by wondering why I wasn’t “taking care of the situation.” Why was I standing there ignoring this behavior? Why wasn’t I intervening and putting an end to it?

    They didn’t know the context. They didn’t know that part of the plan was to ignore these episodes and give him the attention he was so desperately seeking when he was following his chart/showing appropriate behavior.

    It’s such a tricky thing to balance. But, at the end of the day, I’m not putting on a show. I’m doing my job and I’m prioritizing my kids. Even if the people watching are silently judging me.

  2. Great thoughts, Meg! I’m not a mother now, but I hope to be blessed with children someday. I often picture what sort of parent I will be, and when I see other moms around me make parenting decisions, I wonder, “what will I do in that situation?” Of course, it’s all speculation at this point. 🙂
    I have a good relationship with my parents, and I can recognize some great rules they put in place for us as kids and values they impressed upon us. I can also recognize some of their shortfalls. I think the goal is always to keep getting better. I had a good childhood and was blessed to have grown up in a loving home. We didn’t want for much, but weren’t spoiled either. Some practices of my parents I will want to emulate as a parent someday, and there are other aspects in which I hope to parent better. There are some other values I’ve picked up as an adult that I will want to impress upon my children, and of course there will be generational adjustments as well.
    Great post, and good things to think about.

  3. I could not be more proud of the strong, genuine, kind and patient woman you have become. And, I love watching you grow, every day. I am bessed to have you in my life.

  4. It is a great feeling to be like my Mum. She is the epitome of incredible and I am proud when people say i’m just like her. I don’t have children yet, but it would be great if my child wanted to be like me. Parenting is difficult and of course you will second guess your decisions, but if you children are content, than you are doing something right.

  5. Thanks for writing this! Parenthood is definitely one of the hardest thing that a person can ever do. It’s not something that anyone looking in can possibly understand fully – even if they have kids of their own. Each child, each family, each specific set of circumstances differs from the next and we all need to show grace and understanding for one another! You’ve got this mama!

  6. I’m not a mother, but I can totally realte to finally reaslizing when your mom knew what she was talking about! I call my mom all the time now with decisions I face and just times when I need an opinion I can trust!

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