I used to joke that I was a mediocre mom.
It was always sort of tongue in cheek and jokey-jokey, but there was some truth to it for me.
I’ve always feel like I can do more. Give more, try harder, actually enjoy a school project, not be late to any appointments and then blame it on my kids even though they were standing by the car waiting for me, make real food for dinner.
It’s the age old mom guilt monster that is constantly rearing it’s ugly head and telling me that my trying hard isn’t hard enough and that I can’t stop until I do all of the things for all of the people (and dogs) all of the time. It is exhausting. But also, rewarding. If I’m honest (and y’all know I always am),I kind like being that person for my family.
Sometimes I think I just get in a rut. A mediocre parenting rut. I feel like maybe we all do. At least that’s what I tell myself. For the feel betters.
Fortunately, I have a legacy of good mothering to help pull me through my lesser moments.
My mother, known far and wide both online and off as Mimi, is an amazing person. She’s caring and honest and brave and smart. She’s kind to those in need, she is a voice for those who need one, and she is selfless, almost to a fault.
I am only even mediocre at raising these Dudes because I have her guidance and experience to call on when I need help. Or daily. As the case may be.
You know how people say it takes a village to raise a child? I say nope, it takes a Mimi. Mimi is my village. She is responsible for unstoppable.
Now, (I know you’re reading this, Mom) this is not me saying she’s always right (she’s not) or that we don’t have disagreements (we do), it’s just to say that I appreciate her insight, her support, and her willingness to provide guidance and companionship to me and my family in a way that is not overbearing or selfish. She isn’t such an integral part of our lives because it makes her feel better, she’s here because it makes US better.
I trust her to be objective when I can’t be, to be level headed when I’m freaking out, to be the voice of reason when I am being entirely unreasonable. I am so thankful for her positive presence in my life and I hope I can one day be that person for my boys. I plan to figure out how she does it by then.
She says it’s because she had a good mom, I just say thank you.
It’s hard to pinpoint the things she’s done and the parenting tips she’s shared that have made the most impact on my life, but here are a few things that come to mind.
5 Things My Mother Has Taught Me About Parenting
1. Trust your instincts. You know yourself and your baby better than anyone and experience is often as useful as medical science. Although, note: just because your granny says shaving your baby’s head is the only way to ensure they have a thick mane by age 2 does NOT mean you have to. I’d go with science on that one.
2. Sometimes you make mistakes. You aren’t perfect and you pretending to be is annoying. Learn how to say you were wrong and to apologize. Your kids will learn a lot more from that than from you being all delusional and stuff.
3. Your children want to be disciplined. They want guidance and consequences and lessons and even punishment. Maybe not while you’re hiding the tablet they’re punished from in the glove box of your car, but one day, when they need a lesson to call on and integrity to live a good life, they will wish you cared enough to do the hard stuff. Discipline makes people great, it just does.
4. Taking care of yourself is part of being a good mother. Funny story here, I actually feel like I learned this lesson by watching my mother NOT do an awesome job at this. I remember when I was young how she sacrificed so many things for me and my brother, including her own happiness, health, and well being. I know that she is happy with her choices, and I appreciate every single sacrifice she made on my behalf, but I also think that seeing her happy and feeling that she loved herself as much as she loved us would’ve had a powerful impact on my own development as a woman. I struggle still with self love and self worth and it’s something that I think is important for my boys to witness so they can learn to do it themselves. I want them to know that self care is an important part of healthy parenting so that they will feel able to give it to themselves and encourage their wives to do it too. You’re welcome future wives, feel free to make me a lady baby.
5. Sometimes, you have to roar. At your children, about your children, for your children. Sometimes parenting means letting your kids and the world know that you are there for them, even when they don’t want you to be, even when it’s hard. It means that you will advocate for what’s best for them, and that you aren’t going to let fear or judgments of others distract you from your goal. Mimi is really good at roaring, I think I am getting there.
Children’s MOTRIN® asked us to remind you about the importance of your mothering legacy.
Who makes you an unstoppable mom? Your mom? Your grandmother? A neighbor? Your best friend?!
You and your kids can celebrate this woman by visiting Children’s MOTRIN® to create a storybook cover like the one Dude made for me…
It’s a great way to honor someone you love and, when you do it, you also give back! For each book created, Scholastic will donate a book to a child in need.
Look at you, spreading love & literacy all at the same time!
Disclosure: I have been compensated by and received information and materials from, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc., McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division, the makers of Children’s MOTRIN®. The opinions stated are my own. This is a sponsored post.