I’ve seen the mommy blogs with the cute craft projects and the vegan recipes. I’ve read the posts about connecting with your kids and loving them through bad behavior. I’ve read books about how to be a better parent and even paid for a parenting coach. I’m not one of those moms who can pretend that that mom life is easy. It’s not easy. We’ve established that. There wasn’t a rule book handed to us when we peed on the stick and found out that two lines means two people. Basically, we are all out here raising tiny humans hoping that we don’t screw them up completely. All we do is the best we can.
I definitely don’t have all the answers. I’ve got teenagers and preteens. I’m amazed that I’ve survived this far. With #1 about to turn 18 and graduate high school, I’m realizing I’ve successfully raised one kid to adulthood somehow. Hell, she’s even going to a fancy university with scholarship money and a future goal for life. That’s more than I had at 18, I was not that kid. I must’ve done something right, though I’m not sure what that something was. Ive got two more kids to get there and honestly, I’m not sure how the first one has gotten here. It’s been a hell of a ride. One I won’t be getting off of anytime soon.
My threefold is my heart and soul. Theses girls all are so uniquely different and they all need different things from me as their mom. I’m just winging it. Sometimes I hit it out of the park. On those days I feel like I’m super mom and that no one can top my momma magic. Other days, I’ve been told ‘I hate you and wish you weren’t my mom’ or ‘you are just like dad!’ Those days make me feel like I’m a momster. Kids can make us aim to be our best and they can also bring out our worst. It’s a balancing act.
I have learned a few things from the moms who have it all together. I have implemented a few plays from my parenting coach that have won the day. I also gained a little insight from the books and posts that I found helpful in my mom journey. I’ll save you the money you would spend and give you my informal reviews of some of those that stuck with me through the years.
- “You can’t pour from an empty cup”
- My interpretation: take care of yourself. Self care is NOT going to the Walmart alone to get groceries, stop acting like it is!
- “Even the best parents lie to their kids”
- This is so true! Telling your child your food is spicy because you don’t want to share is a lie. We all lie to our kids to save our sanity, at least a little bit.
- “You’re the boss”
- We wrap our worlds around the needs of little people. At the end sometimes we forget who runs the show. Hold your ground. Don’t negotiate with tiny terrorists.
- “Maybe in mom language is ‘no’, but for kids it’s ‘yes’. Don’t get that twisted.”
- We’ll see and maybe almost always means no or a lack of decision for a parent. Kids however, turn that maybe into a blood oath. They will take that maybe as a way to pester you to the yes they want. Kids know how to manipulate you. It’s better to just say no if you don’t want the harassment.
- “Master the art of blackmail and bribery”
- I can already hear the comments of how little Timmy doesn’t have to be bribed and how we shouldn’t be bribing our kids to get them to do what we want. It’s consequences and rewards. Simple as that blackmail=consequence and bribe=rewards. If little Timmy doesn’t clean his room he doesn’t get ‘x’ if he does clean his room he gets ‘y’. It’s just the sugarcoated version of that. Learn what works to motivate your kids and use it.
- “Presence trumps presents”
- When your child grows up and is looking back at their childhood what do you think will stick out more? The parent who bought them (fill in the blank) or the parent who played barbies on the floor? There are few things that I remember that stand out in the gift department, but I remember the Wednesday night ritual consisted of takeout, watching ‘Survivor’ with my dad just hanging out and laughing.
- “Perception is reality. Validation required”
- Feelings are feelings. They may not be based in truth, but they are uniquely the interpretation of an experience. Being a parent means being understanding and compassionate of a child’s feelings an perspective even when it’s hard to see how they got there, they did. Accept it and help them navigate through their feelings. They can’t be changed just because you disagree.
- “You are their advocate and their voice”
- Speak up and standup for your kids. Sometimes they aren’t able to do it themselves. Show them it’s important to stand firm in what you feel is right. You fight their fights with them.
- “You can be their parent and their friend”
- This one is so controversial. I remember seeing this and it went against everything I had ever heard or thought about parenting. You have to parent them, not placate them. Then I thought about my real friends. The ones who stood by me in the thick of it. They didn’t just coddle me and hold my hand. They told me the truth. Even when I didn’t want to hear it. They smacked sense into me when required. True friends don’t tell you you are right and make you feel better all the time. Sometimes friends make us see how we’ve contributed to our own mess. If you’re a true friend to your child you can parent and be their trusted friend too.
- “Every great mom thinks they are screwing it up!”
- If you are thinking about screwing it up, chances are you’re doing pretty damn good. The fact that you’re worried you aren’t doing well shows you are a good mom who wants to be great. Keep going!
Whether or not my threefold make millions of dollars, become the first woman president, marry a king, or become a famous TikTok influencer means nothing in the way of success. Not to me. I just want my threefold to grow into strong, confident, brave women who know their worth in this great big world. To me, that’s successful parenting. It’s a journey. Last piece of advice…stay positive! We’ve got this! ☮️❤️😊~M