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An Open Letter to My Daughter Becoming a Mom

Dear Sweet Little Love,

I feel like it wasn’t too terribly long ago that I looked into your beautiful baby blue eyes and saw this new life in you that made me a mom. A little nose like mine and strawberry fuzz that covered your crown. You were magnificent and I knew that I too was reborn that day. You made me a momma, and in your little face I had found my truest love to date.

I was only 19, barely on my own path and I was suddenly diving headfirst into a world that previously had involved the occasional messy diaper and few other minor inconveniences that my babysitting jobs entailed. I had no experience with your tiniest of frames at 17 1/2″ and 6lb 8oz you were much like a baby doll i had once drug around as a small child.

I was just a baby myself, much like you are now, my sweet little love. I was freshly plucked from my fast life as a teenager and tossed into this world of Motherhood. I was grateful beyond measure for a family that a seasoned pro ready to spoil her first grandchild and a poppa who thought you hung the moon. Foe the first time, I saw how hard it was to be the mom. It was an appreciation I hadn’t known prior to your arrival.

Here we are, a mere 18 years later and I’m standing the shoes your Nana once wore, without her here pushing me on. I watch as your still tiny frame tries to accommodate your own little girl. I never thought about being a Nona, Mimi, Nana, or a Mamaw past that “one day” assumption. Yet here we stand. Footsteps that I didn’t wish for you to follow. A path that’s hard to tread at your young age.

Everything will be harder. It will, however, be clearer. You’ve already decided certain aspects of this little person’s life that will impact their life for the future. A name, a nickname, where you’ll live and all things you want, hope, and dream she will be. However, who she is will be shaped and determined by the paths we as the family who surrounds her chooses to take. As you know, my little love, children are most often along for the journey chosen by those who raise her.

I hope with your own journey in mind that you know this much is true. I am here. I am still your momma even as you become a momma yourself. I can still kiss the boo boo’s, but I can’t take the falls. I can hold you as you scream, but no matter my desire I can’t shoulder the pain. I can guide you, show you and teach you the lessons I’ve learned but I can’t transfer the experience. I can be like the grandmother that was taken from you 14 years ago, but I will never be Nana you knew, nor the momma you are now.

Life has thrown us a lot of punches. We’ve taken the hits and learned to fight back. You and I grew up together, myself as much as you. I was forced to walk this road down Motherhood lane much on my own. I haven’t been the mother you deserved, nor always the one you needed me to be, but I’ve been the best I knew how to be. You, my little love, will too. Mommin’ aint easy, but I’ll be here for you, with you, and loving you through it as long as I live. You’ve got this, my sweet little love! You’re as tough as a mother. I can’t wait to see the amazing person you’ve created and watch you become the momma you never knew you were destined to be. I’m proud to be your momma. Soon, you’ll understand just what a mother’s love truly means.

☮️❤️😊 I love you!

~Momma

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What I Wish My Kids Knew Now

What I wish my kids knew? Phew. A LOADED question for most moms, I think. Mommin’ ain’t easy and my crazy train is on the bipolar express, which makes our lives extra complicated. I’ve got a list, so I figured I share it with my tribe. Ready or not. Here are all the things I wish my kids knew about me, their momma.

My Wishlist

  1. I’m only human. I make mistakes. I mess up. I forget important stuff. I lose track of time. I am just a regular person who is imperfect like they are.
  2. I am inspired, motivated, and intrigued by them. I am in awe of the masterpieces of these little creations.
  3. They hurt my feelings. The mean words, the hurtful actions, or disrespectful behavior genuinely hurts me. They cut me the deepest.
  4. I want to protect them. Sometimes from others, but sometimes from themselves. I hurt when they hurt.
  5. I cry for them, I worry for them, and I obsess over every single decision that will affect them.
  6. All of them are my favorite. Some days it’s my oldest, other days my middle or my youngest. Some days it’s all three. They all hung the moon in my eyes, so there are no trophies for “favorite”.
  7. They make me better. I wouldn’t be who I am without them, individually or collectively. They have changed me in ways they will never recognize.
  8. They’ve saved my life more times than I can count. I struggle with mental illness and I admit I have had many times where I wanted to give up. I’ve always fought through because of them.
  9. I have trauma, too. I have a messy and complicated history. I’m damaged, broken, and haunted by my past. My struggle is just as difficult for me, however, I’m healing.
  10. My life doesn’t revolve around being a mom. I am more than just that title. It’s not always about them. It can’t be.
  11. My frustration is not their burden to carry.
  12. Being the primary parent who is responsible for every aspect of three human lives is extremely difficult. I may not be “single”, but I am the main source of support emotionally, financially and physically.
  13. I pray everyday for them.
  14. I believe in them more than they will ever know. I don’t want to see them struggle. I try to ease that struggle each day.
  15. I’m not going anywhere. I’ll be right there for every moment until the day I die. Beyond that…it will be in the music.
  16. I always love them, but sometimes I really don’t like them.
  17. I’m sorry for every minute of pain, hurt, trauma, and horror they ever lived. My mom guilt is heavy, and I swear to never allow them to experience any more of that pain.

In My Feelings

I’m not crying! You’re crying! Shut up. <sniffle> Don’t look at me! My experience, their lives, and our family gets me in my feelings sometimes. Not to mention, this momma is exhausted in every way imaginable. Between hospital admissions for 2 and now 3. To the new baby on the way. My vehicle deciding that she has had enough of us, and working all the damn time, it gets very hard.

One day, when these babies have babies they’ll get that we weren’t joking when we said mommin’ ain’t easy! I’m sure you have a few to add to the list! Feel free to share your thoughts on what I missed or missed the mark on! In the meantime, we’ve got this, all of us! Because, that’s what we do! ☮️❤️😊~M

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Parenting Hacks for Raising Teenagers

In case, I haven’t said it recently, mommin’ ain’t easy! If I’m the judge I think I would take the stinky diapers, tantrums, and baby proofing my whole home over raising teenagers! This level is hard! However, as a mom to my threefold <my three daughters> and the bonus mom to another, I have a few parenting hacks for raising teenagers. Yes. That’s right! Honestly, I’ve probably been lucky so far, but I have my days. In fact, there are days when I am screaming my head off while pulling out my hair!

Mommin’ Ain’t Easy

If you have a teenager you know! The truth is, raising Teenagers is hard work! If you have a rocky relationship with your teenager I know how you feel. On the other hand, if you have an awesome relationship with your teenager, I also know how you feel. Furthermore, if you have a relationship that could go either way from one day to the next, I’ve been that mom too. That’s the curse and the blessing of having four girls. Honestly, if one acts one way the other two act differently and with girls there is always drama! If I’m not in the middle of it, the cause of it, or have to fix it then that’s my idea of a good day!

The Mommin’ Manual

If you know me, you’ll know, I’m the mom who repeats ‘I love my kids. I love my kids. I love my kids!’ Obviously, I do, but this is my mantra as when I am increasingly irritated and want to fly off the edge of patience into momster mode. I didn’t get a mommy manual. Furthermore, the mom/daughter dynamics we hear about and see seem to be made-for-tv BFF bullshit or rivalry and rebellion. There is rarely an in between.

Real talk. We all have our own parenting styles and that’s ok. I’m more of the overly involved, anxious, pushover but with rules. In the end, I want my kids to come to me if they have a problem, not be scared. However, am I right in being that way? Hell if I know. I’m winging my mom life, remember?

Parenting Hacks for Raising Teenagers

No, I don’t have a mommy manual and yes, I’m winging it as I go. However, winging it has helped be successful even it hasn’t gotten me any mom of the year awards. As a momma to three girls and a bonus daughter, who all range in age from 10-18, I’ve had to learn a few parenting hacks to save my sanity and my relationships with these four girls.

Hacks and Hand Me Downs

  1. To start, my number one hack when I need to figure out how to handle my teens is to remember to be the mom I needed when I was their age.
  2. Next, I remember what being a teenage girl was like for me. Even though, it was over 20 years ago!
  3. Another way, I parent is that I listen before I react or respond. 9/10 a thoughtful response goes further than a screaming match ever will.
  4. Wifi passwords can change. I have fallen in love with the app that controls our wifi that I can pause from wherever. I can assign devices and the kid who hasn’t acted right can have their service suspended, Meanwhile, the others can continue living with the luxury of access. Best invention ever!
  5. I gave my kids prepaid phones, no contract. That phone has become the best and worst thing in our lives. It is a wonderful tool if needed. Yes, I resort to bribes when necessary.
  6. In addition, if you miss school you do not have a social life. Don’t say you are sick and then ask if boyfriend or bestie can come by. No.
  7. If my kids want something from me, then they better be willing to work for it. I’m not rich, if they want me to flip the bill for their movie night with their friends or birthday gifts, then they need to do their part. After all, nothing in life is free.
  8. In my opinion, one thing has helped us connect is my threefold and Ione on one time. We do what they are into. Since I have three, I usually aim for one day each per month and one family day all together.
  9. Something else we’ve done is family dinner. Sometimes, this ends in frustration and irritation. Mostly, it end with laughs and communication about the highs and lows of each child’s day.
  10. Like most teenagers, my threefold need to hear the good things about them. Do they make faces and huff when they don’t want to do something, absolutely. However, I do too!
  11. Cut them a little slack. No they can’t get away with skipping school or failing grades. But, hey, if they get a C or even a D on a test, it happens! If they say they need ‘a day off’ and that’s not a regular request, let them. It’s not the end of the world!
  12. Stop holding kids to standards you as an adult can’t reach! If I was graded for my job, I definitely wouldn’t have straight A’s. My attitude is sketchy sometimes. I don’t want to get up in the morning either. I don’t clean my plate. I don’t watch my mouth. I’m not going to make my child feel like perfection is attainable. It’s not.
  13. Finally, let them be themselves. If they can’t be comfortable at home then where are they supposed to be? Honestly, don’t allow your short sidedness hinder them feeling able to be exactly who they are. In addition, know that as a teen that identity will change multiple times.

How My Mom Skills have Helped Me

#1

I know nearly everything my 18 year old does, not because I read her messages or track her phone location, but because she tells me. In fact, I would say she overshares with me at times! When she knew her and her boyfriend of 2 years were headed towards the main event when she was 17, she came to me. We talked about it and took the necessary actions.

#2

My 14 year old has always lacked a filter, but at least she is honest {mostly}. However, as she has begun to mature, her communication got better. For example, when she came out and said she was attracted to other girls, I was able to process the information. This led to more inclusivity of her friends and others. In addition, as a family we were able to support her and boost her confidence in sharing her once secret with others in her life.

#3

This child of mine, she is still young , at only 10. Not all of my methods work for her yet, because she still has less independence. However, I do know that my patience and consistency are key to her feeling heard when she expresses herself. In addition, validation and not feeling like perfection is necessary to please me allows her to feel more comfortable to be herself.

#Bonus

As for my bonus daughter who is 16, I feel my not being overly critical has made us closer. If I have an issue, I will address it mostly with her dad before her. However, we have some heart to heart conversations as well. I don’t try to be her parent, but I try to treat her like my own. That’s a hard balance. In a way, I’m not overstepping but I’m making sure that she is invited and involved in family days, outings, and our routines when she is with us.

Hacks for raising Teenagers

No Method is Perfect

My methods have worked out for me in many ways on this journey. It’s far from perfect and I screw up sometimes, too. I’m going to keep doing me, and you can do you! There isn’t a one size fits all parenting style.

My teenagers test me with their smart ass mouths {that sound just like mine} and quick comebacks quite often. At the end of the day, I know that my threefold isn’t afraid to talk to me. That’s the beauty of it. As always, stay positive! We’ve got this! ☮️❤️😊~M psss: follow My Threefold on Facebook