How to Mom

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Photo by Sai De Silva on Unsplash

  1. Love your child, love yourself. You can’t overdo either.
  2. Provide discipline, structure and rules. Keep the chain of command simple. You’re the mom, they’re the kid. Ultimately, it’s what you say.
  3. Fill all other spaces with laughter.
  4. No matter what kind of raggedy, broken, nightmarish childhood you were dealt, bust your butt to be a high-functioning adult capable of parenting in a positive, memorable way. Get help if you need it.
  5. Enjoy the little things.
  6. Kiddos have pretty simple needs. Most of the time, they just want to feel loved and safe.
  7. Sleep when they sleep, play when they’re away.
  8. Learn from them.
  9. You’re not always going to like your offspring. They’re not always going to like you. Create strong anchors and communication skills to circle back to each other.
  10. Be a decent person.
  11. Get to know them. Ask open-ended and follow-up questions. Listen.
  12. Encourage them.
  13. 75% percent of the time, show up to Motherhood like you’re the quarterback on game day. Take the other 25% to stretch, rehydrate, replenish and mother yourself.
  14. Say sorry when you mess up and do better next time. It will teach them to do the same.
  15. Do your best. If it sucks, get a BETTER best.
  16. Give them freedom, after you have tethered them to common sense and smart safety protocols.
  17. Be yourself, not your mom, even if your mom is/was really cool or Hallmark-card inspired.
  18. YOU ARE NOT your child’s bestie until they become an adult, but even then, do not wear their clothes, follow them on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter or Friend their friends. Boundaries.
  19. Practice giving non-judgy, inspiring, yet vague advice that tricks children into solving their own problems.
  20. Grow together.
  21. At least once a month, pretend you have to qualify to adopt your little person. Behave accordingly. (Props to adoptive parents everywhere.)
  22. Champion for your child. Advocate. Protect. Support.
  23. Be present and in the moment. If your child is in high school, don’t get nostalgic about when they were five, except maybe once a year on your own with a photo album and one of their old blankies.
  24. In all ways, do not be clingy. When it is time, let them fly. You’ll both be okay.
  25. Savor the non-mom aspects of your personality and life. Strive to regularly fill your own well so you’ll be prepared for #24.
  26. Fill in the blank ______________________________________________.

7 thoughts on “How to Mom

  1. Wow!!!!! This was brilliant.

    I needed to read this because just this past weekend I learned that my 15 year old has a girlfriend. His first “real” girlfriend, whatever the hell that means but my emotions are all over the place with this…As such #s16 & 23 spoke to me.

    I am right there with you for #18. I have friends who are insistent that they “we” troll our children on social media to see what they are up to but the reality is that we should trust the way we raised them and trust in them to do what is right and act accordingly. Do I wanna be nosy? Sometimes! But I stop myself. I am raising a King, he knows himself and he will behave.

    #19 – I love it. I have to learn that one.

    Excellent post, Sis!

    • You are raising a King. That I know. But, the king has a girlfriend???? Lawd! Somehow, I think I would be flipping out too if I had a son. I found out one of my college-age nephew had a girlfriend and they had gotten a dog together. I have soooooo many questions, but am trying not to ask them for another week. 😉

  2. This is a pretty comprehensive list! I agree with much of it, especially #4. In fact, I wish we all had mandatory therapy as soon as we get our periods, just in case we conceive lol

    The only thing I’d add is that all moms are different and all children are different. We all have to go with what we feel is appropriate for our situation(s).

  3. Yes, early therapy would have helped us all. I also think practices of meditation or mindfulness should be taught in 1st grade. And, I agree that ultimately each mom has a unique journey and has to write her own script.

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