In this series we ask multiple mommas one question. The answers show the love, joy and struggles we experience each day, week, month, year or lifetime. Although the answers may vary, it’s clear we are working toward the same results: healthy, happy and loved children!
What insider parenting info would you give yourself before you were a parent?
April – Nolan: Age 6 / Ben: Age 3
Leave the dishes and dirty laundry alone. They will be there when you are done making memories with your kids. Someone told me this a long time ago and it has always stuck with me. I would rather stay up later to do the dishes (alone) than miss out on precious play time with the boys.
Barb – Sean: Age 32
Being a parent is rewarding. Enjoy every minute, every age, every step. The best part is that, even when they are grown and have families of their own, you are still a parent and will be asked for help and knowledge – the best feeling in the world.
Corrie – Sam: Age 20 / Catlyn: Age 13
Inside parenting info I would give to myself would be to cherish all the things my children did as babes: to smile when their little muddy footprints covered the white carpet, to listen when their little voices sang “Winnie the pooh”, to see the true innocence as they beg you to watch a silly show with them, to smell the mud pies they so tenderly crafted, or just hold them and forget the mounds of dishes, and the vacuuming, the chores that beckon your soul.
Proverbs 31:28-31 Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.
Erin – 2 Boys Ages 13 and 11
Breathe. You can do this. You’re NOT perfect. That’s ok! Your children need a mother, not a plastic covered couch. It’s okay to cry in front of your children, it teaches them that their tears matter, too. It’s okay to lose your temper. It teaches your children how to take accountability and make right a wrong. It’s ok not to wear make-up, put on a ball cap and be 15 pounds overweight. It teaches them NOT to judge the depth of my value with their eyes. It’s OK not to have enough money to buy something for them. It will teach them that somethings are worth working hard and saving for. BE ADVISED: He won’t DIE if you let him taste ice cream before he’s EXACTLY 1-year-old. He won’t listen until the 12th time you ask (so give yourself a head start). He’s going to eat his boogers and touch his penis in public. He’s going to wear the same pair of underwear 2 days in a row. He’s going to tell the absolute most embarrassing story while you’re in the check-out line at Walmart. He’s going to fart at the dinner table. He’s going to get really excited when puberty hits and will want you to (excitedly) see how much hair he’s growing (harf) in new and ‘wonderful’ places! He’s going to ask what “those are” and wonder why God gave them to Mom and not him. He’s going to get in a fight. He’s going to raise his voice and challenge you. Above all, he’s going to love you more than another person ever will. You’re not going to get everything right, but you’re going to give it everything you’ve got. (Psssst, he turns out fine).
Kerstin – N: Age 3
Do not forget that you matter, too, and quickly become okay with achieving and pursuing your dreams and passions. It has taken me a long time to be able to give myself grace and permission to take care of myself and embrace what I love outside of N. I still battle this but have made huge strides in the past three years. When N was born, I had a lot of guilt about being a full-time working mom and felt like I needed to spend every available second with him. So, I stopped working out, Seano and I left him less than a handful of times with family or a sitter in the first year he was born, and I lost track of my interests and hobbies. I think we hear a lot of language as woman, that being a good mother means putting our children first and ourselves second, always. Over the last three years I have learne, and am so clearly a better person, when I am taking care of myself and my soul is full. Full of things outside of my son. N brings me more happiness, love and joy than I ever thought possible. But, he’s not the only great thing about me. And remembering this has been a key to my continual happiness.
P.S. The featured photo was taken on our trip to Costa Rica when Chelse was just about 3 months pregnant with Toddler A. This is probably one of our last photos before we were mommies!
Be sure to check out these Jelly Bean Journals posts too!