As I look back over the past 16 years of being a Mom, I am amazed at how much I’ve changed and grown. I used to worry about doing everything right, and how my parenting skills or lack thereof looked to the people around me. I used to wonder if I was spending enough time with my kids, and had guilt for putting myself first sometimes. I used to not trust myself.
Now I see the beauty in being a Mom, and recognize the moments that really matter. It’s not about the nicest outfits or the cleanest house. It isn’t the pictures in a photo album or the entries in a baby book. It will never be the guilt or the worry of the moments lost. It’s not about money, stuff or accomplishments.
Instead, it’s playing in a pile of socks while you try and fold the laundry. It’s watching yet another episode of a favourite show when the “daily limit” of TV has already come and gone. It’s having a picnic of nothing but chips and cookies under the dining room table. It’s found in the bubbles of your Jacuzzi bathtub after you added an entire bottle of bubble bath. It’s the little things that make being a Mom so awesome. Enjoy them. No matter how crazy and messy those moments are, breathe them in. These will be the memories that you will cherish.
I’m surrounded by teenagers now, and these fun little memories have become exactly that, memories. I never imagined that I’d already be looking back and counting the ways that I wasted time on worry and doing the right thing, instead of just enjoying the gifts I had been given.
So, now as a Mama to older kids, I give you this.
- Trust Yourself. You are smarter and wiser than you think.
- Love without condition. Love is an action word, never forget that.
- Breathe. There is nothing that you cannot handle. Ever.
- Play. Laugh. Hide. Seek. Enjoy.
- Nap when you’re tired. Sing when you’re happy. Clean only when you have to.
- Challenge your children. Show them when they get confused. Applaud when they get it.
- Do fun things often. Dance in the rain. Wear your clothes backwards. Eat with a spatula.
- Teach your children the value of time as opposed to dollars spent.
- Be an example. Teach joy, respect & kindness while living life that same way.
- Say “I love you” and hug your kids. A lot. One day, they’re not going to let you.
Being a Mom truly is the biggest and most important gift that I was ever given. I am so thankful that I made the choice to experience this and ignored what I thought was right for me. I was most definitely meant to be a Mom. I am forever changed and forever grateful.
April Wiens, The Making of a Mommy Series: April is a Mama to Many, and is addicted to Reality TV and her husband. She spends most of her day working at her 2 businesses, Got Something To Say Vinyl Design & Bumblebee Kids.