The journey of motherhood can be daunting. Overwhelming, even. I thought about writing a post that was roses and sunshine and sweetly inspiring about how to overcome the stress of motherhood…but sometimes it’s not a roses and sunshine kind of day. Sometimes it’s a dandelions-in-a-Styrofoam-cup-that-got-knocked-over-by-the-cat kind of day. Can I get an amen? With that, I present to you five things that moms need to get on board with, for the sake of our future generation of peoples.
1. Give your kid room to grow. Like, apart from you.
It’s one thing to know/show interest in what your kids are into. It’s an entirely different thing to breathe down their neck about every single thing they like. Be in the area in case you’re needed, but for goodness sakes—don’t hover. If you’re constantly close enough that your child can reach up and whack your helicopter blade with one swift ninja move, you might want to back off a little bit. Or a whole lot.
Seriously. Independence is a good thing.
2. Do not, I repeat not, live through your kids.
I’ve already lived age 12 and 13. I don’t need to live it again through my child. My job now is to live age 37. Figure out what things are your kid’s to experience, get mad about, live through, enjoy, etc…and let your kid deal with those things. Yes, support and love and be there for them…but please don’t be one of those parents who are so caught up in what their kids are going through/experiencing/wearing/reading/listening to/interested in that it’s become more the parents’ thing than something the kid can have to himself.
3. Your kid needs to know that you have a life, too.
Again, support and love and glitter and all good things to your kids, but you are an adult and I’m hoping you have a life outside of your title as “parent”. Hopefully it’s a life you rather enjoy. Yes, I have responsibilities as a parent but I’m a whole lot of other things besides Mom. I still like to sit and play guitar by myself and sit at a coffee shop by myself and go out with friends to talk about things my children have no interest in. I would never expect or want my kids to live their lives for my husband and I, and I’m going to assume that my husband and I continuing to have a life, both as individuals and as a couple, will ultimately benefit our children in the future. In fact, I’d be totally okay with betting money on this one.
4. Realize your children are not mini-mes. You did not give birth to robots.
You can tell your kids your wishes. You can make rules. You can have guidelines or boundaries or whatever it is that people in your generation call them, but your kids are not robots. There is no perfect system of input information, output action that has been proven to work on every child in the world. If there was, we’d be handed one parenting book on one parenting theory at birth and we’d all turn out amazingly robotic (and admittedly boring) little drones.
Your children may have come into this world through you, but they are not you. The sooner you get okay with this, the less money you will have to spend on their (and your) therapy later.
5. Your house is not your friend’s house.
The chore chart or meal plan or curfew that works for your friend and her kids might not work in your house with your kids. In fact, I’m gonna bet money that it won’t. Because your house is not your friend’s house. You both close the door behind you at separate addresses and deal with different stuff within the four walls of your humble abodes. Nothing will kill your happiness faster than trying to make something work in your house that isn’t meant to work in your house. It’s okay. Move on. Find something different. You’re still super cool.
There you have it, fellow moms. Five things. Commit them to memory. And then go pick some dandelions. 🙂