What has most surprised you about Motherhood?

I must have been 16, maybe 17…. Locked in one of many teen vs. mom battles of wills and I thought to myself “when I have a daughter, I will NEVER treat her like this!!”  cue the heavenly orchestra because really?  I KNEW BEST.

That sentiment was followed by many other variations:

“I will never say that….”

“Because I said so?…. What kind of B.S. is that anyway?”

“I will never make my daughter wear that….”

“Curfew?  What curfew?  I will TRUST my children….”

“My brother has different rules?  I will treat my children the SAME….”

So, it was surprising to me when, the moment my small girl was placed in my arms, the world shifted on its axis.  I always knew I would love her.  But I didn’t know I would LOVE her.  Because no one can really prepare you for what that feels like – the emotion that sweeps your soul – the commitment you make to yourself, to her – in that split second, “I will take care of you, baby….  Even when you fight me.”

And I knew.

I knew that all of those teen angst moments would come back to haunt me.  I will be hard on my children – because I love them.  I will have high expectations for them – because they deserve that.  There are rules.  Because they need them to shape their sense of right and wrong. And no, they don’t like some of them – but you know what?  I can make those rules….  Because I said so.

It surprised me to realize I had this in me.  It surprised me to realize that while I was wrong all that time, I really just didn’t know – how could I?  And you know what?  My kids will feel the same way.  And someday… I imagine, they will be surprised to realize that I too, like my Mom (and Dad) really did know what I was doing…

What has been most surprising to you about Motherhood?

As a side note:  Other things that I have found surprising?

  • When your child is sick or hurting, you can and will tolerate anything – even vomit in you hair.
  • I’m not nearly as patient as I thought I was
  • I can operate on 4 hours of sleep a night.  For a very long time.
  • The love you feel as a parent is fierce.  Like I-will-knock-you-down kind of fierce.  I hope I am never tested.
  • I believe kids are born with a certain personality – and no amount or ‘kind’ of parenting will change that

This Mother’s Day conversation is sponsored by a company I love (and use!) Tiny Prints.  I love that they have given me some beautiful things to think about as Mother’s Day approaches.  All of their Mother’s day cards(and Father’s day cards too!) are fully customizable and can be sent straight to the recipient. You can even schedule the cards to be sent ahead of time too.

 

 

If I could only teach my children one thing…..

Photo by Gina Kelly, Art By Gina, St. Louis

Seven years ago I was starting to waddle.  Within another month I would say goodbye to my nearly perfect posture, my long stride and worst *gasp* my desire to wear high heels.  I was growing a baby.  I would talk to her daily – sometimes as I went about my day and often as I crawled into bed, exhausted at the end of the day. This was, naturally, when my sweet girl was most active.  8pm and a tired Mommy-to-be were an invitation for the small one to graduate into a full-fledged punter.  There are field goals in her future, I’m still certain.

My chatting was often idle, but filled with dreams and doings, wishes and would-be-wisdom.  As if it was even remotely possible that I could possess any child-rearing wisdom at this point in my life.  I would rub my belly (or if I’m honest sometimes push her back after an hour of kidney-football) and consider the many things I hoped to teach….

How to instill confidence?  And Independence? A desire to stand up for people who can’t do it for themselves? A kind heart? A strong work ethic? A love of family?  A willingness to embrace her strengths and acknowledge her weaknesses? Loyalty? Honesty? A commitment to trying her best?  Have fun? Laugh every day if you can?

Then, and now, my head spins and my shoulders fall under the weight of this responsibility.  I’m no longer growing a baby.  I’m growing a child, a person…someone who will eventually be an adult. (eventually being a VERY LONG TIME FROM NOW, thank heavens….) And she may eventually carry this same responsibility.

So, I comfort myself (with wine…. I kid, I kid) by ruminating….  how did I come to have the desire to pass on these qualities?  If I’m passing them on…  I must have learned them at some point.  Right?

And that means this woman, my mother, gets the credit for living the example.

Photo by Carey Schumacher, Barefoot Memories, San Diego

If I could only teach Delaney (and of course, Cooper too) one thing, it would be this:

Live the example.  And do it with a kind heart.

I have to believe that the rest will fall into place.  If I show my children what it means to be kind, to be independent, to give?  They will understand in a way my words could never convey.

What one lesson do you hope to teach your children?

This Mother’s Day conversation is sponsored by a company I love (and use!) Tiny Prints.  I love that they have given me some beautiful things to think about as Mother’s Day approaches.  All of their Mother’s day cards (and Father’s day cards too!) are fully customizable and can be sent straight to the recipient. You can even schedule the cards to be sent ahead of time too.

Holiday Card Discount

UPDATED: SALE EXTENDED!

I don’t know if you love Holiday Cards as much as I do, (both the sending and receiving), but I wanted to pass on a little discount for you….but it only lasts until November 29th!

Here’s the deal:

10THANKS = 10% off + FREE shipping on orders of $99 or more
15THANKS = 15% off + FREE shipping on orders of $149 or more

We ordered our cards from Tiny Prints last year…and will be again this year (you don’t think I’d miss out on the promotion, do you?)

One of my favorite things about their site…you can create dozens of samples to see what you might like best.  I think I have 8 currently saved.  But I had better get on the ball if I’m going to take advantage of the promo…don’t you think?

Good luck!  I’d love to know which design you choose if you do it….(I’m a nerd that way)