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Non-criticizing advice from an older to a younger mother — Motherhood PART 1

Mother at night -- The Hot Mess Press

Most young first-time mothers I know have one thing in common. Their ears slam shut upon the first indication that their mothers or mothers-in-law plan to give them child-related advice. TAKE NOTE young mothers, not all advice involves criticism. Many times, your mom’s advice may be about you and how not to lose yourself and be overwhelmed by your need to prove that you are the world’s best mother. I am writing this in three parts because young mothers seldom have time to read long articles.

Mother and baby

An invaluable list of advice SHARED WITH every young mother

I came across a list of advice mothers from 12 different states passed on to new mothers. Some of these are pieces of advice I wish I had, but now that I’m the older mother, I can relate to every one of the following bits of wise words.

You’re the Mother — Name your child what you want — it’s YOUR choice!

Pregnant woman sketch

This piece of advice came from a mother in California who chose to name her first son Michael when she was still a child. When she became pregnant with a little boy, she remained dead set on calling him Michael. To her dismay, her cousin, who was also pregnant, gave birth first and named her child Michael. She was furious, but her husband calmed her down and said no one owns a name. Their own little Michael was born, and years later, she laughed when thinking back. Michael shared his name with about 20 boys in his grade, and her cousin’s son Michael became Mike. So all the fury was unnecessary.

Nowhere does it say a mother has to love OTHER PEOPLE’S children

A Minnesota mother remembered feeling smitten when holding her friend’s newborn son. She was pregnant at that time and wondered whether she would ever be as infatuated with her own children. Her concern was unnecessary because she soon learned that the love you have for your own kids is all-encompassing. So much so that the friend’s child now gets on her nerves. Furthermore, even if your BEST friend asks you to babysit, you don’t have to say yes.

Accept and admit that being a mother is not for SISSIES

You don’t have to pretend being a mom is a cakewalk. Only those who have never had children think it is. A Colorado mother still cringes when she remembers those who told her that children are only young once. Therefore, they said, “enjoy every moment with them.” She recalled a constant feeling of guilt because she definitely did not enjoy every moment. By the time her children were teenagers, she had realized that others who seem to enjoy every moment of motherhood were definitely pretending. Having young kids is tough, and you are allowed to say that as loud as you want.

Kids will CHANGE THE LIFE of a mother in more ways than diapers and no sleep

This is one thing you can take for granted. Changes in your life will already begin during pregnancy, and they will continue through the rest of your life. When so many people told a Louisiana mother having a child is life-changing, she pictured changes like expenses, baby sitters, diapers and sleep deprivation. Looking back now, she realizes that having children has changed her view of the world and her way of thinking forever.

If you’ve never watched the news — YOU WILL NOW

Child at desk

A Virginia mother who never paid attention to the news and politics found that having children changed all that. She looks at each news item and considers how it would affect her children. Furthermore, as her kids grew older and also watched the news, she became aware of her duty to help them understand and make sense of what they saw and heard.

Mother and kids playing

Going to SCHOOL IS AS HARD on you as on your kid

Right from the get-go, even at the kindergarten level, school will be tough on both of you. A mother in Vancouver, WA, recalls how unprepared she was for a mom’s school-related duties. By the time her third child went to school, she was an expert. She was the one who gave newbie mothers the low-down. She could prepare them for all the papers to sign, questions to ask and stuff to do every night.

In Part 2, I’ll get to maintaining sanity through thumb sucking, breastfeeding and passing phases.

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