Do you remember when you first became a mom? I certainly do. I remember that moment when I found out I was pregnant with Ethan, I remember the day he was born. I remember the HUGE learning curve.
Don’t worry about milestones–they’ll happen. I remember calling my mom when Ethan was a baby, freaking out that he hadn’t rolled over. I had looked in both Dan and my baby books, and we had both rolled over way earlier than Ethan. (I don’t even remember how old he was now, funny, right?) My mom told me to calm down, that he would, in fact, roll over. And he did. Then I worried about him starting to crawl. Then I worried about him walking. With Emma? I didn’t worry about ANY of that. Actually, I hoped she wouldn’t, because keeping track of a stationary baby is much easier than a baby in motion! Every child is different. They all do things in their own time. Which brings me to my next point:
Don’t compare your children to each other. All three of my children were born with very distinct personalities. But they came from the same parents, so it’s hard not to compare what Zach is doing in Kindergarten to what Ethan was doing at the same age. But they’re different boys, and it’s not fair to compare them. Who liked being compared to a sibling? Not me, that’s for sure.
Take time to spend with each of your children individually. It’s easy to get lost in a crowd, even in a smallish family like ours. I love being able to be alone with my kids, either at a Cub Scout meeting with Ethan, a field trip with Zach or a trip to library story time with Emma. And they like having your undivided attention.
This, too, shall pass. Ethan was a nightmare in Kindergarten. His moods were terrible, his behavior in school not great, and generally wasn’t a nice person to live with. Now some of that had to do with us moving just before school started, but the rest? He was 5. Last year, as a 1st grader, he got a little better. This year, I’m seeing so much maturity in him, something I thought I’d never see two years ago. So when Zachie started with the attitude and drama this year, I remembered Ethan at 5. And looked at him now. And realized that this is just a stage. Zachie will get through this. And we’ll survive Emma being 3, also. Hopefully. 😉
I want to stress here that I am not a perfect parent. I’m still making mistakes with my kids, just like I did when Ethan was younger. I’m learning as he grows older, that’s for sure. But the key in being a good parent is much like being a good person in life–you learn from your mistakes. And above all, I love my kids. I love being their mom. And I wouldn’t change that for the world.
What have you learned during your years of parenting? Any tips I missed?