About Motherhood ...

I can't recall ever having thoughts about what motherhood would like for me.  When you don't have the privilege of seeing being a mom played out before you, it is hard to imagine.

Over the years, I have learned that motherhood is truly a gift, and just like any gift you shouldn't complain or disregard it.  When I was younger, I wondered why my mom didn't embrace mothering me.  As an adult, I understand that she had her own struggles and really a barely teenage mom is not the ideal candidate for parenting.  Although she wasn't the ideal parent, I am forever grateful that she saw fit to birth me with her limited knowledge, resources, and abundant pain.

Now that I am a mom, I recognize that it isn't the easiest task especially when there's so  much vying for attention. Although I admit it isn't the easiest job, you will rarely hear me say that it is difficult. This is not because I am special or anything, but because by nature I happen to be optimistic {there was a period that I tried out complaining because someone told me I didn't complain enough; that didn't work out for me}.  I often search for the brighter side of things even when there is pain present. This works best for me.

When I came into motherhood, I was a blank canvas.  Searching.  Willing.  Eager.  Now that I have been a mom for a little over a decade {tear}.  I am so going to miss them.  I have found that these five truths have been the basis of my mothering style and if these things are aligned then we are doing well.

1.  Trust ~ Trust has been key to developing strong relationships with my girls.  I make it a point to not embarrass them or share things that are considered private without their permission.  Part of the reason why this is number one for me is because when I was younger I didn't have the opportunity to build trusting relationships with adults.  I knew the feelings behind not having a safe space.

2. Availability ~ Initially, I struggled with quality time versus quantity.  Now I realize they both are important and play a role.  There are days when just need to be around each other doing absolutely nothing, but there are other times when need to collaborate and explore together.  By being available, the girls know that they can count on me.  This is true when I am working outside the home, in the home, or staying home without any extra responsibilities.

3.  Humor ~  I don't believe that I am a parent who needs to be friends with my children, but ironically we do have a friendship.  Our friendships are built on our ability to laugh and be silly together.  My kids are always making fun of me and it doesn't bother me.  I actually find joy in the fact that they can pull up a video and laugh at something that I did to make themselves feel better.  I hope that they will always have memories of laughing with me.

4.  Discipline ~ So I am the Queen of Lecturing.  I don't spank although I will thump if I need to which isn't often.  But, I certainly do speeches.  They are sometimes long.  I mean from the time we get in the car to the time we get to our destination.  Or from the time they do whatever until I figure out every angle I can hit from their misstep.  For some folks, lecturing may not work, but for us it does.  The girls have told me directly and indirectly that they learn from my speeches.  That the speeches help them.  I don't tear them down, but I do teach them and I am grateful that they see value in it.   I was surprised when one of my girls said, "Go on, I'm listening."  When I was about to cut it short because I didn't feel like giving it at that moment.  I've learned that discipline isn't always comfortable, but it is necessary. It is the reason why I don't have to discipline as much because they have internalized what's right or wrong or what's a good choice vs a not so good choice.

5. Compassion ~  This goes with trust for me.  If I didn't have compassion or empathy, I am almost certain I wouldn't be the mom that I am.  It helps me to remember that none of us are perfect beings and that we all hurt no matter how big or small.  I don't remember seeing much compassion growing up, and I often thought that something must be wrong with me for having feelings.  This train of thought also led me to not look at adults very highly and to see them more as heartless people.  I will admit I am more compassionate towards children because I remember being a child, but my heart has grown to include adults now :)

This post was inspired by Darcel at The Mahogany Way .  Check out her post about motherhood!

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