To honour Mothers Day; Alyssa asked me to write a guest post for her blog. I gave it some thought and wondered what could I say about being a Mother... it seems like such a natural thing to happen to most women that I know. Looking back they always tell you that there is no parenting manual; which is true for the most part. For many of us our own mothers and grandmothers were likely the first and hopefully the best examples to us. When Kevin and I got married; we made plans to start a family. It didn't happen right away, in fact it took almost 5 years. I think that we needed the time to establish our relationship as a couple first. Then in quick succession I became a mother to two children within 15 months and a third about 3 years later. While raising children has had its challenges, for the most part I would have to say it was all worth it! I have also learned that it is true that there is no manual for being a parent, only by what you have learned from others, what you already know yourself, from your own instincts and most of all from what you learn from your children. I learned that it is true that one size does not fit all; even in the same house, my parenting style needed to adapt for each of my children, in a variety of circumstances, and as they grew.
That being said; one of the most valuable things that I learned from my own mother was to love each of them unconditionally. With the struggles and challenges of parenthood we all need to see past the flaws and imperfections of our children, and just love them anyway. As parents we also need to see past our own imperfections and realize that our children too just love us anyway. When my children were young I did learn that just as all parents are different; so too is no child is the same. I also learned that as mothers we did have some things in common; like that we loved our children and only wanted what was best for them, and also that we all make mistakes. It was a struggle to find a balance of love, discipline, fun, learning, and letting go. Looking back on things I would like to say that I have no regrets, but I do. I wish I knew how quickly time would pass, we were in such a hurry to have children, then we were in such a hurry for them to grow up; that we did not really take the time to really enjoy the little moments and to let them just be kids. Sometimes I wish I had been more relaxed, read to them more, played more, taught them to be more independent, to let them learn more by their own experience and to just let them have FUN, and to have FUN with them! Of course in hindsight I wish that I knew then what I know now. One of the questions that was given to me was; How has your education changed your perspective of motherhood? This is really relevant to me as I have just completed my Diploma in Early Childhood Education. Yes I really do wish I knew then what I know now. Although these new ideas and philosophies have not changed my perspective of motherhood, I still feel that it is a very important role in society, and that it is far more important than anything we can do outside the home; even with diplomas, degrees, titles or prestige of the world. Kevin often asks if I would like to go back and do it all over again; sometimes it seems like it would be an interesting experiment, but I always say that I would have to have the knowledge that my education has given me. Not to change anything, but just to do it better. Then again don't we all want to be better! I guess in the end we only can do our best with what we have.
To sum up my advice to my children would be; live in and enjoy the moment, relax more, don't be in such a hurry, don't worry if you are doing it right; trust your instincts, look past your imperfections, and those of your children, do your best, let them be little; because they grow up REAL FAST! Also I really like this quote by Ann Landers; "It's not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings.” I have learned that it is more important to just let children be kids, to experiment more, learn from their own actions, and to do as you do, and not as I say. Above all else just LOVE THEM MORE!!!