How To Teach A 5 Year-Old To Recognize Letters 14 Years of Motherhood: 14 Things I’ve Learned

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14 Years of Motherhood: 14 Things I’ve Learned

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been over 14 years since my first born was placed in my arms. Fourteen years and seven children down the line have taught me many things. Of course, I’m still learning all the time, and I know I’ll be learning for decades to come. In fact, you could say this is one of the first things I learned:

1. Nothing has taught me more about myself, my strengths and weaknesses than being a mother. There is no job as self-revealing and humbling as motherhood. And in this 24-hour profession, it’s often the kids you find the hardest that teach you the most. If you pay close attention to what makes them stand out and what irritates you, you will have discovered the most valuable lessons about yourself that you could ever learn.

2. My children’s journey from infancy to adolescence is a journey for me too. As I guide them through the paths of life and watch them grow, I find myself growing with them.

3. Watching my child grow up is more enjoyable than growing up myself. I can remember a lot more about their process than mine. After all, I can’t remember my own birth very well, but as an adult, I can remember every detail of my child from the first moment he entered this world. Moreover – as an adult – I see everything from a completely different perspective.

4. The more I get into this business, the more fun it gets. Sure, it’s also more complicated, more demanding, and often more culpable. But if you’re open to growing and learning about yourself and others, you’ll naturally become more flexible and less overwhelmed—two valuable life skills. I can laugh a lot more now than I could years ago – at myself and at the typical situations we parents find ourselves in. I can stop in the middle of the action and pretend I’m a camera, zoom in on the moment and just enjoy it.

5. There is almost no greater pleasure in life than watching your child’s mind work. How awesome, how delightful, and how wonderful to see your toddler put that puzzle together, your toddler recognize letters, your school-aged child take initiative and complete a project independently. When I know that my kids aren’t just spitting out information, but that they can learn and apply that knowledge to other situations, my smile just couldn’t get any wider.

6. As my children grow, helping hands multiply. As a young mother of very young children, I could never have imagined how much easier it would be when it wasn’t just me. I’ll never forget the first time my oldest was old enough to hold the baby while I put the others to bed. I completely forgot how amazing it is that other people can go to the grocery store and that every loaf of bread doesn’t require me to get them all out of the house and take them all with me on every errand. I must mention how blessed it is to find the dishes done, the laundry folded, or an older sibling surprise me and get the younger kids ready for bed. And no, that doesn’t mean you’re taking advantage of them. It is good for children to help. it teaches them so many life skills and makes them feel so valued. If you are afraid of overdoing it, always keep in mind that they are not here to serve you, but that you are here to help them become balanced and useful members of society.

7. When children are young, it is hard to imagine a day when they will become pleasant companions. Yes, it really is more enjoyable to shop at the supermarket with the company, help and input of your ten-year-old. Plus theirs the pleasure of spending time with you becomes yours pleasure. And it’s fun to leave everyone else behind and just focus on that one kid and spoil them a little bit.

8. I had to grow up and have older children in order to enjoy my younger children as I never could have from a previous vantage point. Younger children are more physically demanding, but are much less complex. They enjoy the simple things. Sometimes it’s much easier and much less tiring to read a picture book aloud or build a tower with your three-year-old than it is to discuss social issues with your twelve-year-old.

9. Experience is a wonderful thing. The more times I do something, the more familiar it becomes and the easier and less threatening it becomes. When you’ve been there before, you know it will pass. know that you and your child will be fine even if things are difficult now. You might lose it, you might feel like you just can’t do this, but because you’ve done it so many times already, deep inside you there’s that voice that tells you you’ll survive.

10. It’s good to stop and observe my children as if I were an outsider – to just enjoy their beautiful faces, their intelligent speech, their talents, their helpfulness, even how they look in that cute outfit. I certainly know that there is another side: dirt, chaos, whining, fighting and complaining. But the more I focus on what is pleasant to see, the more I find and the more pleasant everyday life becomes. I am learning that happiness in life does not come from spectacular events, but from an accumulation of pleasant moments.

11. I have become grateful for so many “little” things. For washing machines that clean those smelly, dirty clothes (even if I can’t deal with every stain), for bedtimes that run according to schedule and the peace that follows, for enough food to feed my children, for decent clothing, for the ability to keep my family warm on cold nights and cool on baking days, for healthy, growing children, for… Yes, the list goes on and on. And that gratitude certainly makes for a happier life.

12. I have learned that eventually my children will internalize a lot of what I tell them. Yes, they will learn to flush the toilet and wash their hands afterwards, yes, they will pick up dirty laundry and yes, they will learn not to stand on kitchen counters with their shoes on. They will learn to behave politely in public, to be kind to a younger sibling without being told, and to be sensitive to the outcasts in their class. Not always, not always, but it happens. If our relationship is fundamentally stable and positive, my values ​​will come through.

13. Starting and maintaining relationships with my friends is good not only for me but also for the children. First of all, it keeps me healthy – which benefits the kids. Whether it’s a five-minute emergency phone call to a friend when I feel like I’m losing it that gets me back on track, or meeting up with friends and their kids, a truly caring network of adults makes all the difference. I also feel it’s good for my kids to know that friends are a good thing and that lifelong friendships are something to strive for. And as they and I get older, it’s healthy for them to know they don’t have to be mommy’s friend. if he needs someone to lean on, it doesn’t have to be him.

14. You don’t need all those tempting baby paraphernalia, all those toys that call out to you from the catalog pages and toy store shelves, all the flashy, trendy or even basic baby clothes. Our world today is full of stuff and full of people selling you stuff. Over the years I have learned a lot about what to buy, when to buy, how much to buy and often just not to buy at all. If I wait and see, chances are I’ll be fine without it and save myself the cost and storage of items that seem so necessary but are hardly ever used.

So here’s my list – for now. Wonder what it will look like as we move deeper into young adulthood and beyond…

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