Have you ever been out in public with your crew and glanced around at the people observing you? We were at lunch a few weeks ago, we met my mom out a favorite eatery and we waited on the patio saving a table for her to get there. She arrived about 8 minutes after us. In those 8 minutes we had 1 kid decide not once but twice he wanted to change his clothes and throw a huge tantrum until my husband gave in and took him to the car, we had 1 kid decide he didn’t want to sit at our table and proceeded approximately 5 times to pick a new table for him and my mom to sit at alone and together, and we had 1 kid run off into the parking lot, a near miss from a car, but not without a scream from me. 8 minutes people 8 minutes!!!!! Let’s just say if I hadn’t learned to hold my tongue I probably would have told several people to take a picture because it would last longer.
This is not an isolated occurrence either I have 3 high energy preschool aged boys mind you, and I don’t foresee the looks ending any time soon. But one thing that mother hood has taught me is not to judge! I have eaten my pre-mothering words many a times over and I imagine I will probably eat them again in later stages. So if by chance you are reading this and you are not yet a mom here’s a few things I would like you to know….
1) You will eat your words someday: There once was a time when I said my kids will NEVER. and my kids WILL. Parenting has changed me though. I have learned that the world is not black and white. There are exceptions to every rule and your kids will point them out.
2) Kids are not born with patience this is learned and it takes time to learn. Sure it would be nice to go to a restaurant and all of us sit quietly with no electronic device or toy or crayons or snacks to hold our attention while we wait for our food. But the reality is the younger the kid the less likely they are to sit still so sometimes if I’m exhausted and need to help them with their patience a distraction is what I need to bring them, and if I’m really honest you should be glad I did because it’s probably keeping them from screaming their bloody heads of and ruining your dinner. 😉
3) Speaking of patience it takes practice. Sure I could keep my kids at home until they day they graduate high school and go off to college, I could never take them into a restaurant or into a store. But if we never leave the house how are they ever going to practice the skills we are teaching them, how are they ever going to learn to behave in public?
4) Children have emotions. Oh my sweet sweet babes from the time they were born they had these feelings they have no idea what they mean or how to control them. They are learning and quite frankly so I am. I am mom and it’s my job to help them learn to manage these feelings but sometimes it’s hard for me to pin point what the emotion is. More times than I can count I’ve picked up what appeared to be a sad and crying kid to give him a hug only to be kicked and hit because really he was angry about something. So if you hear my tantrum throwing child or by chance see him throw said fit, and you see me stand and watch it instead of intervening or you see my hug the kid who is beating me alive, please be gracious and understanding that we are learning to mange them and it’s something that takes time.
5) Children really are a blessing. My children are not a burden. Yes they are a lot of work, and yes some days they exhaust me beyond repair. No I can’t travel on a whim usually, my life takes more planning and I’m responsible to someone or 5 someones. But I wouldn’t take it back for anything. I love being mom and at the end of the day they are a blessing and I enjoy what I do. That doesn’t mean I’m some kind of boring old doormat whose world revolves around those little people. I have my own interests still, and I am still me, but my children have added so much more to my life and have removed nothing of worth.
There you have it, if I go back to my pre-kid self this is what I would say to me.
What are some of the things you moms wish the non-parents knew?
Sherrie is a wife, mother of 4 littles, a Birth doula & a Doterra wellness advocate. She found her passion for birth and mothering 5 years ago after the birth of her first son. Subsequently becoming DONA certified and began Blogging at Intentional Motherhood where she hopes to inspire other moms in the day to day of running a home, raising kids, marriage, and just being ourselves. Find her on Instagram, Pinterest & Facebook.